Massage is a useful preparation to gain the best performance and reduce the risk of injury. It returns you to full fitness more quickly than without massage. It warms muscles ready for action, increasing blood flow, removing waste products and separating any muscle fibres that have become stuck together. Getting into practise at massaging yourself will save you a lot of time and trouble – and spare you pain!
These articles deal with specific muscle groups, but the techniques can be applied elsewhere.
While it is lovely to have someone else to massage you and useful to have a trained person to treat injuries, massaging yourself is extremely good preparation for physical performance and also useful if you have an injury until it can be treated. It is not as difficult as at first you might think: try it.
Massage strokes, particularly flushing, are usually movements towards the heart.
Before strenuous exercise: This massage should be done just before usual warm-up.
During breaks: Massage to keep you warm, prevent stiffness setting in, and remove built-up waste products to retain efficiency.
After strenuous exercise: Remember to warm down and then if you wish to use gentle flushing strokes to help prevent stiffness; your muscles will be sore.
List of massage areas for self massage