Guide To Sports Massage

Jun 23, 2015 | by AIF

Hearing the buzz about sports massage but not sure what it actually is? Australian Institute of Fitness NSW / ACT Master Coach Sheldon Caines explains exactly what the industry hot topic is and why it’s gaining popularity.

What happens during a sports massage?

Professional sports teams throughout the world utilise sports massage as an effective means of recovery and performance enhancement. Sports massage involves the ‘kneading’ and ‘grasping’ of soft tissues with the aim of either increasing or decreasing neural excitability. Performed prior, during or following an event or bout of exercise regular treatment is a must for professional and recreational athletes alike.

Why would someone want to get a sports massage?

Your body works hard for you, supporting its recovery following exercise is a sound investment. Sports massage aims to prevent the onset of overtraining and subsequent dysfunction/injury that will inevitably ensue. Post event sports massage has been shown to reduce the duration and severity of delayed onset muscle soreness via numerous local and systemic physiological responses. Celebrated for its analgesic effects, regular treatment promotes optimal health and function ensuring more time and energy for the things you love.

How often should people get a sports massage?

It depends on the individual’s frequency, intensity and volume of training. Treatment is often sought in the lead up to an event or following a particularly intense block of training.

How long does it take?

Pre-event sports massage is typically performed directly prior to an event (30-1 hr ) and is 10-15min of high tempo application (1 stroke per second). The aim of the treatment is neural excitability in preparation for performance. Post-event sports massage is beneficial following activity and is of light-moderate pressure and ranges anywhere from 15-30 minutes. Recovery is the objective here, aiding in the delivery of essential nutrients and removal of waste products associated with high intensity exercise. Treatment should not replace an adequate cool down or post event nutrition.

What do clients wear?

Amongst its benefits is convenience! Whilst clothing is not ‘optional’, treatment can be performed either through clothing or directly to the skin. Therapists performing sport massage for the first time should check with the athlete to identify areas where ‘taping’ is to be performed as the adhesive tape will not take to skin where oil is present.

Does it hurt?

Sports massage should not cause discomfort to the individual, techniques are administered in a layered manner from broader to more specific and deeper strokes. If any time throughout your treatment you experience pain and discomfort be sure to communicate this with your therapist.

Personal Training and Sports Massage

Are you a qualified Personal Trainer? One the of BEST services you can offer is an after workout massage, so why not get qualified as a Massage Therapist as well? Or team up with a therapist that you can refer onto. It is a great value add for your PT clients, plus there are many benefits to regular massage that can aid their fitness goals as well, WIN WIN!

Now you know what Sports Massage actually is! Our students regularly offer massages on campus for extra experience, so be sure to find your local campus page to keep updated!



At the Australian Institute of Fitness (AIF), we are no stranger to the competitive and evolving nature of the fitness industry. That’s why we remain the #1 fitness educator since 1979. We continuously raise the bar by providing the best education and resources through dynamic and hybrid training methods that mould to your lifestyle. We are strong believers in evidence over fads, so you can be assured your training with AIF will solidify your career for the long-term.

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