Sport-specific training and massage therapy

Sport-specific training and massage therapy

If you’re an athlete training to improve in your sport, you might find that you reach a plateau in your training or performance. To increase your performance and train more effectively, you can combine sport-specific training and massage therapy, specifically fascial release.

Power and strength are often confused. This leads to difficulties when developing your training protocol.

  • What is strength? Your ability to carry out work against a resistance; the maximum force that you can apply against a load.
  • What is power? Power = force x velocity; the rate at which you can produce force; how quickly you can move a given weight.

Most sports performance is based on, and improved by, increases in power not absolute strength. The faster your neurological system can recruit all of those high threshold motor units and create a contraction, the more powerful you are.

My focus lately has fallen on hockey. Hockey is a sport driven by power, but so are sports like dance and soccer. If we take this philosophy and apply it to sport specific functional training and massage therapy, we can make a huge difference in your athletic performance! By decreasing fascial restrictions in the musculoskeletal system and decreasing the stress on the network of peripheral nerves, we can increase the number of motor units recruited to activity, and the speed at which they fire to the muscle.

As a massage therapist that focuses primarily on the fascial system as an approach to treatment, I use techniques like tool-assisted myofascial release (the M2T Blade) and trigger point therapy. I take a look at your sports-specific goals and put together a functional training approach to rehabilitate your body and improve performance.

While power is a very important goal with specific exercises to lead to improvements, having a stable center from which to tap into your new found power is just as important. I personally love the analogy of trying to “shoot a cannon from a canoe” – IMPOSSIBLE!! As a team, Dr. Carole Smith and I look at developing a prehabilitation protocol that looks at movement stabilizers as well as power generators.

The primary function of certain muscles and muscle groups is stabilization. Functional training for those muscles involves training them to be better stabilizers, often by performing simple exercises through small ranges of motion. In many cases, to try to make everything functional, coaches and athletes ended up neglecting the important stabilizing functions of certain muscle groups. The three key groups in need of stability training are:

  • the deep abdominals (transversus abdominis and internal oblique)
  • the hip abductors and rotators
  • the scapula stabilizers

It’s important to tailor your exercises and stretches to you and your sport needs. We can help you increase your performance, heal more effectively from injury, and play better, longer!