Sports massage is incredibly popular among athletes in every sport. Climbing is no different and the unique stresses climbing places on the body mean sports massage should be a regular part of most climbers’ training plan.
Climbing puts a massive strain on the muscles and tendons of the fingers, wrists and elbows. The demand placed on the chest and upper back also produces strong, shortened pec and lat muscles. Stretching is okay, but it is often not enough to ease the tension put through these muscles.
Sports massage involves targeted soft tissue release and assisted stretching techniques which are more effective at ensuring the body stays well balanced.
Rest and recovery
With so much stress being placed regularly through such small areas of the body, it’s important to make sure your rest and recovery is of the highest quality. Sports massage has been shown to reduce the soreness and fatigue associated with heavy training. This means you can get back to training and performing at your best in no time.
One study tested massage as a recovery tool following a maximal grip-strength test. They found that participants who received massage showed significantly improved performance on the second test than those who recovered naturally.
When training 4-5 times per week, even a small improvement in recovery rate is going to have a big impact. But on top of that, regular sports massage gives a chance for a trained professional to assess your posture, your muscle tone and your training regime.
Injuries don’t happen all of a sudden. Damage to muscles and tendons builds up over time until eventually something gives. These regular sessions can be the difference between spotting an injury before it happens and taking action or having to take three months off and dealing with a recurring injury for the rest of your training career.
A small investment now can save a world of hurt later on.