Self massage for cyclists
It may not be practical to visit a massage therapist every day or every week, but there are substantial benefits to practising massage on yourself.
The basic benefits of self massage are similar to massage carried out by a therapist, though the results will not be so pronounced:
Tips for self massage
- Promotes recovery from hard training
- Helps identify and prevent potential injuries
- If used regularly, will help you enhance your performance with less risk of injury
- Make sure the muscles you are treating are in a relaxed and shortened position.
- Do not work directly on fresh acute injuries (use R.I.C.E. - Rest, Ice, Elevation & Compression).
- Long strokes working away from the injury site will help reduce swelling.
- Apply gentle friction movements into areas that feel more tense, this may cause some mild pain but it should not be excessive, and should not be done for more than a minute at a time.
- Using a little lubricant (oil, lotion or talc) squeeze the muscle and stroke up the leg or arm (always apply pressure strokes up towards the heart).
- The buttocks and lower back can be treated by lying face down on the floor and using the back of the fist to press and rotate into the muscles.
- A shoulder can be treated with the hand from the opposite side, using a firm squeezing and rotating action.
- It is always good to stretch the muscles after you have treated them.
- If a painful condition fails to improve or keeps returning you should seek professional help.