Massages are a great way to unwind and relax after a strenuous workout. They can help alleviate muscle tension, increase blood flow, and reduce stress levels.
But what if you’re eager to hit the gym right after your massage? Is it safe to work out immediately after getting a rubdown?
In this article, we’ll explore whether or not you should exercise following a massage, as well as some things to keep in mind before you hit the weights or lace up those running shoes.
“If you do plan on working out after a massage, there are certain precautions you should take in order to avoid injury and maximize the benefits of your massage.”
So if you’ve ever wondered about how massages and workouts interact with each other, keep reading to find out everything you need to know!
The Benefits of Combining Massage and Exercise
Improved Flexibility and Range of Motion
A massage can help to improve flexibility and range of motion, both before and after exercise. Regular massages can help break down adhesions and restrictions in the muscles and joints, which can improve mobility and reduce the risk of injury during workouts.
One study published in the International Journal of Sports Physical Therapy found that foam rolling and massage were effective in improving hip flexor flexibility and reducing muscle soreness after a workout. The researchers concluded that incorporating these techniques regularly can decrease the risk of developing chronic injuries and pain.
Reduced Muscle Soreness and Tension
It is common to experience muscle soreness and tension after an intense workout. However, regular massages can help to reduce this discomfort. According to a study published in the Journal of Athletic Training, massage was effective in reducing delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS) after exercise.
Muscle soreness can negatively impact performance, but with the help of a massage, athletes may recover more quickly and be able to push themselves harder in subsequent workouts. Massages can also help to relax tight muscles and improve recovery time between workouts.
Increased Blood and Oxygen Flow
A massage can stimulate blood flow and oxygen circulation throughout the body, which can increase energy levels and endurance. This increased circulation can also aid in removing metabolic waste byproducts that accumulate in the body during exercise.
According to research published in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research, massage therapy helped to increase bench press power among trained male athletes. The improved blood and oxygen flow likely contributed to the enhanced athletic performance seen in the study participants.
Enhanced Overall Athletic Performance
Combining massage and exercise can lead to enhanced overall athletic performance. Massage therapy can help athletes recover quickly from workouts, reduce the risk of injury, and improve flexibility and range of motion.
A study published in the Journal of Sports Medicine and Physical Fitness found that incorporating massages into a training program improved athletic performance among female basketball players. The researchers concluded that regular massages may be an effective way to optimize physical fitness and prevent injuries in athletes.
- In summary, combining massage and exercise can provide a variety of benefits for both amateur and professional athletes including:
- Improved flexibility and range of motion
- Reduced muscle soreness and tension
- Increased blood and oxygen flow
- Enhanced overall athletic performance
“Massage helps people spend more time being proactive about their health and less time feeling like victims.” – Anonymous
As with any new exercise or wellness plan, it is important to consult with a healthcare provider before beginning a massage regimen. However, when used correctly, massages can enhance the experience of working out and optimize athletic performance.
The Risks of Working Out After a Massage
Getting a massage is generally considered to be one of the best ways to relax and unwind after a tough day or heavy workout. But, what happens if you want to continue with your training routine immediately after? Can you workout after a massage?
Increased Risk of Injury
It’s important to note that getting a massage just before working out can actually increase your risk of injury. This is because massages can help release muscle tension and improve flexibility which may leave muscles feeling weaker than they usually do.
The effects of a good massage on the body last for several hours hence experts recommend taking some time off from exercise after having a massage so this gives your body enough room to recuperate.
According to Dr. Rami Said, an Assistant Professor of Orthopedic Surgery at Baylor College of Medicine: “Muscles are inherently less stable after stretching, pressure, or manipulation.” However, he also notes that there isn’t exactly a definitive timeline as it depends on your body type, conditioning level, and other external factors such as whether or not you’re properly hydrated.
Decreased Performance and Endurance
In addition to an increased risk of injury, working out too soon after a massage can also have a negative impact on your performance and endurance levels during exercise.
A study published in PLoS One found that participants who received a 15-minute pre-exercise massage had slower times while running on a treadmill compared to those who didn’t receive massage therapy before their run. This was suggested to be due to decreased blood flow, oxygen uptake and energy production in the muscles caused by the massage treatment.
This is particularly true until the gains gotten from the massage have been fully assimilated into the body’s resting condition. Therefore, it is best to plan your workouts around when you’re having massages and give yourself enough time in between the two activities
Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness
Delayed onset muscle soreness(DOMS) occurs a day or two after working out. It happens as a byproduct of activity that leads to minor microscopic damage resulting from performing new or demanding exercises.
Getting a deep tissue massage just before exercse can also magnify DOMS due to increased pressure on strained muscles during exercise which may lead to prolonged recovery times. Hence, if possible, it’s ideal to schedule any massaging sessions away from training hours or days.
Impaired Muscle Recovery
Muscle recovery doesn’t start until some few minutes after working out so taking a good care of your physical needs after hitting the gym significantly affects how well and quickly your body recovers. Since getting a post-workout massage can stimulate blood circulation and stretch contracted muscles, it can help you recover faster from hard exercise sessions, reduce the risk of knots, and improve overall cardiovascular health. According to a published study written in “The Journal of Strength & Conditioning Research”, researchers found a significant drop in lactate levels and heart rate variability(right after the workout) with massage therapy indicating that Massage benefits and indirectly aids in repairing damaged muscles which enables speedy recovery, even proving to be empathic for athletes who are physically active every day of the week: “Massage seems to have improved recovery phase”.
Always remember that several factors like intensity,type, duration of massage service rendered to you couls affect how long you should hold off on exercising again. So next time you get a massage, take time to ensure proper healing takes place of your muscle tissue in order to reap the benefits fully.
How Long Should You Wait Before Exercising After a Massage?
Depends on the Type of Massage
The answer to whether you can exercise after a massage depends on the type of massage you have received. A gentle, relaxing massage won’t restrict your movement or put any additional strain on your muscles giving you the freedom and capability to work out shortly thereafter. However, a deep tissue or sports massage will involve firmer pressure which may cause muscular soreness. So for these massages, it is important to wait before exercising again.
Samantha Lefave, a certified personal trainer, suggests that if in doubt, then err on the side of caution. It is certainly possible to move around too much post-massage. While you might feel ready to hit the gym or play football, Lefave recommends taking some time to let your body heal instead.
Generally, Wait 24-48 Hours
Typically, a good rule of thumb would be to wait at least 24 hours before working out when receiving a deep tissue massage. This allows your muscles the chance to rest and recover from the exertion during the massage treatment. The number of days required varies based on how sensitive and tender your muscles are and also how intense was your massage session. Therefore, always consult with your therapist about what to do next.
Danielle Weisberg, an accredited physician’s assistant and spokeswoman for Trinity Orthopedics, suggests drinking plenty of water and keeping your blood circulating gently. This helps eliminate toxins and delivers oxygen and nutrients while healing damaged tissues.
It’s also essential that you listen carefully to your body for signs of discomfort or injury. Performing exercises may aggravate existing injuries, so take things slow and seek advice from a professional physical therapist or trainer.
According to Jeff Brannigan, a licensed massage therapist and regional education specialist at Massage Envy Spa, moderate exercise is usually okay after 24 hours of rest. Nevertheless, he emphasises that high-intensity exercises are not advisable in the first couple of days after your session.
“Most massages target muscle groups with kneading and rubbing during the practice; focusing on trigger points can lead to tender muscles immediately following a massage,” says Tracey Mallet, an international fitness and wellness expert. “Take heed if you have joint pain or any underlying health problems since inappropriate physical activity could spin into something more severe.”
Exercising immediately after a massage isn’t prohibited however it’s always better for your body to relax for a day or two before resuming full movement and workout activities once again. Pain, swelling, and even bruising may occur after deep tissue massages which could create discomfort during exercise activities such as running and weightlifting. So, stay hydrated, listen carefully to your body, allow some downtime post-massage while taking appropriate advice from professionals.
What Type of Massage is Best Before a Workout?
A sports massage is specifically designed to help athletes and fitness enthusiasts prepare for intense physical activity. This type of massage can be received before, during or after exercise but it works particularly well as a pre-workout massage.
The aim of a sports massage is to enhance overall performance by speeding up muscle recovery time, increasing joint flexibility, reducing inflammation and preventing injury. Pre-workout sports massages also have benefits such as energizing the body and increasing mental clarity so that you can perform at your best.
Different techniques are used during a sports massage to reach deep layers of muscle tissue, target specific muscles groups and work on any problem areas identified by you or your therapist. These techniques may include Swedish massage strokes, trigger point therapy and myofascial release which helps reduce adhesions in soft tissues.
“Sports massage has been shown to not only improve range of motion and decrease pain, but it’s important to enhancing athletic perforamnce.” -Rachel Grice, Certified Personal Trainer and Fitness Nutrition Specialist.
Deep Tissue Massage
If you prefer deep pressure massage, then deep tissue could be the perfect choice for you before your gym session. Deep tissue massage releases tension and tightness accumulated in muscles following repetitive movements like high-intensity workouts.
Although some people might find deep tissue painful, others usually feel immediate relief from soreness just after a single session. Besides fast-acting effect, a deep tissue massage makes movement easier thanks to increased blood flow and relaxation outstretched ligaments and tendons as they become more flexible when exposed to heat generated by prolonged pressing experience.
This type of massage targets deeper layers of muscle tissue than a standard Swedish massage. However, similar to a sports massage, it is also best received before your workout session as this type of massage can leave you feeling relaxed, calm, and sleepy.
“The most common benefit of deep tissue massage is that it helps relieve those tight knots in the body seen by athletes after strenuous activities.” -Kirsten Nunez, Certified Personal Trainer and Health Coach
Besides focusing on muscle tension relief, a deep tissue massage may also heighthen the benefits stemming from other recovery methods like foam rolling or stretching exercises. During the session, trained therapists might recommend stretches or self-massage techniques that compliment what happens afterward in the weight room with additional exercises including squats, lunges, or push-ups that only further maximize effectivity of massage for gym-goers.
- In summary,
- A sports massage enhanced athletic performance through greater range of motion and pain reduction;
- A deep tissue massage effectively releases accumulated injuries caused by intense workouts;
- Both types should be done prior exercise but preferably not too close to one another.
How to Get the Most Out of Your Post-Massage Workout
Start Slow and Warm Up Properly
After a relaxing massage, it can be tempting to jump right back into your regular workout routine. However, it’s essential to start slow and warm up properly before hitting the gym.
A proper warm-up should include dynamic stretches that target the muscles you plan to work on during your workout. For example, if you’re planning to do some squats or lunges, incorporate hip openers and leg swings into your routine.
Starting with some light cardio, such as jogging or cycling, can also help get your blood flowing and increase your heart rate gradually. This will prepare your body for more intense exercise and reduce your risk of injury.
Focus on Stretching and Mobility
Getting a post-massage workout is an excellent opportunity to focus on stretching and improving mobility. When our muscles are relaxed after a massage session, they’re more receptive to deeper stretches and increased range of motion in joints.
- Prioritize stretches that hit the major muscle groups in your body, including calves, hamstrings, quads, glutes, chest, and shoulders.
- If you feel any discomfort while performing certain stretches, don’t push yourself too hard and adjust accordingly.
- Your overall goal should be to loosen tight muscles and enhance flexibility.
Additionally, incorporating foam rolling into your stretching routine can help release trigger points and knots in your muscles, which can improve blood flow and decrease inflammation.
Hydrate and Refuel with Nutritious Foods
Massage therapy stimulates circulation, which means that your body has likely flushed out toxins and waste products during your session. Proper hydration and nutrition are crucial post-workout, but even more so after a massage.
Be sure to drink plenty of water before and after your workout to stay hydrated. Additionally, fueling your body with nutrient-rich foods can help speed up the recovery process and reduce muscle soreness.
Next time you’re planning your post-massage meal, consider adding high-quality protein, complex carbohydrates, and healthy fats such as avocado or nuts. These nutrients will help replenish energy stores and promote muscle repair.
Listen to Your Body and Adjust Accordingly
The most important thing you can do for your body is listening to it and adjusting your workout routine accordingly.
If you feel any pain or discomfort, take a step back and evaluate what’s causing it. It could be that you’re overexerting yourself or working on an already strained muscle group.
Remember that every person’s body reacts differently to exercise, meaning that some people may need more rest days than others. Don’t compare yourself to other gym-goers, and instead focus on what feels right for you.
“Your body hears everything your mind says.” -Naomi Judd
If you’re unsure how to adjust your routine or have concerns about incorporating a post-massage workout into your regimen, talk to your massage therapist or personal trainer. They’ll be able to provide personalized recommendations based on your individual needs.
Can you workout after a massage? Absolutely – as long as you approach it with intention, care, and attention to your body’s needs. Use these tips as a guide for getting the most out of your post-massage workout.
The Importance of Listening to Your Body
As an athlete or fitness enthusiast, it can be tempting to always push yourself harder and further. However, it is important to listen to your body in order to avoid injury and maximize performance.
Avoid Injury and Overtraining
One of the biggest risks associated with not listening to your body is the potential for injury or overtraining. When you ignore signals from your body that indicate you need rest or a break from exercise, you may end up pushing yourself too hard and causing damage to your muscles, joints, or bones.
According to Dr. David Geier, an orthopedic surgeon and sports medicine specialist, “overtraining syndrome can lead to varying symptoms including fatigue, decreased performance, hormonal imbalances, depression, irritability, decreased immunity, and increased injuries.”
To prevent injury and overtraining, it is important to pay attention to your body’s signals. If you are feeling overly fatigued, experiencing pain or discomfort during exercise, or noticing a decrease in performance, it may be time to take a break.
Maximize Athletic Performance and Recovery
In addition to preventing injury and avoiding overtraining, listening to your body can also help you to maximize athletic performance and recovery.
When you pay close attention to how your body feels before, during, and after exercise, you can adjust your workouts accordingly. For example, if you feel particularly energized one day, you may be able to push yourself harder and achieve new personal records. On the other hand, if you’re feeling sluggish or sore, you might choose to take it easy and focus on active recovery.
Dr. Geier notes that “adequate recovery is essential to improving performance.” By taking breaks as needed, getting enough rest and nutrition, and modifying workouts when necessary, you can help your body to recover effectively and perform at its best.
Recognize and Respond to Pain or Discomfort
Listening to your body also means recognizing and responding to pain or discomfort. While it’s important to push yourself during exercise in order to see progress, pushing through pain is not the answer.
If you notice pain or discomfort during exercise, it may be a sign that you need to adjust your form, take a break, or seek medical attention. Continuing to push through pain could exacerbate an underlying injury or lead to more serious damage.
According to Dr. Geier, “overuse injuries are common in athletes who ignore early symptoms.” By being proactive about taking care of your body and seeking treatment when needed, you can avoid long-term damage and stay on track with your fitness goals.
Establish a Sustainable Exercise Routine
Finally, listening to your body can help you establish a sustainable exercise routine. Rather than constantly pushing yourself to the limit, allowing time for rest and recovery can actually help you maintain consistent progress over time.
Password strength coach Casey Cosgrove notes that “In reality, full-intensity days should make up only about 10 percent of your total workout schedule.” By alternating high-intensity workouts with active recovery or lower-intensity exercises, you can keep your body in balance and avoid burnout.
- Pay attention to how your body feels before, during, and after exercise.
- Adjust your workouts accordingly based on energy levels and any pain or discomfort.
- Take breaks as needed to prevent both injury and burnout.
- Seek medical attention if you experience persistent pain or discomfort.
- Remember that rest and recovery are just as important as exercise itself.
Listening to your body is essential for optimizing athletic performance, preventing injury, and establishing a sustainable exercise routine. By being attuned to how your body feels and responding accordingly, you can stay on track with your fitness goals and ensure long-term success in your chosen sport or activity.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can you workout right after a massage?
It is not recommended to workout right after a massage. The massage relaxes your muscles and increases blood flow, which can make them more vulnerable to injury during exercise. It is best to wait at least 24 hours after a massage before engaging in any strenuous physical activity.
How long should you wait to workout after a massage?
It is recommended to wait at least 24 hours after a massage before engaging in any strenuous physical activity. This allows your muscles time to recover and avoid any potential injuries that may occur if you workout too soon. However, light stretching or low-impact activities like walking or yoga can be done within a few hours of a massage.
What types of workouts should you avoid after a massage?
After a massage, it is best to avoid high-impact exercises, weightlifting, and any activities that put a lot of stress on your muscles. These types of workouts can cause muscle strains, sprains, and other injuries due to the increased blood flow and relaxed state of your muscles after a massage. Instead, opt for low-impact activities like walking, swimming, or gentle stretching.
Is it better to workout before or after a massage?
It is better to workout before a massage than after. This is because exercising before a massage can help warm up your muscles and increase blood flow, making the massage more effective. Additionally, working out after a massage can increase the risk of injury due to the relaxed state of your muscles. However, it is still recommended to wait at least 24 hours after a massage before engaging in any strenuous physical activity.
How does working out after a massage affect muscle recovery?
Working out after a massage can have a negative effect on muscle recovery. The massage increases blood flow and relaxes your muscles, which can make them more vulnerable to injury during exercise. Additionally, the increased blood flow can lead to increased inflammation, which can slow down the healing process and delay muscle recovery. It is best to wait at least 24 hours after a massage before engaging in any strenuous physical activity.