A sports massage is a great way to release tension that builds up in your muscles over time, and it can also reduce any stress and help you feel more relaxed.

One of the most common questions people have is whether a massage is more beneficial to have before or after exercising. Whilst it generally depends on your specific needs, there are some benefits to each option.

A spokesperson for Total Shape, says:

“Sports massages do not only have significant benefits for those who work their muscles regularly, but also for those who experience tension, stress, or have injuries.  

“Often people ask whether it is best to have a sports massage before or after a workout. There are benefits and drawbacks for both, such as boosting performance, encouraging recovery and increasing hypertrophy. 

“Getting a massage before or after a workout is equally important, and ultimately it depends on the results you want to achieve.” 

Below, the fitness experts at Total Shape share the pros and cons of having a sports massage before and after a workout.

Benefits of a massage pre workout

  1. Helps to enhance your mood 

A pre-workout massage can stimulate the production of feel-good hormones by easing muscle stress and tension.

Endorphin, dopamine, and serotonin are some examples of hormones and neurotransmitters that help with overall well-being, focus, and motivation to work out.

  1. Helps increase energy and strength

A pre-workout massage can also help increase blood flow throughout the body, giving your muscles more energy and strength.

Consequently, you can lift heavier weights, train for more extended periods, and achieve your fitness goals faster.

  1. Helps enhance movement and flexibility

A pre-workout massage can help loosen tight muscles around the joints.

This makes it easier for the joints to move freely within their normal range. By moving better and being more flexible, you can lower the chance of getting injured while working out.

Benefits of a Post-Workout Massage 

  1. Hasten post-workout recovery 

Post-workout massages can help your muscles heal and recover from micro-tears caused by heavy workouts by increasing blood circulation.

This means that oxygen and micronutrients are delivered quickly to your tissue fibers, assisting in their repair, and making you feel better.

  1. Decrease muscle soreness 

Massage can help relieve sore muscles after a strenuous workout because applying moderate pressure to muscles forces blood to other parts of the body.

This brings more oxygen and nutrients to the area, which helps get rid of stiffness faster and reduce inflammation.

  1. Reduces mind and body stress 

A massage session after a workout, like a pre-exercise massage, can help your mind and body feel less stressed by giving you complete relaxation.

This helps raise your levels of feel-good hormones, making you feel much better after a long, tough workout.

 Are there any drawbacks? 

There might be some drawbacks to getting a sports massage if they are done by an untrained therapist.

Those might include increased tiredness, muscle pain, and headaches.

Going to a regular massage therapist who isn’t trained in sports rub may result in a longer, more intense muscle kneading than you need, leaving your muscles tired and in pain.

Research has also shown that using too much pressure during a massage can cause muscle soreness, which can lead to headaches and a lack of motivation to train.