Pre & Post-Event Massage – What’s The Difference and How Can It Help?

01/10/2018 Massage for sports clubs

Pre and post event massage is a crucial part of any athlete’s training regime when preparing for an event. Pre event massage helps to prepare soft tissues from activity where post event massage helps these same soft tissues to recover. Pre and post event massage is super useful in preventing injuries and a buildup of delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS).

What is a ‘Pre Event’ Massage?

A pre event massage takes place on the day of competition. I can be done anywhere up to 24 hours before the event starts however typically a person would have a massage that would leave them 30mins before the event took place.

The strange thing about a pre event massage is that we are not looking to improve or correct any dysfunction or stress in the soft tissues- I say this is strange because these are typically the 2 things a massage would normally be used for. The main aim of a pre event massage is to prepare the athlete both physically and mentally.

Physically and mentally? How can it do both?

Well Physically, the fast, upbeat rhythmic techniques used help to stimulate muscles and prepare them for activity. Muscles loosen and movement improves giving the added benefit of increased range, something that is always ideal for an event. A pre event massage would never focus on finding new or old issues… Imagine if you told an athlete 1hr before their event that their hamstrings were super tight today- It’s not going to make them feel great! Instead, we would focus on loosening those muscles as much as we can without going too deep and prepare those hamstrings for the intense activity they are about to take on.

Mentally, it can help boost confidence and focus athletes on their event. The athletes will feel as though their body is ready for activity with no limitations making them feel more confident and able to perform at their best. Most of all, it can make them feel relaxed and clear minded which enables them to become more determined and focuses on the event.

What is a ‘Post Event’ massage?  

As you may have already guessed, a post event massage would take place after the event. After a long, intense event, an athlete will most likely feel sore, fatigued, tense and just overall worn out!

A post event massage, although not particularly deep, is used to help flush out metabolic wastes such as lactic acid that will have built up during the event, to help prevent or reduce DOMS. It can also help the soft tissues to recover by starting the healing process for any damaged soft tissues. Muscle tension, fatigue and tightness can also be reduced through helping muscles to relax by creating a soothing effect with the long and slot strokes used throughout the massage.

So what are the main benefits of having pre and post event massage?

I could literally go on for ages about what they do, how they help etc. but we don’t have ages… The main benefits athletes can see by having pre/post event massage include:

                           Pre event                                                                        Post event

So if you are an athlete or an owner of a club looking to improve your athlete’s performance and reduce chances of injury then look no more! We can help you with all your needs and more. Call or email today to see how we can help you.

The Author

Zoe Killian

Zoe is an enthusiastic, reliable and hardworking member of our massage team. Zoe graduated in 2015 from the Michael John Academy with a C&G NVQ Diploma in Spa Therapy Level 3. Zoe had a range of experience treating patients during her Diploma course enabling her to gain invaluable experience in a range of conditions whilst also undergoing intensive massage therapy training. Alongside completing her Diploma, Zoe also took part in a course of training within to further her knowledge and experience in massage. Zoe is a member of the Associated Beauty Therapists enabling her to perform a wide variety of massage types including mechanical massage, lymphatic drainage massage, exercise rehabilitation and kinesiology. Zoe is very passionate about the work she does here and thoroughly enjoys meeting new patients and helping them to overcome any problems they may have. Zoe always believes in providing an efficient and effective treatment for all her patients to ensure all targets and goals are met. Zoe has always had a strong interest in sport which in the past has led her to not only play netball but become head coach of her very own under 16’s netball team! When not in work, Zoe loves to spend quality time with her friends and family.


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