Professional and novice athletes alike generally develop post-workout routines that become as engrained and trusted as the training regimen itself. Some of these recovery plans include taking special supplements or eating carefully portioned carb/protein/fat combinations. Other people use various foam rollers, static stretches, or a laidback 20 minutes on a treadmill. But, there is one post-workout routine that always catches our eye for more than one reason—the post-workout massage. Disclaimer: we love a massage pretty much anytime. While the data is sparse and there is some disagreement about how much the massage helps in recovery, there is value in simply enjoying your routine and in feeling benefits from your regimen. With that in mind, let’s see what folks are saying about this recovery option.
- Some evidence suggests that massage after workout affects two specific genes—one that reduces inflammation and another that ramps up mitochondria production. These two accomplishments are among the top goals of any recovery plan.
- Researchers at Ohio State University determined that time is of the essence. While benefits were seen from massages up to two days after an intense workout, the best results came from massages immediately following the workout. Getting a massage sooner than later? We’re in!
- The OSU study also determined that muscles massaged post-workout showed only half the amount of scar tissue and had 14% higher blood-vessel formation than muscles not massaged post-workout.
- Still, another study found that a massage received within a few hours of working out could reduce delayed-onset muscle soreness (DOMs) by as much as 30%. That alone is worth some time on the massage table!
- Add HOTSHOT to your post-workout recovery plan: Just ask pro fullback James Develin why he drinks a bottle after a tough workout.
So, next time you hit the gym hard—like, you begin to questions whether you’ll be able to reach and wash your hair in the shower—do yourself a favor and schedule a brief massage afterwards. Check your options. It doesn’t have to be at the ritziest spa in town. Many massage schools offer services performed by students at a discounted rate. Also, check for weekday specials and plan your most intense workout on the day with the best rates. With all this post-workout talk, we can’t help but think of our favorite pre-training routine for those who suffer with exercise associated muscle cramps: HOTSHOT! Take our spicy shot 15-30 minutes before your training to experience what cramp-free sessions can do for you. While you’re at it, hop over to Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram to keep in touch for more great information on training, nutrition, and more.
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