Understanding the Different Sports Massage Techniques

Sports massage techniques are designed to help athletes prepare their bodies for competition, recover from intense physical activity and prevent injuries. In this article, we’ll explore the various approaches to sports massage and how they can benefit athletes.

Understanding the different sports massage techniques
Understanding the different sports massage techniques such as Pre-event massage, post-event, restorative massage, maintenance massage and rehabilitation massage.

Pre-Event Sports Massage

One of the most popular sports massage techniques is pre-event sports massage

It’s aimed at increasing blood flow, flexibility, and range of motion in preparation for an athletic event. This type of sports massage typically lasts between 15 and 45 minutes and focuses on areas of the body that will be used most during the competition or training session.

The benefits of pre-event sports massage include:

  • Increased circulation
  • Improved joint mobility
  • Enhanced muscle flexibility
  • Reduced muscle tension

Pre-event sports massage typically is performed at an event where athletes are competing.  This is generally not a service we provide at Got Knots, but the following 4 types of sports massage techniques are provided at our clinic.

Post-Event Sports Massage

Post-event sports massages are performed after an athletic event or training session to help reduce soreness and promote recovery. 

This type of massage is slower than pre-event sports massages as it focuses on relaxing tense muscles through gentle strokes such as gliding or effleurage.

The benefits of post-event sport massage include:

  • Reducing inflammation
    • Speeding up recovery time
    • Improving circulation
    • Relieving pain

Restorative Massage

Restorative sport massages uses trigger point therapy (TPT), myofascial release (MFR) , deep tissue work (DTW) , stretching among other modalities . 

The aim here is helping athletes recover from chronic pain over a longer period by repairing soft tissues using specific techniques  determined  or suggested by qualified therapists.

Benefits associated with restorative sport massages includes:

  • Rehabilitating injured tissues
  • Reducing muscle tightness
  • Enhancing mobility
  • Promoting relaxation

Read about our Edmonton Sports Massage Therapy

Maintenance Massages

Maintenance sport massages involves scheduling regular sessions throughout an athlete’s training cycle aimed at preventing injuries before they occur while promoting overall physical health through any combination described above based on individual needs, this is typically done on a rest or recovery day.

Benefits derived from maintenance sport massage include :

  • Minimizing risk for injury  
  • Boosting energy levels   
  • Improving focus    

Rehabilitation Massages

Rehabilitation Sport Massages mainly targets restoring function and mobility following surgery or injury which could have limited range of movement. 

This form of sports massage technique uses trigger point therapy (TPT), joint mobilization among other modalities prescribed by physiotherapists . A therapist might also recommend additional exercises or stretches aimed at strengthening weakened muscles.

Benefits derived from rehabilitation sport massages includes : 

  • Restoring Function & Mobility
  • Reducing Swelling & Inflammation
  • Improving Circulation
  • Relieve Pain

Learn about all our massage services and the differences between Deep Tissue Massage and Sports Massage.


Individuals can choose sports massage techniques based on their needs and goals after understanding the available types. 

Consulting with professionals, who have a better understanding of clients’ physiology, can help in creating personalized treatment plans. These plans are tailored to achieve desired outcomes based on each client’s physical condition or history.

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