Serious bodybuilders can use every advantage possible to achieve their goal as quickly and effectively as possible. When you’ve been working out with weights for hours at a time, doing hundreds of reps, it’s inevitable that some strain, and possibly damage, will occur to muscles, tendons, and ligaments. An ordinary massage definitely has its use in bodybuilding, but after a strenuous workout, a deep tissue massage is needed.
How a Deep Tissue Massage Helps with Bodybuilding
Deep tissue massage differs from what might be considered a ‘regular massage’ because it addresses the muscles, tendons, and ligaments at a much more thorough and comprehensive level. This type of massage is similar to Swedish massage, but goes much further, and often uses instruments to achieve its goals.
Bodybuilders use deep tissue massage to help repair damage that may have been sustained during a prolonged training workout. Muscle strength and size is increased because as you do exercise microscopic tears are made in the muscles; these tears are why you feel sore after the exercise session is over with. As these tears heal, the muscle becomes stronger and larger, and getting these tears to heal more quickly will allow you to bulk up faster.
During a deep tissue massage, the masseur will help to stimulate the circulation of the blood to the muscles, accelerating healing. As more blood is brought to the muscles, more oxygen is also delivered, which is an important step to recovery after the workout.
- Red blood cells contain hemoglobin which is what holds oxygen for delivery to different parts of the body. When you exercise, your muscles use more oxygen than normal, and produce lactic acid as a waste product.
- An exhaustion of oxygen and superfluity of lactic acid is what makes you feel tired, and can actually make your muscles simply refuse to do more – they need to dump the wastes and restore their proper levels of oxygen before you can continue.
- The demanding workouts necessary for bodybuilding can cause knots in muscles as well as strain and damage to ligaments and tendons, requiring a much more intensive massage than the standard.
A deep tissue massage often takes an hour or more to complete as each muscle must be individually kneaded to help it recover more quickly. The massage helps to remove the buildup of lactic acid and hydrogen ions. Not only does this massage flush these waste toxins out, but it also assists in making the muscles longer; which means that they also become stronger.
Getting a Deep Tissue Massage
Bodybuilders will definitely want to experience a deep muscle massage after every intensive workout. Prolonged, heavy exercise will almost inevitably cause damage not only to muscles, but also to tendons, joints, and ligaments. Probing deeply into the muscles, the masseur will use pressure and manipulation to help return the tissues to normal.
Knots of scar tissue can also be broken up by this type of massage. Unlike a standard massage, deep tissue massage will usually involve some level of discomfort as the masseur’s hands penetrate into the muscles and other connective tissues. The strokes used during a deep tissue massage will not only be delivered more slowly than is usual, but will also go across the grain of the muscle.
In many cases, the massage therapist will use not only his or her fingers to deliver the massage, but also the elbows, forearms, hands, and knuckles. At times, special instruments of stone, metal, wood, or even glass will be used during this type of massage. Your therapist will also make sure that you breathe deeply during the massage to provide plenty of oxygen for the muscles as they are being manipulated.
Many bodybuilders consider that deep tissue massages are essential to building the massive, sculpted muscles demanded by this discipline.