Colorado Springs is home to some of the most epic mountain biking trails in the world, so naturally we see quite a few mountain bikers on our massage tables. We love our mountain biking clientele so much that we recently became sponsors for the Women’s Mountain Biking Association here in COS. We believe there are incredible benefits of massage for mountain bikers, especially when receiving Myofascial Deep Tissue Massage through Ashiatsu.
Here’s a review from one mountain biking client:
"If you've never tried ashiatsu then let me tell you, it's a game changer for the aches and pains of riding. I discovered ashiatsu only about 1 and a half years ago (I've been a cyclist since 2007), and no other manual therapy has ever felt SO AMAZING for my hips and glutes. Your massage therapist can use their clean, soft feet (generally one at a time, they aren't "walking on" you) to skillfully apply pressure and traction to your hips, legs, glutes, back, and shoulders (or anywhere else that's bothering you) to stretch out all those tight spots that ail you. If you've had traditional massage, you know that it can be painful to have a therapist use elbows or thumbs to try and relieve those problem areas. Ashiatsu is different. Because the foot is broad, it is an excellent tool for applying deep, but comfortable, pressure. Additionally, the therapists at Camino Massage are continually studying, training, and honing their skills to help you feel and function your best. Come try it out, you're going to love it!"
Have you experienced the benefits of massage therapy as a mountain biker? Massage is often seen as an integral part of a serious rider’s routine, and there’s plenty of research to back why- we’ll go through the biggest benefits here:
Myofascial Deep Tissue Massage Benefits
Breakdown of Muscle Adhesions
The biggest benefit of a massage on a cyclist’s body is the rejuvenating effect due to the breakdown of adhesions, or scar tissue, within the muscle fascia that are formed when the muscles are stressed and suffering from micro-tears. Adhesions in your muscles limit range of motion and cause major discomfort, but that can be relieved by receiving deep pressure applied to the fascia in the body to break up the adhesions. In addition, during massage blood vessels open and waste products are flushed out which helps to reduce soreness after a hard ride, and the increase in blood flow speeds up recovery time by providing nutrition to the tissue.
The most immediate benefit of massage for a cyclist in a deep tissue massage is heightened blood flow; your muscles will warm as blood rushes to the area, bringing with it oxygen and nutrients, and carrying away waste products. Encouraging your body’s natural repair processes like this can accelerate recovery, getting you back in the saddle sooner and feeling fresh. Many parts of the body typically don’t get much circulation naturally, so stimulating blood flow through these area drastically reduces stiffness built up from hard riding, which in turn reduces the likelihood of injury.
Cyclists typically spend hours every week huddled over in the same position- with the hip flexors shortened and shoulders rounded, hamstrings never fully stretched out- but do not spend hours stretching and lengthening these same muscles back out. These muscles become so tight that stretching just feels downright uncomfortable. Tight hamstrings and glutes cause pain in the low back, while a tight chest pulls the shoulders forward, causing tension in the neck and upper back, stopping the lungs from expanding completely and causing an alteration in posture and movements. This in turn makes it harder to engage the right muscles when you need them to crest a big hill. Long term changes in posture can easily cause injury in the spine. Massage encourages these tight muscles to release their tension, alleviating discomfort and reducing your chance of injury and muscular imbalance.
Rest and relaxation are key to preform your best in the saddle day after day. If you’re not able to relax off the bike, you might feel yourself running low on energy throughout your day. Massage is proven to help the body relax and be more open to rest- which is where your true recovery happens!
If you’re looking to achieve new PBs on the bike, it is essential that your muscles have time to rebuild off the bike. Often times, muscles like hamstrings are worked hard and get tighter and shorter, making it even harder to use their full potential- a vicious cycle. Regular massage helps lengthen and release muscle tension, giving you more power and strength when you need it on the trail.
Early Injury Prevention
If you listen to your body now and spend time on the massage table working out those trouble spots, injury is much less likely to happen. Your therapist may notice areas that need additional release that you may not have noticed on your own, and help your body free from tension and begin to heal- thus preventing injury.
Convinced you need time on the massage table to help you ride your best? We are too! Sign up for a massage today and get working on your recovery- you deserve it!
Have you ever gotten a myofascial deep tissue massage?