sports massage for triathletes and endurance sports at bodyworks dw

How has sports massage in NYC benefited our clients? Part 2: Massage for Triathletes & Endurance Sports

Meghan Krupka LMT Massage Therapist @ Bodyworks DW Advanced Massage Therapy

Are you a runner, cyclist, swimmer, or a triathlete that does all three? This blog is for you! Meghan Krupka explains the ways sports massage in NYC can help athletes of all kinds.

Competitive triathlete? Long distance runner? Swimmer? Road cyclist or Peloton junkie? At Bodyworks DW, our therapists provide custom-designed sports massage sessions focused on helping you maximize your activities. Sessions can include massage for injury recovery, injury prevention, tune-ups and maintenance. Sports massage for triathletes is hardly a luxury – it’s an investment!

Update April 2021: Massage for triathletes and other endurance sports is especially important right now after months of being indoors! As we all try to restart our exercise routines, we could all use a tune up 🙂

The Triathlete (Distance Running, Cycling, Swimming)

Swimming, biking, running…triathletes are the workhorses of the athletic community. With super long training routines! Two of these three activities are lower body heavy. However, the swimming portion means that your upper body and arms should certainly not be ignored. Great sports massage therapists also understand how important your breath and core are in any of these activities. 

We definitely want to address your chief complaints like sore knees and hips. But we also want to get to the root of why you may be continually experiencing soreness. Or why you are starting to feel less refreshed after your runs or swims. This is often where breath and core awareness come into the picture. Sports massage for triathletes focuses on helping them balance the issues that each discipline causes.

Movement Analysis: Improving Cycling Form

Let’s look at a situation where a triathlete might be experiencing low back pain after their bike rides. Pelvic and lumbar positioning are critical parts of maintaining good, sustainable form. The whole area between the bottom of your rib cage and the top of your pelvis is often referred to as your “core.” In the image below, you can see in the “bad” form example, the pelvis is being compressed by a rounded lower back. This can overstretch your low back muscles in the back, and also pinch nerves in the front of your spine. 

The good image shows the pelvis tilting forward to be more in line with the vertebrae of your lumbar spine. You’d want to be able to keep your spine in a more neutral shape and lengthen it. In order to do this you need better hip mobility.

Pelvic and lumbar positional importance for cycling posture

Image Source: https://jonathanblyer.wordpress.com/2011/05/05/cycling-posture/

In the image on the right, the biker is compressing their hip flexors (front of hips) and their whole abdominal area. Core engagement is lost. In this position, your breathing is going to be more labored. 

Can a massage for triathletes really help with all this? Absolutely! 

We can help support a strong core by opening up the range of motion in your hip joints. This will help you to better keep an easy neutral spine during long rides (along with working with a personal trainer or physical therapist). A sports massage for triathletes in this case would most certainly include work with the deep hip flexors (looking at you, psoas and iliacus), rib cage positioning, the diaphragm and the low back muscles. All while incorporating breath work. And getting you to find more space and length in the anterior (front) portion of your body. 

Mechanics of breathing and your diaphragm

Image source: https://echealthandfitness.com/courses/breathing-for-performance/

A similar example can be used for running. If you’re having a hard time keeping yourself upright, this also may point towards a core and/or breathing issue. Never had your diaphragm or rib cage worked on? The diaphragm is the primary muscle of respiration! It also attaches to some of your lower ribs and sits in the lower portion of your rib cage. A great sports massage therapist is going to look at more than just where you’re sore or feeling achy. We will always aim to relieve typical symptoms. But we also want to help you be a better and stronger triathlete. After all, breath is life. 

Ok, so how else can massage for triathletes help?

For one, our therapists at Bodyworks DW are going to take a look at other postural deviations in your initial assessment. We’ll notice your pelvic positioning, neck and shoulder position, and foot and ankle position. That will give us insights into which muscles need to be lengthened and which to be activated. Your first massage might include work to rebalance the muscles attaching to and around your pelvis. The second might work to rebalance your ankles so that they hinge properly. Your third might work to rebalance your head and neck position after so many hours on the road bike.

Whether you are looking for a sports massage in midtown or in the Financial District, you have access to a diverse group of therapists. Especially ones that are experienced working with active people just like you!

Would you like to schedule a professional sports massage for triathletes in Manhattan to help keep you feeling, training, and performing your best with one of our highly trained massage therapists? Contact Bodyworks DW today or click on the button to book online at either of our locations!

Further Reading

Here’s a good stress relief exercise to help in the meantime. Yes it says for back aches but it’s also great for opening up your diaphragm!

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