5 Types of Massages to Consider If You Work Out
by Lindsay Tigar
Ask any fitness professional and they'll explain while working out consistently is important, so is giving your body the recovery it deserves. If you're looking to relax and restore your muscles, there are several types of massages you should look into. Beyond the muscular relief, massages have been proven to ward away everything from headaches to anxiety and countless other ailments, according to the Mayo Clinic.
Here, a look at five types of massages to consider the next time you decide to treat yourself:
Shiatsu was originally inspired by Chinese medicine, according to the Shiatsu Society. This massage is ideal if you prefer a more intense sweat session, like boxing, high-intensity-interval training or long runs on the treadmill. In this treatment, you can expect plenty of stretching that helps make your joints move more smoothly and cohesively, preparing you for your next workout. Your therapist will likely move around your legs and arms, increasing your mobility and flexibility, too.
If your idea of a massage is one that fits the traditional sense — chill vibes, soft music, a rubdown so comforting you might doze off — consider a Swedish massage. This is a great massage for people who haven't had a massage before or are simply looking for something standard. Its intention isn't to be painful but to stimulate blood circulation and help you relax your body, explains Massagetique. Especially for runners who might suffer from tight hips or sore legs, a Swedish massage will help you recover in a Zen way.
3. Deep Tissue
The bad news: You will probably feel a bit of pain during your 60-minute treatment. The good news: You'll wake up the next day tension-free and ready to hit up your favorite class or gym routine. Here, a massage therapist will target areas of tension — whether they're in your upper or lower body, neck, shoulders, or legs. The reason this session could be uncomfortable is all in the name: A deep tissue massage breaks through layers to ensure you're healed from the inside out.
4. Hot Stone
Perhaps your attitude toward fitness is less about how high you can raise your heart rate and more about how swiftly and accurately you can master your vinyasa flow. For health advocates who choose "oms" over RPMs, a hot stone massage might be a better pick for your recovery. This relaxing technique utilizes stones heated up to 145 degrees to work through any knots, tightness or troublesome areas you have in your body, notes Healthline. The shape and texture of the stones help you relax and allow your therapist to zero-in on hard-to-reach areas.
If the thought of a stranger massaging you leaves you feeling more stressed than relaxed, fear not. There are other options available. Massage chairs can relieve back pain and muscle tension in much the same way a hands-on massage does. While purchasing a massage chair can be an expensive investment, you can skip the large spend by joining a gym that offers these perks as part of your membership. Considering your muscles will need the most relief following a tough workout, this is a convenient (and less expensive) option.