Posts Tagged ‘Performance’

Over my career I have had the opportunity to work with many sports of which I study the movement patterns needed for each specific sport. As a Sports Massage Therapist, one on the most important responsibilities is to identify postural imbalances and what muscles are limiting full range of motion that  would impede the needed movement patterns to be successful.  The next step is to treat the limiting muscles with appropriate flexibility training and therapeutic massage to restore and optimize the proper movement patterns that will improve the athlete’s performance and better achieve their goals.

One sport in particular holds a special place in my heart and that is wrestling. In my high school years, I wrestled for 4 years and because  of that I understand the needs, desires, and movement patterns better than any other sport. Recently, I have been asked back to my Alma Mater to utilize my skills to help the wrestlers recover quicker and improve their performance. I look at two main things that produce challenges for proper movement patterns for these wrestlers; posture and joint range of motion.

Next to Gymnastics and Dancing, I believe wrestlers have the greatest need for proper posture and increased flexibility. If a wrestler has poor posture it will lead to an unfavorable stance making it more difficult to both defend and attack as well as making it easier for the opponent to overcome and score. When a wrestler has limits in their joint range of motion, not only will it be difficult to get in to a solid stance, but it makes it much more difficult to execute moves as well as increasing their chances for injury. If the wrestler sustains a severe enough injury, it calls from immediate removal from competition which adds and unwanted amount of psychological stress that can further effect their performance. How do we easily avoid situations like these? Identify the main culprit; tight unconditioned muscles.

Treating tight muscles to release adhesions and increase flexibility of the muscle fibers will in turn lead to smother movement because of less restrictions and scar tissue that  cause muscle to “stick”.  Treatment will also increase recovery because as muscle tissue becomes looser,  blood flow increases to the local area and it is in the blood where nutrients responsible for recovery are held. Performance is also increased due to proper treatment because as you add the previous results, when there less pain then there is less physical and psychological limitations.

The amazing part of treatment like the treatment that  I use with the wrestlers is that it can be applied to any sport! The only aspect that  has to be modified is that the intention has to be shifted to the specific needs of the  restrictions to movement patterns for the specific sport being assessed.

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