Pre-Event Massage

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Pre-event massage is massage done before an athletic event or 
competition. It does not take the place of stretching or a warm 
up. It is best done 20 to 30 minutes prior to competition, with the 
focus being on the muscles stressed most in the competition. 

The massage is done at a rapid pace and is very vigorous, so that it 
imparts an invigorating feeling to the athlete. The massage consists 
of deep compressions, deep transverse friction, and direct pressure. 
When done properly it can promote speed, power and endurance 
to the athlete as well as helping with injury prevention. 

Effects of pre-event massage include: 
Improved cellular nutrition in the muscles due to the dilation of 
blood vessels with deep compression. 
Improved circulation to tendons and ligaments. 
Greater efficiency of muscular effort by relaxing the antagonists of 
the muscles being used. 
Release of trigger points that can negatively affect athletic performance. 
Increased flexibility - good for gymnasts and other athletes who 
require flexibility for their sport. 
Prevention and treatment of muscle spasms 

Massage Techniques 
The technique consists of alternating deep compressions to muscles 
with deep transverse friction to the tendons (origins and inser- 
tions). Usually this is done at a quick tempo, with three sets of 
compressions to each muscle, each set done progressively deeper. 
The friction to the tendons is done rapidly and is not as deep as 
cross fiber work. 
Compressions should be done with an open palm. If you try 
squeezing, you will tire out your wrist and finger flexors and run 
the risk of a repetitive stress injury. 
The work may be done through clothing without the use of oil. 
Having oil on the skin may cause an athlete to overheat, although it 
may be of advantage to use oil on a wrestler or a swimmer. 
The muscle groups worked should be the ones used most in the 

For instance, in a runner a good sequence would be: 
Paraspinals (erector spinae) 
Shoulder girdle 
Tibialis anterior/Peroneus 

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