Leg massages have become popular in soccer and some of the most famous superstars employ personal physios for that purpose. With massages not being a core part of the game, it can be confusing for many fans as to why they have become such a priority.
This article answers the question “Do Soccer Players Need Leg Massages?” by discussing the benefits of leg rubs for professional players. We also uncover the best period for massages and how often elite players schedule them.
Do Soccer Players Need Leg Massages?
Soccer players require constant leg massages to minimize soreness and the risk of injuries in the lower legs and surrounding areas. These massages focus on injury-prone parts like the knees, hips, ankles, and legs to provide soothing relief before and after games.
Physiotherapists apply mechanical pressure and movement in the core leg areas to elicit a response for muscle tension reduction, swelling, and even oxygen flow to all parts of the body. They provide a genuine awareness of the player’s muscle tone which guarantees an improved range of motion.
Many players experience maximum performance after enjoying pre-game massages from club physios or privately employed ones.
What Are The Benefits of Leg Massages For Soccer Players?
Here are the top reasons why the best players on the planet swear by regular leg massages and actively seek their physios before and after games.
Overall Performance Improvements
Regular leg massages can improve the overall performance on the field. They enhance the player’s moods before the game which reduces anxiety and increases the chances of arriving on the field in the best mind frame possible.
These massages also identify and tackle sore points in the legs freeing up players from the discomfort and enabling the freedom to play unhinged. Scar tissue from previous injuries is detected and broken down for proper healing.
Injury Reduction and Quicker Recovery Time
Tight muscles and joints are a leading cause of soccer injuries, especially during cold weather. Pre-game massages reduce the tension in those areas which minimizes the risks of injury. Players are able to unleash their talents on the field at minimal physical cost without fear of pulling up.
Even when injuries are sustained, affected players enjoy quicker recovery times compared to those that receive little to no leg massages. This reduces the length of time players are forced to spend on the sidelines.
Enhanced Muscle and Joint Flexibility
Leg massages remove lactic acid from target areas leading to enhanced flexibility in the joints and muscles. The result is minimal soreness in the legs and reduced muscle tension leading to the ability to move the legs at different angles without discomfort.
Soccer requires impressive agility and players with the most flexible muscles gain the upper hand over opponents. They are able to maneuver themselves out of the toughest spots despite the presence of multiple opposition players thanks to this newfound dexterity.
Being flexible also enables players to dribble, stop, move, pass, and change directions with the ball at their feet without problems.
Many complain of leg pain after playing soccer whether it is just regular practice or official games. Even 30 minutes of leg massages from a licensed physiotherapist could reduce the pain and discomfort significantly. This allows for better sleep at night and the resultant overall health benefits.
Players that have to battle with little to minimal pain are able to push themselves to their maximum limits during training and on the playing field.
Immense Cardiovascular Benefits
Regular massages provide immense benefits for the soccer player’s cardiovascular system. The game requires high-intensity starts and stops nature but the relaxation offered by massages enables the recovery of the player’s normal heart rate and diastolic blood pressure.
This ensures peak cardiovascular health which enhances the player’s performance and ability to last through the entire duration of games without showing obvious signs of fatigue. The risks of heart attacks and other cardiovascular problems are greatly reduced thanks to these advantages offered by regular massages. (Source)
Is It Good To Get A Massage Before A Soccer Game?
Getting a pre-game massage is one of the secrets of soccer superstars like Cristiano Ronaldo. Not only do the leg rubs offer stress-relieving benefits but they also allow players to perform to the best of their ability thanks to the reduced tension in their legs.
Massages offer direct improvements in athletic performances by creating increased awareness of the player’s muscle tone. This activates more running, jumping, and active participation in challenges like aerial duels.
How Often Do Soccer Players Get Massages?
Elite players receive a massage at least weekly but the majority schedule 2-3 sessions per week. Some players confess to getting leg massages after each training session and on matchdays either before or after the game.
There’s no such thing as an excessive number of leg massages so players should feel free to sign up for them as and when necessary. Studies have shown direct links between regular leg rubs and performance so most coaches encourage them as much as possible.
Should Soccer Players Use Massage Guns?
Massage guns can be great alternatives for soccer players that do not want or have access to traditional therapists for some reason. These guns offer vibrating movements that reduce inflammation by removing extracellular cells like lymph fluid and venous blood from the player’s legs.
However, it is vital that soccer players use these guns on themselves instead of enrolling the help of third parties. This is because another person will have no idea how much pressure and pain he or she may be exerting on your legs.
Using the massage gun on yourself enables real-time feedback that guides the amount of pressure exerted on the legs and surrounding areas for maximum relaxation with minimal discomfort. (Source)
Should I Get A Deep Tissue Massage Before A Game?
Deep-tissue massages are recommended 3-5 days before an important game in a prestigious tournament. This gives the legs enough time to recover fully from the massage to ensure maximum performance on the field.
Conclusion: Do Soccer Players Need Leg Massages?
Leg massages are a smart way to enhance the player’s performance during practice and official games by removing lactic acid and other accumulated fluids from the legs. This eliminates or at least reduces soreness while improving leg flexibility.
Besides, regular leg rubs reduce the risk of muscle and joint injuries allowing players to appear on the field with maximum confidence. Regular appearances on the physiotherapist’s table offer cardiovascular benefits that could offer protection from heart attacks.