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Thread: Massage

  1. #1
    Rubber Side Down soccerismylife's Avatar
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    Massage

    I have heard of the benefits of massaging after a hard ride to promote circulation, get rid of wastes etc. I have never done this before and was wondering how you guys go about it? Do you start at the calfs or at the quads? Do you massage the muscles in the flexed or relaxed form? (ie leg extended or straight) How long do you spend at each muscle? Do you use just the thumb or the whole hand? Any other tips would be greatly appreciated.

    Thanks for the help.
    "Everybody wants to know what I'm on. What am I on? I'm on my bike, busting my ass, six hours a day. What are you on?"
    -Lance Armstrong

  2. #2
    Twincities MN kuan's Avatar
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    You're better off with a cold soak and NSAIDS actually. The massage you should get, or do yourself, after a workout should be just to keep yourself from tightening up. Do your hard massages on your off days. Stretch, massage, hydrate, eat, after working out.

  3. #3
    Rubber Side Down soccerismylife's Avatar
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    Ok, I don't really want to take too many NSAIDS because of the kidney/live damage that I've heard of. Maybe it's all false, but since I don't even really feel a difference with them, just might as well not take them. Why is it that you don't reccomend masages every day? How should I go about my "hard massages" on my recovery days?

    Thanks.
    "Everybody wants to know what I'm on. What am I on? I'm on my bike, busting my ass, six hours a day. What are you on?"
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  4. #4
    Twincities MN kuan's Avatar
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    When Lance hits the massage table after a stage it's for recovery, gentle, circulation, like you say. The "hard" massages I'm talking about are sport massages. They remove knots and to a certain extent create microtears in the muscle. It's almost a workout in itself! In fact, sometimes it feels like a muscle is working as I'm getting a massage.

    You don't have to take NSAIDS, but the purpose of the cold soak is to reduce swelling which inhibits blood flow and consequently stretches out your recovery time.

  5. #5
    Rubber Side Down soccerismylife's Avatar
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    Ok, I got it now, I just didn't know exactly what a "hard massage" was. I feel some little knots or bumbs in my quads which are irregular (meaning they dont appear in the same place on the other leg). Are these bumps knots? How do you break them up?

    Would just plain old ice suffice in the recovery phase?

    Thanks.
    "Everybody wants to know what I'm on. What am I on? I'm on my bike, busting my ass, six hours a day. What are you on?"
    -Lance Armstrong

  6. #6
    Oldbie bike racer
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    Massage done well is far more useful than NSAIDS or ice (you want to reduce circulation?!). Any knots you have can get worked out and IME they don't tend to come back if the massages are at least once a week and you do at least 15-20 minutes easy spinning at the end of your rides.

    I've found that good massage loosens the muscles better than stretching (too much tension involved) and afterwards you're nice and relaxed, sleep better too.

  7. #7
    Twincities MN kuan's Avatar
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    Well you wanna relieve the swelling and inflammation after a hard workout so icepacks are good for that. You can then use massage to increase circulation. As for those knots, google up myofascial release. I play around at myofascial release on my back with a backnobber and I use a stick and a foam roller for my legs.

    But truth is like WarrenG probably knows, nothing like a good massage done professionally. You can go to a massage school and get a student massage, half price most of the time and well worth it. Otherwise you can try and sneak in those free 10 minute massages at big events like marathons and charity bike rides.

  8. #8
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    I'm sorry guys, but what are NSAIDS?

  9. #9
    Twincities MN kuan's Avatar
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    NSAIDS are Non Steroidal Anti Inflammatory Drugs like aspirin, ibuprofen.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by kuan
    Well you wanna relieve the swelling and inflammation after a hard workout so icepacks are good for that. .
    I read and hear conflicting information about whether the inflammation may actually help with recovery-your body is inflammed intentionally, yes? To repair itself, yes? The inflammation can get in the way of circulation. I only take the ibruprofen if the pain might interfere with sleep. "Progressive relaxation" can be a help.

  11. #11
    Just ride. roadbuzz's Avatar
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    Not a great deal of detail, but here's an online (CyclingNews) article with some info:
    The art of muscle care

  12. #12
    Just ride. roadbuzz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by WarrenG
    I read and hear conflicting information about whether the inflammation may actually help with recovery-your body is inflammed intentionally, yes? To repair itself, yes?
    Another data-point for the conflicting information database, sometimes inflammation is self-perpetuating (mainly in joints). The swelling from the inflammation irritates the muscle, causing more inflammation. So, if the pain doesn't go away, try an Advil.

    In general, I agree. Inflammation is part of a natural process. A chance for you and your body to learn and adapt.

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