Percussive Therapy for Soccer Players
Percussive therapy is a treatment structured to loosen the stiffness of muscles and treat the injury of the muscles by delivering rapid vigorous pulsating strokes that travel deep into the muscles, relieve muscle soreness, loses muscle knots, and pain and to increase the ability of the body to heal and recover. Percussive therapy is usually administered by a device known as a percussive massager or a massage gun.
The world’s most popular sport can be as physically demanding as any other sport, whether we engage in it for business or pleasure. The importance of a device that creates pulses and waves that travel deep into the muscle tissues to relieve sore muscles, repairs and loosens tight muscles and muscle knots, ultimately to attain a good feeling of wellbeing and more relaxed states cannot be overemphasized. Retrospectively, this piece seeks to unravel a step-wise procedure for street soccer players, professional soccer players, and laymen.
“Take care of your body. It’s the only place you have to live.”
– Jim Rohn
How to use a Massage Gun as a Soccer Player
It is recommended that you engage in pre-workouts before the game starts and quick massage gun application to activate your muscles. Soccer players and tennis players are some of the most hardworking athletes due to the demands of the sports. To stay fit for 90 minutes, and after that, till the next 90 minutes requires a lot of fitness training and muscle recovery, yet they always aspire to do more. Two-time FIFA Player of the Year, and USWNT legend, Carli Lloyd explains this in concise and clear terms:
“Don’t let anybody work harder than you do.”
– Carl Lloyd
After the game, it is also important to stretch the body especially the stressed part for a while before going on with these procedures.
- The first step is to insert the ball attachment to the head (if it’s not the current head attachment in the massage gun). Note that massage gun has several head attachments in a bid to gain convenient access to every nook and cranny of the body. Soccer players can use a big round head, or a prong head, as desired.
- Before using the massage gun, make sure to adjust the neck of the massage gun to a position that would enable you the convenience to apply the device.
- Make sure the massage gun is not resting on any part of your body before switching it on. This could trigger a conflicting reaction from the body as little as a mild shock or as much as a sharp pain like a jarring.
- Hold the massage gun gently and firmly as the vibrations and oscillations could send unexpected surges through your hand. You don’t want such an expensive and beneficial machine to end up falling to the floor as a result of unpreparedness.
- Sore legs and/or feet are very common after playing soccer. This could result from wearing soccer boots for lengthy periods or standing for long. The calf muscles, the Achilles, and sometimes the quad muscles may experience muscle tightness. Gently place the gun on these areas while flexing your ankles to increase blood flow and/or prevent DOMS.
- Furthermore, Achilles tendinitis may accompany sore feet, especially if your boots are not very comfortable, and is often characterized by a sharp pain in the back of the ankle. Rest the massage gun on the Achilles for deep tissue massage, ensure to see a qualified medical professional if the pain persists.
- After a rigorous soccer match, it is advisable to do short time body stretches to help loosen the muscles a bit before applying the massage gun.
- Muscle soreness such as shin splints is common in the calf muscles after playing soccer and is often characterized by pain in the upper leg. Gently glide the massage gun over this region for a minute or two. Relax for a few moments and examine how you feel. You may repeat this once or twice, but avoid overuse of the gun.
- Apply the massage gun over the muscles. Several muscles are engaged while playing football on the field (you can apply the massage gun at your discretion based on where and how you currently feel uncomfortable). However, some muscles experience more stress and soreness.
- Avoid using the massage gun if you have any open injury. Massage guns is not a treatment for injuries. Also avoid using a massage gun without permission and/or supervision from a medical professional, if you have a medical implant or device in your body.
- Throughout this process, ensure that you are in an appropriate or comfortable posture and that your breathing is not obstructed. Take deep breathes, inhale, and exhale freely.
Percussive therapy is becoming a core part of sports wellness. Recovery between each game is facilitated by muscle recovery for soccer players. Massage guns also ensure that that the tissues can be stretched adequately, as well as release the tension in the muscles. Deep tissue massage by massage guns also improves the performance of soccer players. Kara Mirarchi, a medical massage therapist (MMT) with the USWNT for 7 years explains:
“Having been a semi-professional soccer player before and having worked as a sports massage therapist gave me unique insight into players’ mindsets and their body needs and responses...players credited sports massage as an important contributor to their health and final success.”
– Kara Mirarchi
Massage guns present an effective way for soccer players to prevent DOMS and to recover from muscle soreness, stiffness, and fatigue in quicker times, in a bid to meet the physical demands of the sport. If properly utilized, both local and professional soccer players can benefit immensely from this milestone.