Massage for Soccer Players: Benefits and Best Tools

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Written by Daniel Pena, Bachelors in Kinesiology and footballer: Learn More

Is a sports massage beneficial for soccer players? A sports massage is a very useful recovery technique that focuses on breaking up fascia adhesions, improving blood circulation, increases tissue elasticity, and reduces muscle tension.

Playing soccer requires high mental and physical demands and regular massage sessions are a great way to recover faster and reduce the risk of injuries. There are multiple massage techniques and the best way to get a massage is from a professional sports massage therapist because that way you can relax the most while someone breaks up the knots for you.

However, regular sports massage therapy can cost a lot of money which is why it is best to invest in a reliable massage tool to perform self-myofascial release, or self-massage therapy. In this blog I will explain why massage therapy is important, its benefits on athletic performance and review some of the best massage equipment for soccer players.

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The Importance of Massage for Footballers

After a training session or a game, oftentimes you may feel sore and experience the sensation of tight muscles. When you have this feeling it is not actually the muscles that are tight it has more to do with the fascia.

After exercise the fascia, which is mostly made up of EZ water, gets dehydrated, bundles up, and gets into knots. When you have these knots the layers of fascia are not able to slide properly so you are missing out on sensations in those areas, range of motion, and proper blood and nutrient flow.

The more you get rid of these knots the better blood flow, energy flow, interoception,and proprioception you will develop because releasing the knots brings water back into the area, which helps you regain sensation, or awareness.

Massage therapy has many positive effects and it can be used pre or post training.

Benefits of Regular Massage Sessions for Soccer Players

Massage therapy has many benefits for soccer players of all levels, from youth players all the way up to professional players.

  • Breaks up fascia adhesions
  • Reduces muscle soreness, tension, and lactic acid buildup
  • Helps reduce stress and injury risk
  • Helps lower blood pressure
  • Useful for sports rehabilitation
  • Improved blood flow and circulation
  • Works pre or post workout
  • Increase range of motion
  • Increased flexibility
  • Promotes relaxation
  • Helps prevent injuries
    • Lower and upper body injuries
    • Soft tissue injuries
    • Overuse injuries

Best Massage Therapy Equipment for Soccer Players

Now that you are more familiar with massage therapy, let’s go over some of the best massage therapy products that you can easily keep inside of your soccer bag for on-the-go recovery. These tools are soccer bag essentials that, with consistent use, will help you achieve peak performance and faster recovery.

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Best Overall Massage Therapy Tool: Spiky Ball

The Spiky Ball Massage Tool is a tiny ball with numerous spikes that targets muscle trigger points. This is the best and most important myofascial release tool as it is relatively cheap, easy to transport, and it can be used to target any part of the body from feet, glutes, hips, and back to your upper limbs as well.

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Second Overall Massage Therapy Tool: Lacrosse Massage Ball

The Lacrosse Massage Ball, made out of rubber, is a tiny ball that targets muscle trigger points, much like the Spiky Ball, except without the spikes. It can be used to exert pressure on different areas of the body, including the feet, hips, calves, back, and shoulders. Also very easy to transport and use, the lacrosse ball is a great tool that you can use by itself or interchangeably with the spiky ball.

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Best Massage Therapy Stick

The Muscle Rolling Stick is a long, cylindrical massage tool with ridges and bumps that works to knead and massage muscles. It works well on bigger muscle groups like the hamstrings and quadriceps, but it will not provide centralized pressure like the other tools. This is a relatively easy to transport tool and can easily fit in a bag so that player’s can roll out before a training session or game

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Best Back Roller: Acumobility Back Roller

The best massage back roller is the Acumobility back roller because of the patented bumps and a spine groove to protect the spine from unwanted pressure. Although this tool works best for the spine, it can also be used to roll out many other areas of your body like the legs, arms, obliques, core, and it covers a larger surface area so it does not provide centralized pressure like the first two tools on this list.

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Best Massage Therapy Gun:Arbo Leaf Massage gun

A massage gun is a portable tool that uses quick, percussion-like strokes to relax the muscles. It can be applied to the back, shoulders, and legs, and basically everywhere. Massage guns can be easy to carry around and they are very straightforward and easy to use.

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Best Acupuncture Mat: Xiao Ma Ge Acupuncture Mat

The Acupuncture Pressure Mat is a unique tool designed for footballers looking to improve their recovery. It features a durable mat with multiple strategically placed pressure points that stimulate the body’s meridian points, which are believed to help reduce muscle tension and promote relaxation.

This mat is perfect for footballers who want to get a deep tissue massage without the high cost of visiting a massage therapist. To use this mat you simply stand on it or lay on it and relax.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the best soccer training program?

The best online soccer training program and soccer app is Football Entangled. There is no other program like Football Entangled on the market and this community, much more than just an app, will help you get closer to making your dreams a reality, plus they have an entire section on how to perform self-myofascial release with a spiky ball.

What are the different types of massages?

The different types of massages include

  • Sports massage
  • Deep tissue massage
  • Swedish massage
  • Cross friction massage

What are the different types of sports massages?

The four main types of sports massage are

  • Pre event massage
  • Post event massage
  • Maintenance
  • Rehabilitation

Conclusion

In conclusion, regular massage sessions are one of the best types of treatment for soccer players looking to enhance performance, recover faster, reduce injury risk, get rid of pain, and improve range of motion. The quality of the massage is also very important which is why it is best to use a reliable self-massage tool or get a massage from professional massage therapists.

In this blog, I covered everything you need to know about massage therapy for soccer players, from its benefits to tips on the best massage therapy tools.

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