Sports Massage Training

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Sports massage is just one of many types of massage therapies. While most individuals going to school to become a certified massage therapist learn about sports massage in their curriculum, those who want to fully enter into the sports massage therapy profession must take some extra training. Not only should they know the human anatomy, but also must be trained to respond with first aid treatment.



Each state has its own regulations regarding massage therapy. Depending on each state's requirements, you will need 500 or more hours of studies and training to become a massage therapist, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Once you finish the required courses, you have to take the state exam, if required. Upon completion and passing of the exam, you get your license to perform massage therapy. The curriculum includes study of anatomy, physiology, kinesiology, theory and hands-on practice training, ethics and business practice. That includes learning the proper techniques for Swedish, Shiatsu and sports massage.


The object of sports massage is to prevent injury. You work the muscles and joints to prepare them for the physical sports activity. Knowing human anatomy and all the bodies functions is vital in sports massage training. Extra hours of study are required to become a sports massage therapist. The number of hours required depends on the state and school. In this course, you learn advanced studies of anatomy, circulatory massage techniques and muscle overuse syndrome, as well as hands-on work with athletic teams.


Kinesiology is from the Greek word kinesis, meaning movement. Kinesiology is the key in sports massage training. It is the study and science of the human movement. In kinesiology, you learn about all the muscles and how they all work together to create movement. Kinesiology is used in helping regain motion and enhancing overall physical fitness. Students also learn how to spot when chronic tension arises in the muscles, which often is what causes pain and balance or posture issues.

Types of Sport Massages

In sports massage training, you learn about four specific types of massage:

Pre-event massage: These are given usually before an athletic performance to help stimulate the body. Special attention is given to the section of the body that is going to get the most endurance.

Post-event massage: Given after an event to help relax the body back to normal.

Restore sports massage: Given when the athlete is training for a special event to help him train harder and prevent injuries.

Rehabilitation sports therapy: Given when there is an injury and it is used to help with the pain and get the body back to normal.

On-Site Training

Often in sports massage therapy, you may be required to work at athletic events such as marathons, football games and cycling events. In sports therapy training, the students will learn how to prepare, as well as the proper etiquette for working at such events. This is where the need to know first aid is necessary because so many different types of injuries are possible at these events. In response, students of sports massage training learn about the proper application of ice and heat techniques on injuries.

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