Strength Basics

Getting stronger, fitter, and healthier by sticking to the basics. It's not rocket science, it's doing the simple stuff the right way. Strength-Basics updates every Monday, plus extra posts during the week.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Book Review: Massage for Sports Performance

Massage for Sport Performance
by Michael McGillicuddy
Published 2011
180 pages

Massage for Sport Performance is an introduction to sports massage. The book seems primarily aimed at massage professionals looking to understand the specialty of sports massage. For example, the book explains different types of strokes and how to use them for sports massage, but doesn't go into very great detail on the basics of those stokes. If you don't already know how to use kneading vs. petrissage vs. stripping strokes, you won't learn how here. But you will learn why you use them, in what circumstances, when massaging an athlete to improve sports performance.

The book has 16 pages of introduction to sports massage, include what its for, the role of the trainer, the role of the athlete, and some terminology as well. It also has 13 pages on massage equipment, from towels and massage tables to room furnishings. It seems quite complete; the book is clearly aiming to be authoritative and thorough. This is followed by sections on massage for:

Preevent Massage (that's pre-event, the book omits the hyphen my brain and spellchecker both demand)
Postevent Massage
Recovery Massage

The chapter on stretching is the most generally useful. The stretches are well-illustrated and are broken up by body parts, which good accompanying text to let you know how and when to use them. The book (nicely) recommends warming up prior to stretching, which is the currently accepted practice. The idea is that physically warmer muscles stretch more smoothly and easily, and thus benefit more from stretching. The other sections are excellent, well-illustrated, and so on - but are aimed at a massage professional. They might be very helpful to an amateur masseuse looking to help a close partner with specific issues, but the main aim is professionals.

Finally the book has sports specific massage, for running, football, basketball, soccer, baseball, golf, and tennis. The details of what massages are useful and why are interesting and well-detailed.

The book also comes with a DVD demonstrating much of the material within the book. None of the stretches are demonstrated, however, but all of the massage techniques are.

Content: 4 out of 5. If you're a massage professional, this book seems to have enough to get you started on sports massage. If not, it's a little less useful.
Presentation:5 out of 5. Attractive pictures, easy to read text, useful charts, excellent organization and a complete index.

Overall: As a book of continuing education for massage therapists, this is an excellent book. For those who expect to receive sports massages and who want to know what it entails, this is also very useful. For general use by athletes and folks seeking to get into shape, the book is of limited value.

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1 comment:

  1. Hi Peter! Really cool that you do reviews of different materials too! I'm actually using this book to teach my Sports Massage class starting Monday!!! I'm also an athlete and lover of the weightroom so I will incorporate extra information into the class as well! :) And ya, the pre-event without the hyphen drives me crazy!!! Hope you have a great day! ~ Karen


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