Outside magazine, August 1995
The full-body rubdown is to sports massage as the cross-training shoe is to training: It feels passably good, but if you concentrate on one activity, you'd be better served by something tailored to the task at hand. Making the case for more specialized fingerwork, Joan Johnson, a Boulder, Colorado-based massage therapist and author of The Healing Art of Sports Massage (Rodale Press), has developed sport-specific self-massage programs as focused as your cycling, climbing, or running shoes.
"Single-sport athletes are more susceptible to chronic injuries than those who dabble in many," Johnson explains, drawing from her work with elite athletes such as cyclist Greg LeMond, sport climber Robyn Erbesfield, and runner Arturo Barrios. "So if you do concentrate on one sport, it's crucial to have a massage routine that will target injury-prone, high-stress areas."
Daily self-maintenance of the more easy to reach of those areas can help prevent injury and enhance performance. Here Johnson offers these do-it-yourself programs.
Cycling: The Neck
Mountain bikers also experience major damage to the hands, thanks to the job of soaking up off-road shock. Massage your palms by interlocking your fingers and stroking each palm with the opposite thumb. You'll also get relief by simply squeezing and rubbing your fingers gently, avoiding the joints.
Running: The Shins
Climbing: The Forearms
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