Working as a massage therapist requires us to put our bodies through a lot of strain and repetition. Exercise is a vital aspect of staying physically healthy, whether or not you enjoy it. It has been shown that the massage therapy profession has a high injury and burnout rate.
Conversely, some massage therapists have careers that span 30 years. There’s no doubt that individuals who have worked in the massage industry for a while have settled into a routine that works for them. Let’s take a look at some strategies to take your fitness routine to the next level, or to start it if it currently doesn’t exist.
Your Body Was Designed to Be in Motion.
I’d like to set the stage for this discussion before we dive into specific suggestions for exercises. I am aware that there are some people who despise exercise and have never engaged in it for various reasons. Imagine a moment in our past when we relied on our body to assist us obtain food and shelter. Then we’d realise that moving around is what our bodies were designed for.
Movement improves the performance of our bodily systems. Exercising can boost the efficiency of many bodily systems, including the digestive system, skin, lungs, and heart.
Respect the reality your body needs to move. We were built for action.
Shift Your Perspective
Changing your perspective on exercise can help if you currently dislike it. But suppose it was your leisure time. Schedule “play” time on your calendar instead of “workout” time.
Tell me about your preferences. Just don’t bother with a gym routine if you know you’ll never follow through with it. Alternately, you may go on a bike ride, hike, walk the dog, swim, jump rope, or use a trampoline. Depending on the tasks involved, yard work might serve as a kind of physical activity. Exercise can be interpreted in many different ways. Make it a game or something enjoyable that you will always include in your life.
The gym is like an adult version of a playground to me. At the gym, you can perform a plethora of exercises, including but not limited to, jumping, climbing, pushing, pulling, rotating, bouncing, and many more. For those who find working out on weight machines tedious, there are plenty of other ways to build muscle. To improve your fitness routine, it helps to know what you enjoy and what you don’t.
Keep your workouts basic for optimal results
Strength training with only bodyweight movements is an excellent beginning point because they require no special equipment. There are seven recommended bodyweight exercises in the Fit MT that can help massage therapists strengthen the joints they utilise most frequently throughout their work. You can find examples of these kind of exercises in the webinar presented by MASSAGE Magazine, titled “Best Body Mechanics.”
Push-ups, pull-ups, lunges, planks, crunches, squats, and so on are all examples of bodyweight exercises.
Stick to the KISS principle and simplify your motions by grouping similar ones together. Put pressure on, release pressure, twist, bend, and stretch.
Like we taught in anatomy class, you can flex and extend each joint individually. Other options include dividing workouts into separate sets of pushing and pulling exercises. Say, for instance, that you tend to push yourself harder on Mondays. Examples include variations on the push-up, bench press, squat, and overhead press, and triceps dip. Finally, on Wednesdays you engage in pulling exercises. Possible exercises include rows, lat pulldowns, pull-ups, flies, and inner/outer thigh cable pulls.
You can perform bodyweight workouts anywhere, even in between clients. Involuntary range-of-motion exercises are those performed by the individual. As an example, consider the exercises of lunges, squats, push-ups, and pull-ups. Isometric exercises are a subset of bodyweight exercises. In addition to being quick and easy to complete, these have the added benefit of being portable.
Home workouts with minimal gear are a close second in terms of accessibility. Equipment like bands, small dumbbells, or an exercise ball. Even with minimal equipment, at home exercises may offer you a comprehensive body workout.
Rotate! Outside of turning our heads to look to the left or right, there aren’t many opportunities for us to rotate our joints in a natural way during the day. Since our movements are predominantly linear, we must actively seek for opportunities to rotate or bend laterally. It’s important to give your back, hips, and shoulders a daily rotation.
Individual finger rotations have the same soothing effect on massage therapists as rolling their clients’ wrists and ankles. Passively “rotate” each metacarpophalangeal joint in a circle with your nondominant hand.
When you switch up your workout routine, you’ll get better results
Modifying even a single aspect of your routine can have a profound effect on your health and fitness. When performing the same workout routine over and over again, it can be challenging to maintain mental focus because the body is moving through habitual motions. Changing up your routine every now and again can help you reach your fitness goals faster. If you want to improve your fitness, try something new.
Altering your workout regimen just a little by switching from walking to swimming or biking once a week is one example. It might be as simple as trying a different type of exercise at the gym or incorporating Pilates into your yoga routine.
Balance aids, such as a physioball, foam roller, or Bosu ball, can be used to increase the effectiveness of your workout. Combining movements into one is called compounding, and it is possible to do things like squat with a front lift for the shoulders. Interval training that combines cardio and strength training at high intensities is becoming increasingly popular.
Working exercise in new ways keeps your body and mind guessing and prevents you from getting bored. Always adapt your approach based on your skill and fitness levels.
Recognize the Need for Breaks
Realize your own limitations. Remembering that your ligaments and tendons must be sufficiently strong before asking your muscles to raise a load is helpful. Be careful not to injure yourself by lifting more than you are comfortable with, even if you think you can. Discover what kinds of exercise you enjoy and how much of them you can do and build from there. When it comes to improving your fitness, there’s no use in signing up for a class that’s too advanced for you.
It takes practise to learn when you need a day off and when you should push yourself. Listen to your body. Ignore the voice in your head telling you that you “should be able to” or “used to be able to do twice as much.” The human body develops and adapts to novel movement patterns in different ways at various ages.
Don’t ignore your day-to-day sensations. Don’t force yourself to exercise at 80% of your maximum if you don’t feel like it. Professional athletes spend their entire careers learning when to push themselves and when to pull back. Pay close attention to how your body responds to exercise on a regular basis if you’re just starting out.
It’s important to incorporate rest days into your training routine. You shouldn’t stay in bed all day, but you also shouldn’t work on your workout routine nonstop. Light walking or other forms of physical activity that help you stay in shape while also getting your blood pumping are appropriate on rest days.
There’s No Need to Suffer From Bruises
When your muscles hurt after an intense workout, you know you challenged yourself beyond your fitness level. While muscle discomfort is something I enjoy experiencing after a good workout, it is not necessary for exercise to be beneficial.
If you want to increase your strength, flexibility, or cardiovascular fitness, you’ll need to work on your fitness. Increasing one’s fitness level can be accomplished by concentrating on one’s technique during each workout and by progressively increasing one’s exercise intensity and training volume.
You can improve your form and coordination by completing the same workouts and routines over and over again for several weeks. Use a mirror, record yourself on camera, or hire a trainer to show you the proper form for strength exercises.
The important thing to remember is that even if you can’t push yourself any further right now, your fitness is still increasing. Both high-intensity and moderate-intensity (or lighter-weight) sessions will be included.
While it’s true that massage therapists have some physical challenges, this is nothing we can’t overcome with proper training. Keep in shape, bulk up, and keep massaging!
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