Sports Massage Therapy

What Not To Do Before a Sports Massage?

Breeze Academy November 2, 2023
Glass of liquor

Whether you are new to sports massage or have been having them for years, you should be familiar with how to prepare. This can help you to avoid further injury or compromising the safety of your Massage Therapist. In this blog, we discuss things to avoid before your next sports massage and what can help you prepare in a safe way. So, with that in mind, is there anything you should avoid before a sports massage?

It is best to avoid eating large meals, neglecting your personal hygiene and lying about any injuries or medical conditions before sports massages. This is to ensure the safety and comfort of both you and your Massage Therapist. Hydrating well, showering and communicating are all positive ways to prepare.

Read on to find out more about what you should and shouldn’t do before a sports massage.

What Should You Avoid Before a Sports Massage?

Sports massages can provide many benefits for your body and mind both during and after sessions. There are a few ideal ways to prepare, especially if it is your very first session. However there are also a few things you should definitely not do before a sports massage as it can affect the results or make your Massage Therapist’s job harder or make them uncomfortable. Here is what you should avoid before and during your next sports massage:


It is important to make sure you have enough energy to allow your body to recover from the roughness of the massage, however eating a large meal right before the session could cause you to feel unwell. Eating large meals can also lead to lethargy which will only be multiplied with a sports massage. Learn more about why massage can make you tired in our recent blog.

Neglect Personal Hygiene

Although it is recommended to smell fresh out of respect for your Massage Therapist, overcompensating with creams and sprays can cause the opposite desired effect. These smells can be overwhelming when mixed with massage cream in an intimate space. Try to find a healthy middle ground with deodorant.


It is extremely important to be as communicative and transparent as possible with your Massage Therapist, especially where pre-existing medical conditions are concerned. This can help both you and your Massage Therapist feel safe and comfortable throughout. You should also inform them of any extreme pain or discomfort you experience so they can adjust their technique accordingly. 


Illness before an appointment is of course unpredictable, however you should reschedule with your therapist as soon as you are aware of illness. This is to prevent the spread of infection as Massage Therapists can pass this onto their other clients or become unable to work from the illness. 

A common after effect of sports massage is flu-like symptoms, so attending the session with an illness could only make this effect worse. You can find out more about why you shouldn’t get a massage while ill in our in depth blog. 

Heavy Drinking

Drinking alcohol or caffeine before your sports massage can heavily dehydrate you. It is best to stick to water, fruit juice or sports drinks before, during and after to keep your hydration at an appropriate level. 

How to Prepare for a Sports Massage?

Before you attend your next sports massage appointment, there are few things you can do to prepare:


Not only is this respectful for your Massage Therapist, it will allow your body and mind to relax, getting you in a fit state for a rough massage. This relaxed state can potentially reduce some of the soreness felt after the session as your muscles won’t be as tense. It also provides an opportunity to evaluate injuries or cuts which you can then communicate to your Massage Therapist. 


Massage therapists want the best for you, this means you need to be honest from the start about your needs. Whether you have a medical condition, injury or a lower pain tolerance, your therapist needs to know so they can alter their technique. This ensures the safety of both you and your Massage Therapist during and after the session. Also be honest about your own massage preferences, if you need your Massage Therapist to be rougher so you can fully feel the benefits, don’t be afraid to let them know. 


Hydration is highly important in safely recovering from an intense massage session. Your body will lose a lot of liquid during the session and this must be recuperated to avoid serious dehydration. You can find more information on why drinking after massage is so important in our recent blog. 


As sports massages can be an intense experience, especially for new clients, you should prepare well to feel as comfortable as possible. Choosing comfortable, loose clothing can help you relax more during the session (if you choose to keep your clothes on) and after when you may be feeling achy. 

Final Thoughts

You should prepare for sports massages whether it is your first appointment or you are very familiar with them. This can help you get in a relaxed state of mind, stay safe and keep a good relationship with your Massage Therapist. Things to avoid include:

  • Big meals
  • Drinking excess caffeine or alcohol
  • Lying about injuries or pain tolerance
  • Neglecting personal hygiene

Recommended ways to prepare include:

  • Showering
  • Drinking plenty of fluids (e.g. water or juice)
  • Communicating with your Massage Therapist
  • Wearing appropriate clothing

If you are a Massage Therapist looking to level up your massage treatments for your clients, we have a number of courses available. These are curated by and for expert Massage Therapists to help you provide the highest quality massage service. Our sports massage courses are available at Level 3 or Level 4 depending on your current experience in a location convenient to you. If you are unsure which course is right for you, contact one of our experts today who will be happy to advise.

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