Triathlete, Coach, Motivator Talks Massage

BoRivera1blogWhen most of us are just slapping the SNOOZE button for the second time, Bo Rivera is already in high gear at the gym. Not just any gym, Santa Clara’s premiere gym, Fitness Never Sleeps (FNS). And he’s not there just for his own wellness, he’s part of the FNS team, both as superstar coach and marketing lead.  He’s been with FNS since the club opened in 2012 helping hundreds of athletes and weekend warriors build new skills, acquire new fitness habits, and push themselves to reach their personal goals.

Bo has a true passion for fitness and helping others achieve their fitness goals.  He’s a lifelong athlete who grew up playing soccer in high school and college, and has been an avid snowboarder, cyclist, and martial artist for more than 10 years. He’s committed to building excellent habits for fitness, nutrition, wellness, and a positive attitude.

Bo practices what he preaches, too.  He’s an accomplished triathlete and designed his own customized fitness and nutrition program. He’s also a big believer in the benefits of massage therapy in helping him maintain maximum wellness.

Bo’s passion is contagious, as any FNS member will tell you. We were curious as to why he believes massage is such an important part of a wellness program, and a little more about his own motivations, so we sat down with Bo for a quick Q&A.

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Massage for Weight Lifters

Millions of people use weight training as a way to improve coordination, increase muscle mass, speed metabolism, and improve strength. When proper form is used, weight training can be very effective in helping you look and feel better.

By definition, weight training increases the amount of effort your muscles exert and challenges your metabolism to keep up with the increased energy needed to sustain those efforts.  During the process, muscles react different ways.  Sometimes weight lifters experience soreness because of microtears in the muscle fibers, or feel sore from the buildup of lactic acid and other natural body chemicals in the stressed areas.  Even when your form is perfect, all this exertion and stressing of muscles can cause aches and pains.  That’s where massage can really help.

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You Might Be a Great Massage Therapist If…

questionguyEver wonder if you have what it takes to become a massage therapist? People are called to this career at different times in their lives.  Some when they’re young, others when they are ready for a midlife career change. Whatever the reason, becoming a massage therapist can be one of the most rewarding (emotionally and financially) decisions you’ll ever make.

Massage therapy is a $20 billion industry. US consumers visit massage therapists more than 230 million times a year. Growth in the profession is off the charts. Not everyone is cut out for massage therapy, though, but YOU might be!

Here are just few qualities shared by successful massage therapists.  If two or more than describe you, you should find out more!

You like to help people. This is quality #1. The profession is all about making a positive difference in the body, mind and spirit of your clients.  If you are someone who is giving and caring, or someone who wants to learn to be more giving and caring than you already are, this profession will be a great fit. If this quality isn’t in your personality, you should probably move on to another profession.

You like to have an option to work anywhere, anytime. Your main tools are your knowledge of massage therapy and your hands.  Those two things are with you always. With proper certification you can work ANYWHERE. In most cases, you can also have a lot of control over when you work–much more so than a standard 9-5 worker. Continue reading “You Might Be a Great Massage Therapist If…”

SVMTG & FNS Partner for Member Wellness

fnstrainingbluematIt’s official. Silicon Valley Massage Therapy Group (SVMTG) will now offer customized sports massage inside the awesome Fitness Never Sleeps (FNS) Training Center.  FNS provides a holistic approach to fitness and wellness in a supportive environment that fosters positive energy and a friendly spirit.

FNS is way more than your average fitness center, they offer unlimited access to group training, 1-on-1 personal training, nutritional coaching, top of the line equipment and focused and dedicated coaches. Their results are amazing and their members motivated and enthusiastic about continual improvement in their own health and wellness.
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Pre- and Post-event Sports Massage

The role of massage in supporting and enhancing athletic performance is growing. Is there a difference in pre- and post-event massage?

Sports massage is different than the therapeutic or relaxation massage you might be used to. Sports massage is usually performed on a client dressed in loose clothing and involves applying therapeutic massage and stretching to assist an athlete’s performance or speed recovery from an activity. The type of sports massage you receive is based on your goal and when you get your massage in relation to the event.

Pre-Event massage is usually 10-30 minutes long and generally happens the day of and prior to the event. The focus is on preparation for high-intensity activity not to correct dysfunction or reduce stress. Therapists will use compression, kneading, ROM & active stretching, vibration and tapotement–all performed at an “up-tempo” pace. Remember, the goal is get the athlete AMPED UP.  Continue reading “Pre- and Post-event Sports Massage”

The Perfect Piriformis

Piriformis

The piriformis is a busy muscle. It is involved in almost every motion of the hips and legs.

The piriformis muscle is a flat, band-like muscle located in the buttocks near the top of the hip joint. This muscle is important in lower body movement because it stabilizes the hip joint and lifts and rotates the thigh away from the body. The piriformis enables us to walk, shift our weight from one foot to another, and maintain balance. It is also used in sports that involve lifting and rotating the thighs.

Specifically, the piriformis muscle is part of the lateral rotators of the hip, along with the quadratus femoris, gemellus inferior, gemellus superior, obturator externus, and obturator internus. The piriformis laterally rotates the femur with hip extension and abducts the femur with hip flexion. Abduction of the flexed thigh is important in the action of walking because it shifts the body weight to the opposite side of the foot being lifted, which keeps us from falling. The action of the lateral rotators can be understood by crossing your legs to rest an ankle on the knee of the other leg. This causes the femur to rotate and point the knee laterally. The lateral rotators also oppose medial rotation by the gluteus medius and gluteus minimus. When the hip is flexed to 90 degrees, piriformis abducts the femur at the hip (Netter’s Clinical Anatomy, 2010)

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When to Get a Sports Massage

Sports massage was originally developed to help athletes prepare their bodies for optimal performance, recover after a big event, or function well during training. Sports massage keeps you flexible and your motions fluid, while helping with the prevention and healing of injuries to the muscles and tendons.

Of course, you don’t have to be an athlete to benefit from sports massage. Sports massage is also great for people with stiffness, minor injuries, chronic pain or restricted range of motion.

The massage therapist generally concentrates on a specific problem area, like neck, shoulders, or lower back, rather than a full-body massage (but there are exceptions).  They borrow techniques from a range of massage modalities, including  Swedish massage, that stimulates circulation of blood and lymph fluids and trigger point therapy to break down muscle knots and increase range of motion. Sports massage can be done on a table or mat with the client in loose-fitting clothes, or disrobed to their comfort level.

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Waiting for Wellness

Every single day, a runner tweaks a muscle, an active adult injures a shoulder,  someone shackled to a computer gets a pain in their wrist or finger and someone wakes up from a restless night of sleep with back, neck or shoulder pain. Some attempt to “walk it off”, some race to a doctor or grab an over-the-counter pain reliever.  Others just wait, hoping the pain will go away on it’s own.

You Don’t Have to Wait for Wellness

In each of the aforementioned cases, massage can usually make a significant, noticeable difference in your level of pain or discomfort, and often speeds healing of the traumatized area.  Add a well-trained massage therapist who listens to your needs, performs exemplary work, and coaches you on home-care activities and you’ve got a wellness program that works. Continue reading “Waiting for Wellness”

Five Springtime Stretches for Runners

stretchingKnow this. Whether you are a casual runner or a full-on triathlete, you need to stretch. Even though the research seems confusing, the results don’t lie.

Running makes your legs strong, toned, and, often, tight. Every step you take forces your quads, hamstrings, calves, and hips to flex and extend over and over to propel you down the road. As they tire, the muscles and tendons can develop imbalances, scar tissue, and tension, slowing you down and increasing the likelihood for common overuse injuries like IT Band syndrome, and Achilles tendonitis.  You’ve probably read many difference opinions about stretching before and after your run.  There are two things that are pretty plain:

1. Ask a runner who stretches and they’ll tell you it helps them be more flexible, have more endurance, and feel better after the run.

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