A variation on traditional massage therapy, sports massage is a sports medicine technique. A sports massage therapist or physical therapist applies more pressure to the muscle areas affected by a specific sport and increases the overall intensity. \n\nSports massage is similar to deep tissue massage, therapeutic massage, Swedish massage, or other types of massage that target specific trigger points. But with sports bodywork, there are goals related to an athlete’s specific situation. Sports massage therapy aims to reduce the chance of injury, encourage the healing of existing sports injuries, and increase athletic performance. It can be a part of a training program for an everyday athlete, such as one who performs a physical activity recreationally, or for a serious athlete, such as one training for the Olympics.\nPeople use sports massage with a number of outcomes as their goals, which can include but are not limited to:\n\n- __Better range of motion__: Sports massage works your muscle groups, loosening your muscle fibers to potentially improve your flexibility and increase your range of motion. \n- __Improved circulation__: Sports massage techniques can temporarily increase blood flow throughout and around the connective tissues of your muscles, leading to overall better blood circulation in your body.\n- __Less muscle soreness__: Reports show that sports massage can decrease muscle tension and reduce the effects of delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS). The result of a buildup of lactic acid in your muscle tissues, soreness such as DOMS becomes apparent a day or two after you work out, rather than immediately after exercise.\nThrow on some athleisure, fire up a [MasterClass Annual Membership](https://www.masterclass.com), and get ready to sweat it out with exclusive instructional videos from Nike Master Trainer and *GQ* fitness specialist Joe Holder. Want to improve your cardiovascular endurance? Give Joe’s HIIT workout a go. Trying to get a little swole? He’s got a strength training workout for that. From fitness tips to nutrition hacks, Joe will have you feeling healthier in no time.\nAmateur athletes and professional athletes use sports massage before or after athletic events to warm up tight muscles or to hasten [muscle recovery](https://www.masterclass.com/articles/muscle-recovery-guide) time.