If you're undergoing intense training in preparation for joining the Australian military, there are a number of key areas that you will want to focus your efforts on. These are 1) cardiovascular endurance, which will contribute towards your ability to travel by foot with weight under stress, and 2) strength, which will support your physical fitness test, which consists of sit-ups and pushes ups. Preparing for these tests and the military life after can be a difficult process and one which can be both rewarding and strenuous on the body. To help you loosen muscles which can become tight when overworked there are a number of different massages you can do as part of your recovery. Here is a brief overview of them and how they can contribute to your progress and wellbeing.
Swedish massage is designed to be relaxing on the body and uses varying degrees of pressure along the muscle fibres to encourage relaxation and blood flow. Sometimes this can be combined with relaxing music and oils to help you to relax further. This type of massage is perfect if you find that you are feeling drained mentally and are perhaps building up stress tension. Swedish massage shouldn't hurt and the increased blood flow can help to encourage healing in the body by helping the flow of nutrients and white blood cells. It is great to use periodically when training becomes mentally draining.
Remedial Massage and Foam Roller
Remedial massage or sports massage is harder than a Swedish massage and focuses pressure on the deeper muscle fibres. This is known as myofascial release and can break down scar tissue and increase range of motion. Unfortunately, this can hurt, but it is incredibly beneficial to the body and is often used by athletes to prevent muscle tension. If you can't afford a sports masseuse or want something to use between sessions, you could also invest in a foam roller. This is a foam tube which comes in different levels of hardness and is used to roll along the muscles of the body (like the legs) at the end of training. Some have small foam teeth that can reach between joints and muscle fibres and provide deep tissue relief. This is especially effective when combined with stretching at the end of a long run.
Whilst not a massage, yoga is a great exercise to develop muscle fibre length and increase your overall range of motion. This can help to prevent muscle tightness and allow you to train at a reduced likelihood of injury, providing better stability in your back and legs.