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What to Wear to a Sports Massage

A simple guide on what to wear to a sports massage, considering everything from head to toe.

If you have booked a sports massage and it’s your first time, you might be wondering how to properly prepare for a sports massage, and what you should wear for the appointment. In this article, we go over what you should wear to a sports massage, and a few other considerations you should make before your appointment.

So, what do you wear to a sports massage? Generally speaking, both men and women should wear loose-fitting clothing to a sports massage which gives easy access to the area that will be worked on. However, this can differ based on your condition, the area which is being treated, and the type of sports massage which is being performed.

Read on to learn more about what to wear to a sports massage and other ways that you can properly prepare.

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What Should I Wear to a Sports Massage?

When deciding what to wear to a sports massage, first consider the following factors:

  • What kind of sports massage are you having? Pre-event, post-event, maintenance, recovery etc.

  • Which part(s) of the body will be targeted during the massage? You’ll need to provide suitable access to this area.

  • If you’re unsure, your massage therapist, or a member of their team, will be able to advise you prior to your session.


It’s best to wear loose-fitting shorts if your sports massage will be performed on the lower parts of your body. Depending on the condition being treated, your massage therapist will need to be able to freely work on the muscles in your glutes, and/or legs, and tight-fitting clothing will restrict how well they can work.


  • Leggings

  • Jeans

  • Regular smart/workwear trousers/chinos/slacks

  • Bike shorts


Similarly, it’s best to wear loose-fitting tops to a sports massage. Many sports massage therapists will often treat men for upper body conditions without a top on at all, but this is more of an issue for women. Some women feel comfortable draping a towel across their chest, whilst others prefer to wear a sports bra or just a loose-fitting top.


  • Tight-fitting tops

  • Shirts

  • Jumpers/sweatshirts/hoodies


Sports massage therapists prefer you to wear loose-fitting clothing, which also extends to underwear, where possible. Unless women choose to wear a sports bra, as mentioned above, all other undergarments should be loose-fitting, where possible.

What Shoes Should I Wear to a Sports Massage?

You probably think that your choice of shoes doesn’t matter for a sports massage appointment and, to an extent, you’re right. You’ll likely take your shoes off during the appointment. However, it’s advisable to wear shoes that are easy to put on and take off and, where appropriate, let your feet breathe. One of the main considerations here is to make sure that your feet are clean, non-sweaty, and not smelly - flip flops and sandals are ideal for this during the warmer seasons.

Should Makeup Be Worn to a Sports Massage?

Light make-up is fine and will not affect your massage, but please consider that you’ll likely need to place your face into the cradle at some point during the massage. Heavier make-up will transfer to the cradle which is, at best, messy and, at worst, unsanitary. It will also likely mess up your makeup.

If you have come from work or another event where you were wearing make-up, it would be a good idea to make make-up remover wipes to use before your appointment.

How Should Hair Be Worn to a Sports Massage?

Another consideration when preparing for a sports massage is how to wear your hair - you obviously don’t want it getting in the way during the appointment.

Short Hair

For shorter hair that cannot be tied up, but may still get in the way, it would be a good idea to wear a headband to keep your hair back. For super-short hair, or a typical man’s short haircut, you will be able to attend the appointment without needing to make accommodations for your hair.

Long Hair

Longer hair should, where possible, be tied back out of the way, especially very long hair. Your hair should be pulled back, leaving the back, shoulders, and neck free.

Can I Wear Jewellery to a Sports Massage?

Wearing jewellery to a sports massage isn’t a big deal, but it can get in the way, and could be somewhat painful or irritating if your massage therapist catches it during the massage.

It would be best to prepare for your sports massage by removing necklaces, bracelets, anklets and dangly earrings.

Other Considerations When Preparing for a Sports Massage

Other ways to prepare for your sports massage include:

  • Respect your massage therapist and shower before your appointment. If you’re attending your appointment after work or another event, try to shower the morning of the appointment.

  • Stay well hydrated for at least 24 hours before your sports massage appointment. Hydration makes it easier for the toxins that are released during massage to be flushed from the system.

  • Know your goals before attending your sports massage appointment and ensure to communicate this with your massage therapist before they begin. They will be able to tailor their technique to suit.

Sports Massage in Leeds

3R Physiotherapy provides sports massage in Leeds with single sessions from just £35, and value packages starting from £142. Sports massage therapy helps to stimulate blood circulation, reduces swelling, muscle tension, and risk of recurrence, as well as promoting muscle flexibility, and soft tissue healing.

Visit the Sports Massage webpage for more information, or get in touch with us to discuss your condition. You can also book an appointment directly here.

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