The 5 best ways to recover from training
Today's article is designed to show you that there are multiple ways to look after your body and also to educate you on some of the best practices that you should be incorporating into your exercise regime (if you aren't already).
There are certainly more than just the 5 methods that we will share with you, but these have been effective for us, our clients and are also science-backed. Meaning, that they are actually effective!
Let's dive straight into our five different recovery methods so you can improve your mobility and hopefully help you move with less pains and aches.
1) Mobility Drills
These types of exercises can be performed as part of your warm-up, used as 'fillers' (Time spent between exercises, like an 'active rest') or even done post-workout.
The purpose behind doing these drills is to improve joint mobility. Meaning, we are looking to increase the Range Of Movement (ROM) that a joint has to work within. Pain-free, of course!
Simple exercises like the ones shown below are just some ways that you can help the recovery process;
These help to improve your shoulder, upper back, hip and ankle mobility, respectively.
Everyone is different and responds uniquely to a given exercise or drill.
So, if you feel particularly stiff in certain spot, or can't get into the required position/s, then it may not be a good fit for you. Find which exercises make you feel good, improve your ROM and can be done without pain. That is the key takeaway for these drills!
Ideally, you want to address the joints which will either, be used in a session, or at the end, to restore mobility in the joints which were affected during that workout.
When it comes to mobility, "You either use it, or lose it".
So, if you constantly feel stiff, restricted or 'tight', then you need more of these exercises in your life!
2) foam rolling
This form of recovery has been used for a little while now, with some great benefits, as listed below by world-renowned physical therapist, Dr John Rusin.
"From limiting delayed onset muscle soreness to aiding in lymphatic drainage, rolling may just be the quickest and easiest way to get the recovery process going."
Read the full article, HERE.
Spending a few minutes after training, rolling the areas and supporting muscles that you just used could really speed up your recovery time and how you pull up the next day.
It doesn't have to be a 30 minute foam rolling session! But, 5-15 minutes will definitely cover your bases!
The main areas we see people requiring foam rolling include;
- Upper back/Thoracic Spine
- Glutes/Hip region
If you're not familiar with foam rolling and how to perform it, watch a few videos HERE and learn how to foam roll correctly.
NOTE: Foam rolling can be uncomfortable. But the benefits are worth it, in my opinion :)
3) Nutrition and hydration
Everyone knows it. Nutrition is important.
Yeah, we get it!
But, do you actually prioritise it and put effort into eating/drinking the right things?
Ever wonder why some people move really well and have very little muscle soreness? While others feel and move like crap?
It's because they prioritise different things and put different things in their body.
That's where people are lacking a lot of the time. They are either unsure of what to eat to boost performance, lose those extra kilo's or just feel good after working out.
Post-workout, you should be consuming a meal predominating in protein and carbohydrates. These will help replenish lost energy stores and also start the repair and rebuilding process of micro-tears created in the muscle fibres.
Outside of the post-workout period (30-120mins), you should aim to consume a balanced meal containing protein, smart carbs and some fats. These will ensure a steady supply of energy, plenty of nutrients going to vital organs and energy stores to the liver and muscles.
That's it. Just keep it simple.
I won't go into supplementation today, that's another article in itself!
4) Floatation therapy aka 'floating'
Floating is somewhat new to the mainstream, but is gaining traction -- and with good reason!
I was introduced to floating by a powerlifitng friend of mine, about 2 years ago and have personally had 10+ floats.
Initially, I was hesitant about it and wasn't sure what to expect. But, after my first float it became apparent that there was a benefit to this recovery method.
Some benefits I noticed were;
- Really, really good night's sleep
- Feeling refreshed mentally
- Reduced Delayed Onset Muscle Sorness (DOMS) after heavy training, or football game
For me, it was both mentally refreshing as well as a physical benefit of a solid, deep sleep the night of taking a float.
If you haven't tried floating before, I encourage you to check them out and give the guys at Float Fremantle a call. They'll look after you!
This segways beautifully onto the last piece of the recovery puzzle.
For some unknown reason (at least, to me) people tend to not prioritise or even care about the length, or quality of sleep they have. It's almost as if people view it as an inconvenience.
Personally, I look forward to bed time. It's a time where I can shut everything out and get back to neutral.
With early starts, it's imperative that I get a minimum of 7 hours, otherwise I can get quite irritable.
For me, bed time is usually before 9:30PM every night, except weekends. I may even stay up til 10 on the weekend! (It's highly unlikely, though)
Sleep costs you nothing!
It's free and easy to do.
Muscle repair and rebuilding takes place when you're sleeping, so if that sort of thing is important to you then it should be quite high on your priority list. If not, then your recovery (and results) will suffer!
There you have it!
5 ways that you can speed up and maximise your recovery after training. It isn't a comprehensive list, but it should be more than enough to help you recover quicker from training and reduce the effects of DOMS.
Hopefully, this has given you some new options to ensure you get the results and recovery that you deserve from your efforts both inside and outside of the gym!
Until next time,
Train hard and recover harder!
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