Recovery is one of the most important factors in any training program. Without sufficient recovery you will struggle to continuously be able to train without injury. This post will cover 10 methods you can use to recover between sessions, as well as a few tips to include before and after your workouts. Let us know what you think in the comments section below and feel free to share, like and comment with any questions you may have.
1 Self myofascial release (SMR)
- The most common method is the use of a Foam Roller.
- Set yourself a routine to do prior to every training session.
- SMR helps our muscles to relax and at the same time provides optimal length-tension relationship. This therefore helps avoid muscle restrictions when we are performing an exercise. This then gives a positive feedback to our Central Nervous System (CNS) and ‘Corrects Muscle Imbalances’.
- Improves Joint Range of Motion because it breaks the knots (which restrict our range of motion) in our muscles.
- SMR also helps Relieve Muscle Soreness and Joint Stress because it speeds up recovery by helping to increase blood circulation in the body. This therefore also improves our ‘Neuromuscular efficiency’, due to the enhanced oxygenation in the muscles.
- Foam rolling helps our ‘muscles relax’ by the activation of sensory receptors connecting our muscle fibers to our tendons.
- It has also been suggested that foam rolling lengthens your muscles and breaks up adhesion and scar tissues.
- Don’t just rely on foam rolling.
- Get yourself a recommended therapist!
- They will look after your soft tissue needs.
- Active Release Therapy (ART) or active release technique/Muscle Energy Techniques.
3 Magnesium spray
- Usually comes with a blend of magnesium, zinc, arginine and niacin to aid in the reduction of muscle soreness & maximize recovery.
- The spray allows you to deliver the nutrients straight to
the muscle in a localized fashion.
- Could aid sleep due to magnesium.
- Contains essential nutrients for the ATP energy cycle.
- Just like oral ZMA, but applied direct to the skin.
- Although there is limited research on the effectiveness of the spray there is advocates that suggest its beneficial for recovery.
4 Drink + Eat Correctly
- Use food to fuel you’re training.
- Aching may be due to you not eating enough calories for your body.
- Drink more.
5 Pre/Post workout stretches
- Avoid stretching after high intensity training or after strength sessions to avoid additional damage.
- A planned dynamic stretching routine before an intense/strength workout.
6 Active recovery sessions (Known in our programs as a de-load),
- A day where you can just stretch, foam roll or cycle after a heavy day of training.
- Training frequency can have a massive influence, if you train 2-3 times a week and you change this structure you may increase the chances of DOMS, same with new exercises.
- Can also be known as recovery weeks, reduce the volume/intensity of training to aid recovery.
7 Get some sleep
- Make sure you get enough sleep for
Full recovery (Recommended 7-9 hours for adults).
- Napping, Short naps of 20-30 minutes is healthy and can aid recovery.
9 Supplementing with Branch Chain Amino Acids (BCAAs)
- The BCAAs leucine, isoleucine and valine are the three essential amino acids that play an important role as the building blocks of protein.
- ‘Leucine’ has the capacity to stimulate muscle protein synthesis, and it has also been suggested to slow muscle damage after intense training by increasing the synthesis of muscle proteins.
- ‘Isoleucine’ is a glycogenic amino acid that creates the glucose your body burns for energy.
- ‘Valine’ encourages protein synthesis and muscle tissue growth while providing energy from glucose creation.
- BCAAs aid in helping reduce muscle breakdown, fuel muscle development and increase lean body mass.
10 Compression tights
- It has been suggested that compressions garments can be used as an effective recovery strategy.
- They have been suggested to reduce perceptions of soreness following damaging exercise.