More often than not active people, amateur athletes, and even professional athletes forget that recovering from a workout or hard training block is just as important as the training itself. During your recovery is when your gains are made, so if you skimp on recovery you won't fully realize the gains from all your hard work.
Below are a few ideas and methods you can use to enhance recovery. You likely can't use them all every week, but I suggest trying a number of them and seeing what works for you. Bottom line is if you are training hard you should be using at least 2 of these methods regularly.
- hot/cold submersion
- start hot and finish cold (unless you are going to bed after, finish hot)
- 1-5 minutes for each for 3-4 sets, but it's better to vary the time so the body doesn't have time to adapt
- hot up to 110 F and cold below 60 F (it's the level of difference that matters)
- take a day where the focus is entirely on stretching. I prefer longer yoga style poses with some banded mobility exercises mixed in.
- at least a 30 minutes session
3. Soft Tissue work
- Chiropractor or ART - there are many modalities
- 1-2 times per month
4. Salt Bath
- 1 x per week
- 20-30 minutes
- Epsom Salts
5. EMS - Electronic Muscle Stimulation - see video above
- I really like this method
- I've used it with some great results, especially during week long biking stage races
- for serious athletes and people using their body a lot physically I would suggest seeing your RMT 1 x per week.
7. aerobic recovery workout
- this is a super easy session
- keep the HR low, the idea is to enhance the removal of waste products by increasing blood supply to the tired muscles, but to not make more by going too hard
- Proper nutrition is the corner stone of recovery and performance optimization
- I highly recommend seeing a nutritionist if you are serious about your training
- there might not be anything more important than adequate quality sleep
- this is where your hormonal system among many other things gets back on track.
- there really is no substitute for good sleep