When we workout, we get sore. Why do we get sore? Because you are ripping your muscle fibers apart, and just as important as it is to work hard day in and day out, recovery and the time you are not in the gym or on the field is even more important!
The premise is simple – the more frequency and volume you have in your workouts, the more you have to compensate with food and rest. You can’t go to your limits everyday and expect to sustain that kind of intensity without proper recovery and relaxation. It’s not rocket science…
We came across an interesting article from ResoluteStrength.com titled 6 Easy Tricks To Improve Athletic Recovery. The article is basic yet genius in its entirety. It simply and easily lists some good ass tips for improving your muscle recovery so you can keep making those gains, instead of wasting your valuable gym time by not recovering properly.
Everyone wants to be fresh and ready to go when they walk into the gym or onto the field. Well, this is a good thing, but it’s not always the case, as some athletes do not take care of their muscles properly post-workout, and that produces diminishing returns when we are working out. Below there are 6 awesome tips and tricks to optimize your muscle recovery and be as fresh and as strong as you can!
1. Self Myofascial Release (Foam Rolling)
Foam rolling is a great way to relieve soreness and regain mobility. The goal of SMFR or “Foam Rolling” is to first inhibit localized tender regions in soft tissue by applying deep yet tolerable prolonged pressure. You will want to spend 60-90 seconds on each body part, or until tenderness has lessened or subsided. You can measure your progress by levels of decreased tenderness, increased range of motion, and better posture.
Foam rolling, or stick rolling, or whatever kind of rolling you wanna do, is great for muscular relief. It loosens up the muscles and substantially decreases soreness. Foam rolling is not something you see normally at commercial gyms, which is a shame! Rolling the affected areas is great for aiding in mobility and keeping those muscles loose and warm.
2. Hot / Cold Contrast Showers
This is a good one, and one that is often not taken into practice. No one likes cold fuckin’ showers! The thought of it gives us pure disdain. Gotta tough it out, though! Hot / cold contrast showers are awesome for relieving muscular stress and aiding in recovery.
Professional athletes have the luxury of ice baths, and whirlpools. Most of us don’t.
”Cold therapy” uses the natural anti-inflammatory effect on the body, “vasoconstriction”. The great benefit of doing this in the shower is the quickness and hassle-free way to change temperature, creating a flushing effect in the body. This is also a great way to naturally boost energy levels, trust me it’ll wake you up and keep you energized longer that a big cup of coffee! It’s quite simple, 30 sec cold/45-60sec hot.
Cold is cold, people! When you are on the cold part, the water needs to be AS COLD AS POSSIBLE!! Have fun…
3. Epsom Salt Soaks
Epsom salt, or magnesium sulfate, is located at basically all pharmacies. It’s a cool little supplement to have. Epsom salt increases blood magnesium levels, and this is a great thing for recovery of sore muscles.
A study was done on the effects of Epsom Salts showing that Epsom baths can significantly increase blood magnesium levels(the average improvement consisting of attaining 140,98 ppm/ml from an initial value of 104.68ppm/ml in a seven days period) . Magnesium is something that A LOT of people are deficient in and lends a very important hand in training recovery.
Magnesium has also been known to help the muscles to relax after a strenuous workout, not to mention boosting natural Testosterone levels within the body.
Enjoying yourselves thus far?? Good stuff! Move on to the next section and see the remaining 3 tips to keep you in tip top form…