Recovery Tools for Training (feat. Coach Matt Starks)
November 28, 2017
Recovery is key for anyone doing any style of training from Crossfit to Sports Training. Active Recovery helps to loosen up, or release, stiff, short, or adhered muscle groups. It reduces scar tissue and adhesions which improves mobility/range of motion and quality of movements. There are many methods of active recovery that are easy to do yourself, that can be accomplished at the gym or even at home. Below you will find 3 of the easiest methods for active recovery and the tools needed complete them.
Think of this as a cheap massage that you can do yourself. Self-myofascial release is what helps release, stiff, short, or adhered muscle groups.
Tools: Foam rollers, PVC pipes, Lacrosse balls, Softball/baseballs, Tennis balls, Fascia Blaster, Massage sticks
Points of focus: Feet, Calves, Hamstrings, Glutes, IT bands, Quads, Adductors, Lats, Upper back, Lower back, Pecs, Anterior shoulder, & Posterior shoulder
How To Do It: 3-5 body parts/segments, 15-30 seconds each, really focus on problem areas.
Example: Foam rolling your quad, you would want to try to focus on one leg at a time and make sure the you roll the full length of the muscle from the
top of the knee to the hip flexor.
Stretching is very beneficial but is often neglected. Stretching is the main way to improve mobility/range of motion which will improve quality of movements. Static stretches are usually best suited post workout, however, can be beneficial to be added to a Dynamic Warm which is usually done pre-workout.
Tools: Bands, Stretch Straps, Partner Stretches
Points of Focus: Calves, Hamstrings, Glutes, Quads, Adductors,
Lats, Upper back, Lower back, Pecs, Anterior shoulder, & Posterior shoulder
How To Do It: Stretches should be held to a slight pull on the muscle but not to the point of pain. Each stretch should be held for 15-30 seconds and each should be repeated 2-3 times on each muscle group. Breathing while stretching is also a huge component.
Examples: Pigeon Stretch, Seated Groin, Split Variations, 1/2 Kneeling Adductor, 1/2 Deep Squat Lat Stretch, Wall Pec Stretch, & Brettzel Stretch
Controlled Deep Belly (Diaphragmatic) Breathing can be a crucial tool when it comes to recovery. Breathing causes a shift in the CNS from Sympathetic (Fight or Flight) to Parasympathetic (Rest & Digest). It allows us to properly use our diaphragm while training and in everyday life.
How To Do It: Inhale through the nose, exhale through the mouth and hold breath after exhale for 3-5 seconds (exhale is twice as long as inhale). When you inhale through the nose- diaphragm and pelvic floor descend- compresses internal organs and when you exhale- diaphragm and pelvic floor ascend. This all equals an improvement in core stability.
Examples: Crocodile Breathing, Deep Belly Breathing https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AeqR_Dne9w0
We all come to the gym to better ourselves and lead a healthier lifestyle. So we have to make sure we continue these habits outside of the gym so that we are able not only able to perform better in the gym but be able to move better and feel better in our daily lives. All of these techniques will aid in injury prevention during training. No one is getting any younger so make sure you do want you can spend time to improve your quality of life!