The top questions athletes ask when wanting to upgrade their recovery strategies are, “What more can I do? What exercises should I be doing? What supplements should I be taking?”
Surely there must be some secret formula for how athletes recover so quickly, right? You can start recovering in this very moment.
Follow these instructions.
- After reading these instructions, put down your phone. Stop moving and find a place to sit. Take a deep inhale and on a long exhale, drop your shoulders away from your ears. Repeat a few more times. THIS is the first step for recovery. The pros won’t skip this. Instead, they will prioritize this daily. Here’s why:
Our bodies are put under stress during resistance training. Resistance training causes micro-tears in the muscles. It is during the recovery process that muscles can repair and adapt to training stimulus. Training above our current tolerance IN ADDITION to adequate recovery is the secret formula to maintaining and building muscle mass and training adaptations.
Physical adaptation needs to happen in the proper recovery conditions. A busy schedule with sufficient caffeine consumption, constant meetings, training sessions, hefty workloads, and failing to balance personal life and professional sports is an environment for constant stress to thrive. This needs to be adjusted for the recovery process.
Your body experiences two types of fatigue – Peripheral neuromuscular fatigue and central fatigue. Peripheral fatigue is physical stress such as muscle breakdown. Central fatigue is the one we often ignore. Your nervous system perceives stress in two ways through either the sympathetic nervous system (SNS) or the parasympathetic nervous system (PNS). SNS controls our stress response (fight or flight) and your PNS is all about rest, recovery, and digestion). The breathing activity allows our body to tap into PNS, creating a safe environment for the heart rate, respiratory levels, and blood pressure to decrease. The more you can break the fight or flight state throughout the day, the more your body will thank you by getting better, faster, and stronger.
Here are three more techniques to recover like a pro:
Research suggests 8-10 hours of quality sleep is necessary for adequate physical and mental recovery. Essential biological processes happen during sleep such as cell repair, nerve cell communication to support brain function, and the release of hormones and proteins.
Athletes need to fuel in order to perform their best. Nutrition is a core pillar to recovery to replenish the muscles and reduce injury. For personalized nutrition coaching, book a consultation with us at activ8athlete.com/consult.
Active recovery can represent a range of light activities to limit muscle soreness, limit strength losses, and help relax the muscles. Foam rolling is a widely used tool to help the muscles relax from rolling the body onto the length of a muscle. To learn how to foam roll, watch the videos below:
Another proven tool to aid in reduction of muscle soreness is Hyperice.
Utilize professional recovery tools. Check out Activ8’s Performance Recovery page to learn more about how these modalities help with muscle recovery by limiting muscle soreness and reducing injuries. During these therapies is also a perfect time to incorporate calm, intentional breathing to relax the nervous system to speed up the recovery process. To have access to one of the most effective electrical stimulators for muscle recovery we use in-house, use Marc pro coupon code Activ8 for 10% off of your purchase.
Activ8 members who train at our in-person athletic training center get exclusive membership pricing to Breathe Degrees, a wellness experience that utilizes breathwork and hot and cold therapies that aid in recovery and athletic performance.
To learn more about our athletic recovery services, book a consultation with us at activ8athlete.com/consult.
Carroll TJ, Taylor JL, Gandevia SC. Recovery of central and peripheral neuromuscular fatigue after exercise. J Appl Physiol (1985). 2017 May 1;122(5):1068-1076. doi: 10.1152/japplphysiol.00775.2016. Epub 2016 Dec 8. PMID: 27932676.
Yang DF, Shen YL, Wu C, Huang YS, Lee PY, Er NX, Huang WC, Tung YT. Sleep deprivation reduces the recovery of muscle injury induced by high-intensity exercise in a mouse model. Life Sci. 2019 Oct 15;235:116835. doi: 10.1016/j.lfs.2019.116835. Epub 2019 Sep 4. PMID: 31493480.