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How to Improve Your Recovery

An important part of any form of intense exercise is to make sure that the muscles are properly prepared for what they are going to endure. Warming up is essential if you’re about to train any muscle group and cooling down is just as important if you want to relieve the painful symptoms of DOMS (delayed onset muscle soreness). There are different ways you can look at it and a certain order you should follow.

 

 

1. If you’re training big muscle groups like legs, it’s always best to warm up correctly using a mixture of dynamic full body movements. This will help to prepare your muscles before adding extra load! Make sure you keep it relevant to your work out. If you are doing a leg session, doing some lunges, Spiderman walks or bodyweight squats beforehand will prepare your legs for what’s about to come!

 

2. When you’ve finished your workout, you should apply static stretching as part of your cooling down routine which will increase the blood flow to the muscles. It will also help to improve your flexibility and stop you from seizing up.

 

3. The best way to recover after a heavy training session is to ensure that you are fueling your body correctly with good nutrition. Getting a substantial amount of protein in after a workout is required for muscle growth and repair.

 

4. Research has shown that drinking cherry juice can speed up the recovery period. Tart cherries in particular contain antioxidants and anti-inflammatory agents. Drinking a 250ml glass within half an hour after exercise can really help with recovery time and reduce pain in the muscles.    

 

5. Wearing compression tights for bed will help to increase blood flow whilst you’re asleep and will help to get rid of excess lactate and oxygen debt. The tightness will dissipate waste from the ankle upwards.

 

6. Ice baths are another technique to aid recovery after exercise. Whilst they’re not the most appealing they tend to be more effective than sleeping in or wearing compression gear. Making the fascia tight around the muscle, it improves blood flow to the affected area. You’ll only have to do this for seven minutes though!

 

7. Supplements can be helpful but shouldn’t be used to replace meals. For example, if you are not getting enough protein then heading straight for the supplements will not be effective. They will only be beneficial if you add them in as part of a balanced diet!

 

 

A combination of all these tips will help your muscles recover, it’s pointless if you’re going to do just one. Choose a few of these techniques which will suit your plan and you will soon reap the rewards. Remember to keep your end goal in mind, keep it simple and fuel your body correctly to maximize recovery.

 

All the best,

Sam  

 

Sam Yassin

With a degree in Sport and Exercise Science and coming from the country’s most elite sporting town, Loughborough, Sam Yassin is an experienced strength and conditioning coach. He is a member of the UKSCA and is currently working towards his full accreditation. Having passed his examination and LTAD (Long-term Athletic Development) case study, he is well on his way to becoming a gold standard S&C coach. Sam has long been involved in the sporting world, having competed in a wide range of sports from a young age, despite being born with bilateral talipes and having had more than 5 lower body surgeries. In his final year of university, he gained valuable insight into what it takes to be part of a professional team as he interned at Leeds United Football Club as a strength and conditioning coach.

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