I extend another challenge to you this week, and I bet it’s not one you expect! However you would be surprised to know how many of my clients struggle with this portion of their JG Fit Online Training Programs.
The Challenge: Self Care
Help Your Body Recover From Intense Training
That’s right, no sweaty workouts, no restrictions to your diet! What I want you to do this week is pick your poison from the three options below and do something to help your body recover from the intense training you’ve been putting it through. Rest days and recovery treatments are as important as the workouts, take it from me! When I prepare for World-level professional competitions, I stretch daily, book a deep tissue massage at least a few times during my final weeks and indulge in a hot bath to ease sore muscles nearly every night.
Don’t neglect yourself or your health will suffer. Being proactive with recovery methods will greatly reduce your risk of injury. Remember, you aren’t going to be making gains if you’re nursing a torn muscle and you can’t train as often if you are constantly sore. Your body will heal faster if you add in these tricks to help it.
Be sure to return to this post and comment below! I love to hear from you!
Here are 3 Way To Ease Muscle Soreness and encourage full recovery.
Self Care Method #1: Foam Rolling
Foam rolling is a form of self-myofascial release, or self-massage, that gets rid of adhesions in your muscles and connective tissue. Having adhesions creates weak points that can lead to injury. Chronic pain can also be a result if a muscle isn’t contracting uniformly.
Rest your body on the foam roller and roll back and forth slowly enough to allow your brain time to tell your muscle to relax. Though you do want to foam roll a knot, don’t spend too much time in one place. During your form rolling, please be aware of your posture. Slouching or awkward positions can lead to further muscle strain. Avoid using foam roller below your rib cage on your lower back, instead use child’s pose or other stretches to ease your back pain. Foam roll the origin of your pain if you can. An example: tight hamstrings can often be a source of lower back pain.
There are a few options to consider when choosing when to do your foam rolling. I recommend you do your foam rolling prior to a workout to help decrease muscle density and promote a better warmup. That said, rolling out a muscle group immediately after a workout helps muscles recover from strenuous exercise. If you are especially sore, use the foam roller after a bath or workout when muscles are warm.
Focus on the muscle groups you just trained, the ones that are tender from your workout or any areas in particular that are tight or cause an issue for you repeatedly. You can foam roller for 2 to 10 minutes per muscle.
Foam rolling feels great, increases blood flow to your muscles and creates better mobility! All together this helps with recovery and improves muscle performance, so it’s worth the time and effort.
Self Care Method 2: Hot Bath Followed By Stretching
I really can’t emphasize enough how important I think stretching is as part of a healthy fitness program. Both men and women can benefit greatly from incorporating agility training into their routine.
The best time to stretch is post-workout or after a hot bath when your muscles are relaxed and you have completed any challenging strength-training exercises. However, light bending during your warm-up is fine and some athletes even like to ease muscle tightness between heavy lifts by lengthening muscle fibres during rest periods. I recommend my clients dedicate a minimum of ten minutes a day to improving flexibility. This time can be throughout their workout or as part of the cool-down.
Read more and watch my video on stretching techniques on my blog on Stretching.
Self Care Method 3: Deep Tissue Massage
Ahh, it’s been a minute since I’ve endured a deep tissue massage! I looooove them – the pain is so worth it. Now, first I want to stress that you should communicate with your massage therapist during your treatment if the pressure is too much or too little. You don’t want to be crying in there and tensing up, however a relaxing experience is not going to be as beneficial to you, either.
Deep tissue massage is a type of massage therapy that focuses on realigning deeper layers of muscles and connective tissue. It is particularly helpful for chronic injuries such as a stiff neck and upper back, low back pain, lower body tightness, and sore shoulders. Massage can also help you unwind.
To find a massage therapist in your area, ask your doctor for a referral or ask friends for a recommendation. Be sure to discuss price, qualifications and ensure their area of focus is deep tissue massage.
It’s not unusual to be sore after your massage. You can treat this with heated pad or cold towel. You will also need to rehydrate and may feel somewhat woozy, so be cautious driving home from your treatment. Do not exercise after a deep tissue massage, wait until the following day to resume your fitness regime.