According to Elite Daily, Olympic athletes use recovery times to maximize their athletic abilities.
If the best athletes in the world are doing something, you know that you should be, too, right!
Check out these muscle recovery techniques and take your athletic skills to the next level!
The Importance of Recovery
Does recovery even matter that much? Some people think that the important thing is your workout, and fine-tuning your recovery program can only make a small difference.
It’s important to remember that your muscles and cardiovascular system don’t build themselves better and stronger during your workout. Your workout is when you place stress on those systems and push them to the limits of their performance. In fact, it is during the recovery after your workouts that your muscles are busy building themselves up.
For that reason and others, taking your recovery habits to the next level can help you gain muscle and performance. It’s just as big a part of athletic growth as the workout itself!
Along with improving your athletic progress, recovery time and quality are essential for avoiding the dreaded overtraining symptoms. Overtraining symptoms include feeling stale and unmotivated, almost like depression. Not only do your workouts suffer, but your chance of injuring yourself goes up.
For both your physical and mental health, proper CrossFit muscle recovery is vital!
Muscle Recovery Techniques
Each of these techniques alone can help your body recover after an intense workout. Combined, they can leave your body in top condition, ready to push itself to new limits!
Rest and Relaxation
We all know that getting enough sleep is important, but for those who want to get the highest level performance possible out of their bodies, getting plenty of sleep after working out is especially important.
Your body builds muscle during recovery time, and that goes double for sleep time. If your body doesn’t get plenty of sleep, it won’t have the time it needs to grow your muscles.
Stress can also impede your physical growth, so during waking hours, keep yourself cool and relaxed. Meditation and chilling can both help your stress down and your gains up!
Eat and Drink Right
As athletes, we all know we need to feed our bodies right to stay in shape. But eating right for recovery is a little different from eating right in general.
Remember, your muscles build themselves up during recovery, so this is the most important time to get some protein into your body. Protein is essential for building muscle.
Carbohydrates are also important for refueling after a workout. Along with protein, make sure to get some carbs after your workout and the next day.
if your goal is to increase your body’s total muscle mass, there’s a good chance you’ll need to be eating at a caloric surplus. Your body needs a certain number of calories to keep its mass the same. Eating just that number of calories is called eating at caloric maintenance, and it will keep your body at the same weight.
Eating at a caloric surplus means eating your caloric maintenance and then eating some extra calories on top of that. A recovery day is a great time to be eating at a caloric surplus, giving your muscles the extra energy they need to grow into bigger muscles.
Usually, just a few hundred calories is enough to give your muscles everything they need to grow after a single workout. Try a 100-300 caloric surplus at first and adjust from there as necessary.
Drinking plenty of water or other drinks is important to make sure you stay hydrated while your body is building itself stronger. You use up a lot of fluids while you exercise, so you might be a little low.
All of the body’s processes require water, so if you want your musclebuilding and cardiovascular development in tip-top shape, make sure you’re well-hydrated after your workouts.
Massages and Foam Rolling
Your body performs important chemical processes to relieve your CrossFit muscle soreness after a workout. Massages and foam rolls are both ways to do some of that work for your body.
Massages can help your muscles ache less and avoid becoming tight and inflexible. Power is just one part of athletic performance; flexibility is key as well. To perform at your best, nothing beats staying limber with a massage or foam roller.
Use the Powers of Heat and Cold
Applying a cold pack to sore muscles can help lower inflammation. Using a heat compress can help increase circulation to your muscles, clearing out lactic acid.
Together, heat and cold can help your muscles perform their natural recovery processes faster and more easily.
Stretching can help you reduce muscle ache, helping your muscles become more capable. They can also help you avoid cramps. A cramp can interfere with your next workout, so if you want to keep your growth steady, stretches are an important option to keep in your toolbox.
Other Benefits of Stretching
Along with helping with recovery and performance, stretching is an effective way to increase your flexibility. Check out these 5 stretches to help with your flexibility.
Stretching can also help to relieve pain in the back and other parts of the body. According to the American Psychiatric Association, “Experts estimate that up to 80% of the population will experience back pain at some time in their lives…Low-back pain costs Americans at least $50 billion in health care costs each year—add in lost wages and decreased productivity and that figure easily rises to more than $100 billion.”
With facts like those, it’s clear that not only is back pain hard on your back, it’s also hard on your wallet! On top of that, back pain is so common that almost all of us should expect to have it at some point.
For that reason, everyone should learn back stretches that focus on the lower back. You can use these back stretches to relieve pain.
Keeping Yourself Ready to Perform
To learn more about the benefits of stretching, check out our other articles! Or, schedule a stretch therapy session with our team today.