In order to maximise our training efforts, we must ensure a strong recovery. Here’s a summary of the evidence around what works so you know where to spend your precious time.
- Warming up – a Norwegian study in 2012 found a 20 minute warm up was more effective than a cool down for reducing delayed onset muscle soreness.
- Compression – there is evidence to suggest compression does reduce next day soreness and speed up style recovery. My tip – keep compression garments on for 1-2 hours post exercise if possible.
- Massage – massage has been shown to reduce inflammatory markers in the muscle. The mechanism unknown, but there certainly is a place for massage as a training aid.
- Dry needling – Needling post exercising may assist recovery as it works to deactivate trigger points and relaxes muscle. A spasm muscle is reputed to have reduced blood flow, which results in less oxygen and nutrients.
- Ice baths – the research is still not out as every few months, an article claims they are effective, followed by one claiming they don’t work. Ice bath if it makes you feel better. Either that or a dip in the ocean.
9 tips for Recovery
- Indulge – sleep in, don’t set an alarm to allow the body a rest.
- Variety – swim, bike, yoga or foam rolling should complement your training.
- Have a training program – this will help you to know when to add recovery days, heavy load sessions and de-load sessions.
- Monitor your resting heart rate – high resting heart rate may indicate you need rest.
- Listen to your body, it might be suggesting you need a rest or recovery day.
- Sleep – aim for 8 hours per night.
- Nutrition – see a dietitian.
- How are you feeling – instability and fluctuating moods could suggest you need a break.
Andrew Ilieff has experience across cardio respiratory, rehabilitation, sports physiotherapy and aged care – spending an extensive period of time in private practice. For credible information on training and injury prevention check out Andrew’s Instagram page here and website and services here.