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How to manage muscle soreness and recovery

I believe for most people, that training is an opportunity to release and bring themselves to a happy place, rather than a chore that leaves them too sore to enjoy life.

And with work-life balance, social commitments and a desire to get outside and have fun, I thought I could share some simple ‘common-knowledge’ tips to help you manage soreness in your workouts, to get the most out of life.

 

1. How you warm up matters!

Doing 3 mins on the rowing machine often isn’t going to cut it on it’s own. Start with that and move into some dynamic mobility exercises.

Now we can begin the movements we are planning to work on for the day. Complete a few smaller, lighter sets before loading the weight you plan to do. (doing warm up sets for your cardio helps too).

2. Cool downs are… cool.

We finish most of our classes with a 200m walk followed by some gentle movement to help flush the system. Static stretching after this point can also help the muscles to relax and prevent them from staying tight after the sesison.

3. Your nutrition plays a vital role!

Diets high in sugar, alcohol, processed foods and trans fats will cause your body to have a higher chance of muscle soreness due to more inflammation happening in the body. Remove these items or decrease them and you will find you suffer less during training and after!

4. Active recovery.

Again, simple. But try not to just sit down all day. Take regular breaks between work to keep your blood flow. Recovery swim. I take my dogs out for a walk and make sure I find 2 hills to go up. It will help you flush the system.

5. Massage/therapy.

My favourite kind of recovery therapy still has to be massage. But there are multiple ways to get the benefits of toxin release and muscular relation. Some other options include: Float tanks, Infrared saunas and cold tanks popping up around town everywhere!

6. Hot/Cold therapy.

This one is an old tactic but still works to help refresh your muscles. Jump in the shower and spend 30 secs under warm water then 30 seconds under cold. Spend up to 10 minutes working on this and reap the benefits. *The key to this is managing your breathing and not letting the temperature change stress your body.

7. Ice Baths.

This tried and tested method is still a staple for professional sports teams around the world. The cold helps to reduce inflammation allowing your body to spend more of it’s energy on recovery than repair.

8. Static Stretching.

You can’t go past some good old fashioned stretching. But I don’t mean pulling your foot up to your backside and holding for 30 seconds. Choose 3-4 muscle groups that might be sore and spend 2-3 mins holding each stretch, each side if that’s the case.

Put some Netflix and and make a show of it. You’ll thank me later.

 

I hope this helps you become the best version of yourself!

Coach

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