The more intensely you work out, the more attention you must pay to your recovery.

Our bodies can get run down by daily life especially when we are working out hard on top of everything else. If we don’t take care of our bodies, then we won’t reap the rewards of all of our workout, and even dieting, efforts!

But recovery doesn’t simply mean taking time off and laying on the couch doing nothing.

Recovery can be active and includes more than just sleep and relaxing. Recovery means stretching and SMR. Recovery means eating correctly and staying hydrated. It can mean contrast showers and icing or applying heat.

It means taking care of any places that need extra TLC.

And it doesn’t mean five seconds of stretching or rolling out. If you actually have areas that feel worn out from the week or bug you from time to time, you have to take care of them.

Ice, stretch, roll out. Do all three and not just every once in a while. Do them every day, numerous times a day to help the problem correct itself more quickly.

More isn’t always better but not enough won’t get you anywhere. If you are a tight person, or have imbalances, rolling out the few times a week you go to the gym (for like a minute before you workout), isn’t going to be enough.

You need to spend time correcting the imbalances. You need to create a program and probably spend time every day for at least a few weeks to help correct the problem.

That can mean activation exercises for the muscles that are underactive. It can mean stretching tight muscles and rolling out knots. It can mean icing muscles that are particularly worn out or areas that get inflamed from lots of use.

One of my favorite recovery moves....child's pose with attention on the lat stretch!

One of my favorite recovery moves….child’s pose with attention on the lat stretch!

It doesn’t mean ignoring the issue or just dealing with the pain. It also doesn’t mean not going to the doctor if your pain is severe or chronic.

BUT it does mean taking care of yourself so that some pain doesn’t become an injury – so that a little tightness or soreness doesn’t turn into an overuse injury or strain.

Even injuries you supposedly “rehabbed” can have long-term consequences if you don’t take care and make sure they are truly recovered. An ankle injury years ago could be the reason why you are now having knee pain, especially if you don’t take care to make sure everything has been rehabbed.

The best recovery program is the one that does something BEFORE you actually have issues!

The better your recovery program, the quicker you will heal from any injuries (or even prevent them from happening in the first place) and the more ready your body will be each week to handle the challenges you throw at it.

So what areas are tight on you? Where do you get knots and soreness? How is your posture? And remember, just because you have low back pain doesn’t mean your low back is tight…it could be a trigger point somewhere else around the area causing the pain!

Posted on March 18, 2013, in Recovery and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 3 Comments.

  1. Oh yes. I’m realising this right now in particular, recovering from an injury (disc bulge). Looks like there was an underlying weakness in my left hamstring, which may have contributed to the problem. Certainly it’s as weak as dishwater now, and needs a lot of extra TLC to even things up for me to get back on track.

    Lots of single leg work to come for a while yet. Odd how we can have weaknesses we never knew we had!

    I think I’ll be finding a yoga class…and yes, the child’s pose is great.

    • It’s really funny that you mention single leg work as that is the topic of my post tomorrow!

      Single limb movements are super important to help correct imbalances!!!

  2. Yeah, I’m pretty lucky – I have an excellent trainer who really knows what he’s doing, and my physio has been awesome too. Between the two of them, I should make a good recovery, and hopefully won’t have any more problems – touch wood!

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