Recovery Strategies to get you back up and firing

The last couple of weeks we have spoken about different training methods for cardiovascular and resistance training. Now it’s time to discuss some recovery strategies to revive that sore body!

Recovery techniques have become increasingly popular over the years. The AIS spent millions of dollars on their recovery centre which opened in 2005. The centre contains plunge pools, hot spas, showers, whirl pools and the list goes on. So what things can you do without having access to these world class facilities? Here are some strategies you can do at home:

1. Compression Garments

used during training, competition and injury.

The benefits include:

  • Decrease muscle soreness
  • Reduce swelling
  • Promote recovery of force
  • Increase blood flow
  • Decrease blood lactate levels
  • Increase venous return

2. Stretching

used post exercise.

The benefits include:

  • For recovery the primary purpose is to relax the muscle
  • May increase range of motion
  • May decrease risk of injury

3. Active Recovery

light exercise i.e. light jogging or cycling following competition.

The benefits include:

  • Increased blood flow = removal muscle byproducts (lactic acid)*

*More effective at lowering blood lactate than massage

  • Reduces muscle soreness/stiffness

4. Remedial Massage

used post exercise

  • Increased blood flow = removal muscle byproducts (lactic acid)*
  • *More effective at lowering blood lactate than passive rest
  • Reduces muscle soreness/stiffness
  • Psychological benefits

5. Contrast Therapy

going from cold (1 min) to hot (30 sec) and repeating this cycle 3 -4 times post exercise.

  • Increased blood flow and removal of byproducts
  • Stimulates CNS (Neural System)
  • Decreases swelling
  • Reduces muscle soreness/stiffness
  • Increases range of motion

These are the main recovery techniques used in elite sport and can be used by anyone who has had a hard training session. You can use a combination of these techniques but the best way to determine which one works for you is to experiment!

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