Most athletes are over trained and under recovered. If you are aiming for an 100+ day season, you’ve got to add some recovery techniques to your daily routine. My favorite is apres ski yoga aka restore yoga! I love teaching and taking these classes. They do wonders for your body and mind. Connect with your breath, relax, stretch, and release any tension or tightness in your body.
Pay attention to your body as you move. If a pose feels too intense for any part of your body, ease off. The purpose of a restorative session is to take things super easy. Think of relaxing and moving as effortlessly as you can. Here is a sequence you can do every day to help you recover faster from your daily shred!
Hold each pose for three deep long breaths. Do three rounds, right side and left side, for poses like the side neck bend, runner’s lunge, and hamstring stretch.
Foam rollers are an excellent way to give yourself a massage aka self-myofascial release (SMR), the technical term. Therapists use myofascial release by applying their hands to the muscle and slowing dragging along the length of the muscle until tightness or knots are released. Benefits include increased blood flow throughout the body, increased range of motion, reduced risk or injury, and faster recovery time. Focus on rolling out your calves, hamstrings, back, and quads. When you find knots, take your time and give yourself extra TLC in those spots.
Baths and Hot Tubs
Another great way to speed recovery is soaking in a comfortably hot bath or hot tub for 20-30 minutes (longer if you have more time). This increases circulation in your muscles, help your mind and muscles relax, and speeds recovery. Add Epsom salts, unless you have high blood pressure or a heart or kidney condition. Epsom salts relax the muscles, decrease inflammation, and draw out toxins from the body.
Compression clothing helps you maintain and/or improve performance by increasing blood flow, improving muscle oxygenation, reducing swelling, inflammation, soreness, and fatigue. Some researchers have also found decreased blood lactic acid concentrations in athletes who wore compression tights after exercise (Berry and McMurray, 1987. There is no recent research on blood lactate and compression clothing). Use of compression clothing is an easy and convenient way to speed recovery. Get pants for your legs and a long sleeved shirt for the upper body.
My after shred routine is to drink a bottle of water and eat a bar, come home, eat a snack, shower, put on compression tights, foam roll, stretch, and then take a nap 🙂