Who doesn’t want more progress in less time?! After all, everyone on this fitness journey is chasing a stronger, bigger, faster, leaner, more powerful, healthier body. Whatever your focus, PROGRESS is the name of the game. And nothing keeps progress progressing – or halts it in tracks – like recovery.
Coach Tyler Perdue is here today to talk about RECOVERY – THE MOST overlooked aspects of the fitness world.
All of us are in this for longevity, a marathon and not a sprint right? Well a MAJOR part of being able to do something we enjoy so much, is HOW to recover. It’s a very simple equation; the better – OR more efficiently – we recover, the healthier we will stay, which results in us being able to do this MUCH LONGER.
There are actually PLENTY of methods that will help your body recover! The best part is you can use ANY and ALL of them. Some of these methods are very quick and can be done often, some last a little longer (but still very worth it) and don’t need to be done quite as often. Here are 8 things you can do today to make more progress in less time!
- S.M.R.: (Self Myofascial Release) This is something I HIGHLY recommend before AND After a workout and also on ‘off’ das as well. (10 minutes) You can do this with a foam roller, lacrosse ball, medicine ball and several other pieces of equipment as well. The main purpose of this is to improve the quality of your body’s fascia which actually sits on top of the muscle. Doing this before a workout will help ‘loosen’ and break up knots in the fascia and even the muscle below it as well. Use any implication or piece of equipment, it is best to find the areas it hurts the most (this can be used to pinpoint where you need it the most) and focusing on that area and making sure you FEEL A CHANGE before moving on to the next area. It is important to breathe and relax during this as much as possible. Some common areas to include during this would be your quads, hamstrings, glutes, thoracic spine, traps, and anterior delts.
- Hydration: Our muscles (and everything else) are made up mostly of water. This is an ALL THE TIME thing. The more hydrated you are, the less likely an injury is to happen. Your best performances comes when you are completely hydrated as well. A good starting point for hydration is 1 ounce of water per pound of bodyweight.
- Nutrition: This is another ALL THE TIME thing. The better fuel you give your body, the better it will run. If you feed your body processed foods and junk, that’s how it will run. If you feed it the highest quality meat and vegettables in conjunction with the RIGHT cards (think sweet potatoes) then it has MUCH BETTER sources to aid in recovery for your muscles. You are what you eat.
- Breathing Exercises: Proper breathing goes a long way in helping several things, including posture. This can be as simple as taking 10 deep breaths (correctly!) after a workout is over to help jumpstart your recovery process. The easiest breathing exercise to perform is to lie flat on your back, with your heels flat on the ground, as close to your butt as possible and take deep breaths, making sure to breathe through your belly first.
- Epsom Salt Bath: This can AND should be done 1-2x a week. This will take about 20 minutes and will help aches, pains, soreness, and stiffness. I use the local supermarket brand of epsom salt found in the same section as icy hot, band aids, and other recovery/maintenance products. 1 bag typically will get me through 3 baths following the directions on the back of the bag.
- Mobility: Any type movement, stretching, or activation that puts you through and entire range of motion for any length of time will help you. You DO NOT want your body getting tight and stiff. Keeping your body from getting tight and stiff will also help with injury prevention in the gym and in day to day life. The easiest thing to do for mobility and recovery would be to WALK 5- 10 minutes at a time every 2 hours of the day, ESPECIALLY if you aren’t very active during the day whether it be at a desk job or driving around all day. Your body was not meant to be forced to stay in a position that has a negative impact on it for long periods of time.
- Massage: Massage, Chiropractic Adjustments or any other sort of body work is a MUST for longevity and should be done ATLEAST once per month. It would be best to have this done POST workout and also for optimal results you want to try to get something done once every two weeks. A good combination would be a chiropractic adjustment and also a massage, both once a month and spread evenly apart. This will also help you be AWARE of what is going on with your body, whereas if this werent being done it may be harder to know.
- Sleep: NOTHING CAN REPLACE SLEEP. Its that simple, your body will recover the most while you are sleeping. Get enough sleep, period. The best way to insure you get enough sleep, is pick a time to go to bed that will give you enough sleep based on your schedule and STICK TO IT. Getting enough sleep on a nightly basis will not only provide you with better performances in the gym and help prevent injury, it will also allow you to have more energy throughout the day in your day-to-day activities as well. Check out this video form our friend Tom Langton at GFP on hacking your sleep:
There you have it, 8 ways to help you kick ass for the long run! Start adding this stuff into your daily, weekly, and monthly routines and you will notice a difference quickly!