Recovery is an important aspect of achieving improved performance but that should not stop you from training the next day after an intense workout.
If you just finished a triathlon then you truly deserve the rest of multiple days but you are not entitled to celebrate a rest day after every good chest or leg workout.
Taking complete rest day after every other intense training session will sabotage your progress.
What’s the best way to recover then?
Active recovery is a way to accelerate the recovery process without losing your gains, ahead, we are going to talk about the different active recovery workout routines that will help in accelerating the post-workout recovery and also keeps you up to your goal.
What is active recovery?
Going hard on each day of the training session can lead to muscle overuse and drain your body’s overall energy and performance.
Active recovery is an engagement with the low-intensity workout pattern day after an intense training session. In other words, it’s a great way to provide your body a much-required rest without breaking into a sedentary lifestyle.
Active recovery sessions can be of different forms, it can be brisk walking, yoga, pilate or a swimming session.
The motive of the active recovery is to burn down some daily calories without putting excess pressure on the muscle and connective tissues.
Active Recovery Workout Benefits
Active recovery is not just allowing your body some time to recover from the trauma of hard workout, it also helps in accelerating the recovery process. Let’s have a look at the benefits of an active recovery routine.
1# Relieves symptoms of DOMS
A good recovery workout not only helps in escaping from a sedentary lifestyle but also relieves the symptoms of DOMS (delayed-onset muscle soreness).
Heavy workout leads to micro-tears in muscle tissue and lactic buildup, which leads to soreness and stiffness. This soreness can be felt for 72 hours post-workout.
A good active recovery workout can help in relieving the symptoms of DOMS through improved blood flow, removal of lactic buildup and stretching fascia.
2# Improves form
Workout on recovery days not only helps in burning additional calories, but it also helps in improving exercise form.
Intense training requires us to push the body to its limits which also leads to inferior form and techniques.
Can you deadlift at your maximum weight with perfect form? Most of us cant. Low-intensity active training can be focused on improved techniques. Active recovery light weighted workout also delivers great muscle pumps without breaking them down.
3# Maintains strength
We train to develop superior strength and performance; total rest may act as a backdrop to achieve better performance.
Engaging in the low-intensity exercises on the recovery days can minimize muscle soreness while still maintaining strength gains.
Low-intensity active recovery period also keeps the muscle active while packing better strength gains.
4# Myofascial release
Intense workout leads to MPS (myofascial pain syndrome). It is a condition referred to as stiffness in the fascia that leads to pain and inflammation in the body’s soft tissues.
Relieving pain and stiffness in the fascia can be achieved through the active workout (swimming, jogging, skipping) or sports therapies (cupping, massage, foam rolling, electrical muscle stimulator).
5# Improves flexibility
Post-workout soreness and stiffness feel really bad.
Rightly organized active recovery routines can help you reduce stiffness and improves flexibility.
An hour of yoga or swimming is enough to reduce muscle stiffness.
6# Burns calories
People with weight loss goals are usually worried about the loss of progress.
Active recovery is a great way to burn a substantial amount of calories without putting tremendous stress on the body.
You can easily burn an additional 500-calories with the active recovery routine. A 130-pound person swimming freestyle for one hour will burn 590 calories swimming, and an hour of brisk walking can help you burn 450 calories.
7# Keeps you motivated
Many people tend to lose fitness motivation on the rest days, does this happens to you as well?
We understand, some need a regular workout to remind themselves about the fitness goal and to stay motivated. An active muscle restoration routine is a great way to stay focused on weight goals.
Workout on recovery days
Different training styles might require different recovery routines on the recovery days. A recovery from resistance training can be quite different from the restoration of endurance training. Let’s have a look at the best workout on recovery days.
Recovery workout after leg day
Legs days have always been nightmarish for many people, most of the people are just afraid of the next 24-72 hours of struggle after a good leg workout.
But some active workout routines can help in relieving the pain to a greater degree. Tips to recovery workout after leg days:
- Don’t let your body rest at the place because of sore legs, try to keep moving.
- Post-workout foam rolling plays a very crucial role in relieving stiffness.
- Opt for yoga, swimming or brisk walking for the next day of a legs workout.
- Legs contain the body’s biggest muscle group and it has higher nutritional requirements as well. Feed your body good high protein and high carbs diet for speedy improvement.
Recovery workout after a long run
Long runs are exhausting and improper recovery routine can lead to a drop in performance and strength. Recovery from the long run in not the same as recovery routine from strength training, they require different tactics. Let’s have a look
- Your joints are in pain after a long run, attempting non-weight bearing activity such as cycling or swimming can be more beneficial.
- A cold bath can help in relieving inflammation after a long run.
- Stretching and massage therapies can work incredibly well in improving blood flow and reducing lactic buildup.
- Feed your body with a 3:1 ration of carbohydrates and protein. This will help in replenishing the glycogen reserves while repairing the exhausted muscle.
Active recovery workout at home
Recovery routine doesn’t always require you to step out of home, 15-minutes of Mobility and Flexibility Workout can help you relieve stiffness and DOMS symptoms. Check out the video below:
Recovery workout after being sick
Firstly, it’s not recommended to workout with fever, it will elevate your sickness and may worsen the condition.
If you have recovered from the sickness and looking to get into a fitness routine again, follow these tips.
- Start with a walk and light bodyweight workouts, your muscles are not in a position to withstand strenuous exercise.
- Some yoga or animal flow workout can help in regaining flexibility and strength.
- Feed your body with food right in protein and carbs to helps in maintain its energy levels.
- Pay more emphasis on the post-workout resting, your body needs more time to recover after a fiver.
Pro muscle recovery tips after intense workout:
You don’t really need to wait for muscle to get sore and stiff, you know that you just completed an intense workout circuit and body will be sore the next day.
Let’s have a look at some top-notch healing tips that will relax your muscles and make them recover faster.
Massage guns are a bit different from conventional massagers, these guns are specifically built for the athletes to accelerate the recovery process. These massage guns use percussive treatment to pulse targeted pressure into your muscles at speed. Here are some of the benefits of massage guns:
- They increase the blood and lymphatic flow which helps in supplying better nutrition towards the targeted area.
- Continuous pulse targeted pressure helps in reducing stiffness and muscle spasm.
- Reduces lactic buildup that eventually promotes faster recovery
- Reduces scar tissues
- Helpful in warming up muscle prior to workout which results in reduced chances of injury.
Frankly speaking, a massage gun is my personal favorite go-to response to muscle soreness.
TENS and EMS units
TENS and EMS have been used by physiotherapists for decades and now they available in much portable form.
Whether you have a muscle injury or DOMS, these units are a great way to relieve pain and accelerate recovery.
Check out: Article on the Benefits of TENS and EMS units.
Foam rolling is a self-myofascial release (SMR) technique which helps in relieving muscle soreness after a workout. Foam rolling has been one of the most common post-workout stretching routine world-class athletes have been following for decades. here is how it helps in accelerating recovery.
- A study published in the Journal of Athletic Training has proven foam rolling to reduce DOMS and improve muscle performance.
- Post-workout stiffness is one of the most annoying things happens after a good workout. Foam rolling helps in restoring the range of motion.
- Improves blood flow and loosen muscle fibers to reduce stress.
Thanks for reading. Questions are welcomed in the comments as always. This site contains affiliate links as well as general health and fitness information. Please read my Medical Disclaimer and Writing Disclaimer for more information.