Building recovery time into any fitness routine is difficult, but SO essential! I have been training hard for years and when I don’t put in the proper effort to make sure my body is resting and recovering, I feel it! I don’t perform as well, I am cranky, tired and overall achy. So to prevent that, here are the top 5 ways I recoup and recover from my 2 times a day training schedule 5x a week (including answering your most asked questions about my hot/cold therapy)!
1) Epsom salt & Magnesium Soaks
Magnesium is known for reducing stress which helps you calm down naturally, and combined with epsom salts power of releasing muscle tension and soreness this is a great (and inexpensive) way to recover. Using these in a bath or as a body scrub are the two best ways to incorporate this into your routine. Add in a little CBD bath bomb for additional relief during your bath (you know I’m a huge CBD fan!)
2) Foam Roller/ Lacrosse Ball
One of the best and easiest ways to target specific muscles for relief is a good foam roller or lacrosse ball! I recommend this foam roller off of Rogue. If you wake up sore in a specific muscle group, or wanting a quick way to warm up your muscles before a workout, rolling them out is quick and effective. Having the ability to trigger how much pressure I’m applying to a particular muscle, where exactly I’m rolling it out and how deep a roll out I get is beneficial for me to make sure my muscles stay loose and relaxed.
3) Hot & Cold Therapy
I get SO MANY QUESTIONS about this one as i show it the most in my Instagram Stories! Ras and I love our Hot/Cold therapy that we are fortunate enough to have access to at my parents house. Heat therapy, which we get from this sauna, allows our muscles to relax and increase flexibility. It encourages blood flow, allowing oxygen and nutrients to move through your blood allowing for essential tissue regrowth of damaged or worn out muscles.
We then jump right into our ice bath! Cold therapies such as ice baths or cryotherapy have incredible benefits as well. It may look painful but it is one of my favorite ways to recover. We have a freezer, filling it with enough water to be able to cover our chests and immerse ourselves. My dad made it so the freeze never freezes the water to be frozen, but to be cold enough where we can sit in it around 50 to 60 degrees. This helps to reduce inflammation and improves recovery by changing the way your blood flows. When you sit in cold water, your blood vessels constrict; when you get out, they dilate (or open back up) This process helps flush away metabolic waste post-workout, says Clayton. That’s especially true with lymph, a clear fluid made up of white blood cells and fluid from your intestines, he explains.
Through this process, my ice bath helps me increase blood flow and flood my body with oxygen and nutrients it needs! It is a great and quick way to speed up recovery!
4) Acupuncture, ART, Massage Therapy
Acupuncture is something I STRONGLY recommend and love. I try to get bodywork 2-4x a month. Leading into a competition, it is definitely part of my weekly routine and you will find me on Thursdays adding this in. My best advice when finding someone specifically for muscle recovery is to look for a therapist who specializes in sports medicine or muscle recovery. This is KEY! They are trained to target specific areas of difficulties and can speak to you and tailor your treatment to your specific needs. I am lucky to have two people I see in San Diego on the regular. Heidi focuses more on acupuncture, cupping and massage while Jonathan focuses more on corrective exercise and ART which is also known as Active Release Technique. I always come out of mine feeling refreshed, recovered and ready for the next hard days of training.
5) Mobility & Stretching
This is one of the easiest ways to maximize your recovery at home and doesn’t require anything but yourself to get this done. Finding a stretching and mobility routine is so essential to recovery and improving performance. I like to include some type of mobility/stretching before or after every session I have.
These 5 are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to recovery. There are many different ways that you can help your muscles recover, but the most important thing is to actually make the TIME to recover. It will not only help you physically, but mentally, more than you know. How do you recover from your workouts? Comment below, I’d love to hear them and see if I’ve tried it!