Optimal At-Home Recovery Methods:
The majority of my athletes train either 3 or 4 times per week. When we train, we train hard and with intent.
In many cases, my athletes only have 24-48 hours between training sessions. This can be a problem. Fatigue and training readiness are serious considerations that must be taken into account when designing any training protocol.
What is absolutely critical is that athletes are recovering between workouts. Their ability to enter the gym fresh and ready to train is a major key that will set them up for a productive training session.
As you read this, I want you to think about the stereotyped term “overtraining” and I would have you consider this…
With that in mind, I am going to cover my top recovery methods. Included in each one will be target areas and tips for optimal implementation. Each of these can be done at home and with limited equipment.
Note: the key to each of these modalities is proper implementation so please feel free to reach out if I can expand on any of them.
1: Contrast Therapy.
- Target Areas: This method of recovery is ideal for full body or specifically targeted areas (elbows, knees, etc.).
- Method: For the full body, you will want to alternate between a cold tub and a hot tub or shower. If you are targeting specific areas, an ice pack and a heating pad will do the trick. For both of these methods, you will want to spend 2-3 minutes with the cold and 2-3 with the hot. Repeat that 2-4 times. I recommend finishing in the hot. CLICK HERE FOR MORE INFO
- Time Needed: 20-25 minutes
2: Wall Stretch Series.
- Target Areas: Hamstrings, Hips (Glutes, Adductors), Low Back, Nervous System Reset
- Method: Lay on your back with your hips close to the wall. Be in a position where you can keep your knees fully extended and toes flexed back. As you’re doing this you will want to focus on taking deep breaths where you inhale through the nose and exhale through the mouth – more on this in another article. Spend 45-60 seconds in each position. Positions include both legs extended, figure 4, groin, and bent knee.
- Time Needed: 10-15 minutes
3: Three Way Band Stretch and Foam Roll
- Target Areas: The band stretch focuses on the hamstrings, glutes, and adductors while the foam roll is a total body.
- Method: For the band stretch, wrap a stretch band around the ball of your foot (this puts the foot in a dorsiflexed position). Perform 10 raises straight up, 10 raises to the outside of the body, and 10 reps across the body. When doing this, make sure to raise the leg up using primarily your quads. Only at the top of the movement should the band be the prime limb mover. For the foam roller, cover all the major muscle groups in the body – calves, hamstrings, IT band, quads, hip flexors, glutes, low back, and lats. Spend 30-40 seconds in each area.
- Time Needed: 15-20 minutes
4: Joe DeFranco’s Limber 11
- Target Areas: This series of 11 movements targets the hips, low back, hip flexors, and hamstrings.
- Method: This method, which was developed by Joe DeFranco, is my go-to series for most of my athletes. It can be used as a warm-up or recovery workout. Watch the video. Joe does a killer job of explaining each movement and the ‘why’ behind them. CLICK HERE TO WATCH THE VIDEO
- Time Needed: 20-25 minutes
5: Epsom Salt Bath
- Target Areas: Total body.
- Method: Easiest of all the modalities. Put Epsom salt in a bathtub. Fill the tub with hot water. Enjoy. CLICK HERE FOR MORE INFO
- Time Needed: 15-30 minutes
- Target Areas: Total body depending on the daily program, however, you can also choose targeted areas.
- Method: Go to RomWod.com. Sign up. Do 3-4 times per week. RomWod focuses on guided breathing as well which I feel has amazing benefits. This is a game changer for me. They also offer a long and a short workout each day which is amazing if you are short on time. CLICK HERE FOR MORE INFO
- Time Needed: 12-40minutes
To put it simply, if you train hard then you need to recover just as hard. You have to make this a habit if you want to limit your potential for a fatigue-induced lackluster training session.
As I mentioned earlier, please feel free to reach out if you have any questions about any of these modalities.
I am happy to assist in any way possible.