What Active Recovery is and Why You Should be Doing it
Whether your training preference is sculpting classes or powerlifting, all styles of training share something in common: the need for active recovery. If you’re not prioritizing active recovery, those intense days may have been for nothing.
You did an intense workout two days ago, and you’re on the couch with muscle soreness, aches, and pains. The natural response is to begin your Netflix binge…but what you should really be doing is active recovery.
Active recovery has proven to help repair the small tears that occur when exercising; in other words, it will not only aid in abating soreness and achiness, but it will also enhance your performance, yielding better overall results.
Think of active recovery as any low-impact activity that slightly elevates your heart rate and gets your blood flowing to sore muscles, flooding them with key nutrients and clearing out metabolic waste. For example: say you had a really intense leg day yesterday. Today, run through some of the same movements you did yesterday, such as a body weight squat or 25% of the weight you previously did. This alone has shown to greatly reduce the delayed onset muscle soreness you’ve experienced as a result of training hard. In addition, sprinkle on some foam rolling, stretching and passive recovery techniques such as massage, and you’re going to make yourself feel better in addition to maximizing the payoff of your earlier workout.