Exercise is an integral aspect of any healthy lifestyle. Perhaps more important than the workout itself is how to effectively help your body recover. While post-workout nutrition and sleep are fundamental building blocks for a proper exercise regimen, stretching and mobility routines help sustain performance and reduce opportunities for injury and keep the body moving well. Here are some guidelines from Hyperice for a post-workout routine and tips to help keep you moving injury-free:
High intensity exercise produces lactic acid in the muscles, which eventually becomes lactate. Our bodies can process this metabolic waste naturally over 24-48 hours, but we can expedite this process by simply moving post-workout. This “cool down” could be a 5-minute bike/row/run at a very casual pace, or even a brisk walk – something to keep the muscles pumping to help clear the metabolic waste.
Stretching / Mobility Exercises:
Try some of the stretches below to help you recover after a workout. Make sure to consult with your physician
before undertaking any exercise regimen.
• Start by kneeling in front of either a wall or preferably a couch.
• Place your left shin behind you along either the wall or couch with your toes pointed upwards.
• Keep your left thigh in line with your torso.
• Place your right foot out in front and keep aligned with your right knee.
• Use your left glute to push your hips out and away from the wall.
• Hold for 30 seconds, then switch sides and repeat 3 times each side.
• Begin by placing both hands down on an elevated surface (desk/table/bed).
• Walk your feet backwards and hinge forward at your hips until your back is flat.
• Let your chest sink towards the floor and hold for 30 seconds.
• Rest 30 seconds and repeat 3 times.
• Get on all fours and shift your left leg backwards so it’s fully extended on the ground.
• Bring your right knee forward and place it behind your wrist, with your right ankle just in front of your left hip on the ground.
• Gently lower yourself until you feel the stretch in your glute.
• Hold for 30 seconds, then switch sides and repeat twice.
Soft tissue mobilization:
Dedicating 10-12 minutes of soft tissue work daily will not only enhance mobility, but can also promote a deeper, more restful sleep cycle to help your body recover. Target the muscles used during your workout, or work on the large muscle groups (quads, hip, low back, hamstrings, etc.) for total body work on days off. Using tools such as a foam roller or lacrosse ball are great for providing targeted myofascial release to the muscles. This helps alleviate tightness, maintain muscle length, and ultimately reduces inflammation that naturally occurs during a workout.
Try implementing these tips into your post-workout routine to get the most out of each workout and be ready to hit the next one.