To be able to recover properly from a day of being at work/school (college, university etc), or from sports/exercise, is important for our general sense of well-being.
A few benefits from using self recovery are things such as:
- reducing pain,
- increasing range of motion,
- improve mental well-being and
- the ability to perform better whilst doing physical jobs (work, sports, exercise etc.).
To achieve these benefits, it’s required to set aside some time to work on stretching and mobility on a consistent basis, otherwise old habits will kick in and aches and pains can come back. For people who train in the gym, do sports, or even after a day of work, stretching and mobility will help a lot with recovering from that activity. Most people tend to skip the self help recovery methods and only focus on the main training session, but this will only continue to highlight any niggles and pains that you have, if these are ignored. Even if you may not be experiencing any specific pains, keeping on top of stretching or foam rolling will still be very beneficial, by allowing you to move easier and reduce the amount of muscle soreness experienced the next day after a training session or long day at work.
Some things to remember when doing a self recovery routine are:
- Making sure you are holding a stretch long enough (at least 1 min, repeated 3 times, each time getting a little further with the stretch). Foam roll for 30 secs to 1 min on an area, as a minimum, spend longer on an tighter muscle group if need be.
- Applying a gentle pressure when foam rolling and gradually increasing at a minor rate. (Using too much pressure can cause further pain and damage to the soft tissue).
- Find the tension and discomfort and slowly work to increase the range of movement in a stretch or add slightly more pressure when foam rolling. Taking your time with this is important, as you will be less likely to injure yourself further.
- Relax as much as you can when stretching or foam rolling, and make sure you’re body positioning is optimal.
- Slow dynamic movements after using these two recovery methods will help to get blood moving around the body again, and will help to get the joints moving as well.
Why only stretching and foam rolling?
The reason why these two methods are the best post training session, is because these are the less risk and safer self treatment types to use, when done in a controlled manner. You’re less likely to injure yourself whilst stretching then you are using a theragun for instance. As people tend to think applying a lot of pressure is better for them, when this can be causing further damage to the soft tissue/muscles.
Read more on our Foam Rolling & Stretching Resources