Just because it doesn’t get the glory, doesn’t mean it won’t win the war.
Post workout movement is the often forgotten stepchild on the road to recovery. After a muscle shattering workout most people tend to think about nutrition or relaxation. But to really take advantage of that post workout window, you need to implement strategies that will put you in a position to train heavier, more often, and with greater intensity for your next session. These 3 workouts will fire up your parasympathetic nervous system response with specific strategies designed to lead to a speedy recovery.
- Cool Down
Don’t make a beeline to the showers after your last set. Cooling down exercises can prevent blood from pooling in the veins.
You want to do a cool down exercise specific to the type of workout you’ve been doing. Compound movements? Try a couple of minutes on the rowing machine. Leg day? Try a light run on the treadmill or take a brisk walk outside. Cooling down for 5 minutes after heavy lifting can flush out any anabolic waste products.
2. Soft Tissue Workout
While self directed soft tissue workout such as foam rolling does little for the body PRE-workout, POST-workout is a whole different story. From aiding in lymphatic drainage to limiting delayed onset muscle soreness.
Common sense works best with this movement. If you’ve been doing exercises that focus on your quads, spend a significant amount of time rolling out that area. If your workout was more back focused, spend time rolling out your back.
Another key is to thoroughly work the large muscles. Going back to the quadricep example, you want to roll the entire section of the quad from origin to insertion. After you have rolled the large superficial muscles then you can focus on the smaller acute muscles.
3. Stretching and breathing
According to Nick Clayton (MS, MBA, CSCS), The Personal Program Manager for The National Strength and Conditioning Association, a post stretch workout is especially important for those who train for mass as they tend to lose flexibility and range of motion.
“I don’t recommend stretching to people that are already flexible, but that’s typically not the case with heavy strength training,” he says. “Done properly, stretching can help the nervous system relax and recover along with benefiting the muscles. ”
Clayton also says it’s good to find a balance between discomfort and pain. You want to push yourself beyond where you feel comfortable but not to the point where you pull a muscle. Couple this with a full diaphram breathing session during your stretch and your own your way to a holistic transformation.
Try these movements after your next balls to the wall workout and watch your gainz as well as your recovery skyrocket. Become healthier, bigger, stronger, and more flexible in just a few extra minutes, what’s not to love?