Active Recovery Examples – So Many Workout Benefits!
In this article I am going to be going through active recovery examples that you can use in your own training to speed up recovery between workouts and reduce muscle soreness. Recovery is one of the most important aspects of training. When you are working out you are breaking down muscle and the recovery phase is where the muscle recovers and grows stronger. Muscles can’t grow bigger and stronger with insufficient recovery and a chronic lack of recovery can lead to overtraining. Active recovery is one of your best tools in the recovery process, this article will delve deep into this tool.
What Is Active Recovery?
Active recovery are low intensity exercises that you do on rest days from higher intensity workouts to improve recovery between workouts and also reduce muscle soreness. They shouldn’t be taxing on the body and should be short in duration, up to a maximum of 45 minutes.
By doing shorter active recovery workouts you are improving blood flow to the muscles and this helps nutrients and oxygen get to the muscles. Adaptations can happen a bit faster than they would without any active recovery workouts and just complete rest.
There are various benefits of active recovery from mental health aspects to improving mobility. You can also get other people involved in these low intensity workouts which can be positive for bonding with others and socialising.
Low Intensity Cardio
Doing low intensity cardio that isn’t taxing like walking or cycling for shorter duration sessions is a great way to get blood flowing to all the muscles in the body and improve your recovery between workouts.
Click here to see how you can alternate lifting weights with cardio.
Swimming is also an example of low intensity cardio if you don’t over-extend yourself and go for too long. If you swim at a low to medium intensity it is a good way of improving recovery between intense weight training sessions. You can also improve your work capacity in the process which will aid in your training in the gym.
Low intensity cardio workouts are more fun when you bring others along and you can socialise at the same time. As humans are social animals this is a great way to build bonds with others and also improve your mental health.
I have talked about resistance bands in many of my posts but there is just no getting around how great they are as a tool to improve your training.
I would recommend using lighter resistance bands for active recovery workouts as the idea is to get lots of blood flowing without taxing the body with a heavier resistance. There are many exercises that you can do in your active recovery band workouts.
In my case, I like to use the bands in these recovery sessions to do band pull aparts, pec flyes, tricep pushdowns, hammer curls and reverse curls. I also use them to do neck training on rest days. There are many benefits from improving recovery to injury prevention and rehab.
In the case of tricep pushdowns, high reps with a fast tempo help to strengthen the connective tissue around the elbow and reduce the risk of getting elbow tendonitis. They can also act as a rehab exercise if you already have elbow pain. Pec flyes with bands help to strengthen pec tendons and the rear delt work is always important to balance out shoulder development and keep your shoulders healthy.
==>To See Which Bands I Use Click Here!<==
Yoga And Mobility Work
It is also a good idea to have one active recovery session a week dedicated to mobility work. Mobility work is a very overlooked aspect of training but one that pays dividends when treated with a diligent and consistent approach.
Many people for instance have tight hips from sitting a lot all day. Therefore it is very beneficial to open up the hips with mobility exercises like the couch stretch. You also need to do mobility work on the hamstrings as tight hamstrings can lead to lower back pain amongst other issues.
Yoga is a great way of improving overall mobility and it isn’t taxing on the body. You only need 20 to 30 minutes to go through a good yoga workout and you can do so by yourself by following instructional videos.
By improving your mobility your technique on many compound movements will also improve. You will be able to execute exercises in a safer manner and you will get better results on the whole. Therefore it really is a good investment to spend at least 30 minutes a week doing mobility exercises.
You only have one body so you have to look after it and ensure you are in top physical shape. We all have limitations but that doesn’t mean we can’t get better and do what we can in our control to better ourselves.
To conclude, in this article I have given active recovery examples to improve your recovery between gym workouts as well as accomplish a whole lot more and improve your life in many ways.
It is a shame that many people are not performing active recovery workouts regularly as they are missing out on so many amazing benefits. From injury prevention, better performances in the gym, improved work capacity, improved mental health, better mobility and reduced muscle soreness.
I would recommend doing an active recovery workout of some description on every rest day from your gym workouts. At least one mobility workout a week, low intensity cardio and a band workout. If you do this regularly in your training routine you will reap all the benefits of active recovery and improve your progress in the gym.
If you have any questions about anything I have written in this article please leave me a comment below. Let me know what you do for active recovery. Are you currently doing any mobility work consistently and if you are, which exercises?
I love to read your comments and interact with you further, this is a way that we can engage in meaningful discussions and get to know each other better!
As always, stay safe and enjoy your training!