You may already know how to promote optimal recovery from a nutritional standpoint, but did you know there are even more ways for you can recover faster from tough workouts? Of course, a good night’s sleep is essential for allowing your body to repair itself, but here are some lesser-known techniques that can help you to feel better faster:
1. Strike a Pose
After a hard workout, you deserve to put your feet up. Literally. Get your butt up as close to the wall as possible and then raise your legs so that they are resting on the wall. Extend your legs straight. Reach your arms out to the sides to form a “T” position. According to Brandon Marcello, sport performance expert, this is a great post-exercise pose because it facilitates the expulsion of metabolites from the lower body and promotes blood flow back to the heart. I usually hold recovery pose for about five minutes after cooling down and stretching. Some athletes may want to hold the pose for less time, while others will feel better if they hold it for a little longer.
2. Have a Soak
A little valuable time in the tub can help with soreness. Epsom salts contain magnesium, which is a powerful tool for getting your muscles to relax and stop aching. Currently there are even “floatation centers” that allow clients to float in a room where there is essentially a pool filled with Epsom salts. These centers boast that floatation practice is good for everything from muscle recovery to reducing stress hormones and aiding the immune system. This is because magnesium sulfate is absorbed through the skin while you are soaking in the bath.
3. Learn to Appreciate ART
ART is actually short for Active Release Technique. This is a great resource if you are suffering from a soft tissue injury or constant tightness. A certified practitioner will administer ART by evaluating where you are having discomfort and taking your body through very specific movements while applying pressure to the area that is aggravated. ART helps to break up the scar tissue caused by soft tissue damage and helps increase blood flow and range of motion in an injured area. I will warn you that it is NOT a comfortable process, but it is highly useful. You can go to their website at ActiveRelease.com to find a provider near you.
4. Wrap It Up
For those of you who have seen professional and/or Olympic athletes sporting some colored lines all over their skin, know that this is not a new fashion trend. This is special tape designed to help performance and recovery. KT tape and/or Kinesio tape are just two brands of this tape, although there are many others. The major difference between the two is that Kinesio tape is generally applied by certified healthcare providers, while KT tape can be bought at a sporting goods store and applied according to directions on their website: kttape.com.
These tapes work by promoting circulation to the area, supporting the joints, and generally promoting the body’s natural healing processes. Please make sure that the tape is applied correctly in order to achieve the full range of benefits. Many healthcare providers are now educated about how to apply these tapes. Therefore, if you are unsure of how to apply the tape yourself, find someone qualified in your area.
5. Hypnosis and Havening
As a certified hypnotist and a Havening practitioner, I am partial to the effects of these great tools. I cannot believe how many clients I have who come into the office stressed and experiencing all different kinds of pain. After addressing different stressors or things that might be affecting them negatively, the pain and tension mysteriously vanish. Ta da!! Why is this? According to Dr. John Kappas1, it is because only about 25% of any one pain is the actual physical response of the body to trauma. The other 75% an individual’s total pain experience is the emotional component. This can include the person’s fear or expectation of pain, memories of earlier pains, fear, rage, and other factors. When we address the mental tension, the physical tension dissolves as well.
How do you recover after a hard workout?
1. Kappas, John G. (2009). Professional Hypnotism Manual. Panorama Publishing Company. 5th Edition.
Julianne Soviero is a sports performance consultant, speaker, and certified hypnotist and Havening practitioner who has produced countless award-winning athletes. She was part of the coaching staff that took LIU Post to the College World Series in 2011 and has worked with the Saronno professional league. She is the author of Unleash Your True Athletic Potential. Hundreds of athletes have benefited by applying the principles of Julianne’s unique True Athletic Potential (TAP) Program. TAP is based on strategies used by the world’s top coaches, athletes, trainers, therapists, nutritionists, and social workers.