Top 10 Best Muscle Recovery Tips That Actually Work
As you’re probably already aware, gains aren’t made in the gym. They’re made as your body heals whatever stress you placed on it that past hour…or more. Giving your body the right amount of time and tools to heal is imperative. But, muscle recovery doesn’t just mean lounging around all day on “rest day,” it means taking the right steps to heal your body properly.
To help you dominate your goals, we’ve rounded up the ten most noteworthy muscle recovery tips to keep your body primed up and ready to go tomorrow.
Prioritize Muscle Recovery, Your Body Will Thank You
Time to heal your body after a sweat session has always been essential. But, with the amount of stress that today’s modern lifestyle adds to the equation, the need to form a recovery routine amplifies.
Whether you’re a weekend warrior, a pro athlete or anywhere in between, muscle recovery is important. And thankfully your body is are good about dropping clues that you could be in need of some healing time. Most commonly, those clues show up as general fatigue and a lack of motivation. Next, you might experience a decline in performance or body composition as a response to stress. Finally, without the right recovery strategies in place, your body will start to break down resulting in built-up tension, pain and injuries.
Does the sound of all that add even more stress?
Don’t worry. Recovering from a workout doesn’t have to be difficult and it’s not a one-size-fits-all process. Check out our top ten tips and pick the ones that work best for your body.
10 Ways to Recover Your Muscles After a Brutal Workout
When we sleep, our bodies produce the complex protein, somatotropin. Also known as human growth hormone (HGH), somatotropin boosts protein production, enhances physical performance and promotes the utilization of fat. Made by the pituitary gland and secreted into the bloodstream during sleep, the production of HGH is controlled by a complex set of hormones produced in the hypothalamus following exercise. In fact, experts estimate that as much as 75 percent of HGH is released during sleep.
While this banned substance is illegal to supplement in every sport, we’re lucky that our bodies actually produce it naturally. You just have to prioritize high-quality sleep (experts recommend 7-9 hours a night) to take advantage of the benefits.
2. Move Your Body
A rest day doesn’t necessarily mean being completely sedentary. It’s good to move your body with light exercise. Do something different than your normal routine, preferably out of the gym. For example, on your recovery day, you might take a walk, go paddle boarding or hit the trails for a hike.
The point is to not push your muscles hard on rest days, otherwise it may end up disrupting your body’s vital recovery process.
3. Body Work
Relieve the pain in your muscles, improve circulation and decrease inflammation with body work. Whether you get a professional massage, use a muscle recovery massager gun or spend twenty minutes working it out on the foam roller, bodywork can help you to break up scar tissue, enhance mobility and improve central nervous system (CNS) fatigue. Cupping, acupuncture and NormaTec are also good options.
Doing these things after a workout is where the recovery benefits come into play. Improve circulation, decrease inflammation,
Ice for recovery has been a topic of debate lately. Like many muscle recovery strategies, it’s normal to question whether it actually works. Many athletes take the post-workout plunge in an ice cold bath to recover faster and reduce muscle soreness after intense workouts. The theory is that ice baths help to construct blood vessels and flush out waste products, like lactic acid.
Cryotherapy, which is a technique that uses blasts of subzero temperature air to fight inflammation, is popular in top-level sports. It’s also great for amateurs who want to stay at the top of their game! The technique involves spending a few minutes in a chamber filled with air that has been chilled to as low as -160C (-256F). Some say cryospas help to reduce blood flow to the extremities, reduces inflammation and can speed recovery from soft-tissue injuries.
Some studies suggest that cold-water immersion can reduce delayed onset muscle soreness when compared to complete rest.
But, the jury is still out…
One part of the recovery process that is often ignored is taking downtime. From relaxing with a book and taking a bath to yoga and meditation, mental recovery is a vital part of the whole process. Getting in a state of mental blissfulness can help to lower the level of the stress hormone cortisol in your body and enhance physical relaxation (therefore: accelerated recovery).
In fact, you’ll find star athletes and corporate leaders practicing meditation to regain focus and reach their full potential. So, remember to set time aside for a mental break, too. Check out free apps, like Headspace, to guide your meditation daily.
6. Epsom Salt
Taking an epsom salt bath at home can help to relieve tension, soothe sore muscles and encourage healing after a tough workout. How? Epsom salt contains magnesium, which is a key player to help regulate over 300 enzymes in the body and support many bodily functions. These vital functions include muscle control, energy production, electrical impulses and elimination of harmful toxins.
Plus, the hot bath helps to promote relaxation- both very important for muscle recovery.
You could also take it up a notch with float therapy. Floatation tanks magnify the benefits of epsom salt baths and relaxation alike. Some locations boast upwards of 1000 pounds of salt in their tanks. The high salt concentration allows the body to float effortlessly.
With these therapies, you’re not only healing the muscles but also experiencing detoxification. Plus, it’s also nice to hit the pause button on life to take some time for yourself (see #5).
Stretching may have gotten a bad rap over the years as some studies find that it may be ineffective to do static stretching before a workout. Researchers have found convincing evidence that dynamic stretching is far better for the warm up.
But, don’t leave static stretching in the dust just yet. Benefits of stretching include improving range-of-motion, blood flow and helping with connective tissue strengthening, all beneficial for recovery.
8. Electronic Muscle Stimulation
Aid your muscles in recovering faster than ever with electronic muscle stimulation. Whether you use a generic Tens unit or a pricy Marc Pro Plus, these devices take active recovery to the next level, reducing pain and helping athletes feel brand new again for their next training session.
What you eat (and drink) plays an extremely powerful role in how you recover from a workout. Eating a clean, nutrient-dense diet (read: not donuts every day) is one of the most important factors to help reduce inflammation, replace lost glycogen and ensure your whole body is functioning optimally.
Often, when athletes stall in their training it is because they’re not refueling their muscles properly. If you want to get stronger, you must eat enough of the right stuff. Period.
10. Get YOLKED®
Throwing back a protein shake with YOLKED after your workout ensures your body has enough of the right fuel to rebuild and recover. Taking YOLKED with Fortetropin® daily, along with resistance training, has been clinically shown to increase muscle size and help to improve recovery. That’s right! It’s scientifically proven to speed up muscle recovery.
Don’t leave gains on the table, enhance your post-workout muscle recovery efforts instantly. It’s time to get YOLKED!
Take Muscle Recovery as Seriously As Your Training to See Real Results
The bottom line? Recovery and performance are directly connected. It’s time to take them both seriously.
Are you leaving gains on the table by missing out on a solid workout recovery strategy?
Take the time to listen to your body and give it the love it needs to perform its best. As a good rule of thumb, aim to spend about 25 percent of the amount of time that you spend training…on recovery. That means, if you have a 2 hour training session, you should be doing 30 minutes of proactive recovery.
Since you?re all set now with the most helpful workout recovery tips to get your muscles back on track, it’s time to amp up your workouts and get shredded! Check out our top three tips on how to get a shredded six pack!