Having been an elite athlete previously for 10 years before becoming a personal trainer, I would like to think I know a thing or two about recovery.
In today’s blog I am going to tell you about some of the recovery techniques I have come across and have used in the past and some I still used to this day.
1 . Hot and cold techniques
There are many hot and cold techniques (shower; hot to cold and vice versa, hot shower/ice bath, etc…) – In Finland, they use the technique of a sauna and the river in Helsinki which I saw in the BBC show Travel Man:
48hrs in… which ever city the episode is focusing on. I personally have used the shower technique, going from hot to cold and vice versa (30 secs of each), it isn’t the brightest thing to do with a disability especially when standing in the shower, I think the get the picture of what could possibly go wrong. Others techniques are: one is jacuzzi and swimming pool, an ice pack or ice cubes in a sealed bag and a hot water bottle.
All of these techniques are great for recovery after training, games etc.. If you have problems with tight or stiff muscles, the hot water bottle and ice works a treat, you know it’s working when you start get muscles spasms, don’t worry it just is better blood flow returning to the muscle.
2. Myofascial release techniques
Myofascial release is just the scientific or a fancy way of saying muscles release techniques. There are a number ways you can go about using this technique; the first one doing it yourself with either a foam roller, tennis ball or dependant on how tight the muscles is or how high your pain tolerance level is you could use a lacrosse ball.
The second way about using the technique, would be to go see either a chartered physiotherapist or a sports masseuse to get treatment for any muscle problems you might have.
This is problem is the easiest one to implement for anyone, however if people are honest it is probably the most forgotten thing in a workout when people are in the gym for example. It’s the easiest way to avoid any unnecessary injuries.
Furthermore, when we say stretching there are actually 2 types. Dynamic and static, in the past we were always told not to use the dynamic form stretching and to only use static stretching for before and after a workout. However, in recent years it has been shown that using dynamic stretching is better to use during a warmup, because we are trying to get the blood moving throughout the body and furthermore getting the body prepped for exercise.
But, when it comes to using static stretching, we are looking to hold the stretches longer (about 15-30secs for each exercise) as oppose to only 15 secs with a dynamic stretch. You want to do this, because you are wanting to stretch the muscle back to it’s original length that it was before your workout.
4. Espom salt
What is espom salt ?
Epsom salt, named for a bitter saline spring at Epsom in Surrey, England, is not actually salt but a naturally occurring pure mineral compound of magnesium and sulfate. Long known as a natural remedy for a number of ailments, Epsom salt has numerous health benefits.
Studies have shown that magnesium and sulfate are both readily absorbed through the skin, making Epsom salt baths an easy and ideal way to enjoy the associated health benefits (1). Magnesium plays a number of roles in the body including regulating the activity of over 325 enzymes, reducing inflammation, helping muscle and nerve function, and helping to prevent artery hardening. Sulfates help improve the absorption of nutrients, flush toxins, and help ease migraine headaches.
What are the health benefits of using Epsom salt ?
The wonders of Epsom salt have been well known for hundreds of years and, unlike other salts, has beneficial properties that can soothe the body, mind, and soul. Some of the countless health benefits include relaxing the nervous system, curing skin problems, soothing back pain and aching limbs, easing muscle strain, healing cuts, treating colds and congestion, and drawing toxins from the body. One of the simplest ways to ease stress and stress-related problems is to soak in a tub full of hot water with a few cups of Epsom salt. Some of the notable benefits of Epsom salt include:
Eases stress and relaxes the body:
Stress drains the body of magnesium and increases levels of adrenaline. When dissolved in warm water, Epsom salt is absorbed through the skin and replenishes the level of magnesium in the body. The magnesium helps to produce serotonin, a mood-elevating chemical within the brain that creates a feeling of calm and relaxation. Research shows that magnesium also increases energy and stamina by encouraging the production of ATP (adenosine triphosphate), the energy packets made in the cells. Experts believe that bathing with Epsom salt at least three times a week helps you to look better, feel better and gain more energy. Magnesium ions also help you relax and reduce irritability by lowering the effects of adrenaline. They create a relaxed feeling, improve sleep and concentration, and help muscles and nerves to function properly.
Relieves pain and muscle cramps:
An Epsom salt bath is known to ease pain and relieve inflammation, making it beneficial in the treatment of sore muscles, bronchial asthma, and migraine headaches. In addition, it has been known to heal cuts and reduce soreness from childbirth. Mix a thick paste of Epsom salt with hot water and apply to get soothing comfort. Try soaking your aching, tired (and smelly) feet in a tub of water with half a cup of our Ultra Epsom Salt. Epsom salt softens skin and will even neutralize foot odor.
Helps muscles and nerves function properly:
Studies show that Epsom salt can help regulate electrolytes in your body, ensuring proper functioning of the muscles, nerves, and enzymes. Magnesium is also known to be critical in the proper use of calcium, which serves as a main conductor of the electric impulses in your body.
Helps prevent hardening of arteries and blood clots:
Epsom salt is believed to improve heart health and help prevent heart disease and strokes by improving blood circulation, protecting the elasticity of arteries, preventing blood clots, and reducing the risk of sudden heart attack deaths.
Makes insulin more effective:
Proper magnesium and sulfate levels increase the effectiveness of insulin in the body, and can help to lower the risk or severity of diabetes.
Numerous studies have revealed that Epsom salt can be used to treat constipation. Taken internally, Epson salt acts as a detoxifying agent for colon cleansing. The salt acts like a laxative by increasing water in the intestines and can bring about temporary relief from constipation. However, it is strictly warned that Epsom salts should not be used to relieve constipation without the consultation of a physician.
Eliminates toxins from the body:
The sulfates in Epsom salt help flush toxins and heavy metals from the cells, easing muscle pain and helping the body to eliminate harmful substances. Your skin is a highly porous membrane and adding the right minerals to your bathwater triggers a process called reverse osmosis, which actually pulls salt out of your body, and harmful toxins along with it. For a detoxifying bath, at least once weekly add two cups of Epsom Salt to the water in a bathtub and soak for 10 minutes.
5. COMPEX Electrical Muscle Stimulation
what is compex ?
COMPEX is a Swiss brand that over a period of 30 years has become the world leader in portable muscle stimulators for improved performance & recovery in sports. COMPEX’s flagship electro stimulation technology is an essential to health care professionals and the most demanding athletes. It is now a widely known training technique coming from an unparalleled expertise, used for physical preparation, muscular recovery, injury prevention and pain treatment … in sports and fitness.
COMPEX® Electrical Muscle Stimulation becomes essential when you are looking to improve your performance and well-being; whether as a complement to or occasionally to replace voluntary physical activity. Whether this involves training, muscle work, relaxation, a desire to improve your shape, to recover or else to relieve a pain.
COMPEX motto is: “OUR AIM IS TO HELP IMPROVE THE SPORTING PERFORMANCES OF ATHLETES AND RELIEVE MUSCLE PAIN”
Since they were founded, they have dedicated there energy to muscles and their treatment, such as muscle pain. Because the correct working of the body is an essential need, they support individuals on a daily basis; whether the people are: healthcare professionals (such as physical therapists), professional and amateur athletes, individuals suffering from muscle pain, etc. Compex, the muscle specialist, is always looking to support its clients in their quest for well-being, performance or even exceeding training objectives.
PS: I’d love to know if you found these tips helpful, a good one to look at would be especially tip number 3, hit me up in the comment section or alternatively drop me a message if you would like to know about a few more. I answer every email, just ask. Furthermore, if you found this blog useful you might like to check out this podcast on corrective exercise.
PPS: If you would like to know where to find these tips on the internet. I have put together a resource page where you can find them along with many others items related to fitness and nutrition all in one convenient place. Furthermore, If you liked this blog and want it to show up in your inbox sign up below.
(1). Report on absorption of magnesium sulfate (Epsom salts) across the skin by Dr. R.H. Waring, School of Biosciences, University of Birmingham.
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