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I am big on recovery and ensuring that you are able to bounce back the next day or for your next session ready to put in 100% whilst also not risking injury. Most common injuries occur due to overuse and if you are going into your next session or next day without ample recovery you are running the risk of causing this type of injury to occur!!

Going 100% in your training and exercise is something I love to do, is the most rewarding at the end of it and will ensure y

ou are doing everything you can to perform at the best of your ability. Get comfortable with the uncomfortable and increase the intensity of your training sessions and you will see the rewards you reap from doing so.

How Does Injury Occur From Under-Recovering...

An injury occurs when joint load > joint capacity. In simple terms when the load you are placing on the joint or the body exceeds the joints ability to sustain that load or work being done. E.g. your joints ability to cope with running a marathon will increase as you gradually build up to a marathon. Running one without preparing your joints over time will run the risk of you hitting a brick wall and your body failing. Ankles, knees and hips will be unable to sustain for the duration of the marathon and eventually give way...

Under-recovering post session does something very similar to the body. Let's paint an ideal picture for everyone reading so far. Picture a 25 year old ironman athlete! You would picture this athlete as being in peak performance, peak athletic ability and peak fitness right?

Now how would you view them at the end of one of one of their competition events? Pretty flat, fatigued, barely able to move and if you were close enough with them you might notice a difference in their speech and general motor ability. They pushed their body that hard that their entire system has gone into shutdown mode.

This event may be one of the most intense sporting events that come to mind for many people and the athletes that do them you would never picture with those characteristics. How do they bounce back ready for another training session within a week or 2????

It is crazy to imagine but recovering right and efficiently and allowing your body to do its thing will allow you to get out of bed ready to tackle whatever you set your mind to. Their joints just took a massive beating but being able to bounce back is what makes the human body so fascinating.

What To They Do?

Without ample recovery, the muscles and joints primarily used by these ironman athletes would be inflammed, tight, sore and unable to perform the way they normally would. The intial stage of recovery is going to involve a period of pain reduction and inflammation reduction. I follow and prescribe the RICER method for this.

R - rest

I - ice

C - compression (using socks, tight pants or t-shirts, bandages, wraps etc)

E - elevate

R - referral (if this process goes past the 3 day mark)

After this stage comes dynamicrecovery!! -

The process of lengthening and strengthening the joints in preparation for the next beating. This stage will comprise of 2 main components:

  1. mobility training - increasing the length of the muscles and joints into new found end ranges. This will involve differing levels of stretching (static, dynamic, PNF etc) used to get the joints out of a period of tightness and inflammation to a point they are able to move freely!

  2. strength/conditioning training - increasing the strength and providing the joints that have increased mobility the strength they need to cope with increased joint load upcoming!

Following this process allows your body to fully recover and actually increases joint capacity.

Now remember that equation I showed you before ... injuries occur due to joint load > joint capacity. If you increase joint capacity then you have successfully changed the script and decreased your risk of injury.

So What Recovery Aides Are Necessary?

Have a look at the 2 processes I talked about when it comes to what to do when recovering

  1. stage 1 is RICER - you can use compression equipment, cold water immersion, ice bathes or even just placing ice on the area, and a bed ahaha

  2. stage 2 is mobility and strength and conditioning - in this area you can add different pieces of equipment which may improve efficiency such as foam rollers, massage guns and other stretching aides to help with lengthening muscles/joints and you can use different strength based equipment to help with conditioning for the sport/activity you participate in.

So do I recommend any pieces of equipment? No not really you can still recover without state of the art equipment. Do they help? Maybe a little but unless you are an athlete that's whole job is to recover within days for competition I don't think it is necessary for you to jump into an ice bath after your 5km run every week :)

Do what feels right for you, if you tried a massage gun or foam roller did you notice an improvement in your muscles flexibility level or was it just a reduction in inflammation/tightness?

Ask me a question if you are still confused


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