The Best Way to Recover from an Intense Workout

The Best Way to Recover from an Intense Workout

High intensity interval training has become one of the most popular ways to train for athletes wishing to lose weight. The idea between high intensity interval training is repeating higher bursts of cardiovascular and strength exercise with alternating rest periods. The most common high intensity interval training method is called Tabata. Tabata is named after Dr. Izumi Tabata, a scientist at the National Institute of Fitness and Sports in Kagoshima Prefecture, Japan in 1996.  His research discovered that one of the best ways to increase strength and speed performance for Olympic speed skaters was to alternate high intensity bursts of exercise for 20 seconds followed by 10 seconds of rest.

The benefits for athletes are faster recovery and higher intensity energy bursts for the sports they do. The benefits for the every-day person is that it improves the glucose metabolism that acts as an excellent catalyst for burning fat. Tabata training may actually help accelerate weight loss. 

Keep in mind that if you do not perform consistent recovery regimens after high intensity interval training, injuries or plateaus in your performance may occur. The best thing you can do after a hit workout is to keep moving by walking or stretching, so that your heart rate has a smooth transition from work to rest. This keeps the blood from pooling in the extremities and helps deliver more nutrients and oxygen to tired muscles.

Proper recovery can help increase results.

A proper recovery regimen can help increase overall performance results and aid in weight loss. Active recovery with stretching and strengthening movements not only help improve blood circulation but may help with removal of waste products from the muscle breakdown, as a result of exercise. Massage, foam rolling, percussion tools, and stretching straps like the Flexistretcher can provide a way to bring fresh blood and nutrients to the muscles that aid in repair.

MASSAGE TOOLS

Massage Ball

The infinity ball by FLX is the perfect tool for targeting specific areas of the body. The infinity ball is a mini massage ball shaped like a peanut. The infinity ball is the perfect self-massage tool. It is compact and smooth, yet it has a contoured shape that makes it perfect for targeting deep massage trigger points to alleviate muscle adhesions and pain. Unlike a foam roller or percussion gun, an infinity ball is portable and can easily fit in your purse or gym bag.

Some of the best places to use a mini massage ball like the infinity ball is in between the shoulder blades and the ball of the foot which are sometimes difficult to connect with if you're using a foam roller. It can be used on the neck, the calf, the forearm, hamstrings and shins. The key thing to remember when using any massage ball is to hold it in place and try to stay on it until the muscle relaxes. Focus on long and lengthened inhales and exhales throughout the massage.

Massage Rollers

Massage rollers offer another form of self massage and myofacial release to aid in muscle recover. These were made popular by runners because roller sticks can reach the tops of the shins or the side of the outer thigh called the "IT band" better than a traditional foam roller or massage ball. Like most massage tools you can help relieve muscle tightness and soreness in inflammation and aid in increasing your flexibility.  As a general rule, you should use a massage tool immediately after a run once you've performed your basic stretching routines. It's a good idea to do this for 5 to 10 minutes on each side of the body focusing on the shins and outer thighs through the hips and glutes. The massage roller from FLX is an easy-to-use portable tool that can slip into your gym bag.

As mentioned above, massage rollers are rooted in a runner’s world and best performed on those muscles used for running or jogging. The front of the shins and the outer thighs to the glutes are great targets for the massage stick.

Andrea Metcalf is a celebrity fitness expert specializing in functional fitness including flexibility training. With over three decades of experience in the fitness world, a best-selling book, and more than 500 media appearances, she is a trusted fitness and wellness expert.


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