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Don't Plop After a Hard Workout!

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By Kevin Purvis (triathlete.com)

You just finished crushing a workout and your first instinct is to eat and plop down on the couch. I cannot say I have never engaged in that process myself. While there is nothing inherently wrong with it, you may not feel as fresh for your next session. While actual recovery—the repair of tissues and systems—is at a fixed rate, there are things we can do post-workout (like the post-workout mobility exercises below) to mitigate soreness and improve overall tissue health.

There are a variety of products and protocols claiming to speed up the recovery process, but the only tried-and-true actions you can take to aid in recovery are proper nutrition, hydration, and quality sleep. That being said, if your body feels better, your next training session will most likely be better.

Stretching, and/or light movement, along with elevating the legs are my go-to recommendations post-workout. This is not the time to strive for an increased range of motion. We are simply trying to return to pre-activity length and calm the nervous system. A few static stretches (yes, this is the time for static stretching) held 30-60 seconds at 40-60% intensity will do the trick.

You can also incorporate low-intensity movement, but the techniques can be a bit trickier and harder to reproduce. Make sure you cover your calves, hamstrings, quads, hips, and thoracic spine. There is a wide variety of stretches to accomplish this so just make sure you are not being too aggressive or performing movements that require a lot of effort….READ MORE

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