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PERFORMANCE TRAINING AT ITS BEST Free Sports Performance Consultation

We are nearly done with our look at recovery optimization. The next tool we will look at is movement. Simple movement will go a long way in aiding the recovery process. Doing some light movement such as stretching (dynamic or static), walking, or easy body weight squats and push-ups can work remarkably well and allow you to train at a higher intensity.

The movement will benefit you in a multitude of ways but are mainly putting oneself back into a parasympathetic state (which we will get into next week), restoring range of motion, and increasing blood flow. When we tax our muscles during training, we break them down. The training itself is not what makes us stronger (although it is necessary), it is the repair of the tissue that will increase the muscle’s size and/or strength.

When being introduced to a new program, new movement, higher volume or increased intensity, muscle soreness is common. This is known as Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness or DOMS. It often peaks between 24 and 48 hours after training, and can range from a little tightness, to a nearly debilitating pain. If you have ever trained before it is likely you have experienced this to some degree. If you have experienced severe DOMS you know it can be difficult to do some daily tasks, let alone completing a training session. Besides the topics we have already covered (sleep and nutrition) movement will increase blood flow and help alleviate the sometimes-painful effects of DOMS, not only helping you train but also function as a normal human being again. The movement will increase blood flow which in turn will carry more nutrients to the muscles. If there is a muscle group that is sore, getting those muscles moving will be of importance. An example of this would be sore legs from squatting. Although more squats may be the last thing you want to do, a couple sets of 10 of body weight squats will help restore range of motion and increase blood to the taxed muscle groups, thus speeding up the recovery process.

Next week we will look at returning to a parasympathetic state post-training.

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