5 regeneration practices to recover after training

What to do after training

In this article, we want to see 5 types of recovering exercises good both for the beginner both for the expert: they are made to allow us to recover flexibility, energies (etc.) for the next day of training.

Important premises:

  • One of the most common mistakes among the novices is to dedicate oneself with commitment and attention only to the training phase, leaving aside the recovery
  • Recovery is as important as the martial practice and plays almost the same role in improving performance
  • The passage from intense physical activity to the end of the efforts must be gradual and the recovering practices are the perfect bridge
  • A good recovery after the exercises is essential for the regeneration of muscle tissues, to restore energy and to increase strength, endurance, etc.
  • Depending on our age and physical shape (heart problems, etc.), not all the practices we are going to describe will be good for everyone, let’s follow our physician’s advice
  • These recovery practices are very useful and help prevent excessive fatigue in our body but it should be emphasized that they are not mandatory
  • It is the practice in its ensemble that produces results, let’s do not focus only on these exercises; if we skip recovering for 2-3 days it is not a problem, if we skip 2-3 complete training sessions our capabilities will start to decrease
  • Let’s always be careful with the “dangerous” practices, let’s always make someone knows where we are and what we are doing (read How to train without risks)

The best recovering practices

1) Stretching

  • At various levels doing stretching is one of the most important tasks to execute after a serious martial workout
  • It has to be focused on what we have done during our martial practice and it has to be done properly (read How to correctly perform stretching)
  • After training, we can perform it more intensely, transforming it in what Shaolin monks call “tendons transformation” (read /// Subscribe (it's free!) or Login to see this content ///)

2) Massage

  • It can be a normal massage, self-massage or hydromassage
  • It is perfect to reduce the tension consequent to an intense performance in our muscles (etc.)
  • It can cover those body elements that stretching cannot reach
  • Unlike stretching, it helps also to relax the mind
  • As for stretching, we should not insist on what is inflamed (or worst on what is causing pain)

Hydromassage:

  • Hydromassage is not invasive and therefore more recommended if we are in pain
  • It stimulates cells to repair minor damage and reduce post-training pains improving recovery
  • It must be at a temperature lower to the one of our body (ideally 26°)
  • Let’s do not stay in the same position for more than 5-10 minutes
  • Let’s do not remain in the bathtub more than 15-25 minutes (if the water is cold no more than 5-10 minutes)
  • With cold water, it also creates a vasoconstrictor action (improving blood flow to the organs responsible for the elimination of the metabolic products of the muscles)
  • Another good practice is to alternate cold and hot water (again to improve blood circulation)

3) Sauna / turkish bath / ice tub

  • Each of these practices works on the variation of body temperature and this has positive consequences but also risks not to underestimate
  • The cold forces our body to cure more rapidly the big or small damages
  • The hot let our body to relax, helping to eliminate the body stiffness
  • For each activity, let’s always search for the ideal duration in relation to our (present) body conditions
  • Let’s avoid these practices if w have heart / blood pressure problems or other similar pathologies
  • Let’s do not exaggerate, 2-3 sessions per week are good (10-30 minutes each, depending on our level)

Sauna:

  • Physical activity causes water loss and sauna is not so good if we are not in a good shape and adequately hydrated (it can cause heat stroke or drop in blood pressure)
  • The benefits of the sauna are various, it helps to eliminate toxins from the body, improves the skin, relaxes the muscles, clears the mind and promotes the immune system
  • It is important to wait about 15 minutes before entering the sauna after training
  •  Let’s make a shower before and after the sauna

Turkish bath:

  • The rules listed for the sauna are valid also for the turkish bath but this one is a better practice because the heat comes wet and not dry
  • Although it is more tiring to bear, it relaxes more proficiently the contracted muscles and better eliminates the lactic acid

Ice tub:

  • Cryotherapy is generally expensive but we can replace the advanced instrumentation simply filling a tub with ice cubes (the result is similar)
  • Its benefits are incredible and fast, it helps to prevent muscle and tendon injuries (the cold has both analgesic and anti-inflammatory effects)
  • It helps relieve muscle pain and reduce swelling, develops a muscle relaxant action, loosens the muscles and prevents them from becoming contracted
  • It blocks the production of lactic acid, slows down the metabolism of muscle tissues and their deterioration after the effort
  • It is used by MMA professionals fighters and in the biggest part of the high levels of sports (after competitions, big efforts, etc.)
  • In a bathtub with ice, the temperature reaches 5-10° (the sub-zero points of much more advanced techniques requires specific instruments)
  • It is not only the cold that produces positive effects on the body but also the moment when we come out of the icy water
  • The best thing is to stay immersed for a period of even 1 minute, come out for 1-2 minutes and repeat the cycle various times

4) Eating and drinking (correctly)

  • Drinking plenty of natural water is the best way to allow the body to overcome fluid loss through sweat (we need 3l each day)
  • Fasting after training is incorrect, to eat a small snack within 30 minutes after the workout can be a good habit
  • Let’s avoid heavy meals, big quantities and especially junk food (read Qi and proper nutrition)
  • Let’s avoid also supplements or sports drinks (except the case of extreme or particularly intense exercises)
  • Let’s avoid fats favoring proteins and carbohydrates (eg. fruit)

5) Sleeping

  • Last but not least we have the sleeping, it is the most simple and fundamental partner of a serious workout plan
  • It helps to restore the muscles’ micro-damages (caused by the workout) and to build the new muscular fibers (this is the so-called supercompensation)
  • It should be at least 7 hours, no longer than 9 and without any mental tension

In the next articles of this series, we will see more what to avoid after a training session and each regeneration practice in detail.

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Questions

Reply in the comments and share your experience:

  • What is your favorite recovering activity?

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