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.
- 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
- 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 )
- 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 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)
- 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
- 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
- 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)
- 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.
In-depth video courses
- Back and Neck pain treatment – A course about how to solve the problems related to back and neck stiffness
- 5 jumping exercises ideal for beginners / warm-up – 5 simple types of jumps that everyone can perform
- 5 running exercises ideal for beginners / warm-up – 5 running training methods at everyone’s reach
Reply in the comments and share your experience:
- What is your favorite recovering activity?
Author: Master KonglingFounder of 6 Dragons Kung Fu.
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