Whether you feel sore after exercise or not, it is important to aid in the recovery of your muscles so that you can repair quickly and be ready for your next session. When your muscles recover, that is when you see the most gains and your performance will start to improve!
But how can you help to speed up recovery after exercise? We've listed the best tools for the job.
Why is muscle recovery important?
Allowing and aiding your body to recover after exercise is important because it is during this time that your muscles fibres heal stronger. Each time you allow your muscles to recover, they are getting stronger and you will therefore be able push harder during your sessions over time. If you don't allow yourself adequate recovery, your body will start to get tired which can lead to decreased performance or signs of overtraining and injury.
Best way to recover after exercise
- Consume protein after your session
- Hydrate and replenish the water and salts you have lost
- Massage helps to reduce muscle soreness (whether an in-person massage, with a massage gun or foam roller)
- Wearing compression clothing helps to improve your circulation, get rid of remaining lactic acid and minimise muscle soreness
- Sleeping well is essential as this is the time when your body starts to repair through protein synthesis and human growth hormone release
Best tools to aid recovery after exercise
One of the cheaper ways to help your body recover after exercise is using a foam roller. Foam rolling is a great way to loosen up tight muscles/muscle groups and release tense trigger points. The Trigger Point GRID Foam Roller has a great surface feel is sturdy so you can rest your whole weight on it and is small enough to store easily.
Theragun have taken the standard foam roller to the next level. You roll on this much like a regular foam roller to relieve/prevent any muscle soreness but the Theragun Wave Duo and Solo also vibrates to really get deep and target specific areas. The Solo is great to travel with because of its size but is also great at targeting specific areas of tension.
The Fitness-Mad Spikey Massage Balls come as a pack of three and each ball varies in its hardness. These are great to not only relieve tension where rollers are harder to use (buttocks and feet for example) but they also help to improve circulation which in turn leads to faster recovery.
If you can't have a real-life massage after activity (wouldn't that be the dream!) then massage guns are the next best thing. The BeElite Massage Gun sits on the cheaper end of the scale, providing pulsating actions to stimulate circulation, muscle lengthening and relaxation. The many adaptors mean you can target different areas and with varying intensities too.
Theragun is incredibly well-known for its massage guns among top athletes and sports stars and it's easy to see why. The PRO Massage Gun is durable and as effective as a sports massage especially in those areas particularly prone to injury and stiffness. On the upper end of the scale in terms of cost but if you can afford it, is worth the price because of the extra features included such as app-guided preset routines saved on the device.
We are a big fan of calf guards as they are built to reduce muscle vibration and improve shock absorption which can reduce the likelihood of getting cramp and muscle tears. They can be worn both during and after exercise as due to the compression element, they also encourage blood and fluid circulation. This is important because it gets rid of waste products produced in the cells during exercise and circulates oxygen and nutrient-rich blood for quicker recovery.