Anyone who has started a new workout program or does a lot of strength training understands how important recovery workouts are especially if you want to work out daily. Active recovery workouts can be even more beneficial for your body than rest alone. Studies have shown that active recovery increases endurance by pushing your body through fatigue. By definition, it is still recovery, but the extra time adds to your total conditioning.
There are plenty of great options for recovery workouts, but it is most important to pick something that you enjoy. Here are a few ideas:
This is a favorite for many runners who try to give their joints a break from impact. It also allows different muscles to be engaged and provides some beneficial cross training during recovery. For many, 30 minutes of easy lap swimming can be a sufficient recovery workout.
The best thing about cycling is that if there are no hills, your heart rate can stay at a pretty constant rate. Also, many gyms have spinning bikes that you can use. It’s a great way to get your heart pumping at a controlled rate while still allowing your muscles to recover.
One of my favorite recovery workouts is yoga. My problem is that I always go in expecting it to be super easy and forget how inflexible I am. It is definitely an active recovery for me. I have scoured youtube for the best recovery yoga video, and this one is my favorite.
This is an easy one that a lot of runners hate. At least for me, I feel so unproductive putting my workout clothes on to just go for a walk. However, doing it with friends and picking up the pace a little can be exactly what your muscles need after a few hard workouts!
Insanity Asylum 1: Relief
My ultimate favorite recovery workout is the Insanity Asylum Relief video. It is 25 minutes of perfection where Shaun T leads you through stretches and breathing to help your muscles recover from the craziness of Insanity Asylum. This workout is not insane like the other videos, and it provides the perfect short recovery to help your body get ready for the next workout. If you are interested in getting this video, email me!
All in all, don’t forget to recover. You don’t even have to take a full day off. In fact, active recovery can be even more beneficial for your body. Just give your muscles some time to rebuild in between hard workouts!
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