On Leg Day you stumble into the changing room on shaky legs after your training, after your upper body workout your arms tremble and the abdominal circuit rewards your abs with sore muscles – in the gym you always give it your all. The reward: your favorite protein shake and regular recovery days. Because only with sufficient recovery after a demanding sports unit can you fully exploit your training stimuli.
However, a day off doesn’t mean spending the time on the couch. Many athletes rely on active recovery. What exactly does that mean? We will explain it to you, show you the advantages of Active Recovery and tell you which exercises are useful on these rest days.
With the door to the apartment unlocked and the training bag stowed in the corner, you can look forward to a well-deserved rest day after your training. Your body, and your muscles in particular, deserve a break after exercise. Now you have the choice: Your body will certainly benefit from a day or two when you reduce physical activity to a minimum – this is called passive recovery – your muscles recover, your motivation goes through after this type of recovery Blanket.
But you can also have a rest day, which does not involve hard training, but a little exercise of low intensity. The goal of Active Recovery: an accelerated recovery process for the stressed muscle groups.
You are wondering why recovery is important at all? Whether deadlifting or deep squats on the multi press, you set targeted impulses during strength training. In the course of your career in the gym, it adapts to your training stimuli in order to always perform. This means that your entire musculoskeletal system – including bones, ligaments, tendons, muscles, the central nervous system and metabolism – adapts. However, this adjustment only happens if you give your body enough breaks.
The advantages of active recovery
Active recovery is said to have some advantages over passive recovery.
- Active recovery has a decisive advantage: the minimal stress during the active recovery phase increases the blood flow to the muscles slightly. This means that more nutrients circulate in the blood, which is proven to improve muscle regeneration.
- It also reduces the build-up of lactic acid in the muscles and reduces the intensity of sore muscles in the abdomen, legs and buttocks.
- Whether professional athlete or hobby athlete, everyone loves the feeling after training. Because exercise has a demonstrably positive influence on mood due to the release of hormones. This also applies to short and gentle exercise units.
Did you know that you can additionally support your muscle regeneration with the intake of nutritional supplements? With Recovery Aminos, which you dissolve in water immediately after training, you not only supply your body with high-quality BCAAs and L-glutamine, but also with high-energy dextrose and maltrodextrin. Pomegranate, wild berries or orange? It’s your choice.
These movements are suitable for active recovery
While you lift heavy weights on training days, do quick sprint units or alternate between burpees, jump squats and pullups to test your limits, you should focus on rest days. We tell you which exercises are suitable for active recovery.
- Going for a walk – A leisurely stroll in the fresh air is simply good for you. Make sure that you increase your heart rate, but don’t crack the 140 mark. If you miss your gym, you can of course make yourself comfortable on the treadmill. Walking, like swimming, easy biking, and aqua aerobics, falls into the steady state cardio category. With the slow movement you use your muscles with exactly the right intensity.
- Yoga – We are not talking about a 90-minute Vinyasa Flow that will make you sweat, but about a relaxing practice like Yin Yoga, which focuses on simple asanas and stretching exercises. 20 minutes is enough to get your blood flowing. A yoga strap or belt can be particularly useful on these days. To get started with your yoga practice, you will find nine yoga exercises for more relaxation here.
- If you are not one of the yogis of the world, you can also devote yourself to generic stretching.
- Active recovery does not have to mean that you actively move your body. This also includes a massage that stimulates blood circulation. Decide on treating areas that you trained in the days before.
- Do you have a fascia roller? Great. Then take a quarter of an hour and devote yourself to your fascia. A little time with the foam roller is ideal for massaging irritated and overworked muscles and for relieving sore muscles.
- Between dumbbells and dumbbells, mobility is sometimes a little neglected. Use your Active Recovery Day and do gentle exercises for your mobility. Dynamic mobility work prepares your body for the next strength training and helps you not only with recovery, but also with the prevention of injuries.
You determine the length of your exercise unit on the day of active recovery yourself. Active recovery means listening to your body. For one, 10 minutes is sufficient, for the other 45 minutes feels just right.
Summary: Active Recovery
Passive recovery seems to be an extended bedtime sleep with total relaxation, while active recovery is like a short nap.
Here you will find an overview of the most important information:
- The goal of active recovery is to accelerate the recovery of stressed muscles.
- The decisive advantage compared to passive recovery: the muscles continue to be supplied with blood, which means that cells are better supplied with nutrients.
- Important: athletes should only put minimal stress on their bodies. Activities that are suitable for this include casual swimming and cycling, a quiet yoga practice and a stretch unit.