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What is Active Restore? How can you overcome DOMS?

Whether you're the type of weekend-keeper at the Muay Thai gym, or you're more into CrossFit and post-WOD beers with friends, there's one thing every fitness fan has in common: a desperate need to recover. If you do not take the proper time to rest and give something back to your body and mind, all that hard, sweaty work could be in vain.

Exercise-related pain, also known as delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS), generally worsens within 48 hours of exercise and lingers for a few days. While a Game of Thrones and the hours-long scenario can be felt immobile on the couch as the best response to these sore muscles, a slight active recovery can help repair the micro-trauma or the small muscle tears that occur when lifting.

Active rest, which requires exercise and low-intensity exercise, is a popular and scientifically proven method to speed up the process of bringing the body back to functional and performance levels.

9659002 Polish researchers found that an active recovery protocol – in this case light cycling or army gait work – is an effective strategy to reduce the overall fatigue of trained muscles during exercise. Another research report from the Department of Health Sciences of the University of Colorado found that 6 to 10 minutes of active recovery show consistent positive performance effects.

What counts as active recovery?

  Young man listening to music on the exercise bike in a gym.

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You do not have to reinvent the wheel to stand up and move through your pain. "Think of active recovery as a low-impact activity that kindles your heart a bit and the blood flows to flood the muscles with nutrients and eliminate metabolic waste ", Jonathan Amato, PT, DPT, OCS, CSCS of Bethpage Physical (19459007) therapy tells Men & # 39; sHealth.com . "It could even be the same exercise or activity that you rigorously performed at much lower intensity."

Did you have a very heavy leg day yesterday with squats and deadlifts, and can not walk today? Amato says active rest could even involve repeating these moves a day later with only 25 percent of your 1RM (1 repeat maximum). "This will significantly reduce the impact of DOMS and its duration," he says.

Of course, there are other supported recovery techniques in which you do something that is technically not eligible for active recovery. Embossed "passive recovery" such as massages, stretching, cryotherapy, and cold-water diving can, according to Zach Murray, C.S.C.S. There is only one caveat: "There is minimal research on these techniques that shows that they contain substantial evidence of their use, apart from a possible psychological component of the" experienced "feeling that recovers more," he says.

How to use Active Recovery?

  Athletes exercising physiotherapy

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Ready to move on Monday If you want to work out and prepare for the rest of the week, Amato recommends three different types of active rest, Any athlete can access:


Opt for slow, easy laps instead of butterflies sprints with palpitations: they splash not just about the impact but Aust Ralian's research show that a swim-based recovery session improved runners' performance the following day.

"It is a full-body exercise that can generate a good heart rate to increase blood flow to the starving muscles of the joints," he says.

Thu: 20 to 30 minutes of varied strokes such as freestyle, chest and side.

Soft Tissue Release (STR)

Self-myofascial release such as foam rollers, massage stick, massage ball or vibration therapy (think of Theragun or HyperVolt) can be carried out easily at home without much effort. In a study from Canada foam rollers are specifically linked with reduced soreness after exercise, while others suggest that it reduces the risk of injury, reduces muscle pain, improves flexibility and increases vertical jump. "We consistently use it as anecdotes among our customers and patients. There is a clear yes, whether it helps them to recover or not, "says Amato.

Th: Strike each of the large muscle groups for one minute at a time and stay in one place at least twice a week. (For more tips, see our guide at How Foam Rolling .)


The best thing about yoga is that you need absolutely nothing to get your dog down (although a mat can be helpful to facilitate joints on a hard surface). Avoid a good-natured Bikram session in favor of Hatha, a slow style for optimal stretching and recovery. "If it's financially possible, I recommend a course in which your form can be judged and criticized," says Amato. "A DVD at home, however, is better than doing nothing."

Thu: 30 minutes at least one week

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