Having recovery time is important for your training for 4 main reasons:
1. Reduces pain
2. Restores soft tissues (muscle, tendon, ligaments)
3. Improves flexibility
4. Prevents injury
Bonus Reason: it feels GREAT!
The purpose of a training session is to put in enough work to cause a change in the body for your specific goals (growing muscle, building strength, power, or endurance). After these sessions, you may notice increased soreness in your muscle or multiple trigger points (muscle knots). Muscle knots are areas of muscles that are stuck to themselves, other muscles, or fascia (fascia is like saran wraps that covers every muscle fiber, muscles, and the whole body). When a muscle has a knot, it can limit blood flow in that area, causing pain and discomfort.
Why do you get these knots? Great question! People often get them because of repetitive motion, held postures, or because of the microscopic breakdown of muscle with your training. Don’t let this alarm you, though. Muscle breakdown is great because the body will recover, or heal, the muscle stronger than it was before your training session, and your soreness subsides after your body has recovered.
The theory is when you put pressure on it you’re limiting blood flow to the knot, and when you release the pressure, more blood flows in.
Recovery sessions allow for the evaluation of sore muscles, muscle knots, and flexibility, and work to speed up the amount of time it takes for your body to repair itself, and improve flexibility. All of this is done to to improve your healing and reduce the risk of injury in upcoming training sessions.
Massage, soft tissue work, stretching, and compression all work to relieve muscle soreness by increasing blood flow to specific areas for improved healing and flexibility, and help to remove byproducts from training sessions for decreasing inflammation.
Recovery that you can do on your own:
- Cool down
- Foam roll
With difficult training, you are bound to notice soreness in your body that arise in your muscles. The purpose of recovery sessions are to help you improve motion, decrease pain, decrease the amount of time it takes to get to the next training session, week, or event, and feel great so that you can keep doing what you love to do.
As always, we hope this helps! If you have any questions or if you would like to read about certain topics, feel free to send us an email at TeamSP@SportsPerformancePT.com.
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