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5 Ways to Recover Faster

foam rolling to recover faster

This time of year brings on the playoffs for many athletes. The stakes are higher, the games are more intense and a number of games can be played in a short amount of time. The demands on the athlete’s body become higher with less time to recover. This can lead to decreased performance or injury that can change the end result of your season. There are many recovery aids available, some simple and inexpensive and some expensive and elaborate, but the most important thing is to do what you can to play at your best with what you have available. Some recovery aids can take some time, but many programs can be done in 15 to 30 minutes. Use these 5 simple ways after a game to recover quicker.

  1. Jog: A five minute cool down jog following games can help rid the muscles of lactic acid that can build up and cause muscle soreness the next day.
  2. Foam Roll: Roll out the major muscle groups such as the glutes, IT Bands, quadriceps, adductors, hamstrings and calves to diminish muscle spasms.
  3. Stretch: Stretching of the same muscle groups can help maintain flexibility to improve performance and reduce the incidence of injuries such as muscle strains
  4. Eat: Consuming a protein rich food source within 30-60 minutes following activity will help your muscles repair faster. During exercise, the muscle fibers are damaged and protein can help them repair quicker.
  5. Ice Bath: Fill the bathtub just high enough to cover your legs with water and ice. The amount of ice may vary depending on tub size and initial water temperature. Typically 10-20 pounds of ice is sufficient. It should be cold enough that it is a bit uncomfortable. Sit in the bath for 10-15 minutes to help flush lactic acid and other byproducts out of your legs.

 

Chris Phillips is a certified Athletic Trainer and Strength and Conditioning Specialist with over 25 years experience working with amateur, professional and Olympic athletes. Chris is the owner of Compete Sports Performance and Rehab in Orange County, California and can be reached through www.competesportsperformance.com.