Athletes from pros through weekend warriors have recognized the importance of using different types of sports recovery techniques to recover faster, feel better, and train harder. However, with all the different options to choose from, it’s hard to know which one works best.
The first thing to remember is that everything isn’t for everyone all of the time. So, when someone asks “what kind of recovery tool is best?” the answer is, it depends.
Here’s what you need to understand to get more benefit from your recovery strategies.
Recovery works by helping your body through it’s natural processes of returning to a state of internal balance. Training, competition, injury, and even life, are all stresses that add up and push your systems out of balance. Recovery means something to help bring you back into balance.
Returning the body to a state of equilibrium after stress requires you to address the specific type of stress you just endured. This is where a lot of recovery plans and techniques fall apart. If you don’t target the right type of stress or systems in the body, the recovery you try won’t make a difference. It’s like putting more insulation on a house when the real problem is a hole in the roof.
The Velocity sports recovery methodology was developed for the world’s elite athletes – to keep them at their best under enormous pressure. One of the foundations of is that there are 4 big categories of stress. We classify them as:
This is physical damage to your tendons, muscles, bones, and joints caused from contact, pressure, and tension in sports. It might be microscopic, but it takes a toll.
Repeated foot strikes while running, repetitive tendon stress on a pitcher’s elbow, or contusions and damage from collisions in rugby, football, or MMA are exactly the kinds of things that add up to potential or actual injury. Tissues need to heal properly on the microscopic level after each practice or competition.
This is probably the area people think of most when talking about sports recovery. When you are putting in long hours of training, doing high intensity MetCons, or logging long distances, there’s a large metabolic and biochemical demand on your system. The numerous physiological elements all need to be returned to normal and metabolic wastes need to be removed.
Whether it comes from sport or life, mental and emotional stresses have an impact on both mind and body. It can come from from emotional challenges, learning new tasks, or just intense focus for practice and competition. Our bodies’ physical recovery mechanisms are tied to our mental state.
States of mental stress and anxiety trigger particular functions of our nervous system and release stress hormones. While these can be useful during competition or training, they inhibit or even completely block natural recovery mechanisms. Therefore, in order to achieve physical recovery, the mind must be in a state of relaxation.
Often overlooked, neuromuscular fatigue doesn’t necessarily make you feel tired in the way you might think. Instead of feeling stiff, sore, or a generally fatigued, you just might lose that “snap” in your movement.
When you perform high power exercises like sprinting, jumping, and weightlifting, you stress the nervous system as well as your muscles. Until you recover, you won’t be able to fire them at full speed or intensity.
Make your recovery specific
Knowing that all regeneration methods aren’t the same or equal is the first step towards getting it right. Make sure you know the specific type of sports recovery you need at different stages of training and even different days of the week to make to make your recovery process better.
At Velocity, our coaching and sports medicine staff can help you decide which combination of regen and recovery tools you need to help you stay at your best.
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