If you’re on a fitness regimen built around (no pun intended) increasing muscle mass, then that means you’re spending many hours lifting weights week in and week out. Pumping iron is indeed your way to getting a buffed up body. However, in between workouts, you also need to take time to allow your muscles to recover. By doing this, you can maximize your goal of improving strength and building your muscles. Besides, just like with every activity, you need to take time off from it.
Recovery is not just about getting a full rest altogether and not doing anything at all. There are actually certain things to keep in mind while you’re on a recovery phase of your bodybuilding regimen. Here are some of them:
Stay nimble during off-days – Between workout days, you should promote circulation by working your joints. Do activities that will make you move your arms, wrists, and knees in circles at low intensities. By doing that, you open and close your joints, which then brings fresh synovial fluids to lubricate, nourish, and hydrate those areas. At the same time, it also expels waste and scar tissue.
Reduce muscle tension – There may be times when you’d feel pain in your muscles or tightening after a heavy training session in the gym. To ease the muscle tension, you can use a long, semi-soft foam tube to massage your tense or tightened muscles. Doing this breaks up scar tissue and knotting in your fascia. This is vital, because if knotting is left unattended, it can lead to nagging aches and pains in your joints. During off-days, spend at least half a minute to a minute rolling your sore muscle groups upon waking up, before going to bed at night, or any spare time you have during the day.
Do isometrics – During an off-day, replace your intense workouts with isometrics, which are gentle, controlled stretching and strength building exercises. By holding a certain position for a longer period, your muscles are still engaged, although at a lower intensity.
Perform overhead squats – The overhead squat can be used to increase mobility. It’s actually the king of mobility exercises. If you master it, you can improve your workouts. Aside from strengthening your joints, it also promotes blood flow to battle soreness.
Finally, you can also take supplements (like Myofusion) to support your recovery. There are supplements that are specially formulated for bodybuilders both for their workout and recovery days.
Don’t forget to follow the tips here on how to spend your non-workout days so you can have better recovery and get you prepped up again for another weightlifting day.