Adequate recovery is an essential part of training programs for every type of athlete. Use these three tools to recover your athletes!
1. Yoga Mats
Yoga has many benefits to athletes, such as improving flexibility and balance, while also being a great tool for recovery. Since athletes will be on the ground or shoeless for most of the yoga movements, having individual yoga mats creates a sturdy and even area, which is ideal for holding yoga positions.
There are different types of yoga for you to choose for your program. Low-intensity yoga is great for off-days or recovery days. High-intensity yoga should be programmed as a workout itself and is great for strength, body control, and cardiovascular improvement.
2. Foam Rollers
Foam rollers can be used to relax specific muscle groups by gently rolling your body over the equipment. This is a great recovery tool to deeply massage pained and inflamed muscles, creating the maximum amount of myofascial release.
As a result, users can improve their blood flow and circulation, sending nutrients into the localized area for recovery. It also activates the parasympathetic nervous system, helping the body calm down from high levels of activity and encouraging quick recovery. Rolling out muscles flushes lactic acid, which helps the body more quickly repair itself for the next training session.
3. Resistant Loops and bands
Resistant bands or loops are great for athletic recovery. You can use them a couple different ways to make sure your athletes stretch their muscles and improve mobility.
Grab a light to medium resistance band and wrap it around the top of a rig or pull-up bar. Grab the end of the band with your hand, put your hand through the end of the band, and wrap your wrist around to grab the band on the other side. Then, kneel so your arm is above your head and slightly in front of your body. Slowly lean your body forward so you feel a slight stretch in your shoulder.
Structure Your Strength has a great tutorial for this stretch.
For this next movement, loop a light to medium resistance band around the side of a rig – shoulder height. You can kneel or stand for this exercise. Stand next to the rig and grab the band with your opposite hand that’s furthest away from the rig and band. Slowly pull the band across your body, fully extending your arm. Repeat that exercise about 10 times for each side.