A lot of people feel sore after a workout. This is common after putting your muscles through a stressful workout; however, a lot of people feel as though being in pain the day after is always a good thing. This is not necessarily correct. Yes, you should feel some sort of pain the day after a good workout but there is a big difference between that pain you feel from a “hard” workout and the pain you will feel from a “bad” workout.
It is important to differentiate and understand that your workout doesn’t end after your last rep. To reap as many rewards as possible from each training session, you need to devote as much time to your post-workout routine as you do to everything leading up to your first set. Here are a few simple post-workout tips to help you recover.
I can’t promise you it’ll be painless, but performing self-myofascial release techniques using a foam roller can help improve your flexibility, increase the blood flow and circulation, and break up “knots” in soft tissue. It can be very beneficial to complete foam rolling both pre-workout and post-workout. While it’s similar to stretching, a foam roller targets more of the fascia connection and breaking up a superficial layer of tissue enables you to get a deeper stretch.
This is usually an ignored part of post-workout. Don’t run for the exit after you finish your last set. You should make sure that you allow yourself the chance to cool down after a workout for a good 10 or so minutes. Allowing the body to cool down after you exercise can prevent blood from pooling in the veins. I would always encourage clients to keep the cool-down activity specific to what they just exercised. For example, if you do an upper body workout, use the rowing machine to target the area you just damaged.
This is often another ignored part of everyone’s workout. When you finish your workout and cool down a post-workout stretch is important to allow the nervous system to relax. This is especially important for those who have bulked up and lost flexibility and range of motion. It is very important to do this correctly because if you work your stretch too hard you’re more likely to pull or strain something. If you rush your stretch you are just wasting your time. The key to a good stretch is to find that balance between discomfort and pain. Stretch to where it’s uncomfortable but you’re not hurting. Put a lot of importance on your stretch routine!
The body sweats to cool itself down as you’re blasting through a gruelling workout. Without refilling the fluids you’re losing through sweat and urine you’ll quickly get dehydrated. Also, sweating out just two percent of your body weight will translate to negative effects on your performance. You’ll notice the effects most during cardio. Proper hydration regulates the body temperature and also lubricates the joints. It can also help stave off constipation.
I would typically advise clients to consume protein immediately after they have finished their workout as well as having finished their post-workout routine, which may include foam rolling and a cool down. The timing of consuming protein after your workout is very important in order to begin repairing the damaged muscles. I would recommend finding a good whey protein and adding glutamine or amino acids to help you get much-needed recovery.