With finals just around the corner, recovery comes to the front of everyone’s mind (this should be done all year but that’s too much effort!)
As a Myotherapist and former Australian team sprinter I know receiving regular Myotherapy treatments is a key factor in keeping the legs ticking over, but I also need something
more. I didn’t realise the importance of active recovery until I tried it and can I tell you, I’ve tried it all!
There is little research to say one type of recovery is better than another or even if any are better than doing nothing. So here’s what I’ve found from giving these a go:
Who wants to stand in freezing water until you go numb in the middle of winter? Well apparently me! I’ve been one of those crazy people in the GROSS pool at Eastern Beach! It’s hard to tell if it was of any benefit but I used ice baths when I had competitions that ran over multiple days, rather than after a hard session. I found I felt better the next day, but that might be a placebo effect. The optimal time to be in the water is said to be between 11 and 15 minutes so if you can last that long, go for it!
This can be a pretty painful option but it’s also beneficial. It’s generally used to improve flexibility, reduce DOMS (delayed onset muscle soreness) and improve your performance. There are no real guidelines for how long or how often you should roll but I suggest 3-5 sets of 20 second repetitions. You don’t need to spend minutes on one area. Firstly, that’s painful and secondly, who wants to spend half an hour foam rolling?
Stretching has been performed for recovery for decades, if not centuries, with research suggesting static stretching can help after exercise. It’s useful in reducing muscle soreness and stiffness, allowing an increase in flexibility.
Walking or jogging
As silly as it sounds, it can be good to go for a gentle walk after your game or event. Even the next day is great, as it gets all the lactic acid moving to make that stiff body feel better.
Wearing compression gear may help recovery by improving blood flow, removing lactic acid and decreasing general soreness. A lot of people wear them to aid with pain and soreness during a game, but what about beforehand or afterwards? Some silly people like me have tried sleeping in them the night before a competition! I believe this had more of a placebo effect, but why not try it to see if it gives you an edge?
These are much nicer and more relaxing than ice baths, or any of the above, that’s for sure! Radox baths help with increasing the blood flow and reducing aches and pains.
So pop in for your Myotherapy treatment, try these tips and let me know how you go!
Good luck for the finals.
– Angela Byrt | Myotherapist