Training the body and relaxing at the same time: this is the principle of recovery training. The fitness trend consists of stretching exercises, light yoga sessions, walks or swimming.
Training is placed between training days, so the body can regenerate on rest days, but muscle building is enhanced at the same time.
Gentle training also has many health benefits: the muscles are better irrigated with blood, the bones are strengthened and the tendons and muscles gain flexibility.
Anyone who wants to stay fit and build muscle should rely on hard training, right? Many share this view – but forget that regular regeneration is just as important for successful training. Because it is precisely during the rest phases that the muscles develop, and the body can also rest and draw new strength. Recovery workouts are particularly effective and good for our health – a fitness trend that combines exercise and relaxation.
Recovery training helps with muscle soreness
Translated, Recovery Workout means “recovery training”. Ideally, you place a session in between your training days – that is, when you haven’t planned a heavy workout anyway. Instead of lying on the couch, you rely on relaxed physical exercises, fascia training, stretching, or yoga. But swimming or easy walks are also ideal to allow the body to regenerate.
During a recovery training, the muscles are relaxed and the small tears in the fibers that appeared as a result of sports stress are repaired. This way you can relieve sore muscles and prepare your muscles for the next workout. In addition, light exertion promotes blood circulation in the muscles, which means that the organs can be better supplied with nutrients.
Exercise in general improves muscular, cardiovascular and cardiovascular performance, strengthens bones and thus prevents osteoporosis. Lightweight sports units also increase the flexibility of tendons and muscles and thus prevent injuries.
These forms of yoga and stretching exercises promote regeneration
If you decide to do a yoga session, you should opt for particularly light forms. Yin yoga, for example, is mostly practiced lying down and seated and combines breathing exercises with stretching elements that address deeper bodily stories such as fascia, ligaments, tendons and joints.
Flowing yoga on rest days is also a good complement to intense training days. In this variant, the yoga exercises do not follow a fixed order, but are varied at will and perfectly linked to each other – this is how the “flow” is created. Body, mind and breath must merge.
Improving mobility and preventing injuries – these are also the benefits of stretching exercises. At the same time, tension is released and existing pain relieved. 15 to 20 minutes of stretching is enough to calm down mentally and reduce stress. You should hold each exercise for about 20-30 seconds to stretch your muscles.
Effective exercises include standing forward bends or the so-called child’s pose. To lean forward, stand up straight and bend your upper body forward, up to hip height. The arms are stretched out to the sides to intensify the stretch. Then reverse the movement again, letting your arms descend along your upper body. You do Child’s Pose like this: Start with your legs crossed and put your hands on your thighs. Next, stretch your arms far forward, toward the front of the mat. Gently lay your head on the ground. Take a deep breath and then slowly return to the starting position.
Your recovery workout might look like this
The following exercises are also suitable for stimulating and relaxing your body on rest days. However, if you have severe muscle pain, you should focus on practicing yoga or going for walks so that you don’t put too much strain on your muscles.
- Squat: Squats are a classic exercise that primarily targets the legs and glutes. Start in an upright position, then slowly lower and back your butt as if you were about to sit in a chair. Keep your elbows bent in front of your chest. Slowly return the movement and let your arms fall freely along your upper body. Eight to ten repetitions are enough – it is better to listen to your body, which is good for it.
- high knees: Stand up straight and lift one leg up to your hips. Let it fall back to the floor, then lift the other leg. The arms remain close to the upper body at right angles throughout the exercise. 10 to 20 repetitions.
- The bear crawls: The starting position is on all fours. Raise your knees slightly and lean on your palms and hands to mimic a crawling motion, similar to the gait of a bear. Make sure to keep your back flat and your shins parallel to the ground. Take a break between repetitions – it should be ten to twelve.
- plank: Lie down on the mat, bringing your forearms parallel to your body. Keep your elbows level with your shoulders, raise your feet and lift your body. Important: hips and shoulders should be at the same height. Tighten your stomach and hold the plank for a minute.