Tag: foam roller

Your Season is Over…Now What?

Quick Tips to Re-Charge After Your Season.

If your sport season is coming to a close, it can be tempting to attack the weight room with new enthusiasm. But while you may be itching to hit the ground running, it’s important to take some time for to reflect, rest and recover before you look toward next season. Here are three quick tips to help you re-charge after your season.

REFLECT

Preparation and performance can be categorized in 3 areas:

  • Physical – Cardiovascular fitness, speed/agility, strength/core training, diet and nutrition, injury prevention.
  • Fundamental – Aspects related to the development of the many physical skills specifically related to the sport you participate in. 
  • Mental – Focus, intensity, purpose, trust, strategy formulation, adversity and coping skills, decision-making capabilities.

No matter how good you are in a sport, you can always get better and improve. Few athletes actually take the time to assess, critique, and formulate strategies to improve in an honest and purposful manner.

Try this short exercise…

When answering the following questions, be as specific and detailed as possible in relation to the physical, fundamental, and mental aspects of your preparation and performance.

  1. What aspects of your performance were you pleased with last season?
  2. What aspects of your performance were you NOT pleased with last season?
  3. What is your assessment of your daily preparation during the past season?
  4. How can your preparation improve?
  5. How have you matured as a person and as an athlete since last season?

REST and RECOVER

After the season your body needs a break. There will be plenty of time to train for your next season, and the best way to start preparing now is to give your body enough time to fully recover. Take two weeks off of high-intensity activity and address any injuries.

This rest period includes all structured high-intensity activity—no strength training and no workouts or pick-up games. 

However, you don’t need to stop ALL activity. 

Stretching (try these 3 mobility moves), foam-rolling (article and FREE CHEAT SHEET on foam rolling), and low-intensity cross-training—like riding a stationary bike, going for a brisk walk—are great options for active rest. 

Resist the urge to jump back into training immediately after the season to take the time reflect, rest, recover, and re-charge!

5 Ways to Maximize Your Athletes Recovery

All athletes know the feeling of being sore, whether after an intense workout, a tough practice or a closely contested game. The discomfort that comes the morning after a tough physical bout when players step out of bed is called delayed onset muscle soreness.

That pain is the result of muscle damage after strenuous exercise, leading to symptoms of swelling, soreness, pain, stiffness, and weakness, often lasting for several days.

Use these five ways to recover faster, avoid injuries and improve sports performance this season: 

    1.) Sleep

Sleep is the most important when it comes to recovery. Adequate sleep helps to provide mental health, hormonal balance, and muscle recovery. You need to get enough sleep, athletes ages 6-13 should sleep 9-11 hours and athletes ages 14-17 should sleep 8-10 hours. Here’s a few tips for deep sleep:

  •     Turn off all electronics an hour before bed.
  •     Drink a glass of milk, which contains “tryptophan” an amino acid which promotes sleep.
  •     Get to bed early. Hours slept before mid-night are proven to be more effective than those slept after.

    2.) Hydration

Drinking proper amounts of water is critical to health, energy, recover, and performance. Typically, athletes are very attentive to hydration levels before and after games, but maintaining proper hydration during training, practices, and during recovery times are just as important. Here’s a few tips for proper hydration: 

  •     Water is the best way to hydrate.
  •     After training, practice, competition consume 20oz for every lb of body weight lost.
  •     Check your pee. The darker and more color in your pee the less hydrated you are and the more water you need to drink.

    3.) Chocolate Milk.

Chocolate Milk provides fluid, carbohydrates to replenish your body’s supply, protein to promote muscles healing and the sodium that you’ve sweated away. Consume chocolate milk in the first 20 minutes after training, practices, or games. Plus, it’s rather inexpensive and tastes so good!

    4.) Self-Myofascial Release (Foam Rolling)

Self-myofascial release is a fancy term for self-massage to release muscle tightness or trigger points. This method can be performed with a foam roller, lacrosse ball, or your own hands. By applying pressure to specific points on your body you are able to aid in the recovery of muscles and assist in returning them to normal function. Normal function means your muscles are elastic, healthy, and ready to perform at a moment’s notice. 

Read my article and FREE CHEAT SHEET on foam rolling for more information.

    5.) Focus on Mobility

Spending just 5-10 minutes a day stretching can increase your range of motion, improve your movement efficiency, and, most importantly, reduce your risk of injury. Plus, after a tough day on the field, it just feels great.

To get started, try these 3 mobility moves two times a week for one month and I guarantee you’ll feel a difference!

Dedicating additional time to the categories of sleep, hydration, nutrition, self-myofascial release, and mobility will increase your performance, decrease recovery time, and lower your risk of injury. These strategies take very little time, but can make the difference over the course of a long season. Coaches and athletes don’t take advantage of it because they don’t want to dedicate the time to the little things that matter most.

Will you make time?

The Perfect Warm-Up

Knowing how to warm up effectively can be the difference between your players surviving the preseason and thriving in the regular season or your players stumbling through the season due to preventable injury.

Traditional warmups take athletes through a series of static stretches. There’s value in traditional stretch-and-hold, or “static” stretching if done properly and done after a workout. However, static stretching routines performed before exercise increase flexibility only for a short time. There is little scientific evidence that such routines improve performance, reduce delayed-onset muscular soreness (DOMS), or prevent injuries.

The main purpose of warming up is to prepare your body for the upcoming movement. At TrueAP, we progress through a “Movement Prep” process of activating or “waking” the muscles, dynamically stretching them, and then exciting them so it is easier to call on these muscles when needed. As opposed to a traditional warmup, Movement Prep actually makes you stronger and produces long-term flexibility gains. You actively elongate your muscles in a series of movements, which can improve balance, mobility, and stability. Think of it as warming up with a purpose.

Movement Prep increases heart rate, core temperature, and blood flow to working muscles. By strengthening muscles in this new range of motion, you stabilize all the tiny muscles that hold the joints together. That will improve posture and performance and decrease potential for injury. Just doing Movement Prep alone can make your body stronger and more stable, and can also help increase speed and power output. Performing Movement Prep will allow you to keep pushing your body to the level needed while reducing the risk of injury. 

Check out TrueAP’s “Quick Guide to Movement Prep” and start using our sample routines today!

Foam Roller Flow Routine (FREE Cheat Sheet)

Grab your foam roller and flow between 10 self-massage moves that hit your whole body. 

This routine will improve tissue quality and break up scar tissue, adhesions, and knots.

It’s ideal for tight muscles and achy joints and best performed pre/post-workout and anytime of day.

===> DOWNLOAD [Foam Roller] Cheat Sheet

Here’s how to do it: 

  • Perform each move for a minute with no rest between moves for 10 total minutes. Switch sides at the halfway 30-second mark for all single-sided exercises:
  1. Quadriceps L/R
  2. Hamstrings L/R
  3. Adductors L/R
  4. TFL/IT Band L/R
  5. Glutes L/R
  6. Calves L/R
  7. Shins L/R
  8. Shins (Lateral) L/R
  9. Lats L/R
  10. Thoracic (Upper/Mid-Back)
  • Pay attention to which areas of your body are most sore and tight and be sure to spend extra time on these areas at all other times pre/post-workout. Prioritizing your self-massage in this manner will provide you the biggest bang for you buck.
  • For knee pain, focus on #1, 4, 5 
  • For shoulder pain, focus on #9, 10
  • For back pain, focus on #2, 3, 5, and 10. #10 is also great for improving posture.
  • If you run/jump a lot and/or suffer from shin splits, focus on #6, 7 and 8.

I simply cannot stress enough the importance of daily self-massage. It will make you feel better, move better, and perform better.

If you’re serious about changing your body, feeling better, and making serious gains in the weight room and on the field/court, then “self-massage” days are a must.

After all, you’re only as strong as how well you allow yourself to recover.

===> DOWNLOAD [Foam Roller] Cheat Sheet