Recovery, it’s a word tossed around for, and from athletes a bunch. There is millions and millions of dollars spent on “the best” recovery methods and devices, some of which are about as useful as a DVD rewinder. For me there’s a couple of easy steps that should probably come before any of those. Number 1 is to get some damn sleep, I won’t get too deep into that topic here, because I wrote about it not too long ago. Number 2 is to get some movement in, yes rest is important, but to get some sort of light, focused movement in is going to be 100 times better than just sitting around. Everything just continues to tighten up the more you bum around.
Those that have followed me for longer than a hot minute know I play club rugby for fun, yes I am a little twisted, we all are after all. Any way, we played a match the last Saturday in August. Naturally, when you smash your body into someone else, you come away pretty beat up and sore. The following Sunday and Monday I went through a little movement to loosen up and feel ready for the week.
Well what did I do?
Here it is;
This isn’t going to solve all issues and this is no longer the mind blowing solution for everything that it was once thought to be, but it’s still good. Most of us can’t afford a massage to help get out some of that stiffness, so this is the option we need to lean on, and it’s still pretty good. I did a little work with the foam roller and some with the Accumobility balls from our friends up at Accumobility. Enjoy some of my facial expressions here and apologies for the brevity of a few of the segments of video.
-Calf/Achilles complex: Just find the sweet spot between the two of them and attack some of those knots, this was especially uncomfortable for me because my calf has been tightening up a great deal during matches recently.
-Hip rotators: Keep the focus of your rolling towards the middle to outer part of your glute, your tailbone doesn’t need to be rolled out, trust me.
-T-spine: Focus the rolling here on the back of your rib cage, if you find a spot go a little slower over it. Move the arms around to get the scaps to move and open up other nooks and such.
-Quads/Hip Flexor/TFL: I typically do this with my leg bent to help push some of the muscle belly close to the surface so I can give it some extra TLC.
-Adductors: Pardon the crudeness, but this usually looks like a monkey humping a football. Fellas, don’t roll too far up, you’ll figure out why. I usually give the VMO, small muscle on the inside of your knee, a little special attention when doing this.
-Feet: Those of you that are flat footed, join the crew. I like using the accumobility balls because they stay in place and really allow me to focus on particular areas of discomfort.
-Forearms: You’re all going to make the joke so just make and it move on. A focus of rugby is binding on your teammate’s or opponent’s jersey, requires a ton of gripping with the hands. This provides a little relief from all that the following days.
-Pec minor: There aren’t too many people that I know that couldn’t use a little soft tissue on their pec minor. I find this more effective than rolling around on lacrosse ball.
Activation and Mobility
Now it’s time to gradually get moving. I do the following before I go through my light movements. I try to do these in some semblance of flow so I’m not constantly getting up and down. It’s not super important to do it in this order, it just makes it easier.
-Dead Bugs x5/side (Sick of these yet?)
-Floor Slides x10
-Hip Flexor Mobility x5/side
-1/2 Kneeling Adductor Mobility x10/side
-Quadruped T-Spine Mobility x5/side (Bench T-Spine Extension could work here too)
-Wall ankle mobility x10/side (rugby boots aren’t always the most comfortable things)
-World Greatest Stretch x3-5/side (cue snap, crackle and pop)
Light Movement (Workout)
I’ll do 2-3 sets of 4 movements to shake the rest of the tightness and discomfort loose. Below is an example of what I would do.
Light Goblet Squats x8-10
Easy Inverted Rows x10
1-leg RDLS, LIGHT x8-10/side
½ Kneeling 1-Arm Overhead Press x6-8/side (and guess what? Yeah, keep it light)
A routine like this after a really intense training session or some sort of competition will help you recover a bit faster, so you can get right back after it for the next thing on the docket.
That’s all for today kids, remember, some movement beats the crap out of sitting around on your backside, even after a tough competition. Go out there and get after it!
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Jarrod Dyke, CSCS