Active people — from gym warriors to casual exercisers — can make productive use of an overlooked part of their workout: rest and recovery.
Gym members can be tempted to push themselves too hard to maximize their exercise time and get on with their day. Being efficient with time is one thing, but without proper rest, gains being made can be minimized. A successful training plan that optimizes performance and avoids injury includes time for recovery.
The importance of these periods of rest, recovery and nutrition has never been better understood. Conditioning specialists are studying the best ways to incorporate active forms of recovery into workouts, making for more productive downtime. Core, stability, mobility and reactive exercises can be integrated during rest periods. These forms of active recovery focus on time with the guideline of: time spent completing active recovery exercises equal to the time normally spent recovering from primary exercises like lifts, sprints and jumps.
Active recovery can take another form— addressing fitness areas in need of improvement.
Mobility and reactive exercises pair well with compound lifts like cleans, squats and deadlifts, for example. Any number of combinations can increase range of motion and enhance overall performance. Other examples include a barbell squat followed by walking through a set of hurdles or pairing a squat jump with a hex-bar deadlift.
While active recovery is gaining traction, it comes with a caveat of its own: those who are doing it shouldn’t be left feeling fatigued performing primary exercise.
Professionals see active recovery as an opportunity to get creative and for people to find their most productive workout.