Your fitness routine shouldn’t end when you finish training and you’re feeling sore. If you want to achieve your athletic ambition, you have to dedicate some time to post-training recovery, too.
Sore muscles are a natural part of progress, but with the right recovery strategies, you can minimize discomfort and accelerate your body's healing process.
We believe that recovery is equally as important as training itself and that it’s often overlooked. So, in this post, we'll share five post-training recovery tips for relieving sore muscles and getting you back to your best in no time.
But what if it’s not just soreness like you initially thought, and you actually injured yourself? Well, we have something for that, too—read on.
Try Adding HMB to Your Sports Nutrition Plan
HMB, or beta-hydroxy beta-methylbutyrate, is a metabolite of leucine, one of the three branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs). Your body uses HMB to slow muscle protein breakdown and increase new protein production, which reduces soreness.
To help your body recover faster, we suggest adding an HMB-rich supplement like HMB Sport to your sports nutrition plan, or HMB+ Creatine if you already take creatine or are wanting to improve your strength and power. This will support your muscles even on days when you don’t have time for your full recovery routine.
HMB also aids in injury recovery by slowing the progression of natural muscle loss during downtime, so skipping a few training sessions and taking time to heal won’t set you back too far.
Tackle Muscle Knots With a Foam Roller or Lacrosse Ball
Foam rolling and self-myofascial release with a lacrosse ball are easy, inexpensive techniques for relieving muscle tension and soreness after exercise.
Even just a few minutes of targeting key muscle groups with these tools, such as the calves, hamstrings and glutes during your post-training stretches will help break up knots in your muscles, improving blood flow and increasing your range of mobility.
And if you want to roll out those knots in style from anywhere, it’s easy to toss a Blonyx lacrosse ball in your bag.
Alternate Between Hot and Cold Treatments
Heat and cold have long been used to treat sore muscles, but did you know they’re more effective when used together?
Contrast therapy, or alternating between hot and cold treatments, reduces inflammation and promotes recovery in sore muscles.
Start with a few minutes of using an ice pack, taking a cold shower, or immersing yourself in an ice bath to constrict your blood vessels and reduce swelling. Then, switch to a heating pad, hot shower, or warm bath to dilate your blood vessels and increase circulation.
The contrast between hot and cold helps flush metabolic waste products from your muscles and delivers fresh oxygen and nutrients, which supports the healing process.
Invest in a High-quality Massage Gun
Massage guns, or percussion massagers, are popular among athletes for deep tissue massage and trigger point therapy. These handheld devices deliver rapid bursts of pressure to your muscles, breaking up knots, improving circulation and reducing soreness.
If that sounds familiar, it’s because they offer similar benefits to foam rollers and lacrosse balls.
You want to spend time researching something like a massage gun before purchasing one since they can get expensive. And don’t feel compelled to splash on a Theragun—there are plenty of more affordable options that will still tick all your boxes.
Don't Forget to Replenish Your Electrolytes
Electrolytes play a vital role in hydration and muscle function, meaning they’re crucial to your performance and recovery.
It’s important to top up your electrolytes after exercise to replace essential minerals like sodium, potassium and magnesium lost through sweat.
Drinking lots of water is a great start, but consider electrolyte-rich foods and beverages like bananas, coconut water and drink mixes like Hydra+ to replenish lost nutrients more efficiently.
The Verdict on Recovery
Soreness is an inevitable part of training, but it doesn’t have to sideline your progress. By incorporating these five post-training recovery tips into your routine, you can alleviate pain, promote faster recovery and get back to training at your highest level.
Remember, recovery is just as important as the workout itself, so prioritize quality nutrition, rest and hydration to support your body's healing process.
If you’re curious to know more about how HMB and other supplements can benefit your recovery, check out our user guides for sports nutrition products.
— And as always, train hard!