“Oh my god, I’m so sore…”: The Benefits of Active Recovery
By Chris Fox
Many of you may have noticed a slight uptick in the volume and time domains of our group class programming this cycle. The goal of the increased “CrossFit” of this cycle is to improve our stamina, endurance, and overall work capacity, in addition to providing increased exposure to the barbell lifts and common CrossFit gymnastics skills required in WODs. This increase in volume of the lifting segments and the overall volume from week to week has many of us feeling sore. I know for myself, I feel sort of like I did when I first started doing CrossFit! Quads, lats, triceps… In fact some part of my entire body has been sore for the last few weeks. So what’s an SBKer to do?
- Roll Out! Spend 10 minutes on a foam roller/lax ball/etc. each day. Self Myo-Fascial Release (SMR) helps by increasing blood flow to sore muscles and uses the property of autogenic inhibition to reduce neuromuscular hypertonicity… WHAT? Put more simply, it coaxes your nervous system into relaxing your muscles.
- Eat your PROTEINZ! When you train, you break down muscle tissue. In an ideal training session the breakdown is small enough to create disruption to your system to which you can adapt. Your muscles (and tendons, and bones, and immune system, etc.) are made from protein. Having enough available in your bloodstream stimulates the repair process. Your body prefers to assimilate animal protein so if you’re a vegetarian be sure to eat plenty of it from vegetarian sources. In either case, you may consider supplementing with a serving of protein powder or branched chain amino acids soon after your workout. There’s a bunch of info out there on the effectiveness of these supplements. I’ll refrain from brand recommendations here but feel free to ask myself or any of the coaches what they prefer. In a nutshell, you want one that provides easy to digest (for you) protein and a relatively spartan ingredient list.
- Pop a few Omega-3s. Soreness is the result of inflammation. Omega 3 fatty acids reduce overall inflammation in the body. Again, lots of info on these and lots of brands to choose from, some of lesser and some of better quality. The fatty acids you’re really after are EPA and DHA. Choose a supplement with a high ratio of these. Better fish oils come specifically from smaller fish as opposed to large ones that potentially contain more toxins.
- MOVE, lightly. Do some DROMs, go for a short and easy jog, row, or bike ride, or simply do a few sets of air squats, sit ups, and push ups. Getting some blood flowing will help move the metabolites that create soreness along their way.
Most people feel significantly better after moving through the ranges-of-motion in which they were sore. The sorer you are, the more important it is to be proactive about your recovery. These simple steps in 10 minutes or so each day can help you go from feeling like this after squats and thrusters, to this after AR!
Clueless about where to start with a foam roller or lacrosse ball? Want to get a full hour of coach-led Active Recovery at CrossFit South Brooklyn—a space where you can ask all the questions and get even more tips? Check out our popular AR classes at one or more of the following times, in the upstairs annex. These classes are part of our Unlimited Membership option, or count as one of your regular group classes.
Tuesday at 6:30pm (TONIGHT!)
Thursday at 7:30pm
Saturday at 11am
Sunday at 11am
For more information about why we run these classes at CFSBK, check out the article Coach David wrote for his blog Inside the Affiliate, called “Running an Active Recovery Class at Your Affiliate.”
Along with Active Recovery, CFSBK Offers Two Other Options For Your Tuesday Night
- Pilates with KH at 7:30pm. Have you ever been told by a coach or PT that you have a weak core? Are you not sure what “keep your ribcage down” means? Do you suffer from a tweaky lower back after lifting heavy weights? Help is on the way!
- AntiGravity at 7:30pm (and Sundays at 2pm). The class focuses on the gymnastics skill and strength components that are most commonly demanded in CrossFit workouts, using a variety of skill exercises, progressions, weighted and strict practice, and other techniques to teach, develop, and perfect your bodyweight movements.
Gray’s Donation Radiolab
This new, ‘complete’ tree of life shows how 2.3 million species are related The Washington Post
This Week’s Night Sky: A Lunar Eclipse and Mars Meets a Lion National Geographic
What’s your personal Active Recovery regimen?