Big Gains with Active Recovery (2022)

If you walked into my gym in Baltimore, you'd notice my clients and athletes never stop moving. Doesn't matter if they're bodybuilders, powerlifters, combat athletes, injury-rehab clients, or people training for general fitness. They all keep moving.

If nobody explained what these clients were doing, you'd probably get the wrong idea. You might say "circuit training," which would make me strike you. You might also guess "supersets." That would be true in a technical sense – they're usually alternating between two exercises – but the exercise pairs are probably unlike anything you're familiar with.

You'd have to watch for a few minutes to figure out that there's a complete mismatch of intensity between the two exercises. The first one is hard and heavy. The second one doesn't appear to require much effort at all. In fact, the client's breathing tends to return to normal during the second exercise.

What's Going on Here?

What we're doing is active recovery. Sometimes we're using the second exercise to help with recovery from the first one, which means the athlete can then work harder in subsequent sets. And sometimes we're using the second exercise for a separate goal, like core stability, neck strength, or injury rehab.

That's why my clients never stop moving, and why they tend to accomplish a lot more than a typical gym rat would in the same amount of time.

Like a lot of trainers, I discovered years ago that if I stick with traditional workout programs, there's only so much I can accomplish in the limited amount of time I have with my paying customers. Nobody can bang out sets and reps nonstop for 50 or 60 minutes. If they're working hard and pushing themselves to get bigger and stronger, they'll spend more time recovering between sets than they spend lifting.

I eventually figured out that the only way to accomplish more was to use that downtime productively, without making them so exhausted that they couldn't go hard on the primary exercise. It's called active recovery, and it's something you can incorporate in your own training. You'll accomplish more work in the same amount of time, without compromising anything or requiring more rest and recuperation in between workouts.

You could think of dozens of ways to use active recovery, and they might all be valid, as long as they adhere to these three simple rules:

  1. You must have a damned good reason for doing whatever you're doing in between sets. It can't be random.
  2. What you do can't interfere with the primary exercise. It can't exhaust those muscles, or require some type of recovery of their own.
  3. It can't make the time in between sets of the primary exercise longer than it would be without the AR exercise. In other words, it can't extend the workout, or compromise the training effects you're trying to attain.

With that out of the way, let's look at some of the ways you can use AR to get more done the next time you're in the gym.

For Bodybuilders: Diverting Exercises

In a diverting exercise, you do light contractions of the muscles opposite the ones you're focusing on with your primary exercise. So you'd do push-ups after heavy rows, or recline pulls (aka reverse push-ups) after heavy bench presses.

Quoting from Serious Strength Training, by Tudor Bompa and Lorenzo Carnacchia: "Such physical activities can facilitate a faster recovery of the prime movers.... As the muscle becomes more relaxed, its energy stores are more easily restored."

Thus, just as your brain is trying to limit the work an exhausted muscle can do, you're sending the opposite message, disabling the disinhibition.

Here's an example of how to use diverting exercises as active recovery in a traditional three-day bodybuilding split.

Day 1: Chest and Triceps

Primary ExerciseDiverting Exercise for Active Recovery
ABench pressRecline pull
BIncline bench pressFace pull
CPec flyeRear-delt flye
DTriceps pushdownBiceps curl

Day 2: Legs

Primary ExerciseDiverting Exercise for Active Recovery
ASquat or deadliftReverse pull-through with cable or band
BLeg extension/leg curlLeg curl/leg extension
CCalf raiseDorsiflexion march with miniband

Reverse Pull-Through

Big Gains with Active Recovery (1)

As the name implies, this is the opposite of the pull-through. You're facing the cable stack, or whatever the band is attached to, and working your anterior muscles, rather than your extensor chain. With arms straight, pull the bar or handles straight down between your legs. Bend at the hips, not the back; you want to keep your spine in its optimal spinal alignment. If you like the exercise, in future workouts you can employ a more challenging load and use it for core training.

Dorsiflexion March

Big Gains with Active Recovery (2)

Use a light resistance mini band. Stand tall and march in place while maintaining ankle dorsiflexion (foot flexed upward, as if you were trying to walk on your heels). Set your arms in the prisoner grip, and keep your torso stable to increase the core demand.

Day 3: Back and Biceps

Primary ExerciseDiverting Exercise for Active Recovery
APull-up, chin-up, or lat pulldownShoulder press
BBent-over or seated rowPush-up
CBiceps curlTriceps extension
(Video) Active Recovery to Relieve Muscle Soreness Fast | Low Impact Walk growwithjo

For Powerlifters: Four-Part Squat

Big Gains with Active Recovery (3)
Big Gains with Active Recovery (4)

Even the most serious and knowledgeable lifters restrict their mobility work to a few minutes during their warm-ups. That's fine if you have no mobility-related restrictions to your lifting technique. But even the best lifters can tighten up in a max-effort workout with squats or deadlifts. And the ones who start the workout with mobility issues will probably get a little worse as the training session progresses.

I learned the four-part squat from Gray Cook, and use it with a lot of my power athletes. It's a great drill to employ between sets of Olympic lifts as well as power lifts.

Start with a wide stance, as shown in the photos at right. Begin by bending forward and grabbing your toes.

Now drop your hips as low as possible into a squat position, making sure to keep your back straight. You also want to engage your glutes to pull your knees outward, away from your elbows, as shown in the third photo.

The third step is to raise your arms overhead, so they're in line with your torso.

Finally, stand straight up.

(Video) Reduce Muscle Soreness Between Workouts - Active Recovery Methods

As you repeat the drill, be sure to repeat each of the four steps as a discreet movement.

This isn't the only way to use dynamic mobility drills for active recovery. You can also work on mobility for unrelated movement patterns – lower-body mobility on the days you're doing bench presses and other upper-body exercises, and upper-body mobility on the days you're squatting or deadlifting.

Or you can do movement prep for the next primary exercise in your workout.

For Power Athletes: Neck-Strengthening Exercises

The neck is technically part of your core, which means that everyone could benefit from some neck-specific training. For wrestlers, MMA fighters, and football players, neck strength and stability are crucial. And yet, almost nobody does any type of conditioning for this crucial body part.

I showed some good strengthening and stabilizing exercises in "Stick Your Neck Out," an article posted on T Nation a year ago. Using them as active recovery gives you a chance to add a new dimension to any workout. You work your neck without adding time to your workout or taking any focus away from your primary training exercises.

Exercises for neck stability can pull double duty when you use them for AR. Take one I show in that article, called the head-off-the-bench hold. It's pretty simple: do a dumbbell chest press on a flat bench or Swiss ball, but with your head and neck all the way off the bench or ball, and thus unsupported.

You can use the dumbbell chest press with light weights as AR for a rowing exercise, and by doing it with your head unsupported, you add the benefit of training neck stability. Shoot for 8 to 12 reps per set.

For Everyone: Core Strength and Stability Work

Pick any three trainers, and chances are you'll get three different opinions on when to do core work. Some say to do core training at the start of a workout, before you get exhausted from heavy lifts. Some say you should never do it before heavy lifts, since you don't want those muscles to be tired when you need them to support your spine. And others work it in with other types of training, in a separate workout.

Personally, I like to do core exercises for active recovery, except when the primary exercise is a squat or deadlift variation, or another movement that requires spinal stability, like the bent-over row.

(Video) 7 Ways to Boost Post Workout Muscle Recovery

But that still leaves more than three-quarters of the exercises you might do in your workouts. I find my clients get better results with shorter, less intense bouts of core training than they do with longer, more intense sessions.

Here are two of my favorites, which you probably haven't seen before:

Kneeling Posterior Reach

Big Gains with Active Recovery (5)

You can use a band or cable. (The photos at right show it with a band.) Position yourself on one knee with your back to the cable machine, or whatever the band is attached to. Hold the cable with both hands over your head, and start with your back extended. (If you feel this in your lower back, you may be extending too far.)

Now you have several options: You can do it as a static hold for 15 to 30 seconds per side, or you can do reps, straightening your torso to the position shown in the second photo at right.

Or you can start in the second position, if the first is too awkward or uncomfortable. From there you can do perform isometric holds or short-range-of-motion reps pulling forward slightly.

Lateral Hold

Big Gains with Active Recovery (6)

As you can see in the photo, I'm holding an isometric position while positioned sideways on the glute-ham apparatus. You can also use a Roman chair or two flat benches set up parallel to each other, with your feet under one and your hip resting on the other. You can maintain that position for time using just your body weight, or you can add resistance with a dumbbell or weight plate, as shown in the photo.

Make sure you hold for the same amount of time on each side.

One last note about core training: I don't like to use rotary exercises for active recovery, since the movement patterns are more complex. They should be used as primary exercises so you give them the focus they require.

For All Athletes: Reflex and Reaction Drills

I don't like the term "sport-specific training." If you're an MMA fighter, sport-specific training is what you do when you're sparring or working with your coach. If you're a baseball player, you train for your sport by hitting, throwing, and fielding. What I do is strength and conditioning, making you bigger, stronger, faster, and leaner so you can get more out of whatever skills you develop on the field, court, or mat.

That said, I don't have a problem with practicing sport-specific skills as part of my training sessions. With a fighter, we might use shadow boxing for active recovery, or even some controlled sparring, especially if he needs to practice new holds and combinations for an upcoming fight.

If I'm training a tennis player or golfer, I might have him bring his racquet or driver to the gym, and practice strokes or swings as AR. This is especially important if his coach has recently altered his mechanics. Practicing the stroke or swing helps him groove the new motor patterns without interfering with our workout or requiring extra practice time with his coach.

You can also do drills that aren't specific to any sport, but help improve some useful athletic quality, like reaction time. One of my favorites is the card catch, which you see in the video to your right. I learned it from Todd Durkin, and like to use it for AR toward the end of the workout, when the athlete is tired.

(Video) What to Do on Rest Days

For Injured Lifters: Rehab Exercises

When I had ACL reconstructive surgery on my right knee a few months back, I was a mess. I'd lost a significant amount of muscle in my legs, especially the right one.

By doing my rehab exercises as AR three times a week, I was able to double the amount of time I devoted to rebuilding my size, strength, and range of motion – three sessions a week with a physical therapist, and three workouts of my own. I was back to running and coaching athletes through complex speed and agility drills in just seven weeks.

I won't go into detail about what I did, since every injury is different. I just want to stress that low-intensity rehab exercises are perfect for active recovery, since they don't create any new fatigue in the uninjured muscles you're using for your primary exercises.

Wrapping It Up

These are the major points I want to make about active recovery:

  • You can get more out of your primary lifts if you do light, low-intensity exercises for opposing muscle groups in between sets.
  • You can use mobility exercises in between sets of Olympic and power lifts to help improve your form and range of motion.
  • You can do exercises for your neck and core that improve strength and stability without adding to your time in the gym.
  • If you play a sport, you can practice key movements – punch or kick combinations, throws or swings – without creating additional fatigue.
  • Athletes who add drills that challenge their quickness and reaction time, especially toward the end of workouts when fatigue has set in, can help themselves perform better outside the gym. If the deciding moment of your contest comes in the final minutes, the athlete who performs best when he's tired will have the edge.
  • And if you're coming back from an injury, you can cut your recovery time by doing rehab exercises in between sets with the uninjured muscles.

Even with all those applications for active recovery, I'm really just scratching the surface. You can work on any fitness or athletic quality during your down time between sets of your primary exercises – agility, mobility, flexibility, balance, hand-eye coordination. You can save time by doing movement-prep exercises for whatever primary exercise comes next in your workout.

Most of the time, it's better to do AR exercises for time, rather than for reps. (One exception is the neck-training exercise I mentioned earlier.) If you're taking long rest periods between sets, you can incorporate some unilateral exercises, since you have time to hit both limbs. But if you're taking short rest periods, stick to bilateral exercises so you finish them within that time.

The most important rule is that whatever you do for active recovery can't be fatiguing, and it especially can't be fatiguing to the specific muscles you're using for your primary exercise. So you don't want to do push-ups in between sets of heavy bench presses, or core exercises in between sets of squats, deadlifts, or any other exercise that requires a lot of core strength and stability.

The other two rules, as I mentioned, require that you have a reason to select the exercises for active recovery, and you don't choose anything that extends the rest period between sets of your primary exercises.

But other than that, you're only limited by your imagination. Use active recovery diligently and creatively, and you could end up with much more productive workouts without spending one extra minute in the gym.

(Video) 20 Minute Full Body Active Recovery Workout [No Equipment]

FAQs

Does active recovery help build muscle? ›

Active recovery is often considered more beneficial than inactivity, resting completely, or sitting. It can keep blood flowing and help muscles recover and rebuild from intense physical activity.

What should an active recovery include? ›

Typical active recovery activities include walking, swimming, cycling, jogging, yoga, or active stretching (Ortiz et al. 2018). The key is to find an activity that's low-intensity and keeps your heart rate at 30-60% of your maximum heart rate.

How effective is active recovery? ›

Active recovery can also be beneficial during interval training sets. The American Council on Exercise found that athletes recovered faster by continuing at less than 50% of their maximum efforts between intervals, as this still exercises the muscles and keeps the blood flowing.

Why Active recovery is important? ›

Why is Active Recovery Important? Active recovery can reduce soreness and speed up the muscle-rebuilding process. For example, after five days of solid training, an active recovery session helps your muscle recovery by increasing blood flow without putting a heavy strain on your muscles and joints.

Can you do active recovery everyday? ›

How Often Should You Do It? Most people think of active recovery as their “rest day”. But, we're about to debunk the myth that a once-a-week active recovery day is enough. Get this – we should actually be doing it after every intense workout.

Why Active recovery is better than passive? ›

"Active recovery after strenuous exercise clears accumulated blood lactate faster than passive recovery in an intensity-dependent manner," write the study authors. [Run faster, stronger and longer with this 360-degree training program.] On the other hand, some experts believe passive recovery is the way to go.

Is active recovery better than rest? ›

In addition to giving your muscles a rest, active recovery also provides a wealth of other advantages. For example, studies show this type of recovery may help clear blood lactate in the body, which means you could reduce post-workout soreness and fatigue, while also prepping your muscles for better endurance.

How many rest days should I take to build muscle? ›

Taking two to three days off from intense exercise each week while engaging in some form of active recovery will allow you to get your blood flowing to help facilitate muscle repair.

How often is active recovery? ›

Got a three or four day per week program? Start with one active recovery day and see if your body responds well enough to add a second each week. If you're training five or six days a week, keep it to one active recovery training session.

Which muscles recover the fastest? ›

With that being said, different muscle groups tend to have different rates of recovery, with smaller muscles—biceps, triceps, calves—being able to recover more quickly than larger muscles—lats, quads, hamstrings, etc. In addition, different individuals are able to handle different amounts of training volume.

Is one day rest enough for muscles? ›

After exercising a specific muscle group, let it rest for one to two days. This gives your muscles a chance to repair and heal. On the other days, train different muscles. Be sure to work opposing muscles to keep your body balanced.

Do muscles take longer to recover with age? ›

Muscle recovery takes longer as you age because your muscles and tendons aren't as resilient as they used to be.

What are the three types of recovery? ›

Name the three types of recovery? Self-recovery, Like-recovery, and Dedicated-recovery. You just studied 12 terms!

How long should a recovery walk be? ›

Adding a walking program, as little as 15 to 20 minutes per day without a break, increases lymphatic drainage through the “active muscle pump.” This “pump” action increases lymphatic drainage and increases blood flow to the muscles, enabling the healthy nutrition you take in to be delivered to the muscles more ...

What heart rate is active recovery? ›

For example, if your resting heart rate (HR) is 75-80 bpm, an active recovery HR range for you would be between 95-120 bpm. The higher your resting HR, the lower your HR range should be with active recovery, sticking with this "20-40 rule".

Is 6 days a week overtraining? ›

Unfortunately, there's no concrete answer to that question. For most people, the answer is… less. If you're training six or seven times per week but you're not training for a specific sport, event or competition, chances are you're overtraining.

Do elite runners take rest days? ›

Rest days are taken by everyone, even some of our countries most elite runners' factor in much needed 'adaptation days'. Here is how they spend them: A lot of elites truly embrace the importance of rest days.

Is a massage active recovery? ›

Active recovery, however, can include any of the following: Massage – either self-massage or professional. Mobility exercises – moving through a full range of motion, but avoiding long holds as in stretching. General light physical activity – something in between passive rest and a workout.

Is yoga active recovery? ›

Yoga is an effective active recovery workout for the body and mind and can work wonders to make you a better athlete. You're not alone in thinking that yoga is stretching – even some fitness pros and athletes think so, too.

Is it OK to walk on rest days? ›

Rest day is the perfect opportunity to take advantage of low impact workouts such as yoga or Pilates. Or simply take a walk. The idea is to take a break from those hardcore gym workouts, yet keep your body moving. Aim for 30-45 minutes of light recovery exercise on rest day.

Is 2 rest days a week too much? ›

It turns out, exercise experts pretty much agree on the number of rest days people who are in good shape and exercising regularly should take: On average, you should be taking two days per week for rest and active recovery.

Is it OK to take 2 rest days in a row workout? ›

If you don't sleep well or long enough consistently for a few days, your reaction time, immunity, cognitive functions, and endurance will decrease, with compounds the symptoms of overtraining. Dr. Wickham says that two rest days in a row should be enough to reset the body back into a normal sleep schedule and cycle.

Is 1 rest day a week enough? ›

A rest day is a day in which a person takes a break from their regular workout routine. Rest days are an important part of any exercise program. They give the body a chance to repair and recover, and help to prevent injury. A person should plan to have at least one rest day every 7–10 days.

What do bodybuilders eat on rest days? ›

Your rest day nutrition should include plenty of protein from a variety of sources, complex carbohydrates to fuel recovery, and healthy fats to help bring down inflammation created by training. Aim for 20-30g protein every 2-4 hours throughout the day.

How many days rest for maximum muscle growth? ›

It is generally recommended that bodybuilders get 1-2 days of rest per week, with a whole week of rest every three months. You can split train and focus on different muscle groups each day, so while you're working on your shoulders, your legs get a rest and can recover adequately.

Should I eat less on rest days? ›

If they want weight loss along with muscle growth, reducing calories on rest days can help. The body does still needs nutrients to aid in recovery. As long as these needs are met, calories can be lowered slightly.

Is 3 rest days in a row too much? ›

“However, following long periods of extensive exercise, the body's metabolic system may be stressed to its limit, therefore it is advised for anywhere from a minimum of 3-7 days of complete rest, hydration and sleep.

Is 4 days a week at the gym enough? ›

If you really want to see results reflected on the scale and continue to make progress over time, you need to commit to working out at least four to five days per week. But remember, you'll build up to this. To start, you might only want to do two or three days per week and slowly work your way up to five days.

What does active recovery look like? ›

Active recovery, also called active rest, is when you do some sort of movement that is less intense than your regular workout days. That can mean anything from yoga or light stretching, a walk, or a leisurely jog. In general, an active recovery day features easy workouts no more than low to moderate intensity.

What muscles take longest recovery? ›

Muscle size

Muscles like your quadricep or gluteal muscles are relatively big, and they're involved in a lot of different sitting and standing motions, so these will take more time to recover.

What drinks help sore muscles? ›

The 10 Best Muscle Recovery Foods and Drinks
  • Tart cherry juice. Drinking tart cherry juice may benefit both trained athletes and novice gym-goers alike. ...
  • Watermelon and watermelon juice. Watermelon is sweet, hydrating, and loaded with nutrients. ...
  • Fatty fish. ...
  • Pomegranate juice. ...
  • Beet juice. ...
  • Whey protein shakes. ...
  • Eggs. ...
  • Dairy.
19 Aug 2021

What is the best thing for muscle recovery? ›

Lifestyle
  • Sleep more. Sleep gives your muscles time to recover from exercise. ...
  • Massage. Many athletes incorporate massage in their training to reduce muscle soreness. ...
  • Compression garments. Wearing compression garments has become common among athletes over the past several decades. ...
  • Contrast water therapy. ...
  • Cryotherapy.

Why do I feel weaker after rest days? ›

Your metabolism slows down so you burn less fat; your brain produces fewer endorphins so your mood dips. Muscle recovery is actually impaired, not enhanced: your body needs activity to flush out the lactic acid from yesterday's workout, which is why even Tour de France cyclists do low-intensity rides on rest days (1).

How long is too long in the gym? ›

What Should You Do? Nelson advises to train smarter, not longer. Workouts should last no less than 60 minutes and no more than 90 minutes. This is sufficient time to challenge your body with quality reps.

Can exercising too much cause weight gain? ›

Weight gain

Exercising too much without resting enough in between can lead to low testosterone levels and high levels of cortisol, the stress hormone. These hormonal changes are often associated with loss of muscle tissue, weight gain, and excess belly fat.

How do I know my muscles are growing? ›

You've became stronger

One way to tell that you're building muscle is if your strength increases. Typically, strength gains parallel with muscle gains so if you've noticed that you've become stronger, then that is a good indication that your muscles have grown. Record your workouts so you can track your progress.

How long does muscle take to grow? ›

Most beginners will see noticeable muscle growth within eight weeks, while more experienced lifters will see changes in three to four weeks. Most individuals gain one to two pounds of lean muscle per month with the right strength training and nutrition plan.

What happens if you train the same muscle everyday? ›

Performing the same routine every day can lead to excess soreness or strain. Using the same muscle groups over and over again doesn't leave any time for your muscles to repair and grow. I recommend alternating days training different muscle groups so that you give your body time to recover.

Can a 60 year old man build muscle? ›

Retirees, take note and flex that bicep: 2017 can be the year you start building muscle again. Repeated research has shown that, through weight training, men and women in their 60s and beyond can grow muscles as big and strong as an average 40-year-old.

Can a 65 year old build muscle? ›

Seniors Can Still Bulk Up On Muscle By Pressing Iron Our muscle mass decreases at surprising rates as we get older. But researchers found that people older than 50 can not only maintain but actually increase their muscle mass by lifting weights.

How many times a week should a 50 year old workout? ›

If you're in good health, you should get at least 150 minutes of moderate cardio activity a week. It's better when you spread it out over 3 days or more, for a minimum of 10 minutes at a time.

What is the first rule of recovery? ›

Rule 1: Change Your Life

The most important rule of recovery is that a person does not achieve recovery by just not using. Recovery involves creating a new life in which it is easier to not use.

What are the 4 pillars of recovery? ›

  • What Are the Four Pillars of Addiction Recovery? While there is no short, easy way to ensure addiction recovery, there are four pillars of recovery that help support this lifelong process. ...
  • Ensuring Long-Term Health. ...
  • Having a Stable Home Life. ...
  • Creating a Life of Purpose. ...
  • Developing Relationships in Community.
16 Aug 2022

What are recovery skills? ›

Two important coping skills for recovery are the ability to relax and manage stress, and the ability to change negative thinking. Stress management and meditation are now being used regularly in medicine. The evidence is overwhelming that they are effective in treating anxiety, depression, and addiction.

Does active recovery help build muscle? ›

Active recovery is often considered more beneficial than inactivity, resting completely, or sitting. It can keep blood flowing and help muscles recover and rebuild from intense physical activity.

Why Active recovery is important? ›

Why is Active Recovery Important? Active recovery can reduce soreness and speed up the muscle-rebuilding process. For example, after five days of solid training, an active recovery session helps your muscle recovery by increasing blood flow without putting a heavy strain on your muscles and joints.

Is stretching active recovery? ›

Yoga is also a form of active recovery. Even gentle yoga can have positive effects on the body, helping regulate blood glucose levels, reduce musculoskeletal aches and pains, and improve posture. The stretching that yoga involves also continues to work the muscles in a gentle way, which will increase blood circulation.

Should you have active rest days? ›

Rest days are an important part of exercise for all levels of fitness. A person should take a rest day every 7–10 days or as needed to help the body and mind recover. A rest day can be an active day that incorporates gentle exercises such as walking or yoga. Alternatively, a person may opt for a full day of relaxation.

Is muscle built on rest days? ›

Downtime between workouts (whether you're lifting, doing cardio or training for a sport) is when our bodies have a chance to actually build muscle. Strenuous workouts cause muscle breakdown, while rest allows our bodies to build it back up.

Why is muscle recovery important for muscle growth? ›

It's important to give your body time to recover fully after a workout. While you're exercising, you create damage to your muscles. It's only during the recovery period that your muscles can repair the tiny tears that form during exercise. If you don't give your muscles time to recuperate, you risk injuring yourself.

What does active recovery mean? ›

Active recovery, also called active rest, is when you do some sort of movement that is less intense than your regular workout days. That can mean anything from yoga or light stretching, a walk, or a leisurely jog. In general, an active recovery day features easy workouts no more than low to moderate intensity.

Is 6 days a week overtraining? ›

Unfortunately, there's no concrete answer to that question. For most people, the answer is… less. If you're training six or seven times per week but you're not training for a specific sport, event or competition, chances are you're overtraining.

Why am I so tired on rest days? ›

When you take a day off, your body doesn't have to funnel energy into your workout, so it goes all in on repairing your muscles. This may take a toll on your energy levels.

What does an active recovery day look like? ›

Getting moderate levels of activity in between days of more intense workouts—known as “active rest”—can help promote muscle recovery. Active rest can include low-impact activities like walking, foam rolling, and yoga. Working active rest days into your fitness routine can help you progress faster and avoid burnout.

What should I eat on recovery days? ›

What to do on your rest day
  • Carbohydrates. Eat complex carbs to restore your glycogen levels. ...
  • Water. It's essential to drink enough water, even when you're not working out. ...
  • Fruits and vegetables. Fruits and veggies offer healthy carbs and nutrients that support recovery.
7 Aug 2019

How many days rest for maximum muscle growth? ›

It is generally recommended that bodybuilders get 1-2 days of rest per week, with a whole week of rest every three months. You can split train and focus on different muscle groups each day, so while you're working on your shoulders, your legs get a rest and can recover adequately.

How much sleep do you need to build muscle? ›

Sleeping for 7-9 hours per night is crucial, especially if you are looking to change body composition, increase muscle mass and/or if you want to be ready for your personal training session the next day. Sleep enhances muscle recovery through protein synthesis and human growth hormone release.

Which muscles recover the fastest? ›

With that being said, different muscle groups tend to have different rates of recovery, with smaller muscles—biceps, triceps, calves—being able to recover more quickly than larger muscles—lats, quads, hamstrings, etc. In addition, different individuals are able to handle different amounts of training volume.

How do I maximize muscle growth and recovery? ›

6 Tips for Improving Muscle Recovery
  1. Hydrate consistently. In order to build the proteins that make up muscle tissue, your body needs plenty of water. ...
  2. Eat the right kinds of food. ...
  3. Listen to your body. ...
  4. Try active recovery exercises. ...
  5. Massage sore muscles with foam rollers. ...
  6. Get enough sleep.
7 Jun 2021

Is recovery more important than working out? ›

According to ACE (a fitness governing body), recovery is the most important part of any person's program. Taking time to rest your body can be challenging mentally, but rest has significant physical benefits. To get better at a sport or to enhance your personal fitness, you must expose your body to stresses.

How often is active recovery? ›

Got a three or four day per week program? Start with one active recovery day and see if your body responds well enough to add a second each week. If you're training five or six days a week, keep it to one active recovery training session.

What are the three types of recovery? ›

Name the three types of recovery? Self-recovery, Like-recovery, and Dedicated-recovery. You just studied 12 terms!

Do abs need rest days? ›

Whether you're doing crunches, working out on an ab machine at the gym, or anything in between — the fact remains that your abs need a rest every once in a while if you want to see long-term results.

Videos

1. How to Relieve Muscle Soreness and Recover FAST (4 Science-Based Tips)
(Jeremy Ethier)
2. RECOVER FASTER & PREVENT INJURIES | Primal Movement Active Recovery Workout
(Movement Parallels Life)
3. Do This on Non-Workout Days (NO GAINS LOST!!)
(ATHLEAN-X™)
4. 🌶Day 5: Active Recovery // Full Body Stretch + Mobility
(Heather Robertson)
5. How To Maximize Gains and NOT Overtrain | Overtraining Science Explained
(Jeff Nippard)
6. The Fastest Way to Recover from Soreness
(Mind Pump Show)

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Author: Msgr. Benton Quitzon

Last Updated: 11/30/2022

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Name: Msgr. Benton Quitzon

Birthday: 2001-08-13

Address: 96487 Kris Cliff, Teresiafurt, WI 95201

Phone: +9418513585781

Job: Senior Designer

Hobby: Calligraphy, Rowing, Vacation, Geocaching, Web surfing, Electronics, Electronics

Introduction: My name is Msgr. Benton Quitzon, I am a comfortable, charming, thankful, happy, adventurous, handsome, precious person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.