If your muscles are constantly fatigued and not recovering in time for your next workout you can help accelerate muscle recovery by implementing these simple steps.
Stretching isn’t exactly a favorite activity, especially for men, but it offers multiple benefits that aid muscle building and recovery. Expanding the muscle fibers, through consistent stretching, can elongate the muscle tissue which will result in a thicker, fuller muscle.
But the greatest benefit to stretching is in the muscle recovery phase. The quicker you recover, the more often you can train a muscle group. More exercise equals more size or endurance.
Five minutes of stretching a muscle group before and after your workout routines is enough to see a difference. You should stretch a muscle to light tension, holding for about ten seconds, but be mindful not to stretch to the point of discomfort or pain.
Give Your Body A Day Off
If your muscle is in a constant state of fatigue, not only will it not grow, it increases the likelihood of a muscle or tendon injury. It can be very difficult for a dedicated, active person to avoid exercise but it’s a necessary component of muscle recovery.
Rearranging your workouts to prioritize recovery can speed up the process by several days. For example, a common problem is working on other upper body muscle groups immediately after an arm workout day.
If your biceps and triceps are wasted, you aren’t giving them time to recover by working on back or shoulders the following day. You should prioritize which muscle groups need the most attention and give them dedicated days off with no indirect work.
Getting enough sleep is the hidden ingredient to muscle growth and recovery. If you’re constantly sore, and never fully recovered the problem may be as simple as adjusting your sleep schedule.
During strenuous exercise your glycogen stores become depleted making it essential to replenish them after your workout. Consuming fast digesting carbohydrates after training helps restore glycogen and spikes your insulin which plays an important role in muscle synthesis.
If you’re going to give yourself a treat by eating a sugary food, then immediately after your workout is the time to do it. Cookies or donuts any other time of day can cause problems for your waste-line, but consuming these fast digesting foods while your glycogen is depleted is not likely to be converted and stored as body fat.
Your other primary concern would be consuming enough protein to sufficiently repair damaged muscle tissue. If you don’t have time, or the appetite, to have a healthy portion of protein with each meal you can supplement your diet with protein shakes. A whey protein shake providing 20-30 grams of protein is an ideal alternative to a high protein meal.
Other Muscle Recovery Ideas
– Soak in a cold tub
– Use Ice packs on sore muscles
– Get a Massage
– Use a foam roller to reduce tightness
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