Olympic athletes hit the gym hard. Whether they are training for the floor, mat, track or pool, these competitors are the best in the world and as hard as they train, they also go above and beyond to allow their muscles to recover. This means that everything is on the table when it comes to recovery.
“I am not dogmatic about any type of training or method of recovery”, Kenny santuccI, personal trainer and owner of the gym New york fort, recount Parade. “If it makes you feel good and gets you moving, then it’s good for you. Consistency is the most important tool.
From the suction cup, alternative medicine therapy using cupping, To foam rolling, here are the best recovery techniques of the Olympians themselves and the ones you should try.
Best recovery techniques
“Acupuncture has been a mainstay of oriental medicine for thousands of years,” says Santucci.
The Mayo Clinic describes acupuncture as a traditional Chinese medicine that treats pain and stress by inserting fine needles into the skin in certain areas of the body.
“I think everyone, both athletes and regular people, should do this, but don’t limit yourself to acupuncture,” Santucci adds. “After having released or unwound your taut fabrics, it is now time to train this new range. I have seen for myself, my family and my friends the wonderful miracles of acupuncture.
Related: Does Acupuncture Work For Weight Loss?
Can cherries really help you become a stronger and better athlete? American swimmer and seven-time Olympic medalist Amanda Beard swear by that.
“Tart cherry juice is scientifically proven to aid recovery after exercise, sleep and muscle pain. I started drinking it when I was training for the Olympics, ”says Beard Parade. “Cheribundi is my go-to brand because they make the most antioxidant-rich tart cherry juice. My favorite is the Cheribundi Reset which contains tangy cherry juice as well as L-theanine and valerian root extract.
The best part is, like so many of the more low-key recovery techniques on this list, that tart cherry juice works well for all levels of exercise.
“You certainly don’t have to be an elite athlete to drink it. It’s a great first step if you’re looking to be more intentional in your post-workout recovery and don’t know where to start, ”adds Beard. “It’s about creating a routine that you will stick to. It’s simple, delicious and it works.
We’ve probably all heard of suckers by this point, Thanks to American swimmer Michael Phelps who really popularized the method at the Rio Olympics in 2016. But many of us haven’t really tried it.
“Cupping is a technique where suction cups are used on tight parts of the body to separate layers of tissue that could be stuck together and cause tightness,” says Santucci. “A lot of athletes swear by cupping. I like cupping myself. It feels good, improves blood circulation and can help with performance.
According to Cleveland Clinic, this form of acupuncture can relieve pain associated with arthritis, back, neck, shoulder and knee problems, asthma and other breathing problems, carpal tunnel syndrome, gastrointestinal disturbances, headaches and migraines and high blood pressure. While this might seem a little intimidating and is usually a technique we leave to the pros, Santucci maintains that it is both safe and effective for amateur athletes to try, too.
“I think athletes and ordinary people can both see the value of trying this method of recovery,” adds Santucci.
Related: What Is The Suction Cup And Should You Try It?
When it comes to cryotherapy—A recovery practice in which you expose the body to extremely freezing temperatures for several minutes — you might want to let the Olympians and, you know, the Real housewives. It’s a pretty intense technique (we’re talking 200-300 ° F negative!), Although it does provide some health benefits.
“I like the contrast of hot and cold. Mixing the two helps the body to heal and relax faster, ”says Santucci. “The hot and cold dives are excellent. If I could only have one, cold diving would be my recovery method of choice, but I would definitely do both.
One of the most popular recovery techniques is foam rolling, a type of self-massage that is believed to relieve tension in the muscles.
“Foam rolling is described as a auto-myofascial release, says Santucci. “It is believed to break down tight tissue in the body. Some people swear by it, others don’t believe it at all. I say if it makes you feel better then why not?
Bear says foam rolling is an essential part of his recovery routine. “Foam rolling is great for helping relieve muscle tension in certain areas and reaching trigger points,” she explains. “I actually love doing this before a workout and on days when I’m feeling a little more sore. I think this is an easy and simple way to help anyone get well! You don’t have to be an Olympian for this exercise.
And Barbe is right; Foam rolling is a perfectly acceptable recovery technique for athletes of all levels. Yes, even you!
“Whether you’re an Olympian or a Wall Street day trader, if it makes you feel better before or after a workout, then by all means crush a deployment,” Santucci adds.
We can think of hot tubs as an alternative to the pool or as a luxury while on vacation, but these hot water spas surprisingly offer great health benefits. “I like the heat or the hot tubs more to relax the muscles before I exercise and, of course, to relax and take a good mental break!” Said Barbe.
And yes, the spa recovery technique is safe for everyone– even Peloton fans at home!
Ice recovery, which is simply the application of ice to an affected area, is associated with a faster recovery time as well as reduced inflammation and swelling.
“I highly recommend freezing any injury or injury-prone area after every workout. I always put ice on both knees, both shoulders and both ankles every day after my main workout, ”says Beard. “At swimming competitions, I will fill my hotel tub with ice from the ice maker mixed with a little cold water and sit there twice a day after each race I participate in. When you ice an injury-prone or injured area, it helps remove inflammation and helps you recover faster.
Santucci is also a personal fan of ice recovery.
“I like a good cold dive or an ice bath, both as a daily ritual and as a method of recovery. It helps with blood circulation, mental grain, central nervous system response and, to some extent, inflammation, ”explains Santucci. “I encourage my customers to try it out and use it often.”
In some of the more recent Olympics, you may have noticed many different Olympians with brightly colored duct tape stuck to different parts of their body. This is physiotherapy tape, a taping method that is believed to bring the body back to homeostasis, prevent injury, reduce inflammation, promote quality circulation, and more.
“Kinesiotape was used a lot more four or five years ago. I got a certification to know how to apply it ”, explains Santucci. “It feels good, [but] I don’t know how effective it is. It used to be very popular, but the popularity has since faded. “
The band itself is made from a breathable cotton blend and provides the right amount of pressure and support to muscles and tissues that need special attention.
“I’ve only used tape a few times in my athletic career,” says Beard. “The times I have done this, I have really loved the benefits of it and the tape you use will stay in place for days, so it’s great to get pain relief for several days. . In fact, my son checks in daily for baseball and finds it helps create great support for the areas that cause him pain during his workouts.
Everyone loves a massage, right ?! But this pain relief and recovery technique is not just a luxurious spa treatment. It can really do wonders in helping your body heal.
Related: What Does a Lymphatic Drainage Massage Do For Your Body?
“Massage is another great tool that is underutilized by most people. European and Asian athletes regard massage as training, ”explains Santucci. “It’s a must if you want to give your best [because it] helps blood circulation, circulation and promotes relaxation in the body. I encourage everyone to find a good masseuse and never let her go.
Known as a type of integrative medicine, massage is even thought to help patients with various health conditions including cancer, heart disease, gastrointestinal disease, and fibromyalgia and not exclusively athletes.
“I love getting a massage for many reasons, one being that it’s a great way to decompress the mind and reduce stress levels, which is always helpful for everyone regardless of the condition. level of activity you enjoy doing, ”says Beard. “It’s also a great way to help stay loose and remove any lactic acid buildup in the muscles from the workout. Make sure to drink plenty of fluids after a massage, as this tends to loosen up the muscles. things in the body that you want to eliminate.
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