Your combination of everyday life and hard WODs is draining you. That is completely understandable. Shouldering a 40-50 hour work week and giving your all in the gym several times a week - that deserves respect. But you've probably wondered if there aren't other ways to relax your muscles than just lying on the couch for half a day and rewarding yourself with carbohydrates until you burst.
Recently, active recovery, i.e. active regeneration, has become increasingly important, especially in the area of functional fitness. What active recovery is, how you can use it to benefit your everyday life and which tools and habits are helpful, we explain to you here:
Differentiation between active and passive regeneration:
lactate as the cause
Your body is a machine, a highly technical, highly efficient device that is prepared for any eventuality. Lactate is formed during exercise, which is why you will feel an energy boost after a few minutes in the unit. Your body moves more easily. But this lactate leads to over-acidification of the body in the long run, which is why you will most likely feel a more or less strong pull in the muscle parts that have suffered particularly at the end of the training session. We have also published a blog article on lactate formation and the mode of action of lactate itself.
Types of regeneration at a glance
But after the lactate injection comes regeneration. As you can see from the title, you have to differentiate between two variants: With passive regeneration, you lie down, eat properly, thus supplying your body with essential nutrients and sleeping a lot. This allows the body to focus all of its energy on building muscle and cleaning up after the workout.
Active regeneration has a different objective. So-called low-impact sports, i.e. sports that are carried out without a huge level of performance and without a claim to competition, heat up the blood circulation. Your muscles remain or become warm again, the increased supply of blood brings a swarm of nutrients to the maltreated muscle strands. At the same time, the build-up of lactic acid, i.e. the formation of lactate, is slowed down. As a result, your muscles "do not close as quickly", which is why your pain level and muscle soreness will most likely decrease.
Benefits of Active Recovery:
Man is made to move. Even if we often feel like a panda with too little sleep and far too little food: We are much more efficient than we think. That's why it sometimes doesn't always make sense if you just lie down and are actively inactive. A small example apart from sports: Your day at the office was more than just exhausting. The customers kept you on your toes, the phone hardly stood still, the lunch break wasn't just too short - it hardly existed. At the end of your shift, you don't want to see the world anymore. Head off, door closed. But maybe you have already noticed that a light walk, a short swim at the lake or a short jog makes you much more relaxed.
This has to do with two things: Firstly, your head gets other influences, it can center itself and you fight the sensory overload that you brought home from the office with the same tone of this light sports unit. Second, you're moving your body through in a light, tolerable way. The higher blood flow that is generated in this way gets your system going, the blood circulates. In the end you feel regenerated, even though you have done more than originally planned.
Active Recovery also works in a similar way during sports: running, doing a lap on the BikeErg or swimming, your body moves under its own power, but not with additional stress, such as from a vest or heavy kettlebell. Thanks to the increased nutrient transport and the warmed-up muscles, you fight muscle soreness and post-WOD lethargy at the same time. In this way, you may be ready for a sweaty workout more quickly and you will also have increased your level of movement.
However, it has to be mentioned at this point that the active recovery workload has to remain really low. Difficult intervals, timed work, etc. serve as an independent workout and will not bring the desired success. When it comes to active regeneration, the following applies more than any other: strength lies in rest.
Tools and sports for regeneration:
How can you improve your blood circulation, do something good for your body and not be lazy at the same time? The Wodstore offers you enough excellent answers for this. On the one hand, the Flowgun Flow MINI is definitely something for you.
The massage gun emits vibration waves with a wide variety of attachments. After heavy squats, the waves will circulate your legs, preventing muscle soreness and soreness the next morning. In combination with yoga to warm up, you can work your entire body with the Flowgun and not only strengthen your regeneration, but also your mobility. It is not for nothing that the massage pistol is also often used to warm up specific muscle groups before strenuous workouts.
Do you also move through on rest days or do you belong more to the team of passive regeneration? Let us know in the comments!