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Sports & Rehab
April 28, 2023
Recovery not only allows our muscles to repair, re-build and strengthen but ensures our bodies energy stores have time to replenish. As a rule of thumb, allowing a period of 48-72 hours rest after our muscles have been worked ensures that our body will have time to achieve this. It is important to note recovery doesn’t always mean sitting out on activity altogether (although these days are important, too!) it can also be lowering the intensity of your activity through active recovery.
Active recovery is achieved through less intense movement or motion to help repair soft tissue and aims to increase blood flow and removal of waste products. Active recovery can be achieved though gentle activity such as walking or stretching. The idea is to place the body under very minimal amounts of stress – ideally none!
A rest day focusses on giving yourself the day off from exercise altogether. The amount of rest days you will need to work into your plan is dependent on the level of intensity and type of activity you participate in.
If you choose to take an active recovery day, there are products that you can use to assist with this. We share our top 5 picks that will help you to recover well and perform at your peak.
Foam rolling is a great active recovery technique, providing you with a self-myofascial release (SMR). It can assist with increasing range of motion, circulation, and muscle soreness. The USL Sport Foam Roller is a great entry-level roller that provides moderate level compression. The three sizes offer a solution for all users – whether you are after a portable size that targets smaller areas, or a larger size for targeting your back.
The USL Crossfit Massage Ball is great for reducing muscle tension and tightness, and the smaller size means that it can target areas that foam rollers don’t reach. The USL Crossfit Massage Ball can be used on the upper and lower back, shoulder, legs, and feet. The small lightweight 6cm design allows for on-the-go relief and is a great self-massage tool for before and after exercise.
Stretching is important post physical activity, helping to protect our mobility, relax tense muscles and increase blood flow. The USL Power Band is a great tool to help with stretching. Using a resistance band to stretch can help you to get into a deeper stretch which call allow you to increase your flexibility and assist with increasing range of motion.
If you are really wanting to step up your post-workout recovery sessions, the Veinoplus Sport for Performance and Recovery offers the same benefits of active recovery in a passive state through electrostimulation. Electrostimulation is a physical therapy treatment that produces mild electrical pulses to contract muscles, helping to improve blood flow without muscular work. It can be applied to the calves to provide whole-body recovery, or local recovery by placing the electrodes on muscles such as quadriceps.
One recovery tool that shouldn’t be overlooked is the Loumet Massage Spikey Ball. Like Foam Rollers, Spikey Balls work on the myofascial system. They help to increase blood flow to the area, reduce muscle tension and can help shorten recovery time. The small size makes them a great portable self-massage tool, and the ability to be used on almost all parts of the body.
The above information is designed as a guide only. Please consult with your healthcare professional to ensure that you select the most appropriate massage tool for your needs.
The lofty goal of the New Zealand Rugby Foundation to have a heart defibrillator on the outside of every rugby club in New Zealand has already saved a life.
April is here and for winter sports enthusiasts it signals the start of team trials and pre-season training. The last two seasons have effectively been cancelled, so it is understandable that a lot of us will be champing at the bit to get back out there.