With all the questions about workouts, specific exercises or lifts and throwing programs/weighted balls recently, I think a post about recovery would be good.
I have been of the mind for a while now that any workout program is only as good as its capacity for recovery. Any trainer can get you super sore, but, that is just getting sore.
Heavy lifting, a serious throwing program, running sprints, bull pens, plyometric work ect., a program that incorporates all these things needs to allow time to warm up and properly recover.
For warm up I really like to have guys start by exercising at a lighter level. 5-10 minutes on a bike. Then foam roll to work out any trouble areas, lacrosse ball rolling to target really sore, tight or specific areas. Then do some band walks to get the gluteus awake. A good “mobility” circuit can be used as well. This is before a typical lifting workout or HIIT style training with med balls or whatever.
Before throwing I like exercise to get the blood flowing…some prefer a jog, some prefer more of an active flexibility warm up, some prefer a quick jog then sprints…then I like some arm circles, band work, wrist weights, plyocare ball throws and at least a catch/modified long toss before getting down to a flat ground or bull pen. The recovery post throwing (whether that is long toss, weighted balls or bullpen) has many things in common with the warm up. Wrist weights, arm circles, black burns, a few plyocare ball throws.
In terms of general exercise/lifting recovery I really like using the foam rolling and exercise to recover. I also like pulsed electro-magnetic therapy to deal with sore joints/muscles or inflammation. The great Kelly Starrett has a good mobility information on line for free, much of it relating to specific lifts and or specific movement issues.
Massage is great as well and surprisingly under utilized by many people that are training very hard.
Hot and cold water baths can help as well. I personally could never take the cold baths. I know some folks that swear by them.
Perhaps the most undervalued part of recovery is the simplest. Eating enough food…protein, carbs and veggies…lots of food. Proper hydration. Cut your gatoraid with water. Just drinking plain water is preferred. Maybe the biggest of all that is generally ignored by young athletes…sleep. What I don’t mean sleeping until 3 in the afternoon on Saturday because you were up to 2 am. Then, eating a bowl of cereal and playing video games. That isn’t doing much for you. I mean getting on a consistent, disciplined sleep schedule that gives you enough consistent sleep to meet all the demands you have.
Proper sleep, hydration and diet will do wonders for a players ability to recover and progress with their work.
Anyone have any favorite warm up or recovery methods??