It’s all the same - whether you are working towards a world title, defense, or getting healthier, your body is going to need TLC to come back fighting for the next round. Recovery is often an overlooked area of training yet can make a significant difference, especially with the demand of martial arts on the body. Keep in mind that top-quality recovery techniques = top-quality injury prevention.
If you’re wondering how to recover after martial arts training, try some of these recovery techniques to ensure you’re staying in top shape.
Yes, this is a classic form of recovery and yes, we know it is a go-to. There is a reason for that! Foam rolling helps release tension in the muscles, relieve muscle soreness, and improve your range of motion. Foam rolling can be intense and even painful at times. However, when executed correctly, it can be a massive game-changer in your recovery. Always begin at a slower pace than you think you should with a focus on breathing through it. Experiment with the different shapes, sizes, and densities of foam rollers to find what works best for you.
Usually a good idea alongside foam rolling, stretching is another powerful recovery tool. Stretching helps improve flexibility and range of motion. Specifically, after a training session, stretching can reduce tension in your joints and muscles. We recommend a full-body approach when creating your list of stretches to include and to focus just a little bit more on any of those more sensitive areas - from lizard pose to saddle stretch, we know that your body will be thanking you.
All those who train hard understand the importance and intensity of massage therapy. This does not always mean a full-blown spa day with cucumbers on your face. Massage therapy can be terribly underrated and not enough take advantage of the therapeutic benefits of massage. A massage can help remove the body’s waste products, speed recovery, and help the body heal from the impact.
We recognize that this isn’t the most appealing technique for recovery. That being said, an ice bath will help to reduce inflammation and optimize performance. In a 2018 meta-analysis on the effectiveness of several recovery methods, ice baths were in the top two for lower inflammation. Ice baths are not necessarily fantastic for reducing muscle soreness and fatigue. Ice baths have a positive effect on the central nervous system that helps you rest. For the best results, soak in 50-59 degree water for 10 to 15 minutes. Keep this recovery method around for when the training is really hard - no need to ice bath every week.
Shocker, right? Sleep is a given yet also underrated recovery method. When you’re asleep and dreaming, your body goes through several rebuilding processes to help your recovery. It is your body’s chance to repair itself. Everyone varies and you should decide the optimal amount of sleep that your body needs, but 7-8 hours is a solid range to usually try to stick within. When you prioritize sleep, you prioritize the alignment of all of your goals and life. You know the term: work hard, play hard? Start knowing the term: train hard, sleep hard.
You can’t train the way that you want to without getting your mind right. Meditation can also help with focus, concentration, and relaxation (all things that can help you recover better). If you’ve not tried it before, follow an online video to give it a try and see how it works for you.
It is probably safe to assume that nutrition should be on this list. “I need to eat clean” or “I should clean up my diet” have been said more than once. Start with going online and beginning the journey into learning about nutrition. Your body needs what YOUR body needs. Ultimately, a solid mixture of good protein, carbs, and fats would be a good place to start. Reducing the amount of alcohol, processed foods, and sugars you eat will help your body feel good.
There is no time off for greatness - except there is. Sometimes rest is the best thing that you can do for your body and your mind. Taking the occasional rest day can help you avoid overtraining prevention, boredom, burnout, you name it. You can still have an “active” rest day that includes some light walk or exercise. Knowing when and how to take a rest day showcases your progress and your strength. Just do it, as Nike says.
About The Author
The Bxng Club is more than just boxing. The Bxng Club is a leader within the combat
arts and fitness world. We have immense pride in having the best fighters and
coaches in the industry - from Boxing, Muay Thai, BJJ, MMA, HIIT, Strength
Training and more.