Whether you are a runner or a lifter, suffering from muscle fatigue can slow down your progress toward meeting your fitness goals. While a few days of rest may be necessary in order to help your muscles recover, there are also several exercises that you can do to help speed up the recovery process. All of these exercises involve stretching your muscles and ligaments in order to help alleviate muscle fatigue while also helping your body fend off injury. Here are the top five exercises to speed up recovery.
1. Pyramid Stretch
This exercise stretches the hamstrings. To do this stretch, put your left foot forward and your right foot behind you. Your right and left foot should be separated by two to three feet with your heels lined up. Your left toes should be angled out at about 45 degrees while your right toes are straight forward. Bend your right knee slightly as you bend and place your hands on your right shin. Hold this position for a count of ten before switching legs.
2. Balanced Knee Lift
This exercise stretches your glutes and lower back while also working the muscles in your feet and ankles. To do this exercise, you must first balance on your right leg. Then, bend your left leg and pull your knee in toward your chest. Focus on maintaining a straight posture while looking out in front of you. Hold the position for a count of ten before switching legs. If you are shaky when you first do this exercise, place one hand on a wall or the back of a chair until you are able to perform the exercise without bracing yourself.
3. Crescent Lunge
This exercise stretches the hip flexors and quads. To perform this exercise, place your right foot out in front of you with your left foot behind you. Bend your right leg so your right leg is fully extended behind you and so your left knee is directly over your left ankle. Next, extend both of your arms straight in front of you and raise them until they are extended straight over your head. Hold this position for a count of 10 before switching legs.
4. Pigeon Stretch
This pose stretches the hip flexors and the hip rotators. To perform this stretch, fold your right leg out in front of you. Stretch your left leg back behind you. Then, lean your torso forward so you are leaning over your right leg. Hold the pose for a count of ten before switching legs.
5. Downward Dog
This exercise stretches the Achilles, calf muscles and hamstrings. To perform this stretch, lean forward and place your hands flat on the ground. In doing so, you should form an inverted “V” shape with your body as you keep your arms and back aligned. Hold the position for a count of 10 and repeat.
By performing a few advanced stretching techniques, you help your body grow stronger and more flexible. Not only does this help your muscles avoid fatigue, but it also helps to expedite the recovery process after you have worked out.