Injuries are common among people who exercise. Sometimes, they can happen when a person over-exerts or is not in the habit of working out every day and doing strenuous activities.
But, rest is necessary so that muscles can repair, rebuild, and strengthen. According to Rahul Huidrom, fitness expert at cult.fit, indulging in heavy training without appropriate rest can hamper performance, and you may experience chronic muscle soreness and pain. “The duration of a recovery period depends on your age, sport, diet, and training regimen,” he says.
The expert adds that workouts put stress on the body and you may tire your muscles. “Which means, you cause microscopic damage to muscle cells. These tiny tears help muscles grow stronger as they heal post-workout. But, you must give your body the time to rest before you start stressing it again.”
He suggests the following five recovery stretches for your rest days; read on.
1. Thread the needle: An exercise for improving mobility in the spine. This can help relieve chronic shoulder or back pain, and can be practised by beginners or advanced athletes to warm up or cool down following a workout.
* Come in a four-point kneeling pose, hands under shoulders and knees under hips.
* Extend your right hand towards the ceiling/sky and gaze towards it.
* Keep your left arm and knees grounded for support, and begin moving your right arm under your chest towards the mat/ground.
* Continue sliding your right arm towards the mat/ground and move your left hand above your head and stretch, allowing your shoulder to rest. Stay in this position, focus on your breathing, and repeat on the other side.
2. Child’s Pose: This is a beginner’s yoga for stretching the thighs, hips, and ankles. It helps relax the body and mind. This is often performed to rest between more difficult poses and for relief from back pain.
* Sit on your knees with your back straight and knees separated hip-width apart.
* Bend your chest onto your thighs, forehead towards the ground/mat, and palms facing against the mat. Hold in this pose, breathe deeply, and relax.
3. Sphinx Pose: This pose encourages practitioners to tighten their glutes muscles to support the pelvis, hips, and spine. It strengthens back muscles and tight areas around the spine.
* Begin by lying on your stomach with your toes flat on the floor and your forehead resting on the ground.
* Bring your arms up and rest your elbows under your shoulders with your forearms on the floor, parallel to each other.
* Breathe deeply and start lifting your head, chest, and abdomen while keeping your navel on the floor.
* Make sure your feet are together and your head is facing straight ahead. Stay in this pose and focus on your breathing.
* Exhale and gently bring down your abdomen, chest, and head back to the floor.
4. Pigeon Pose: It helps you to improve flexibility of the hip flexors and lower back muscles while improving digestion.
* Knees and hips extended in a line with shoulders, palms under the shoulders.
* Bring one leg forward, placing the shin on the ground.
* Extend both palms forward and bend your head.
5. Shoulder Rolls: This is a warm-up exercise for shoulder mobilisation to reduce pain and stiffness; it stretches muscles, tendons, and joints.
* Sit/stand with a proud chest and tight core.
* Shrug your shoulders up to your ears and roll them back and down, and squeeze your shoulder blades together.