Superhero Workout Series: Recover Like Wolverine

Recovery is just as an important to training as the training plan itself. And as many of you know one of the superheroes with the best recovering abilities is Marvel’s Wolverine. While we won’t be able to get you the mutant gene that allows for a 25 second recovery after being hit by an atomic bomb or fall from a 50-story building unscathed; we can certainly help you bounce back from a tough training run, a big competitive meet, or injuries in more effective ways other than recommending rest.

There are a lot of different ways to recover. Some people say their methods are the best or that they live and die by these recovery techniques.

  • Being “recovered” doesn’t mean I am no longer sore after two days off.
  • Recovery is more than taking a day off and sitting on the couch all day.
  • Learning to alter your training can enhance your recovery.

Anti-Inflammatory Foods

  • Ginger – A study published in 2010, showed that ginger consumption can reduce muscle pain following exercise-induced muscle injury.
  • Tumeric – A very strong anti-inflammatory. Inflammation occurs after any hard workout or competition. While inflammation does help with recovery too much inflammation can also be detrimental. Curcumin, which is found in Tumeric, has been shown in clinical trials  with athletes that it can help decrease joint pain and improve joint mobility and function.
  • Pineapple – It is rich in the proteolytic enzyme, Bromelain, which helps produce substances that help fight pain and inflammation.

Deep Tissue and Manual Work

The goal: to decrease pain and improve range of motion in the muscles and joints. Removing any myofascial restrictions that can block circulation, cause pain and limitation, and can limit range of motion is important.

  • Active Release Technique and targeted muscle work
  • Massage Therapy
  • Chiropractic
  • Acupuncture
  • Rolfing
  • Foam Rolling or even utilizing a tennis ball, golf ball, or soft ball.

Electrical Muscle Stimulation

This isn’t a new concept and something I’ve been recommending more for many high-level training individuals. The unit delivers stimulation to your muscles and acts almost like an external brain by sending a signal to the muscles and causing them to contract. And depending on the type of electrical muscle stimulation unit (EMS unit) that you use, it can activate the muscles in a therapeutic manner. Anywhere between 15-60 minutes is a general recommendation. After training days and competitive days, it can help decrease pain. The electrodes go around the area in question and you set the impulse to a comfortable discomfort.

Mobility Drills and Low Intensity Movement

Low-intensity and Low-tech basic mobility drills to help unlock sticky joints. There isn’t a one size fits all approach  to mobility drills.

Dr. Ryan DeBell – Chiropractor

Dr. Kelly Starrett – Physical Therapy

Lee Boyce – Performance & Strength Coach

Saunas

Rhonda Patrick is fantastic and she’s incredibly smart and up to date on the latest news in helping with longevity and recovery. Something that she has been recommending for the last several years, Saunas after a workout. While it’s not exactly accessible for people to build Saunas, gyms do have them.

Heat Stress Triggers a Massive Release of growth hormone. And growth hormone stimulates growth, cell reproduction, and cell regeneration.

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That’s not to say that these are the only methods of healing. Because there are a lot. There is also parasympathetic breathing, low intensity exercise, fasted exercise, vibration technique, and compression gear. All of which have different studies and research that have shown to help with recovery. Some will work for you better than others, but give them a shot. Happy Healing…!

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