Active recovery: definition and exercises

25 September 2019

Fitness

Active recovery is an essential part to recover after extreme physical exertion while still staying mobile. You have probably heard someone at the gym saying ‘this is my active recovery day’ or someone mentioning going for a hike for theirs. And you may be wondering ‘what is active recovery?’ Let’s go on to learn about it, and begin with the active recovery definition.

What is active recovery?

Active recovery reduces the buildup of lactic acid in the muscles and helps to alleviate fatigue. It also gives your body a chance to get movement in but with less stress than you would take on in a vigorous workout. Now that we know what active recovery is, how do we do it and what is active recovery workout?

Active recovery workout

There are many workouts you can choose from your active recovery days. You can choose one based on preference and mix it up according to season and the day! Here are a few ideas for an active recovery workout:

  • Yoga
  • Light resistance training
  • Hiking
  • Swimming
  • Walking

Active recovery exercises

Active recovery exercises are really any type of mobility movements. You can combine any number of exercises for a circuit. Here are a couple exercise options:

Glute bridges

    1. First, position your torso flat on the ground, with knees bent, and arms extended by your sides.
    2. Without rotating your torso or changing the position of your feet on the ground, squeeze your glutes and raise your hips.
    3. Continue until your thighs are in line with your ab.
    4. Lower your hips until your butt is in contact with the floor.
    5. Complete subsequent reps starting from step 2.

Lateral Lunges

  1. First, stand with your feet shoulder width apart and arms extended by your sides.
  2. Pick one leg up off the floor and move it laterally as far as you can.
  3. Bend the knee of the leg in motion as soon as it comes into contact with the ground, while keeping the opposite leg straight.
  4. Pushing through the leg with the bent knee, return to a standing position with your feet shoulder width apart.
  5. Complete subsequent reps starting from step 2, alternating legs.

A great way to boost your active recovery day is to do lifestyle recovery habits as well. This is a day to ensure you have a rejuvenating morning routine, nourish your body with healthy food, foam roll, take an Epsom salt bath, and relax.

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