The usual ways of relaxing after a tough game or workout have perhaps grown boring or you don’t find them as effective as before. Besides active recovery, balancing your diet, hydrating or supplementation, there are some relaxation methods that are still under the radar – efficient, but not mainstream. The most important thing is that they have been proven to work and show results.
After a tough game, practice or workout session, athletes choose ice baths as a way for relaxing their muscles. Ice baths allow their recovery to occur much faster, because they reduce inflammation. If you aggravate something during your physical exertion session, you can utilize the ice bath technique in your own program. These baths just plain work, so fill your bathtub with cold water, put some ice cubes in it, and submerge your body in it for no more than 10 minutes. Repeat the process when needed.
The primary component of Epsom salts is magnesium. It is known as a natural muscle relaxant and is essential for healthy muscles. When these salts get absorbed by the skin (when added to a compress or warm baths), they are more effective than when taken as an oral magnesium supplement. It shouldn’t be hard to convince yourself that taking a nice hot bath after a practice session is actually for your own good.
According to a 2011 publication, Cordyceps Sinnesis has been studied and tested for its medicinal potential, and it was found that it has a diverse pharmacological potential and diverse biological activities. C. Sinensis is a rare combination of a fungus and a caterpillar found in Sikkim, at altitudes above 4500 m. It was used by the folk healers of Sikkim, and known as a Tibetan medicine, as described in old Chinese medical books. Today, it is known as the Cordyceps mushroom and is available to all. It gives you ‘clean’ energy and activates ATP (the energy powerhouses in your cells).
Marijuana is known to improve recovery and promote rest. Smoking cannabis flower can help you fall asleep (as quality sleep is one of the most important things for any athlete), because it promotes drowsiness. During sleep is when our bodies heal the muscles we have exhausted during a match. Marijuana is also known for its ability to relax muscles and relieve pain. It also enhances the mind-muscle connection, which is important for being able to control your muscles, thus accelerating your gains and increasing the amount of mass and strength your build. Many athletes fall back on increasing their level of mind-muscle connection, due to lack of focus. Cannabis can help you get through a routine as it increases focus (when consumed in smaller amounts).
Trigger Point Massage
What is a trigger point? It is a tight area within your muscle tissue that causes pain in other body parts. For example, a trigger point in your back may reduce referral pain in your neck. However, the neck may cause pain in the head, as it then acts as a satellite trigger point. Rather than massaging the whole body, trigger point massage focuses only on specific areas of the body, pinpointing the target points and relaxing them with cycles of deep, isolated pressure and release. The benefits of trigger point massage are pain alleviation and muscle relaxation. Regular massages with trigger point therapy can help naturally manage stress and pain from chronic injuries, as well.
Relaxing properly after practice or a game is essential, because it is important to give your body enough time to heal itself and be prepared for the next session. These are some of the unusual ways in which you can rest both your muscles and mind, restore your strength, and hit the next one with more focus and confidence.