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3 Ways to Recover After Strength Training

Discussion in 'Physical Therapy' started by Egyptian Doctor, Jun 24, 2013.

  1. Egyptian Doctor

    Egyptian Doctor Moderator Verified Doctor

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    Nearly two days into my powerlifting workout I collapsed on the bed in pain--my whole body was wracked with a throbbing, painful intensity that not even a warm bath could alleviate. Days later, I struggled to make it to the gym--and seriously worried I wouldn't be able to work out all week.


    In the same shoes as me? Chances are you're probably experiencing a bit of post-workout soreness due to a new workout, changing up your workout routine or simply exerting yourself too hard, which is actually absolutely normal! To recover quickly after a strength training workout, follow these tips to keep pain on the down low.


    Tip 1: Get Happy with an Over-the-Counter Painkiller
    While prescription-strength painkillers aren't necessary to relieve post-workout soreness, a simple over-the-counter remedy can kill pain in a jiffy. My go-to solution: Ibuprofen, an over-the-counter pain medication that helps soothe muscle pain in a snap. Just two pills after a grueling workout can keep my soreness under wraps, as well as eliminate any post-workout headaches, which seem to happen more often than not!


    Other solutions: If ibuprofen isn't available, other painkillers such as acetaminophen also work just as well. For those overseas, paracetamol is also a great substitute for soothing muscle pain.


    Tip 2: Cool Down with 10 Minutes of Aerobic Exercise
    While it may be the last thing on your mind, practicing active recovery--the act of doing low-intensity aerobic exercise after strength training--is linked with less muscle soreness, according to About.com guide Elizabeth Quinn. So instead of skipping a cool down completely the next time you exercise, exercise smart--cool down with 10 minutes of gentle aerobic activity before calling it quits. I often buddy up with my gym's arc trainer as a relaxing way to cool down, which is also easier on my knee joints.


    Tip 3: Get Plenty of Rest
    I know, I know--it's really hard to say no to exercise once you've got a good routine down. But constantly exercising even in the wake of pain isn't a good choice: It's more likely to aggravate your pain, and possibly make it worse. If strength training is causing intermittent pain, listen to your body--don't keep on exercising when you're in pain. Relax by cooling it on weightlifting for a day or two and getting plenty of sleepy-time rest. Sleep can also make it easier to recover!

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  2. llIH

    llIH Active member

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    As a medical student. The painkiller can actually save your next day. Several of my days have been ruined because of bad sleep - from muscle ache during the night.
     

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