The side to training you don’t always see, stretching, foam rolling, and ice baths. Taking care of myself before and after a workout is important to help prevent injury and to help my performance.
My ice bath this week was not something I was looking forward to. I am not a fan of the cold so as you can imagine sitting in a tub of ice is not my ideal night. But, nonetheless, it needed to be done.
The workout for the evening was calisthenics paired with 5 800 meter repeats. Just after two I could feel the pain in my shins start to increase, which meant I needed to pick up ice on my way home from the track to prevent shin splints.
Just some of the benefits of an ice bath after workouts are:
- Helping prevent injury
- Decreases swelling and tissue breakdown due to blood vessels constricting
- Once out of the ice, the blood rushes back in and flushes out byproduct
That oh so good it hurts feeling, the funny faces you make (if you are like me), but oh the relief it brings when you are done. Also, a lacrosse ball should become your gym bag’s new friend. It provides the same benefits as a foam roller but helps with more direct spots like your shoulder and hamstrings, and your feet.
Foam rolling should be done after a workout to help:
- Get lactic acid out of the worked muscle
- Help with injury
- Increase mobility
- Release trigger points
Stretching before and after a workout for me is just part of my workout routine. I like to do some full body stretches and some that are going to specifically hit the muscles I will be training that day. Some of my go to stretches to begin a workout are the world’s greatest stretch, inch worms, and Lat and pec stretch. Afterwards you can find me hitting the pigeon pose, stirring the pot, quad and hamstring pulls, and calf stretch to name a few.
Stretching is great because it helps with
- Prevents injury
- Warms up muscles
I also enjoy getting a deep tissue massage once a month to help work out the trigger points that need a little extra TLC.
These may not be as fun as the actual workout but they will help you from being set back due to injury.
*I am not a doctor or have any education in this area. Only sharing what has worked for me to help you when it comes to working out and preventing injury*