If we do not help our body recover, it will not perform to its optimal output and ability. It's just like owning a vehicle. What happens if you do not fill your tank up with gas, or pit stop and change the tyres? The vehicle will stop and break down, or even something that could’ve been avoided will happen.
Recovery in CrossFit is KEY!
CrossFit training and like other forms of training puts our body under stress in which it adapts to over time. As you get faster, stronger and more powerful through training you body needs time to rest and recover. The main focus of CrossFit recovery is the fact CrossFit is the programming of compound functional movement that in its entirety uses multiple joints at all times during training. Meaning recovery is an absolute must as in most training days, we train our entire body and some days under immense force.
There are a few different types of CrossFit recovery you can do for CrossFit.
The most common and easy to do are Foam Rolling, Mobility, Active recovery, Nutrition and sleep!
The Benefits of focusing on recovery
is to not only ensure your body will recover to perform at its optimal output next training session. But also to avoid injury. If you have a tight shoulder from the WOD, you don't want to leave that muscle tight, you'll need to release it so the muscle can work properly again and the joint can move freely. If the muscle is tight then contraction and relaxation will not happen resulting in that muscle not being able to carry out its function. This can lead to muscular imbalance and even injury and pain.
Who does CrossFit Muscle Recovery?
Basically all CrossFit Athletes! Go check any of their instagram pages, you will find them using muscle percussive products like Hypervolt or Theragun, See them doing their session of GoWOD Mobility, with their foam rollers on their mobility mats. You will see bands, massage balls and BlackRoll Foot rollers.
Without recovery, these pro athletes could not do their multiple training sessions per day.
CrossFit Recovery is all about bringing the body back to zero.
Lets cover a few of these points below with some links!
The Foam Roller:
Foam rolling is the most common, highly effective form of recovery and mobility. You can foam roll to warm up and mobilize for your session and to cool down and flush the muscle post training and help release any tension in the muscles.Foam roller glutes previous to squats helps mobilize the muscle group allowing the hips to descend further into the squat also.
Is a great place to start when looking for a great CrossFit recovery roller. It is a completely straight firm roller, which is perfect for the type of stress our muscles endure during CrossFit training. It is light weight and a great size to carry and store. A perfect tool for mobilizing and cooling down the body.
It comes in a mini size also for your feet. Which is a part of the body we often neglect. Your feet are the foundation of your balance. If you run, squat, olympic lift and or smash our a CrossFit WOD you should be rolling your feet out also!
Is a firm roller again, however this foam roller has a slight curve to it making it a little less intense. This roller is great for your legs and lats, however you might have a little trouble rolling out your spine on this one due to the shape of it. It is still very popular due to its shape and how it feel on your quads and hamstrings. With its shaped design it also makes it a great foam roller for shin splints. Just don't forget to focus on the calf muscles as well if shin splints is something you’re wanting to alleviate.
Percussive TherapyCan be very effective with CrossFit muscle recovery. Using tools such as the TheraGun or the Hypervolt promote blood flow through the muscle, flushing old blood and promoting new blood flow into the muscle which helps with recovery and alleviates muscle soreness.
The percussive tools also have benefits of helping traumatised muscle through neurological release, meaning the muscle that has gone into spasm or is in recovery can be relaxed from the brain just like dry needling or acupuncture does. Just without the needles.
There are 4 different types of Theragun. At different price points with different additions to each one, making it easier to find a massage gun that fits your budget and needs.
Use for blood flow and light release. This gun only hit a depth of 12mm into the body so neurological effects aren't as effective as the other Therabody guns.
This massage gun has 16mm dampener depth. It is effective for CrossFit Muscle recovery. The Prime is a very basic no frills model. I'll do what you need it to do but does not come with a carry case and additional attachments. Perfect for the casual runner or gym goer.
This massage gun has 16mm dampener depth. It is effective for CrossFit Muscle recovery. The Elite however has a carry case, additional attachments for the entire body and is bluetooth enabled, It is perfect for those a bit more serious about their training, train multiple times a week and require muscle release in more specific areas, which is where the additional attachments come into play.
is the top of the range model. This gun has a longer battery life, two removable batteries, additional attachments, and the arm of the gun is moveable, making it easier to position the gun flat on part of the body like the scapular and lats when using the gun by yourself.
Theragun product comes with a free downloadable app which helps guide you through your war up, muscle recovery and injury prevention routines. The bluetooth compatible guns connect to the app where you can control the gun from your phone and see the pressure you are applying. This is a great tool if you are working on another person and not feeling the gun yourself, you will be able to see the pressure at which you are applying it to the person. Very helpful for those in massage therapy or physiotherapy etc.
is another sports massage gun on the market. It is quiet and lightweight. It weighs 2.3 lbs and has a battery life of 3 hours. A great entry gun into percussive therapy.
Is a relative to the percussive recovery family. This little ball with a 10V motor not only will release your hips and psoas, but will help the recovery process by using vibration. Promoting blood flow to the area at the same time as releasing the tight muscle or ligament.
A muscle scraper is a great tool to use on localised areas such as the forearms, neck, shins, and any area that is hard to roll or not ideal to use a percussive gun on.
Muscle scraping helps breakdown scar tissue and release the fascia of the muscle, releasing tension on joints and allowing them to move freely and as they are intended.
When should I use these tools?
Above are some of the best CrossFit Recovery tools to ensure your body is released and to promote healing and mobility.
Use your mobility tools before and after your workouts and on your rest days to promote healing within the muscles by introducing new blood flow to the muscles in repair. Use can also use them on your active recovery days, before and after your RomWod or GoWOD Mobility session.
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How to Foam Roll
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