Cierra is now training in the high-performance group with Bob Bowman at NBAC. When she met with him, he asked if she was doing any dryland core strength work or lifting. She answered positively. I knew she was in trouble. She’s done some, inconsistent, and light work, but nothing serious. She was in for a rude awakening.
The first indication that she was doing something different came the second morning when she was a bit stiff getting up for day 2 practice. By that afternoon, she had trouble getting off the floor. Day 3, she was walking in pain, whimpering. Every muscle in her body was hurting.
There are things that can be done to help an athlete recover faster, help prevent injury, relieve pain, and continue training optimally.
1. Drink chocolate milk and eat a healthy snack that’s a combo of protein and carbs within the first half hour after working hard.
2. Drink as much water as possible afterward to help flush out the lactic acid that’s causing some of the tightness and discomfort.
3. Use myofascial release self-massage: get a foam roller, hand rollers, and a tennis ball. Roll all the sore muscles on the roller or use the hand rolling pins to massage the muscles. Use a tennis ball on the floor and roll slowly on top of it until pressure points of pain are felt. As each tender spot is felt, stop and relax on the pain spot for 30 seconds, breathing and relaxing. Use that all over the back, hip flexors, IT strap muscles on legs and calves especially. (Don’t use it in your armpit…dangerous spots to put pressure on there)
4. Stretch. Yoga stretches are great.
5. Take an ice bath. Fill a tub with cold water and add a bag of ice. Brace yourself and get the sore muscles under water for 20 minutes. Follow with a warm/hot shower for 20. Repeat a few times.
6. Deep tissue massage: Find a certified sports massage therapist to give you a deep rub down. If you they’re certified in stretching, have them stretch you as well.
PS…C spent an entire day doing nothing but these recovery practices and came down the stairs for day 4 practice singing, “It’s a miracle! I can walk!”