The Secret To Recovery During Intense Training

Dustin Myers, CSCS


Are you aware that posture can dictate the bodies ability to lower heart rate and recover aerobically?

I have to admit, that what I thought was correct recovery posture - standing up tall, hands on hips or over head - is actually inhibiting an athletes ability to recover, particularly when the rest is very short, such as in between periods or during breaks in the action of a match.  I can’t count the number of times I’ve yelled for athletes to “stand up, hands on your head” during conditioning work…and what I thought was building “toughness” was actually inhibiting performance.

By standing tall and elevating the rib cage, the diaphragm becomes stretched and does not function efficiently.  By breathing thru the mouth you are also compounding this issue by creating excessive tension throughout the various muscles of the trunk associated with breathing.  Keeping arms overhead increases that tension and further distorts the shape of the diaphragm.  Excessive mouth breathing can also result in excessive CO2 loss which can alter blood PH and your bodies ability to buffer appropriately.

So what is the ideal posture for recovery?

Bending over at the waist with hands on knees or seated with elbows on legs will allow your diaphragm to function properly.  Immediately begin taking deep “belly” breaths and exhaling slowly thru the nose.  This will allow your heart rate to drop and slow your breathing down to a manageable pace.

When doing sprint work and intense conditioning, keeping set work:rest ratios is key for improving your capacity, and making sure your body can recover optimally during that brief rest is crucial.

During competition, rest only happens in very short spurts - 10 seconds here, 20 seconds there - so being able to maximize your recovery in that short time is crucial to being able to maintain a high work rate.

While I do think that body language is important and that a strong posture translates to confidence, I also know that optimal recovery during practice and competition is the most important thing.  Teach your athletes these simple recovery postural cues and ensure that they can continue to push the pace and wrestle tough - even if it looks like their body language between periods says the opposite.

Now that you know a little more about recovery during training and competition, make sure you are maximizing recovery after each session by taking Amino Recovery.  Not only will our specially formula of BCAAs, Glutamine and Electrolytes help you rehydrate and feel better, you will also preserve muscle mass and limit the catabolic effects of intense work and competition. For more detail on what to eat and drink during the day of competition make sure to check out my last article: