I am sure by now many of you have heard the term “active recovery” get thrown around a lot. It can take on many different forms for people, but simply put, its an activity where you focus mostly on restorative movement that is executed at a much lower intensity than your regular workout. Whether thats in the form of yoga, a hike, stretching, or some steady state cardio is dependent on you. The important thing to be aware of is that the activity needs to be low intensity for YOU. What is active recovery for some, is not necessarily the case for others. For some, yoga may be a good active recovery activity. For me (someone who is not very flexible) that would not be the case. Getting through a full yoga class would be a stressor on my body, due to my lack of flexibility, and wouldn’t allow me to be in a recovery state. For someone who has decent aerobic capacity, steady state rowing/jogging/assault biking for 30 minutes would be good for active recovery. For someone who is just starting to, or getting back into working out, this prolonged cardio would not be good for active recovery. Again, because it would be strenuous on their body, it wouldn’t allow for recovery to occur. They would probably be better off just going on a walk. So you can see active recovery is a relative term. It needs to be low intensity for YOU.
Now that we have a basic understanding of what active recovery should be I would like to share a resource with you all that I have been utilizing recently for my active recovery days. For the past two months I have been doing the Awaken Training Series instead of regular CrossFit training. The training program combines functional bodybuilding and CrossFit to improve aesthetics, while retaining good conditioning. If you need an explanation on what functional bodybuilding is check back on the functional bodybuilding post I made a long time ago. The program has definitely challenged me in a lot of new ways, and in turn has left me pretty sore on some days. Luckily in this program I have some designated active recovery days in the form of active recovery workout videos from Dr Teddy Willsey. These active recovery workouts have helped me a lot in terms of making it so I am a lot less sore, and allocating time where I can specifically focus on improving flexibility. I would highly suggest anyone try out a couple active recovery workouts from his YouTube channel. I will link a couple down below in case you don’t know which ones to select. These would be best done on your “off” day, but could still benefit you if they are done after your workout. For these workouts focus a lot on breathing, finding positions that will challenge you, but you can still relax into. It should never feel like a full on workout.