It is beyond frustrating to have a muscle group that won’t grow no matter how hard you train.
When this happens, most people fall into the mindset that they need to work the muscle even MORE.
Extra volume can be a great way to focus on weaker muscle groups, but you want to be careful that you never OVERTRAIN. Even more important… you must ensure your muscles are recovering so they can benefit from your training sessions.
The word recovery could mean a lot of things:
- Proper Post Workout Nutrition
- Overall Diet
- Quality Sleep
- Taking Rest Days
All of those things are important…
However, there is a different type of recovery we want to talk about, because it’s something almost every gym-goer neglects!
Not taking advantage of this very short window of time when your muscles are begging for a little love… could be what is holding you back!
We are not talking about a supplement or post-workout meal.
This type of recovery is something you need to do BEFORE you jet home to feed your muscles.
Even if you don’t have lagging body parts… skipping this step is most likely the reason you stay sore and stiff… despite sleeping, eating right, and taking rest days!
THESE 10-20 Minutes Could Hold The Key To Your Best Physique EVER!!
POST WORKOUT STATIC STRETCHING & SELF MYOFASCIAL RELEASE (SMFR)
Static Stretching is when you hold a stretch for a longer period of time. The goal is to hold the stretch as long as you’re comfortable. Ideally a minimum of 30 seconds.
There are two types of stretching, but this is the one you will want to focus on POST TRAINING.
Self Myofascial Release (SMFR) is just a fancy name for using recovery tools (like a foam roller or compression round) to release tension in connective tissue (called fascia.)
Lifters usually rank these two things of low importance because of the extra time it tacks on to a training session.
Incorporating stretching and self myofascial release immediately following every lift shouldn’t be viewed as an option… it really is a necessity!!
We get it .. you only have so many hours in the day to get it all done.
You are probably thinking there is NO WAY you are going to be able to spend any more time at the gym than you already do!
We don’t want you to.
We believe that SMFR is so vital that we believe you should CUT YOUR LIFT SHORT…
if that’s what it takes to get it done!
We aren’t saying that you should skip necessary or assigned lifts. But if you are doing extra training thinking it will help your lagging muscle group.. try ditching the extra set and use that time for recovery instead.
If you insist on keeping the extra volume… look for other ways to make your sessions shorter (put your phone on airplane mode, limit socializing, etc.)
Do whatever you have to do to include this crucial step into every single one of your training days.
TIPS FOR POST LIFT STATIC STRETCHING & SELF MYOFASCIAL RELEASE
If you want to stretch and perform SMFR over your entire body .. go for it! But it’s only necessary to focus on the muscle groups you trained.
- Start with SMFR first and then move into static stretching.
- Using a firm roller or compression round, slowly roll until you find kinks/knots and then sink into them. This is called compression. You can even do something called shearing, where you go slowly back and forth over the area. Do this until you feel the muscle release .. then move on.
- GO SLOW! If you aren’t moving in a slow and controlled manner .. the muscles won’t have time to adapt to the pressure and you won’t release the tension. Do NOT rush!
- After you are done using the recovery tools, you are then ready to move on to static stretching. The ideal time to hold each stretch is 30 seconds or longer.
It is normal for SMFR to be a little bit painful. It should have the same feeling as a deep-tissue or trigger-point massage .. a GOOD KIND OF HURT!
If the pain is too intense… use less pressure.
If something feels “off”… stop.
WHY POST TRAINING (and not before)
We are always looking for ways to optimize (or should be.) Static stretching should ONLY be done when your muscles are warm. SMFR has benefits no matter when you choose to do it! However, post training is when you will get THE MOST benefit.
Taking time to incorporate SMFR and static stretching post lift will give you …
- Increased flexibility & overall range of motion
- Improved Blood Circulation
- Elimination of Lactic Acid
- Enhanced Recovery (less delayed onset muscle soreness)
- Decreased Risk Of Injury
- Mental Clarity
Of course you can stretch and roll anytime! In addition to recovering after each lift, it’s never a bad idea to incorporate stretching and SMFR into your weekly plan.
We suggest a minimum of 1-2 days a week dedicating 20-30 min to your entire body.
Rest days are a great time for this!
But the crucial time to make sure you get it done… is as soon as you are done lifting!
One question you may be asking yourself is if you really need to do this the second you are finished training, or if you can get home and do it later.
It is best if you knock it out while you are at the gym. Once you leave, there is a much higher chance of making an excuse, or letting too much time pass. The prime time to do SMFR and static stretching is when your muscle is tense, worked, and warm.
WHAT ABOUT PRE-LIFT
The type of recovery we are focusing on in this video and article is POST LIFT.
Before you hit the weights, you do always want to warm up. But this will be a totally different type of session.
Before training you want to do something called DYNAMIC STRETCHING. This type of stretching is movement based. You aren’t holding a position like you would with static stretching… you go fluidly through an entire range of motion.
If you want to learn more about this type of stretching, check out this video!
SMFR does have its place pre-lift. There are benefits to spending a short amount of time loosening the fascia surrounding your muscles before a workout.
1-2 sets, spending at most, 15 to 20 seconds on whatever body part you are training is enough to work out any areas that may be bound up.
Many people also find great benefit in doing this between sets if they feel like they can’t get a muscle to activate!
SKIP YOUR LAST SET (and do this instead)
You will feel better.. prevent injury.. and with time and consistency.. LOOK better!
If you want to know more about proper nutrition and how you should be training, recovering, and supplementing for your body type — check out this FREE body type quiz!
It will tell you what training program is best for YOU and even what type of diet you should be following to achieve the best results .. in the quickest time!!
Would you like to see more videos on proper ways to stretch and perform self myofascial release? Leave a comment and let us know!