Today we have a guest post from another real dumbbell daddy named Jason Abney. Jason is a pretty impressive guy. Jason is head coach, founder and owner of one of Poland’s best CrossFit boxes, CrossFit Ad Alta. Jason is a wealth of information in weight training, CrossFit, sports training and sports medicine. Before moving to Poland to open up CrossFit Ad Alta, Jason worked for the Seattle Fire Department for many years. When Jason isn’t putting his CrossFit athletes through their paces at Ad Alta, you can find him coaching the Warsaw Dukes. The Dukes are one of Poland’s top professional (American) football teams.
I gotta hand it to the guy, he’s pretty impressive. Balancing family, his own health and fitness goals, a business, coaching CrossFit, coaching professional football….all while doing it in a foreign country and not speaking the language. Few people can take on that many challenges and remain successful. I first met Jason in the summer of 2015 when my wife introduced me to CrossFit. I can still remember the smirk on Jay’s face during my first workout with him. I think my first CrossFit workout (WOD) called for 43 ish kgs (95 lbs) on the bar for an exercise called thrusters. Cocky and filled with piss and vinegar, I looked down at the bar and said:
“That’s it? C’mon man………..load it up.”
Glad he didn’t. My wife was standing next to us, and to their amusement, I almost re-tasted my breakfast!
Well take it away Jason……
Tips to Reduce Leg Soreness
We’ve all had that feeling of barely being able to stand up and walk the next day after a good leg workout. Going up and down stairs is almost impossible and the bathroom feels like another workout. Well here’s some tips to help reduce that soreness and make it go away.
I break this down into things you can do on a regular basis to reduce the intensity of soreness. Then things you can do during the workout. Lastly things you can do immediately after and the next day to get rid of any remaining soreness.
Drink Up Buttercup
The first thing I recommend is staying hydrated every day. I highly recommend drinking at least 2-3 liters of water per day, and even 4 liters on training days. A hydrated muscle is a healthier and stronger muscle that can recover more quickly. Eat more calories and get more sleep. This is exactly the same as drinking plenty of water. Eating enough calories to support your training is what helps muscles to recover and grow. Also, most of your muscle repair is happening when you sleep, so be sure to get at least 8+ hours of sleep per night.
Train More Often
This seems counterintuitive because training is what made you sore in the first place. However, training more frequently forces the muscles to adapt and recover more quickly. They get used to the frequency, and your soreness will disappear or be greatly reduced because of this.
We all need a good warm up before our workout, but many of us just disregard it as a waste of time. Big mistake. A good warm up is a key factor that will increase the effectiveness of the workout and reduce the soreness from the workout. This key component is foam rolling and self-massage.
I’m sure we’ve all had a massage after being sore from training, but doing it before training will actually help reduce soreness as well. This is something that I tell my athletes to do before and after a workout. An added benefit to rolling pre-workout is increased mobility, which allows more muscles to work during your training thus reducing soreness. Most importantly you’ll be thankful the next day.
The only thing I recommend to do during your training to reduce soreness is to drink BCAA’s mixed with water. BCAA’s are the building blocks of protein, and give your muscles vital amino acid support during your training. This one thing can drastically reduce soreness in your legs from an intense workout.
The last few things you can do in the days following your leg training are:
- Go for a walk.
- Have an active recovery session.
- Take a contrast shower.
The easiest thing to do is just go for a walk for an hour. This works by getting blood flow to the affected muscles. To increase the effectiveness of the walk you can drink some more BCAA with water and carbs. Another post-training thing you can do is have an active recovery workout. This is a bit more intense than walking, but it’s very effective at reducing soreness. Try something like two rounds of 50 squats @ 20% of your one rep max. You could even do this with no weight at all. The idea is to just get additional blood flow to your sore legs. Again, drink some BCAA, carbs and water when doing this to help with recovery.
Lastly, you can try contrast showers. To do this you use warm water for two minutes and then cold water for 2 minutes. Keep alternating back and forth for 10-14 minutes. The idea behind this is that the different temperatures cause vasodilation and vasoconstriction of the blood vessels, which helps to increase blood flow to the affected muscles and removes waste products from your training session.
That’s all I have for you today. Try all of these and find what works best for you.
Thanks for the post Jason.
Anyone else have an tip to help with leg soreness? Comments are always encouraged.
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