If the Turkey Bowl was your first live action in a few weeks (or years), chances are you're feeling tighter than a cooked turkey on the Friday and Saturday after Thanksgiving.
Are your legs sore? Is your back stiff?
You've already got a fridge full of lean protein and quality carbs to help refuel your body. Rid your body of the aches and pains resulting from your Turkey Bowl game with these recovery techniques.
Foam rolling speeds up recovery by breaking up knots and releasing toxins that build up in the muscles during intense activity. It also relieves tension by applying pressure on tight muscles.
Work the following target areas with the foam roller. Don't shy away from spots that are extra sore or sensitive. After some initial pain, you will feel relief in the long run.
- Lie face down
- Place foam roller under your quads, balance on your elbows and maintain a tight core
- Roll slowly from knee to hip, concentrating on sensitive areas
IT Bands (outside of thighs)
- Place foam roller under your left hip and assume Side Plank position
- Balance on your left elbow and right foot; use your leg to adjust the intensity
- Roll slowly from hip to knee, concentrating on sensitive areas
- Perform on opposite leg
- Lie face down with your right knee and hip bent at 90 degrees
- Place foam roller under your right inner thigh, balance on your elbows and maintain a tight core
- Roll slowly from groin to knee, concentrating on sensitive areas
- Perform on the opposite leg
- Sit on the ground with your legs extended and your back straight
- Place foam roller under your calves and balance with your hands on the ground
- Roll slowly from heel to knee, concentrating on sensitive areas
The day or two following the Turkey Bowl is prime time for a recovery workout. We're not talking about a "put-the-weight room-on-your back" lift—just some lightweight resistance to continue flushing your system of any toxins and reduce swelling.
Recovery workouts are on the Monday schedule for every NFL team. If the pros can get their battered and bruised bodies in the weight room a day after doing battle on Sunday, you can too.
Try the following NFL-inspired full-body recovery workout. Remember, keep the lifts light (50 percent of your one-rep max/your "heavy set"):
- Barbell Squat: 2x8-10
- RDL: 2x8-10
- DB Row: 2x10-12 each arm
- Pull-Ups: 2x10-15
- Push-Ups: 2x10-15
- Plank: 2 sets for 30 seconds
Allow us to clarify our previous statement about "lying around" . . .
No good: riding the couch for a full-day trip to TV land
Good: kicking back for a quick power nap
Athletes require at least eight hours of quality sleep each night to facilitate maximum recovery. Furthermore, recent research has shown that elite athletes need at least 10 hours of sleep per day for optimal performance.
Carving out a 10-hour window for sleep each and every night may be impossible. The solution: a mid-day nap. Beyond its recovery benefits, a 30- to 60-minute round of zzzzs can help improve your alertness, endurance and decision-making ability.