Volleyball is a physically challenging sport and in order to perform at your best your muscles must be in top shape. However, the constant stress and strain on your muscles through intense practice sessions and games can definitely take a toll. So how can you ease soreness and minimize the risk of injury? Below we’ve outlined some great muscle recovery tactics. Use these after every practice or game and we’ll bet you not only stay on the court but also that you become an even better player!
As we’ve discussed in a past blog post, stretching after a workout helps improve muscle interactions, maintain range of motion and keep the muscle tissue healthy. To get the full benefits of post-workout stretching, focus on the muscle groups that were pushed during the workout. For high school volleyball players, the muscles we see needing attention most often include: hip flexors, quads, hamstrings, calves, glutes, groin/adductors, abdomen, lower back, posterior shoulder, anterior shoulder and chest. Focus first on these muscle groups and also make sure to include anything else that might have been strained during your particular training session.
We’ve talked in the past about what you should eat prior to a training session but what about after a practice or game. If it’s an intense session, chances are that you will be hungry afterwards but that’s not the only reason to fuel up! In addition to getting rid of your hunger, consuming a post-workout nutrition bar or drink right after training while your body is still warm will help replenish muscle glycogen.
EXPERT TIP: Make sure your post-workout snack or meal contains approximately 50 grams of complex carbohydrates.
Muscle regeneration is important for any areas stressed by any type of training but is especially crucial when training for speed and power as in volleyball. The damaged tissue needs to be treated and opened up. This can be done incredibly effectively using foam rolling.
The purpose of foam rolling it to regenerate tissue and help create more high quality tissue. Using deep compression, foam rolling helps massage out muscle spasms that develop over time through overuse.
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Increasing your circulation and encouraging your muscles to relax is incredibly important to help them release lactic acid built up during intense workouts and to spur recovery and minimize the risk of overuse injuries. A licensed massage therapist can help locate and work with areas of your musculature that are in need of the most attention. A great massage therapist will discuss your activity and training regimens and will help determine the best massage approach for your situation. For high school volleyball players, a therapist will likely focus first on muscle groups in your legs and back that are experiencing the highest amounts of strain during practices and games.
Increase blood flow
Muscle recovery isn’t something you should do only right after your workout, this should also extend into the following days. This is especially important if you’re feeling lingering soreness or stiffness. In order to minimize that feeling and encourage muscle recovery, ensure that you stay active in the days following an intense session. In order to minimize long-term soreness in the days following, you want to do some light exercise. This will help you get more oxygen, blood flow and nutrients to the muscles that are damaged removing the lactic acid and speeding up recovery.
Take recovery one step further
Our specially formulated recovery product series can help you take your muscle recovery to a new level. Whether you’re looking to target certain overly sore muscles (we recommend the Therapeutic Recovery Cream) or just loosen and relax your whole body (try the Recovery Soak), we have a product that can help meet your needs!
For more post-workout muscle recovery tips (and even some tips for before and during your workouts), download our FREE QiVantage Day-to-Day Muscle Recovery Checklist.