As a competitive athlete – and an injury-prone one – I am a big recovery tool aficionado. There’s a plethora of products available on the market, from high-tech tools such as recovery boots to traditional household remedies such as epsom salt.
The importance of rest and recovery
Whether you are training or just riding a lot, we all put our bodies through often increasings amount of stress. To reap the benefits of training or to keep healthy and fit, it is essential to pay equal attention to rest and recovery. With a myriad of tools available to improve our recovery time, here’s a selection of my favorites to make your body recover.
Compress it – Foam roller
Probably the tool everyone has a deep love-hate relationship with. While I love stretching out my back on a regular foam roll, I came to love the TriggerPoint Cold Roller. Especially after long rides in the heat of summer, the cooling effect of the roller eases the discomfort of rolling and eases pain and inflammation in your muscles through the power of ice and compression. This video gives a great overview of the Cold Roller.
Stretch it – Straps and Bands
Stretching continuously is probably the easiest way to work on flexibility and mobility before and after riding – and to help prevent injuries. Stretching aft
er the repetitive movements of cycling is key, and I love my stretch bands to help me increase my range of motion. In addition to my regular rubber bands, I love the Thera-Band Stretch Strap. It has a numbered, multi-loop design which makes it super easy to use and to monitor progress in your flexibility. (TheraBand also provides some videos with stretches on their website).
Tape it – Support & Mobility
Last year, I also discovered taping for me. Despite the physical support the tape provides, I
noticed that it had a strong mental impact on me. I felt protected and more confident in my body coming back from injury. Using tapes helps decompress swelling and inflammation and helps your muscles work in a normal, non-compensating way. The flexibility of the tape gives stability and support yet allows for enough flexibility to move freely an keep proper form. Tapes can come in all sorts of varieties – when I just want a feeling of added stability, I enjoy KT Tape, but as a triathlete I often find myself using RockTape H20, as it does not peel off during my swim training unlike other kinesiology tapes. It also comes in various colors, which makes it a little more fun to get your body all tapes up!
Heat Control – Cooling towel
As a friend of more moderate climates, this product revolutionized my training in warm temperatures! The Dr Cool Chill Sport towel provides instant chemical-free cooling to lower the skin temperature. Whether if it’s after working out on the trainer or after a ride or run in the blistering sun, the towel has an amazing cooling effect. All you need is a little bit of water to wet it and then wave it through the air for a moment to start the cooling sensation.
Pressure on point – Foot massage
After a long hard day of pushing pedals, I want to treat my feet. One of my favorite
recovery tools is small but has a big effect! The Moji Foot Massager can easily be used while sitting down to eat, rest and chill after a workout. It features high-tech stainless steel spheres that dig into muscles in your foot to ease pains and break up tight tissue. It revitalizes sore and tired feet, and can also be used iced for an additional cold compression effect. Especially for athletes battling Plantar Fasciitis, this is a wonderful tool. Plus it is super travel-friendly and thus a constant companion for racing or touring trips.
Pressure on Point, ctd – Mandala Yoga Massage Balls
This pair of Mandala massage balls looks innocent, but there is no better way to target nasty knots in your muscles in spots that are hard to reach with a traditional foam roller. Placing them immediately in the area of emergency and rolling over trigger points might hurt initially but it will leave you feeling better once the tissue has been released. They come in a small bag that makes them a not-to-be missed feature in my luggage whenever I travel for races.
What are your preferred methods to recover and rehab?
Jasmin is a Moxie Cycling Ambassador and blog contributor. Check out her bio here!