When you think about your martial arts training, the things that come to mind might be your personal goals, the classes you’ll attend, and the skills you’re currently focused on. These are all an essential part of any martial arts student’s training, but there is a frequently overlooked element that is equally important.
Recovery is a crucial part of your martial arts practice. Quality recovery helps you to prevent injuries and gives your body a chance to rebuild after a class or training session.
Here are four ways to work quality recovery into your martial arts training:
Stretching can improve your flexibility and relieve tension in your muscles. When you can easily move your body, you become more efficient. The best time to stretch is when your muscles are already warmed up. So after class is the perfect time to cool down and stretch. Some martial arts students even supplement their training with a yoga practice to get in some focused stretching time.
2. Foam Roll
When it comes to quality recovery, stretching and foam rolling go very well together. A foam roller can help you improve the mobility of your muscles and joints. Foam rolling larger muscle groups targets the small knots that build up over time. Rolling out these knots can be uncomfortable, but it shouldn’t be painful.
3. Get Plenty of Sleep
When you’re asleep, your body is working hard to repair itself. The more sleep you get, the more time your body has to recover and rebuild. The amount of sleep you need will vary from person to person, but anything less than six hours is probably not enough.
4. Take Days Off from Training
If you’ve been putting in a lot of work on the mats, it can be hard to back off and take a day away from training. You may think that you’ll lose everything that you’ve gained so far! But if you continue training at a high-intensity without resting, you’re more likely to become overtrained, injured, or even burned out. Rest days are what your body needs to recover so that you can continue improving your skills and your fitness.