The last tips for tightening the Lower Body.
I hope you enjoyed this Series!
8. Recovery and Flexibility
You probably have already heard that muscles are teared down in the gym and built in bed (when you sleep) and it is the truth. No matter how challenging your workouts are, how many burnouts/ drop sets you do and how sore you are the next day, if your muscles do not have a chance to recover, they will not grow.
Instead of growing, the muscles are teared down more and more with each workout and after a while they are broken down. Pretty tragic right?! You work hard to build muscle and you get nothing out of it.
How much Rest do I need?
That really depends on the individual. Typically, the longer you have been working out and your muscles are used to training, the faster you will recover.
- Soreness is not a measure of progress.
If you are sore, it means you teared down muscle fibers and that activates the pain receptors in and around your muscles. However, once your body gets used to the training intensity, those pain receptors aren’t as sensitive as before. This is called „Desensitivation“.
Thus, the absence of soreness does not indicate that you didn’t push yourself enough during your workout.
Typically, taking one day off at a time from Lower Body Training is enough.
If you have just started training higher volume for the Lower Body (3-4 times a week), you might need 2 days. However, some movement actually decreases soreness and helps to rebuild the muscle faster. That’s why I don’t lift as heavy as I can every time I work the Lower Body.
If I have done heavy strength training on Monday that left me sore, I might do a lighter Workout on Wednesday. Then on Friday I lift again heavy and if I feel like it, do a high-rep workout again on Sunday.
What do I do on Rest days?
Work your Upper Body, Core, do some cardio, yoga, Pilates … Upper Body and Core Strength is crucial as you may know if you read Part 3 of this series.
There are many different ways to be fit and have a great workout, you don’t have to and should not always do the same thing...
This is a hot topic because some people claim that we don’t stretch enough and are actually really tight (especially from sitting all day!) and others say that we stretch far too much and not in the right way.
I believe that we are very tight but we often don’t stretch our muscles correctly and end up stretching the ligaments instead, which causes the joints to loosen up and leads to injury.
In fact, this happened to me in November. I teared my labral ligament and was not able to lift or do HIIT for 2 months. So, what do we do instead?
May I introduce you to the Foam Roller?
Yes, it hurts, it hurts a lot. But with the foam roller you actually loosen up your muscles and not your ligaments. Before I do my warm up Cardio, I do about 5-10min of Foam Rolling.
Here is a great foam rolling routine you can try.
After foam rolling I lightly stretch the adductor muscles (Inner Thighs) and hip flexors with dynamic movements. I love doing deep Squats to really open up the hips as well as Bodyweight Good Mornings to Warm up the Hamstrings.
Post workout is the only time I do more static stretching but not too long. I stretch the adductors, hip flexors, quadriceps (thighs), Glutes, Torso.
Here is a great stretching routine you can do after your strength training.
Also, I really like Yoga, as it involves a lot of dynamic stretching (flow of movements).
Try using a foam roller and you will find that it actually helps against cellulite too! It is like a deep massage for the tissues and increases blood flow which are all crucial for decreasing cellulite.
This concludes the “Tighten the Lower Body” Series.
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Also, check out the other 3 Parts of this Series.