Try These Post-Training Exercises for Relaxation and Recovery

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Today I’m sharing a sequence of exercises and movements I love using after training. As I’ve written about before, down-regulation and relaxation is an essential task in all walks of life and especially after doing a combat based sport.

These exercises are designed to target the “tightened” areas from grappling and to ease the body’s stress response from this primal form of expression.

Reasoning for More Passive Exercises After Training

I enjoy performing active control exercises after training, but notice I incorporate more static and passive stretches than I do in comparison to the warmups I’ve shared previously.

This has simple rationale: I’m seeking to downregulate the nervous system. Active contractions help to turn the nervous system on, so doing stretches such as pigeon for two minutes will help turn down and bring about a more relaxed state.

Protocol

In this post, I’m giving you a smorgasbord to choose from. You don’t need to do all. I’d rather you do a few with more quality. The idea for the variety is for you to mix and match and find what works for YOU and YOUR body! Toy around with different combos and observe how it affects your body and nervous system orientation (fight/flight vs. relaxed/calm).

Hangs

I’ve covered this one extensively in the past, and I can’t advocate it enough. This full body decompression movement especially targets the shoulders. The position also is a sneaky way to develop grip strength as it puts the shoulder in a “weaker” ROM as well as relaxing the shoulders. This forces the hands to work extra in order to keep your body in the position.

Wrist Flexors Stretch

Because we’re always squeezing and grabbing.

Enough said.

90/90 Work

Another staple, and behind hangs and hip CARs, I would rank this as the next essential exercise. We have plenty of variations to choose from for all levels. The important thing is to simply get in the position. That’s where it all begins.

Hip CARs

These are a staple in my work with anyone regardless of age or level. They are that effective and by greasing/oiling the hip it has a host of benefits throughout the kinetic chain. If you honestly had time for one exercise, your choice would be between this and hangs.

Pigeon Stretch

I’m sure most of you are familiar with this movement. It’s similar to the 90/90 work. If not, Googling it directly will yield good results.

Final Considerations on Downregulation Series

As I mentioned in the protocol, don’t see this as a gospel of what to do. Perform the exercises that bring you into a more relaxed and calm state. This is where your body will find balance and the ability to rest throughout your day so you can tap into another day of training. Observe and be compassionate to your body and it will serve you.

I cover more performance training tidbits at mobillitytraining.com that will help you prepare, recover, and perform better on the mats!

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