I referenced this article last week, but it’s worth referencing again. If you haven’t yet read “Why You Don’t Need to ‘Go Big or Go Home’ ” by Jen Sinkler, I suggest you give it a read right now. That article is going to serve as a segue into today’s post which is all about active recovery. It seems to me that a lot of us that are newer into the world of fitness tend to think that going all out all the time is what leads to a solid workout. I’ve heard about people doing high volume cross training 5-6 days out of the week with no down time to unwind or work on mobility. These are generally the same types that are constantly sore and having a hard time keeping up their energy for daily life. Enter ye the “Cure” for factoring in some much needed down time form your training.
Don’t get me wrong, I love lifting heavy things. I love lifting VERY heavy things, but my routines are not based on lifting the very heavy things day in and day out 5 – 6 days out of the week. I teach a mobility style of training called Ground Force Method (formerly known as “Primal Move”) that is based off the Functional Movement System. The exercise style is designed to unravel excessive tension that we may have built up from high volume training, improper movement patterns from injuries, or just from not moving around too much at all (for more on that, read this post). What i find truly wonderful about this light style of calisthenic training is just how FUN it can be for your off days. Sometimes, you just don’t feel like hitting the weights, and that’s ok! Your body needs a solid reset every once and a while. Sinkler said it the best in her article:
” . . to make progress, you need to be able to train repeatedly. That means that getting into the gym again is more important than wiping yourself out with one hard session that you have to spend days recovering from.”
Here’s a video example of a fun little routine I came up with using some calisthenics work and Ground Force method drills. Rolling, crawling, and even some one legged squats are my jam these days when I’m playing around with movement. I’ll discuss WHY this is important after the clip.
So. ..why set aside time to practice mobility and stability? 1,) Your nervous system can get particularly “jacked” when you do a lot of high intensity training. Playful exercises like those above can be a nice way for your central nervous system to take a breather so your entire body can recover better. Too much stressful exercise can lead to too much cortisol, and that isn’t something you want in terms of recovering from a training cycle. Too much stress leads to immune system dysfunction and a whole lot of unpleasant soreness. Better recovery is key to your long term success. 2) IT’S JUST PLAIN FUN! I have had a number of my clients tell me flat out that our mobility sessions feel like “adult recess” and that feeling feeds back into the stress reduction bit. If you are feeling particularly stressed out on the emotional side of life, I encourage you to take some time to play around with your movement to just have some fun! The more fun you have, the happier you are, and happiness really does lower stress.
Primal Fitness Pittsburgh is the only studio in Pittsburgh that teaches Progressive Calisthenics and Ground Force Method for our members. These two body weight modalities help foster increase strength and endurance while adding the fun back into your weekly training program. If you would like to learn more about our body weight training courses and find out how you can get involved with them, simply email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Until next time..
Master your instincts!