With the world being as “fast-paced” as it is, people are trying to get the most out their “hour” at the gym. The use of active recovery exercises is a great way to get the most “bang for your buck” from a training program.
Active recovery (AR) exercises are low intensity mobility, stability, and activation drills that we use at Rockland Peak Performance (RPP) in between sets of exercises instead of rest to help improve movement quality.
People with excessive laxity (very loose) can generally get into any range of motion, (some that are not desirable!) and should use stability exercises as their AR. This will help them “hold” positions during their main exercises giving them more control through the range of motion. People that are “stiff” however need to do more mobility work as their AR. This will help them move better without using the wrong muscles to help (i.e. using the lower back to turn instead of the thoracic spine).
Many hypermobile (loose) people will benefit from exercises like wall slides and Turkish Get Ups.
Many hypomobile (stiff) people will benefit from exercises like leg swings and windmills.
Remember, choose exercises that are not strenuous and do not interfere with the main set of exercises you are doing. Also, pick exercises that focus on needs specific to you. These AR exercises are performed during the time you would usually rest, giving you more volume out of your program. An example would be:
- 1A – Split Squats,
- 1B – Incline Bench,
- 1C – Leg Swings (act. Recovery)