No matter if your martial arts practice focuses on learning self-defense or getting in better shape, the time you spend both on and off the mats plays a significant role in your success.
When planning out your weekly training, it’s easy to focus on the classes you’ll attend and how you’ll spend your training time. However, recovery is just as important, but yet it’s often overlooked.
Recovery makes a big difference in how quickly you’re able to achieve your martial arts goals. Prioritizing recovery benefits both your body and your mind; it can help you get the most out of each training session and prevent potential injuries.
To help you get the most from your martial arts training, try these simple but effective “off the mat” recovery methods:
1. Get a good night’s sleep.
Sleep is an easy and no-cost way to recover well after training. But what is it about sleep that makes it so great? When you’re asleep, your body carries out critical rebuilding processes that aid in recovery, as well as your general health. So if you’re able to get more quality sleep, then your body can have more time to repair itself. A good goal is to try and get six or more hours of sleep each night.
2. Stretch and foam roll.
Taking a few minutes to work on improving and maintaining your range of motion is another way to promote proper recovery. To increase your flexibility, take five to ten minutes after your martial arts training to stretch. At the same time, to promote good mobility and range of motion, add in some foam rolling to your post-training routine. Improving your flexibility and mobility helps you move with greater ease and efficiency. And the better you’re able to move, the more effective you can be in learning and applying martial arts skills.
3. Take days off.
Even though it can seem counterintuitive, at times, the best thing you can do for your martial arts practice is to take a day off. You might be worried that taking a full rest day may mean losing everything you’ve worked so hard to gain. But remember, your body needs time to rebuild as does your mind. Taking a day off can be just the mental break you need to recharge, stay motivated, and prevent injury or burnout.
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