How to Make the Most of Your Recovery Days

November 11th, 2016

As the saying goes: "It's not how hard you train, but how well you recover." After a tough workout, your body needs time to heal, but that doesn’t mean spending a day on the couch. We've got the best tips on how to properly recuperate, condition, and make the most of your recovery days. 



Most people are sore after a day of heavy exercise, so a recovery day is a perfect day to do some dynamic stretching or flexibility and mobility training.  Below are a few exercises you can try, from NYHRC Personal Trainer, Helen Macey:

  • Static stretching of the quads, hamstrings, spinal twist and calf (hold each for 30 seconds).
  • Dynamic stretching: arm swings, side bends, trunk rotations, full back stretch, abdominal stretch, hamstring stretch, groin stretch, alternate toe touches, leg swings.
  • Dynamic drills: stride, walking knee tucks, walking IT band stretch, walking lunge straddle stretch, reverse walking lunges, walking lateral lunges.
  • Flexibility exercises: devotional warrior pose, standing single leg forward bend pose, assisted hamstring stretch, squat palm press pose, figure four, warrior two pose. 

Helen also strongly encourages her clients to foam roll lying down on the floor or using a Physioball.


Move in a fun way

Plan a day where you do something fun.  This could be taking a bike ride around the park, rock climbing, taking a dance class, or going for a stroll with friends.



Swimming is extremely light on the joints, lengthens muscles, and can help with recovery from high-intensity exercise.  It’s also a great form of flexibility training. On your next recovery day, try one of NYHRC’s swim classes.



Yoga is the perfect complement to strength training. Where strength training builds muscle, yoga lengthens tendons and helps with recovery.  By including both yoga and strength training in your routine, you can get stronger and more flexible simultaneously. Whether you're a beginner yogi or advanced, NYHRC has classes for all levels.



Off days are not cheat days! Use this time to meal prep for the week. Check out our post about the basics of meal prep HERE.  


It’s important to keep in mind that recovery days are different than rest days.  When your body is asking you for rest, book a massage, spa, or simply plan to go to bed early and get plenty of sleep that night.

What do you do on your recovery days? Tag @NYHRC and share!