Anyone who has powered through a proper ‘leg day’ will know that the day after can be tough. You’ll probably have drawn strange glances from work colleagues as you gingerly stumble around the office – there might even be a sarcastic ‘I thought you were supposed to be fit’ from the odd joker. It can be embarrassing and can happen all too easily after hitting the squats, lunges and raises for an intense session.
Want to avoid the post leg day blues? Here’s how to enjoy a smooth recovery so you needn’t dread the fallout of a tough leg day:
Trust us, it gets easier
The first thing to stress is that a ‘leg day recovery’ gets much easier over time. As your legs get stronger, they’ll get used to an intense workout and be able to withstand more hard work. The pain will fade to an ache and will pass more quickly, and you’ll be in a better place for getting over the initial hurdle. If you leave ‘leg day’ for a long while, then it’ll be tough to get started again further down the line.
Cardio work will help
It isn’t just a case of having to grin and bear it, though. By planning out a smart workout, your recovery will be much more straightforward, even in those early days. The key here is to make sure that you don’t end up sitting down for a long period post-workout. This is just asking for those legs to seize up and cause you a problem.
Something fairly light – a walk, low intensity cycle ride or some time on an exercise bike – should be a big help and this should ideally be done the same day or day after.
Stretches are vital
It’s also important to remember your stretches after your ‘leg day’ workout. Don’t be tempted to pass these up if you’re tired after your workout. Without these your legs are guaranteed to seize up and you’ll be well on the way to that ‘day after pain’.
Ice, ice baby
If your muscles are sore, then you could look to ease the swelling with an ice pack. Apply one of these for 15 minutes or so as you rest.
Lift those legs up
It can also help to raise your legs a little. Maybe try propping them up with pillows as you lie down – this should help to reduce any swelling and ease the pain if you’ve had a heavy session in the gym.
Boost your diet with the right supplements
Muscle repair and recovery can be assisted with the right diet. That’s why you need to provide your body with the right fuel and that means plenty of protein. Supplements can ensure you up your intake in a simple and effective way – with shakes and snacks that can be consumed just before your workout to deliver a boost. The use of creatine before a workout can also be highly beneficial. This is a product that helps energy reach the cells that need it – helping you to boost your stamina and performance and cope better with your ‘leg day’.
A ‘leg day’ is a crucial part of an all-round regime that can deliver the body you want. By taking heed of the six key tips above you can ensure you get the benefits of this while feeling fewer of the after-effects.