Have you ever read through the day of a pro-athlete and thought damn that sounds hard…but I kind of love it.
Workout, have someone make you a great healthy meal, get a massage, nap, workout again and do more recovery. Of course that’s unlikely to ever be a normal day for most of us, but Denver company is making the recovery part more accessible than ever!
You know I’m a recovery nerd.
If you don’t recover right, you don’t run consistently, you don’t make progress…plus you’re cranky when injured and that’s not fun for anyone.
What is a Recovery Center?
So let me welcome you to Disneyland for Athletes…seriously, you’ll want to spend hours here and come back again…and again…and again. Why? OH MY GOSH I am so glad you asked.
Meet Denver Sports Recovery.
Unlike making an appointment for physical therapy, you can get a membership or a ClassPass to drop and utilize a variety of tools (with instruction) or make appointments for specific treatments. During a drop in you might:
- Use the mobility center filled with Trigger Point fun tools of pain
- Get electro-stim therapy to activate muscles or to break up pain signals
- Hop in the ice and hot tubs to stimulate recovery (and metabolism!)
- Relax in the infrared sauna
- Pull on some compression boots to get circulation going in those legs for recovery
- Use a cold laser on specific areas of injury to speed recovery
- Use the VibePlate to enhance strength and core stability
- Relax on a pulsed electromagnetic therapy mat to improve oxygen flow and mitochondria
Of course I have something to say about every single one of these things, so you should be expecting to hear more about Denver Sports Recovery in the coming months as we dive in to each area.
Today I want to talk about muscle activation.
This is a key benefit of the recovery tools listed above, along with more manual therapies. A muscle that;s not functioning properly, pulls our body out of balance. The result is a change in our stride or reliance on the wrong muscles, which eventually leads to injury because the muscle can’t sustain the request.
Nearly every runner will experience this because
A) the pounding on our body as we hit the ground repeatedly
B) we live in a world of sitting, which causes our muscles to tighten and to disengage.
This electro-stim session helped release tight muscles in my shoulders from all my computer time. Previously I used it on my glutes to help reactivate them (I didn’t think that was a picture you needed to see). Next week I’ll be posting specifically on firing the glutes, so stay tuned.
Here are a few of the manual therapies which help to get us moving correctly:
Chiropractic care: I quite literally have made all my athletes find a chiro during marathon build up. Nearly every time it has resolved any knee or ankle pains they were experiencing. Women’s hips have a tendency to get out of alignment more easily which creates stress down the leg.
ART – Active Release Technique: I tested out this modality in 2007 when my IT Band flared up prior to the San Diego Marathon. It’s a method stretching, while digging in to the muscles. It’s not painful like say graston which scrapes the muscle, but also not a walk in the park. For me it wasn’t something that worked, but others have reported great results.Do you know why muscle activation is so key to recovery? And how to do it? #runchat Click To Tweet
FST – Fascial Stretch Therapy: There are very few certified FST practitioners,so I was thrilled to test this out at DSR. It’s a very passive process where you lay comfortable on a massage table and your limbs are moved in consistent stretching patterns. The result is an opening of the joint and a looseness in the muscles. I felt a tremendous difference after just one short session, so I can see how doing this consistently would truly help with mobility, especially if you have lost some due to an injury. Major bonus that it’s totally painless.
Cupping – Thank you Michael Phelps for making this the new trendy recovery method. I did it 10 years ago in Kansas City and nope it’s not pleasant, which you might guess from the large bruises that it leaves. The idea is to increase blood flow to an area, which speeds healing and can help to further break down scar tissue.
Acupuncture – It’s really not as scary as you think. I’ve used acupuncture many times with varying degrees of success. The difference was always the practitioner and their knowledge, so find the right person. It can help with stress, mood, digestion, and of course muscle treatment.
Dry needling – This is similar to acupuncture, except painful. Yet, I would totally say it was worth it! I used to do this to get my glutes firing and while it hurt like heck, it worked wonders and improved my running tremendously. Again, find someone you trust.
Massage – During marathon training, I have long had a deal with myself that I will get 1 massage a month. It’s not just a reward, but a true method of helping the body to recover. Sometimes the massage is a bit painful as we dig in deep to release knots and other times I ask them to go easier, so that my body will benefit from the stress relief. BOTH are valuable. Denver Sports Recovery has specialists in each of these areas as well as others, allowing you to set additional appointments outside of your drop in fee to enhance your recovery from injury or during heavy training.
Additionally in the downtown Denver location (opening in Arizona soon!) they have a number of other partners…who I’ll also be talking about because they provide such interesting services!
I’m containing my runnerd here people. Everything about this place gives me ideas for stories because there is just so much that can benefit all of us.
In just the 10 minutes that I spent in the mobility area, I learned new ways to utilize different Trigger Point tools on my shins, chest and IT Band. Basically, I could have spent an hour just soaking up ideas on rolling the crap out of every muscle in my body.
What area of recovery would you like to know more about?
Would you flip for a place like this?
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This is not a sponsored post, but I was provided complementary services. The rest is simply because I am truly a nerd about all of these things and they bring me bizarre levels of joy.
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