FROM THE LOCKER ROOM: Five Good Recovery Workouts When You Don’t Want to Work Out

shadowboxing1Editor’s note: ‘From the Locker Room’ is a new feature on ‘Wrestling in Florida’ dedicated to topics affiliated with independent wrestling, ones focused on lifestyle/training/sister nuances of the sport. Akin to ‘What Pro Wrestling Means to Me,’ submissions are always welcome from members of the community (to include athletes, talents and promotions).

If there’s a common theme inherent on this site, it’s a dual passion for fitness and fighting that led Huracanrana and I back to pro wrestling. Simply put – and not to cast dispersion – but it arguably takes an athlete to fully appreciate the athletic splendor of others in sister sports. (Meaning, you know what you don’t know.) In my instance, it’s the glaring realization that despite surviving thousands of Muay Thai rounds, I’d barely crawl out of a 5 minute pro wrestling match able to walk off bumps.

With this being said, I’ve certainly had my fair share of bumps and bruises along the way, and with it a regular requirement to silence demon voices to take excess recovery days. Even more so with Crohn’s Disease. Begrudgingly, Friday night is my lone official recovery day…knowing Saturday morning at 9a features a hard grind workout around the bend.

Over the years, I’ve learned training through pain/injuries is 99% mental. That is, if you’re intelligent enough to: a) understand your limitations, and b) understand the goal to get a proper workout in versus a specific one (if your body isn’t up to it). Most athletes, I’ve found, considerably err on these two points, refusing to exercise through injury if they can’t work specific body parts and/or at a desired tempo. It becomes a downward spiral where threshold for taking a recovery day becomes less and less.

Again, a good sweat and fatigue is the perfect remedy…especially when banged up. It not only allows you to maintain gains/endurance, but also teach ar body to not shut down when faced with physical adversity. Here’s five good, pro-wrestling friendly recovery workouts when your body says otherwise:

1. Abs-only: Nothing is arguably as useful as a solid core for balance, energy, and ability to take a bump. While ab workouts are typical mainstays of workouts (warmup/cooldown), they’re almost never front and center. If banged up, work 30-45 minutes of abs (1 minute TABATA, 10 seconds off) until covered in sweat. Spell out your exercises beforehand as to not lose momentum thinking of exercises.
2. TRX/suspension bands: Love these guys. If you have access to suspension devices, know ‘em and use ‘em. Not only do they isolate body parts for quick gain, they remove stress on the wrong (and often injured parts) by forcing balance versus pressure. Awesome tricep and chest workout sans pain! (Search YouTube for dozens of clever techniques.) Tip: find a certified personal trainer for initial technique lessons (as it’s easy to do these incorrectly, at first).
3. Shadow boxing: Even if not a fighter by design/desire, keeping your hands up for 10, 3-minute rounds will exhaust anyone. Hold 2-3 pound weights for even more challenge. Work by a mirror, practice head/leg movements, and imagine your opponent. STAY FOCUSED, and you’ll be covered in sweat in no time. Remember: this workout – more than the others – relies on your commitment. Bundle up for increased sweat/gains. Nice free phone timers aplenty are available.
4. Sliders: A bit old school, but ridiculously effective at $20/pair. Mountain climbers, around the world motions, plank jacks, pike jacks…in/outs…and you’ll plead no mas in 30 minutes. Akin to its buddies above, sliders transfer weight to butt/abs, meaning little/no stress on injured parts. Sliders are humbling in the best of ways.Mirror the abs in TABATA format, enjoy the ride!
5. Band-assisted exercises: Pull-ups, dips, jump squats, pushups, etc., all get seemingly easier with band assistance…but aren’t. In fact, they’re simply isolating the key parts – for a harder workout – while removing stress from those needing rest. A band also ensures (if you don’t cheat) maximum extension. Combine with agility ladder, burpees and/or other bodyweight exercises for a great dual upper body/cardio burn.

Got any recovery day favorites? Add them below in the comments section!

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