If you are serious about building muscle then you also need to be serious about your recovery. There are a lot of workout tips out there, but enhancing your recovery is one of the best muscle building secrets.
If you have been training hard then it is likely that you have experienced muscle soreness following exercise. If you have been exercising consistently for several years it is also likely that you have some chronic muscle related pain that was caused by years of using the same muscles over and over again.
Luckily, there is a simple solution that works very well for enhancing recovery, relieving soreness, and alleviating chronic muscle pains. This solution is ice massage, also known as cryo-massage.
This is simply a massaging of the muscle with a piece of ice. To perform ice massage the simplest way is to fill a small Dixie cup with water and freeze it. You can then peel-away the cup to expose the ice. Hold the unpeeled end in your hand and massage the desired area. There are also special plastic cups created just for this purpose if you dont mind a small investment.
It is best to use long, deep strokes over the entire length of the muscle. Make sure not to simply rub the ice on the surface of your skin, but to apply some downward pressure as you go over the length of the muscle.
Ice massage is best used immediately post-exercise. A duration of 10-15 minutes is usually sufficient.
The ice will reduce inflammation and increase blood flow to the massaged area, which often times completely prevents any muscle soreness. In addition, the massaging action helps to breakdown muscle adhesions which may be causing chronic muscle pain or tightness.
I find that ice massage is one of the most powerful recovery tools available. Because of this you may be tempted to use ice massage after every workout. But like any recovery method, if you use ice massage too often it will begin to lose its effectiveness.
For this reason I recommend reserving ice massage for only your toughest workouts. This means that it should be used once per week at most.
Give ice massage a try after your next workout. I think you will find that it significantly reduces your recovery time between workouts and may help you deal with some of the chronic muscle pains you experience.
Please remember that although ice massage is one of the best muscle building secrets, without a properly designed training and nutrition program you will find that the results are minimal.