Rest Day Anyone?

Rest Day.  For some of us, it comes well deserved.  We’ve worked our butts off 3 days in a row and our bodies are wrecked.  For others, it’s built out of necessity.  Work, family plans, life in general sometimes dictates the days that we can’t work out.  Still for others, rest day is a four-letter word.  They feel the need to workout as much as possible and feel guilty if they skip a day.  So what should rest day look like?  Let’s take a look…
CrossFit generally adheres to the 3 days workout/1 day rest principle.  Although that’s ideal, it’s simply not feasible for some due to work, family, etc.  We do what we can when we can.  Either way we need our bodies to recover.  CrossFit is high intensity, and without rest days we will break down physically and mentally.  We see our performance in WODs decline, and strength numbers go down.  I think our community does a good job with rest day simply looking at our dip in attendance on Wednesdays and Thursdays.
So what does a rest day look like?  First off, rest day shouldn’t be siting at the couch or at your desk doing nothing.  Your muscles will tend to lock up and get sorer the next day.  Rest day simply means a break from CrossFit high intensity WODs.  You should still do something on rest day to keep the body moving and not locking up.  Here are some options:


Mobility.  Yes, one of the most overused terms in CrossFit but one of the most beneficial.  If you have foam rollers/bands at home great.  If not, come into the box and do some mobility during class.  Just check in with the coach and let them know.  For a mobility session, do a mini warmup (5 minute row/bike/ski/run), do some light body weight exercises to get the muscles warmed up, then spend a good amount of time doing DROM (Dynamic Range of Motion) foam rolling, band work, mashing, etc.  If you’re lost, check out a ROMWod video and go through that.  stretch out, break up fascial adhesion, get the body reset and ready for the next day.Recovery Workout.  Come into the box and do a low intensity workout.  Again, check in with the coach and let them know.  This could simply mean a stretch session then rowing a low intensity 2-5k, bike, or run.  You can also do a WOD involving body weight movements only with decreased intensity.  Basically, some type of workout that keeps the muscles moving and works out soreness.

Ancillary Work.  Instead of doing class come in and do some ancillary work.  These are exercises that you’ll sometimes see programmed in the extra work, but I typically don’t put them in regular class due to equipment, etc.  These exercises are usually low impact and focus on smaller muscle groups.  These include:
-Rotator Cuff work (using the crossover symmetry/iron scap exercises with bands is ideal)
-Core Rotation (using the landmine, bands, etc. to strengthen our midline stability through rotation)


Skip the WOD/do the strength.  If you’re the type of person that feels the need to workout every day, try this next time.  Simply do class, do the warmup and strength portion with everyone, then skip the WOD.  Do some stretching/mobility instead while the rest of class is doing the WOD.  

Yoga.  I know several of you do yoga, and that’s great.  It’s a great way to reset the body and stretch/strengthen some of our areas that tend to be weaker.
Hopefully this gives you some good ideas for what to do with yourself on rest days.  Our bodies need to keep moving to work out that soreness, so next time it’s your rest day, give one of these a try!

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