Workout Recovery Tips for Gymnasts and Cheerleaders

For cheerleaders and gymnasts, keeping their bodies at peak levels is very important to their success and safety. With tumbling lines and skills becoming more and more difficult, their bodies need time to relax and recuperate between each practice session and competition.

The post workout recovery of cheerleaders and gymnasts is crucial to their overall performance. It involves much more than just a good stretch, and a regular recovery regimen that’s practiced every day will certainly show results in their future performances.

Here are the top post-workout recovery tips for cheerleaders and gymnasts:

Stretching

The most obvious of post-workout requirements, stretching is key to a gymnast’s or cheerleader’s overall performance and recovery. Flexibility is crucial to performing the different moves required, and stretching helps to improve the muscle’s elasticity, as well as increasing muscle control and range of motion.

Gymnasts and cheerleaders will want so stretch every region of the body, from the legs and arms to their back and necks, to ensure that each area is relieved of tension. These at-home stretches are easy to do anywhere, and they hit all the various parts of the body.Woman lying on back pulling knees to stretch

Ice Therapy

Applying ice is one of the best ways to recover from acute injuries and high-intensity workouts and performances. Icing helps to decrease any pain in the area with a numbing effect, and reduces swelling and inflammation, which can cause tissue damage. It is suggested that athletes ice for 15-20 minutes after high-intensity workouts, and every hour, as they see fit.

Hydrate

Drinking water after a tough workout is extremely important to re-hydrate the body and reduce muscle soreness. Gymnasts and cheerleaders who train for long hours should make sure to drink at least 8 ounces of water for every half hour of exercise, and athletes may also consider drinking effective electrolyte supplements to replace those lost while working out.

Lighter exercise will only require water, but it’s a good idea to always stay hydrated throughout a practice, and after, to keep the muscles loose and comfortable.

Kid hydrating with water from water bottle

Bracing

Many of the stunts that are performed in gymnastics and cheerleading put a lot of pressure on the various joints of the body, including the knees, ankles, and shoulders. One great option in workout recovery is to invest in quality athletic bracing, which can help to relieve tension and pressure, increase muscle support and reduce chronic pain.

Because these athletes tumble a lot, there is a lot of repetitive wear and tear that can occur; knee braces for gymnastics and ankle braces for gymnastics are very common, and help to relieve that repetitive pressure on the joints to help perform and recover more efficiently.

Rest

Not many things are as beneficial and effective as taking a day off to let your body rest. Gymnasts and cheerleaders who compete in very high levels of the sport can train up to 6 days per week, clocking in over 20+ hours of training. While this is extremely efficient for their training regimens, it’s also important to take that extra day off and let the body recuperate.

Whether an athlete feels tired or not, they may push their bodies too far, regardless, which can increase the opportunities for injury and exhaustion. Giving muscles, joints, and bones a day to re-establish themselves and release any stress and tension is a great way to recover.

Woman lying down in bed to get rest

Eating

It’s important for athletes to remember that even with hard training and dedication, taking care of your body will be the most important factor to being successful. A body that is hydrated and well-fed will certainly perform and recover more quickly than one that is not getting the proper nutrients. As we work out, our bodies take energy from things we’ve previously eaten, and our muscles use available protein to rebuild within a few hours of a hard workout.

With that being said, making sure to eat and refuel your body after a workout is very important to recovery. It’s been suggested that proteins and carbohydrates are the best foods to put into your system after it has been working hard. Some of the most popular food items suggested include Greek yogurt, protein shakes, fruit, wholegrain cereals, and eggs.

Woman with cheerleading squad holding hands in air

For any athlete, the most important thing, next to a great performance, is a great recovery. There is no way you can continue to perform at your best when your body is not getting what it needs before and after hard workouts that use up all of your energy. To see the best results in performance, gymnasts and cheerleaders should consider the suggestions above to ensure that their post-workout recovery is safe and effective.

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