In today’s world, recovery for professional footballers is increasingly important. A proper recovery routine can make all the difference between having to sit out the next session (or even match) – and it is not just reserved for the pros.
The type of recovery depends on previous injuries, current training plans and personal preference. Liverpool’s players follow a tailored recovery programme, depending on their injury history, their playing style and individual strengths and weaknesses.
For instance, some players will get two days ‘recovery’ post-match, whereas some will have one day for recovery. That doesn’t mean they aren’t active and working, but not included in full team training and instead following their individualised training programme.
The recovery begins right at full time.
“If you need treatment, you will get that immediately in the dressing room,” explains Gini Wijnaldum. “After a game, I also go into the ice bath because they say you recover quicker if you do that, so I’ll spend five minutes or so in there. Almost all of the lads do it, in fact.”
Ice baths take an active role in easing blood flow and inflammation in muscle tissue and have long been a staple part of a footballer’s recovery.
Now, there’s also the hot and cold treatment, mixing cold water recovery with warm water recovery, which players can undertake post-matchday at the Reds’ new Kirkby training ground.
It’s not just physical methods that get you feeling like your optimal self. Re-hydrating, eating properly and sleeping after a hard workout like a football match or long run is also essential to your recovery.
Some players choose to take their recovery home with them, while others (in non-pandemic times) will choose to have theirs at the training ground or stadium. The mission always remains the same though, and that is to ensure you’re back in peak performance for the next match.
Sports rehabilitation and recovery methods have come a long way in the last decade and one of the latest recovery must-haves to emerge is the massage gun.
Touted by Trent Alexander-Arnold as his go-to for recovery, he’s stated how effective it has been in keeping him in peak condition. After a calf injury in November he started to incorporate the massage gun into his recovery sessions and immediately began reaping the rewards.
The Reds’ No.66 recently explained how he’s integrated his massage gun into his night-time routine, saying: “I’ve noticed an incredible difference. It releases any tightness or stiffness I might be experiencing before bed and I wake up feeling good.”
With rapid, hammer-like movements to trigger vibrations within the muscles, massage guns prevent Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness (DOMS) which make you less likely to feel pain or tightness after an intense workout. They also improve athletes’ agility and performance after just five minutes.
One big benefit of massage guns is that they can be used at home, or basically anywhere and they’re not just for footballers or sports stars, it’s for all of us!
There can be nothing worse than a sore neck and back after staring at a screen or sitting down for most of the day so to have access to that relief is a game-changer for your tight muscles.
Recovery is now more important than ever, with athletes of all levels going back to the gym and exercising at pre-lockdown levels again. This carries an increased risk of DOMS, and just general muscle soreness while readjusting to old workout routines.
You can find these elite workout tools for as much as £300, but you’ll still reap the benefits with cheaper models: disperse lactic acid in the muscles, break up tight muscle knots and facia, increase blood circulation for better warm-ups, warm-downs, and even better sleep.
* We’ve done our research and partnered with The Gym Kit Store, who have given all This Is Anfield readers a unique discount code to use to get your own massage gun for just £60 – an offer that expires on 31st May, 2021.
Get yours and bring yourself into the elite recovery fold here, and use the discount code ‘THISISANFIELD2021’.