We are going to keep this short, sweet and to the point for you. Rest and recovery, are arguably just as important if not more important than your training - and here is why. Our favourite topic; injury prevention.
As you are training, there is natural breakdown and rebuilding of muscles, tendons, ligaments and bone, through a cellular process. This is how we build muscle and strength over time. When we don’t allow for appropriate recovery, and continue to break down the muscles without giving time for the muscles to rebuild, we put those muscles in a state of vulnerability and increased risk of injury. Another key reason for allowing for rest and recovery is due to fatigue. Fatigue is developed centrally and peripherally and needs to be restored to normal. An increased state of fatigue within our muscles significantly impacts the ability to perform and results in lower muscle output. In our sport specifically, where strength and power are two key aspects of the sport, we increase our risk of injury with, under rotations, lower tosses, dropped stunts, etc. If you build rest and recovery into the training schedule appropriately, you can mitigate this fatigue and therefore, significantly reduce risk of injury.
Skill development is also blunted by lack of recovery between sessions and fatigue. In order to develop the most efficient movement pattern you need the full capacity of the neuromusculoskeletal system (brain, muscles and bones). In other words, if athletes over train, and don’t allow for rest and recovery in their schedule, instead of the desired outcome of increasing their number of skills, they could be either slowing, stopping, or even reversing their skill acquisition.
There is also a cognitive and emotional side to rest and recovery, and that is avoiding burn out. If our goal as a community is to build the sport up, increase participation and get cheerleading to the olympics - we need to make sure we are keeping our athletes happy, healthy and engaged. Working rest and recovery into all aspects of training will help with the rise of cheerleading!
What does an ideal athlete weekly schedule look like? Notice the trends of Practice days, vs. Tumbling Days, vs. workout days! Got questions on how to design your best training schedule? Send us an email, we’re happy to help!
Did you notice the inclusion of active recovery?
Active recovery: Active recovery is proven to speed up recovery as it maintains blood flow to help muscles recover. Examples of active recovery may include mobility work such as yoga or movement flow.