Most adults who adhere to a strict workout regimen know what it takes to keep their bodies strong and agile even after the toughest workouts. However, these same adults likely aren’t performing tricks and acrobatics like stunting and tumbling. While some of the basic post-workout advice absolutely applies to cheerleaders, not all of it does. Today, we at MGA Cheer Extreme are here to share some of our top tips for those in children’s sports.
Most younger athletes have no idea how important recovery is for their muscles. When these kids don’t take the time to learn how to rest their muscles properly, one of two things will happen. Either their bodies will shut down, leading them to become sick or injured — or, they will need to rely on temporary fixes to get them through the day. Whether that means using ice or wrapping their wrist in a brace, neither is a good long-term solution. Today, we are going to share some of the top tips to keep your body ready for everything from practice to the very last cheerleading competition of the season.
Your body needs adequate recovery time and rest, which is why our first tip is to get more sleep. Sleep is such an obvious thing to do, but many athletes don’t get enough sleep due to staying out with friends, staying up late for homework, or even insomnia. However, sleep is the time when our bodies recover from our hard workouts by rebuilding and repairing our muscle tissue. Don’t let lack of sleep get in the way of your cheer performance!
Second, take an ice bath. We know, we know, it sounds horrible. However, submerging your body in ice-cold water after a tough workout is a great way to reduce any potential soreness and inflammation for up to 24 hours after the bath. No, they do not feel great while you’re in them, which is why we only recommend an ice bath for 5-10 minutes. It will be worth it when it’s all over!
Finally, give foam rolling a try. During a particularly tough workout, our muscles start to get little knots in them. When you leave these knots, they tend to build up over time and become hard to get rid of. Using a good foam roller is a practical solution to working out all muscle major groups before the problem escalates.
What we give our bodies to eat is just as important as our physical treatment after a tough workout. Start with water. Training while dehydrated does more harm than good since our muscles take more damage than normal. And forget sports drinks — they have the same amount of sugar as a soda and won’t help you hydrate any better than water. Unless you are pushing yourself for hours at a time and didn’t properly eat ahead of time, then skip the sports drinks.
Next, choose foods rich in antioxidants. These antioxidants actually help reduce the swelling in muscles after a workout, meaning your body will be able to recover faster. Cherries, berries, and similar juices can all help with getting you back in the gym faster.
Finally, eat protein! Whether you prefer a protein shake or a healthy chicken breast, both work wonderfully at protecting your muscles and repairing any damage. Steak and fish are great options too. They’ll fill you up for longer, and they can protect your muscles during your next workout.
Get Ready to Get Back in the Gym
When it comes to getting back on the mat for tumbling and cheer practice, taking care of your body is the best way to do it. At MGA Cheer Extreme, we teach you the ins and outs of caring for yourself, training your body to reach your full potential, and executing skills with confidence. Reach out to us today to learn more about our gym, and we’ll see you at practice!