In the last post, we discussed improving arm strength, so logically we’ll discuss what to do after your training. The following post is a review of the 3 most important things you can do to recover from arm soreness. This will mostly be geared towards pitchers, but any player can benefit from these tips.
#1 - Stretching
We’ll start off with stretching. This is probably the most obvious of the bunch, but also perhaps the most important.
Make sure you listen to your body, if you feel a strain or soreness in a specific part of your arm or body part you can develop a game plan to recover quicker.
The different parts of the arm (elbow, shoulder, etc) usually require a different set of stretches, but you can choose to isolate specific parts based on soreness.
One major thing here is to understand your goal during these stretches. The ultimate goal is to maintain your range of motion by working in those areas that are “tight” the following day. Let’s say your shoulder feels fine, then there’s generally no reason to cater to that part specifically.
Any great pitcher will tell you elasticity matters a lot. Stretching when you are sore is one of the first steps to achieving a high level of elasticity and flexibility. When you stretch those tight muscles and areas consistently, you will no doubt see improvement in the elasticity of the muscles.
If you’re wondering specifically which stretches you can do, Click here for a link to some popular stretching options. This is a good baseline guide that will help you to relieve arm soreness.
#2 - Drinking Water
This again may seem fairly obvious to some, but it’s vital! Drinking water is super important. The average adult human body is comprised of mostly water, so the proper balance between water and electrolytes is crucial to how our systems function, including nerves and muscles. Water flushes toxins out of the body, and transports nutrients into the cells. When your muscles are sore they need all the nutrients they can possibly get to recover quickly.
Typically, you should drink at least 16 to 24 ounces of water after a workout. This will limit your soreness the following day. Water also helps your flexibility and builds strength, so don’t skip it. This will help you to recover from arm soreness.
One thing to note is that we recommend water over the typical sports drink options. While they may be tasty, they are loaded with sugar. All that sugar might not seem to affect you, but it definitely can and will. If you want to look more into the effects – take a look at this post here. One important excerpt from the link states, “the sugar found in sports drinks delays the absorption of fluids, which slows hydration.” This implies it might actually be counterproductive! So while they may taste good, try to replace them with water, and you will be replenished quicker.
#3 - Ice or Not To Ice?
Now, this is more of a debate than you might think. Prominent trainers fall on either side of this debate, so in our opinion, it is best to listen to your body and do what works for you. For example, if you pitched earlier in the day, but there is relatively no soreness or tight feeling, you are probably fine to skip the ice. On the other hand, if you are feeling abnormally tight you might want to throw some ice on it.
The benefits of icing are that it will reduce decrease inflammation and numb pain in the area. That’s why if you feel ok, you probably are ok. But if your shoulder or elbow is tight and maybe even painful, then definitely go for the ice. Especially if you have another game or practice coming up relatively soon.
On the opposite side of the debate, some trainers actually favor not icing and using more heat believe it or not. They believe that the heat will loosen the muscle, and thus a quicker recovery.
Ultimately, the science isn’t perfect either, but as we said listen to your body and experiment to see what works best for you. Let us know your opinion on this in the comment section below.
That wraps us up for now but until next time! Momentum Sports will continue to offer helpful articles which can help you take your game to the next level.