Sore And Parkour … Do They Rhyme For A Reason?
Practicing parkour is fun! Afterwards you may wonder if you were taking it easy because it doesn’t seem like a tough workout. Then you wake up the next morning and you are SORE.
Our latest practice session involved turn vaults and cat leaps. Simple parkour moves, but after our practice session we found out we worked some underused muscles. It’s fun to discover the sore muscles you didn’t know you had!
- Hydrate. This should take place throughout the day. Guzzling water before practice will leave you with a desperate need for the bathroom and a sloshing feeling in your stomach.
- Foam roll. This will hurt really good the first time you do it, but gets easier. Foam rolling is like a personal, cheap, deep tissue massage that works the knots out of your muscles giving you greater mobility.
- Warm up for 15 minutes. Stretching is not warming up. You will need to get your blood pumping and your muscles warm through light exercise.
- Dynamic stretching. After you have warmed up, stay warmed up with dynamic stretching. Pre-work out dynamic stretching is better than static stretching which can reduce the explosiveness of your twitch muscles (you will need these for parkour). Bonus: dynamic stretching keeps your heart rate up, preventing you from cooling down.
- Warm up again if you cool down (i.e. too much socializing, not enough practicing). Take a few minutes to warm up again before returning to an explosive parkour workout.
- Start slow. After your warm up there is no need to go all out, work your way up to bigger, more demanding moves.
Even with these tips, over-using muscles will leave them sore. “But I really don’t like pain!” you say. Post-workout tips to limit your suffering:
- Cool down. Walk, do simple moves, don’t just come to a stop and head home. Cooling down trains your body to keep going when tired and gives your body time to absorb waste products in your muscles that build up during exercise.
- Stretch. Take 10 minutes to work your muscles. There is debate about pre-work out stretching, but anyone experienced knows that a good post-workout stretch will reduce your hurt. Post-workout stretching aligns your muscle fibres letting muscle grow back without knotting.
- Feed your muscles. They’ve been good to you! After exercising you have a short period of time (about 1 hr) that your body really wants protein and carbs to help recovery. Lots of products sell this, but the carb/protein ratio in chocolate milk seems to do the same thing. Bonus: chocolate milk is yummy and a good motivator if you only drink it after exercise.
- Move. We’ve found the fastest way to heal stiff, sore, muscles is to move them. Light aerobic exercise or cross-training another muscle group the next day works wonders.
- Don’t complain on day one after a hard exercise. It’s day two that really gets you.
Remember, the warm, sore feeling you have after exercising is yours to embrace. It means you worked your butt off. Good job.