How to maximise CrossFit recovery

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How to maximise CrossFit recovery

How to maximise CrossFit recovery

You sit there after FRAN thinking what the hell just happened….. beads of never ending sweat pouring down your face, you can feel your heartbeat in the side of your head, every breath you take goes out as fast as it comes in….. it’s a struggle but you wouldn’t have it any other way…..

You wake up the next day and you are smashed! Can’t walk, can’t shower, can’t even eat your breakfast!

BUT there is a way to speed up the recovery ….. You want to get ready for the next WOD so let’s get moving.

We recently asked local Chiropractor, Dr William Kwok from Lindfield Chiropractic, for his tips on maximising recovering after a BIG CrossFit workout and here’s what he had to say:

  1. Diet – a great after workout meal is so important. A good source of protein in the form of eggs, chicken, a protein shake will assist the muscles replenish. Some foods I enjoy the next day are salmon, raw nuts and seeds, steamed vegetables, a berry shake or herbal tea. Keep it light and keep it healthy.
  2. Baths – nothing better than soaking your body in a really warm salt bath. I sometimes double the amount of salt to increase the concentration of sodium level to penetrate the muscles. From personal experience; after 15-20 minutes my body feels tingly then I hop into a COLD shower….. yes, COLD shower and blast it for 1 minute.
  3. Massage and muscle work – A good deep tissue massage or using a trigger ball to get into the muscles is a great way to release the tension. If you are too sore that day, then usually the next day (48hrs after workout) will be sufficient time for the tension to consolidate so it can be rubbed out.
  4. Mindset reset – remind yourself of the goal you set out for yourself. Are you challenging your friend? Wanting to break a personal best? Is your wedding around the corner? Are you just out to improve your overall health?….. in any case stay focused, stick to the plan and keep the burning desire to become better each day.
  5. Flexibility and stretch – stretch promotes recovery and even if you can barely bend down and touch your knees – just try. Hold your stretch for 20 sec x 4 sets. Make sure it’s a stretch you are feeling not some other type of pain.
  6. Knowledge – Understand your body and what muscle soreness and a stretch feels like.
    I had a CrossFitter come in and tell me that she thought it post exercise muscle soreness that was causing her lower back and leg pain that had been lingering around for 2 weeks. After having a closer look, it wasn’t muscle soreness at all but a grade 1 disc herniation. So understand the differences between the different types of pain.
  7. Structural alignment – Check in with your posture and technique on your lifts. Get the right advice and correction from the coaches as they have the best view of your form. Like a race car the chassis is 100% straight before any parts are added to the car. So make sure your spine and posture is properly aligned before you start racing.
  8. Neurological power – Your brain controls your body; it does this through your nerves that live in the spine. So make sure your nerve power is optimised as your nerves not only control your muscles and vital organs, but also your rate of recovery. The stronger and clearer the signals from your brain, the stronger your body will be.That should help you get back into the box feeling recovered ready for ‘Cindy’.

Dr William Kwok
Lindfield Chiropractic
B Chiro (Sc), M Chiro, Cert Iv (Fitness, CAA, CA, ISRF

Dr William Kwok has been in practice for over 17 years. He has worked with rugby teams, CrossFit gym, rowing clubs, yoga studios and basketball teams. He also was a part of the Chiropractic Master academic team specialising in orthopaedics and technique classes. He is married with 3 young children.

If you have any questions, you can get into contact with Dr William Kwok on 0478 88 5590 or email

*Please seek medical or professional advice before starting any of the above.

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