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  • Writer's pictureMatt Crowe

My Ultimate Recovery Workout

I have written extensively about the best strength exercises, cardiovascular workouts, functional movements and even the importance of flexibility & mobility but maybe the single greatest ‘game changer’ workout you can do is ‘My 5 Stage 45min Ultimate Recovery Workout’!


  1. 15min Foam roller

  2. 10min Lacrosse Ball

  3. 2min cold shower

  4. 16min Sauna with breath & stretch

  5. 2min cold shower

Now I call it a ‘workout’ because that’s how you have to treat it! It is not R & R and it is not always ‘pleasant’ but when you finish it your body will feel amazing! Ok maybe not initially but once you make this recovery workout part of your life you will feel different!

Less stiffness & joint pain, greater range of movement & mobility, more loose & flowing movement, reduced inflammation & nagging ‘bits & pieces’ & even reduced mental stress and anxiety!

The Caveat - You have to fully commit because the fascia release and niggly scar tissue manipulation that you do as part of the routine will be ‘intense’! You just have to persevere and breathe through it! The routine gets easier every time you do it.

Pro Tip - Never Miss Twice! Once you start don’t miss a week because it will feel like you are starting again!

So here is my 5 stage 45min Ultimate Recovery Workout.

Perform at least once per week!

Stage 1 - 15min Foam Roller

In order - do 8-10 slow rolls up & back on each of these areas:

Roll left side of body in this order:

  • Glutes & hip - big fleshy butt area and surrounds

  • Hip flexor - strong tendon at top of quads.

  • Lower back sides - soft tissue (QL) above hip bone

  • Lats & rotator cuffs - along side of back & under shoulders

  • ITB - down the side of thigh to the knee - the sore bit!!

  • Quads - up & down front & inner thigh

  • Hamstring - inside, outside & middle of back of upper leg.

  • Calves - inside, outside & middle of back of lower leg.

Roll right side of body in the same areas as above.

  • Roll down whole back from pelvis to neck

  • Roll onto traps at side of neck - do both sides

  • Finish with foam roller angels up & down back (see video)

My Foam Roller You Tube Video

Note: This is quick version so try to take longer on each body part.

Stage 2 - 10 Minute Lacrosse Ball Massage

This is the principle part of the recovery workout! Hang in there!

Now word of warning, if you do it properly this ball can be rather unpleasant (initially). The reason it might be intense is because it is getting into all the knots and scar tissue that you have been living with your whole life. To break them down you have to get in there and massage them.

The secret is learning to slowly and rhythmically move the ball around the key glute complex and shoulder complex areas. When you find a painful ‘hard’ spot try to just pause on the spot, breathe slowly in & out and let the ball sink into the muscle/joint to work its magic!

The lacrosse ball might be the ultimate perseverance test!

The 2 areas we focus on are the main areas of our tightness, the glutes/hips area and the shoulder/shoulder blade area.

Follow the video to see how to do it… and good luck!

Stage 3 - 2 Minute Cold Shower

* Just jump in the cold shower (full cold) for 2min with full immersion.

Stage 4 - 16min Sauna with Breath & Stretch

The ideal dry Finnish sauna temperature is 80-85 degrees Celsius and 55 degrees for the infrared sauna. Both are great!

First 8min - Breath Work

  • Option 1 - 6-2-7 x 16 - 6 sec deep breathe into belly through the nose, 2 sec hold breath and 7 sec slow easy exhale through nose or mouth - Do 16 rounds

  • Option 2 - Box Breathing - 4sec deep breathe into belly through the nose, 4 sec hold breath, 4sec slow easy exhale through nose, 4sec hold breath - Do 16 rounds

2nd 8min - Stretch (you will need 2 towels)

1min each stretch body part with slow breathing in & out

  • Hip flexor/quads - leg bent with foot on bench - lean back & push hip forward

  • Glute - sitting up with leg crossed & side of foot on opposite knee - lean forward and push knee out & down

  • Hamstring - one leg straight out on bench - lean forward to bring chest to leg

  • Groin - sitting up with legs bent & feet together (butterfly pose) - push knees down with hands

Stage 5 - 2 Minute Cold Shower

  • Straight under cold shower for 2 minutes ensuring you immerse all areas of head, body and limbs

…. And leave like you are walking on air!!!!

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