Man doing post-workout recovery stretches

9 Post-Workout Recovery Stretches to Help You Bounce Back Faster...with Chris Tripp

8 min read

|

20 Dec 2023

Hack beast mode

  1. Why should I stretch for post-workout recovery?
  2. THE nine best post-workout recovery stretches
  3. Bonus tips for boosting the post-workout recovery process
  4. Grab those epic gains with CrazyBulk

If you're going for those epic gains, training hard and eating right aren't the only things to focus on—there's another piece of the puzzle that's equally important—muscle recovery.

When you take part in endurance exercise, especially active recovery periods, it will combat sore muscles, maximize growth, and help you bounce back quicker between sessions.

To get the most from your active recovery periods, improve your recovery times, and enjoy more muscle growth, getting your stretches right is essential.

Yes, stretching right after strenuous exercise (we know you like to push for the burn) will level up your muscle-building plans no end.

With the help of legendary fitness trainer and competitive bodybuilder Chris Tripp, we're going to walk you through the best post-workout stretches to help you bounce back faster.

Ready? Great, let's go.

Why should I stretch for post-workout recovery?

Good question. Several studies suggest that post-workout stretches are pivotal in restoring muscle strength, maintaining a good range of motion, and combating the effect of delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMs).

Here are some other key reasons why you should perform the right stretches after intense exercise to speed up recovery.

Reduces lactic acid build-up

When you have a tough workout, your body produces lactic acid that contributes to sore and achy muscles.

By stretching in the right way, you will combat the accumulation of lactic acid throughout your body, promoting recovery in the process.

Tackles joint and ligament strain

Performing a balanced mix of muscle recovery stretches will also help with the wear and tear associated with regularly lifting weights. And when we say wear and tear—we're talking about joints and ligaments.

Improves heart health

Stretching for muscle recovery after a workout will help your body cool down and your heart returns to a healthy rate. Performing the right set of controlled stretches after a workout routine is also great for boosting blood flow, improving circulation and contributing to overall heart health in the process.

Boosts resilience

When you stretch after your workout routine, you'll prime your joints, tendons, and ligaments for a host of body movements. Stretches almost act as a workout in themselves, which will make you more flexible and, in turn, more resilient. Armed with a fully optimized body and a better range of motion, you'll level up your workout performance in ways you never thought possible.

If you don't stretch after a workout...

  • You might increase your chances of muscle soreness
  • You might increase your chances of injury
  • You might reduce your range of motion (leading to poor-quality training sessions)
  • You might diminish your gains

The nine best post-workout recovery stretches

Now you know the benefits of stretching for muscle recovery, let's get down to the body-boosting nitty gritty.

Here we're going to explore the stretches that will prove essential to proper recovery and, ultimately, bigger gains.

These stretches cover all body-boosting bases when it comes to treating tired muscles—and each of these movements is approved by none other than fitness legend, Chris Tripp.

Chris Tripp's insider info: Stretching as part of your active recovery routine can actually help to maximize muscle growth and reduce muscle soreness.

OUR TOP TIP: Tune into our recovery time-boosting post-workout stretches with Chris Tripp for visual tips on form and execution.

Let's get going—there's no time to waste.

1. Knees to chest

First of all, we have the knees to chest stretch. This is a great stretch for practicing good core posture while stretching certain lower-body and upper-body muscles after a big workout.

Duration: 30 to 60 seconds (both knees)

2. Toy Soldier

Another epic full-body stretch to promote recovery and cement solid posture, the Toy Soldier, involves you lifting your legs up and touching your toes with your hand in an upright position. It's pretty grueling at first, but you'll get the hang of it.

Duration: 30 to 60 seconds

3. Hands to toes

A classic stretch, touching your toes with the right form will work to aid recovery in the lower back, glutes, and hamstring region. Focus on executing this stretch in a smooth, controlled fashion—and you'll reap plenty of body-boosting rewards.

TOP TIP: Try this cross-legged version of this for extra muscle recovery power after your most intense workouts.

Duration: 30 to 60 seconds

4. Yogi Squat

A slightly more intense take on the classic squat, the Yogi-style stretch will give your leg muscles and glutes the conditioning they need to boost recovery time and go for those epic gains.

Duration: 30 to 60 seconds

5. Rear Delt Stretch

Let's face it: your shoulders take a pounding after intense upper body workouts—especially muscles like your deltoids. This horizontal floor stretch will put just the right amount of pressure on your delts to boost flood flow and aid recovery.

Duration: 30 to 60 seconds

6. Cobra Stretch

Man doing cobra stretch

A muscle-boosting take on a classic yoga move, this horizontal move will help you condition as well as strengthen key muscles in your chest, neck, core, and back. In addition to its ability to relieve sore muscles and improve strength, the Cobra Pose is also a calming, mindful way to end a colossal training session.

Duration: 30 to 60 seconds

7. Hamstring Stretch

If your hamstrings become too strained or rigid, you run the risk of injury—plus, you'll never be able to perform your exercises with the range of motion you need to get the muscle-boosting results you deserve. That said, this sitting position stretch should be an essential part of your post-weight training workout routine.

Duration: 30 to 60 seconds

8. Butterflies

Another sitting stretch to weave into your recovery routine after tough workouts, this is a blood flow-boosting wonder that will loosen up your hips, glutes, and lower back. This particular pose also has a calming quality, helping you replenish your energy stores in the process.

Duration: 30 to 60 seconds

9. Pigeon Stretch

Yes, there is such a thing as a Pigeon Stretch—and you should try it! The reason this stretch (which you perform on your back) is so effective is down to the fact that it conditions your hip flexors and lower back muscles after intense workouts to prevent injuries and prime you for the next big session. A muscle recovery and mobility-boosting powerhouse.

Duration: 30 to 60 seconds

Read: For more insider advice on improving your fitness routine, check out our guide on calculating your calorie consumption for building muscle.

Bonus tips for boosting the post-workout recovery process

Bodybuilder recovering after a workout

Now that you know the stretches you need to try to level up your muscle recovery efforts, let's look at some bonus tips that will help you smash your goals.

Food

First of all, nutrition will play a crucial role in your muscle recovery between workouts. Consuming a balanced mix of your key macronutrients—mainly from healthy whole-food sources—will supercharge your recovery and reduce muscle soreness.

The amount of nutrients as well as calories you need for optimal recovery will depend on factors including your fitness level, body weight, and fitness goals. But, here's a general macronutrient percentage guide for inspiration...

  • Lean protein: 40 to 60%
  • Carbohydrates: 20 to 25%
  • Healthy fat: 20 to 30%

By using these ratios as a working guide, you'll repair and build muscle through protein synthesis while optimizing your body for quicker recovery and better-quality workouts.

Water

This may sound obvious, but you'd be amazed at how often people overlook hydration when it comes to muscle recovery.

So, by getting enough H20 throughout the day (and straight after your workouts)—you'll...

  • Flush away toxins that can contribute to muscle soreness
  • Tackle inflammation, reduce muscle soreness and fight cramps
  • Supercharge your muscle recovery
  • Lift your energy after your next workout or training session

TOP TIP: To stay healthy and improve muscle recovery, you should aim to drink between 12 and 15 cups of water a day.

Active recovery

As mentioned, active recovery is essential for bouncing back quickly between training sessions.

Yes, by weaving periods of complete rest into your fitness regime, you'll supercharge your recovery while making sure you repair muscles properly before your next workout.

Coupled with some light active recovery, well... activities, you'll deliver essential nutrients to your muscles while prompting recovery and tissue repair.

Here are some active recovery tips to help you reach your training goals between training sessions...

  • Go for a 30 to 40-minute walk
  • Use a treadmill or a cycling machine at a slow, steady pace
  • Try yoga or Tai Chi
  • Swim
  • Rollerblade or rollerskate
  • Use a massage gun on your muscles
  • STRETCH!

TOP TIP: Sleep deprivation can seriously derail your muscle recovery efforts. So, focus on good sleep hygiene, aim to get around seven hours of quality sleep each night, and you'll boost recovery in a big way.

Supplements

In addition to following a healthy diet, combating poor sleep, hydrating, and resting well, taking the right supplements will help you supercharge your muscle recovery between training sessions.

The best recovery-based supplements will improve blood flow to the muscles, reduce inflammation, and help boost growth.

Supplements that contain ingredients like D-aspartic acid, magnesium, zinc, and a mix of body-boosting vitamins will improve your training performance while accelerating your post-workout recovery.

Take trusted supplements as part of a balanced training plan, and you'll bounce back faster than ever before.

Muscular man doing barbell curls

Read: Our MUST-READ guide to surprising ways to boost your health beyond the gym for insider advice on squeezing every drop of goodness from your lifestyle.

Grab those epic gains with Crazy Bulk...

Muscle fatigue and soreness can slow down your training efforts, reducing your gains in the process.

By getting all the nutrients you need for growth and repair between workouts while taking the recovery process seriously—you'll push yourself to new heights. Oh, and a little supplementation can go a long way.

If you want to speed up recovery between workouts and grab those extra gains, try Testo-Max, a formula that will elevate your performance as well as your resilience when you need it most.

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