Active Rest Exercises Between Sets
Improve Your Mobility and Flexibility With Active Rest
Rest periods are great for recovery and can vary enormously from 30 seconds for an endurance set to 60 seconds for hypertrophy or all the way up to 6 minutes for maximal strength and power work. We live in a very busy world so the 30-60-minute sessions three times a week can be a bit of a squeeze and you really don’t want to be rushing and stressing through your workouts. At Performance Ground we follow a quality over quantity approach and structure sessions to get the very best from our clients. Not all of our clients have flawless technique which, is completely understandable considering that most of them have desk bound jobs consequently, moving less in varied movement patterns. Improving mobility, flexibility, stability, strength, body composition and most importantly, feeling healthier and more comfortable are crucial and can be achieved with active rest exercises between sets. In this article, we show you how to best use active rest exercises to improve your mobility and flexibility.
THE VIDEO: Active Rest Exercises Between Sets – Improve Your Mobility and Flexibility
Active rest to correct dysfunction and imbalances
Rest periods are essentially for recovery. However, they can be better utilised than sitting on your phone by correcting dysfunction and imbalances in order to progress and ultimately achieve movement mastery.
When we use the term dysfunction, it normally comes down to three things; tightness and overactivity, weakness and underactivity or simply a motor patterning issue.
Weakness / Underactivity
If you are weak in a particular area and unable to get your glutes firing during your squats, quads are taking on all the work and your knees keep dropping inwards. Grab yourself a small resistance band and place it around either of your ankles or laces and crack out some lateral banded walks (10-12 each way). Try to avoid waddling or sliding the feet. This will waken up your glute med that is responsible for preventing your knees from dropping inwards. You activate the muscle that is weak and then immediately, integrate your new working muscle into a functional and specific movement pattern within the next set.
Tightness / Overactivity
Weakness isn’t always the issue. Mobility and range of motion around a joint can really hamper your ability to get into or maintain a safe and efficient position. Ankle dorsiflexion and shoulder extension are problem areas we see a lot of and they both play a pivotal role in developing gross athleticism for overhead pressing, pulling and squatting movements. If you are tight and restricted in shoulder extension and therefore, unable to comfortably press overhead then, jump up on to a pullup bar or better yet a set of rings and just hang out. That’s right, just hang passively and let your bodyweight do the work in opening up those shoulders, lats and chest. 20-30sec within your rest period and then, back into your overhead pressing, handstands or whatever it may be.
This kind of dysfunction can occur from a number of situations. However, in most cases, it is apparent in clients new to training, coming back from injury or having been taught a movement incorrectly. The key to correcting motor patterning issues is not to increase the load or go straight for the more advanced movements. You will need to be patient, utilise basic fundamental movement patterns and perform them exceptionally well with higher repetitions and light loads. For this one you can simply just rest in your rest periods.
Totally resting in between sets has a price in most cases. Use active rest instead to improve your mobility and flexibility and not only recover faster but feel healthier and perform better.