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Post-Exercise Recovery Strategies

By Jasmine Genis - Osteopath

After playing in a footy match, a game of basketball or going for a run most people experience some type of delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS) and or fatigue. There are a variety of strategies that can be used to help aid in post-exercise recovery and get you back out on the field, court or track feeling ready to go again.

To get our bodies back to our pre-exercise state, it is important to use a combination of primary and secondary recovery strategies. Although all of these strategies play a vital role in post-exercise recovery it is important to remember that people can respond differently to different combinations and finding the combination that works for you may take a few trials.

Primary recovery strategies include sleep and rest, nutrition and hydration.

  • Sleep and rest: ensuring that you are maintaining a consistent sleep routine is critical, as the amount of sleep and sleep quality heavily impact performance and the ability for your body to adequately recover.

  • Nutrition: supplying your body with an adequate and correct amount of fuel prior to exercise is important for optimising performance but replenishing those stores is equally as important. More posts on appropriate fuels are coming up.

  • Hydration: our bodies heavily rely on water to function, and when exercising we all lose lots through sweat and general physical exertion. It is critical to rehydrate after exercising to allow our bodies to recover and address both DOMS and general fatigue.

Secondary recovery strategies include active recovery, massage, hydrotherapy (cold water immersion) and compression garments. Consider going for a low intensity walk or bike ride and a dip in the ocean in the days following activity. All of these strategies are important in helping promote blood flow and the removal of waste products that build up during exercise.

As always our Osteopaths are here to aid in your bodies recovery post exercise. Osteopathy can also help in keeping your body in alignment so your recovery post exercise is more efficient with your body able to adapt and response at a quicker rate. Osteopaths treat with a range of soft tissue techniques, mobilisation and stretching to help aid in your body recovery, as well as more specific exercise and stretching exercises for your own body.


Dupuy, O., Douzi, W., Theurot, D., Bosquet, L., & Dugué, B. (2018). An Evidence-Based Approach for Choosing Post-exercise Recovery Techniques to Reduce Markers of Muscle Damage, Soreness, Fatigue, and Inflammation: A Systematic Review With Meta-Analysis. Front Physiol, 9, 403.

Huyghe, T., Calleja-Gonzalez, J., & Terrados, N. (2020). Post-Exercise Recovery Strategies in Basketball: Practical Applications Based on Scientific Evidence. In L. Laver, B. Kocaoglu, B. Cole, A. J. H. Arundale, J. Bytomski, & A. Amendola (Eds.), Basketball Sports Medicine and Science (pp. 799-814). Springer Berlin Heidelberg.

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