In coordination with the NBA’s Live Healthy Week, the following is a special guest blog entry by the Warriors Director of Athletic Development JoHan Wang:
One of the most important parts of a professional athletes responsibilities, and mine being responsible for their athletic development, is to make sure they properly recover after any workout. Our players go through grueling workouts on a daily basis and need to make sure they take care of their bodies, not only before and during a workout, but after with the proper recovery program.
For our athletes, here is a simple three-step recovery program we suggest.
Step One: Recovery Drinks
One of the things our athletes do after a workout is to drink a recovery shake that contain a blend of two-to-one ratio of carbohydrates to protein. A post-workout nutrition shake helps replace glycogen they may have lost during their workout, so that their bodies recover faster and they can compete the next time out at much higher level.
Step Two: Stretch
The second thing they do is a post-workout stretch. We have our players do static stretching, emphasizing areas of tightness for their specific needs. For example, if a player has a tight hamstring, we will concentrate on stretching his hamstring. Stretching is obviously corrective, but after a workout is the best time to stretch since the muscles are loose and warmed up so we can actually increase the muscle length a lot easier than if they were cold.
Step Three: Cold Tub
The last thing is getting them into the cold whirlpool for 10-12 minutes. The cold tub itself actually works to drop the core temperature of the body and helping your body heal faster. With a short turnaround time for players in the NBA to their next game or practice, we need to be able to help heal their tightness or soreness as quickly as possible and the cold tub is one of the ways we do it.
For those of you without access to a cold tub, a personal trainer and/or special recovery drinks, the biggest tips I can offer everyone are around diet, rest and proper workout programs.
Make sure your diet is right, because that‘s probably 80% of the equation. Making sure your diet is right and you’re eating the right food is crucial in allowing your body to heal.
The second is rest. Make sure you get eight to ten hours of sleep every single night, especially if you are very active. Sleep is one of the most important parts of living a healthy lifestyle.
Lastly, I recommend following a workout program based on your individual needs. Everyone has different needs when they workout. None of our players follow the exact same workout routine as another because they all have different needs and it should be the same for you. Figure out what you need to strengthen or improve in your life and what you’re able to do physically with your body and create a routine that works for you personally.