Use Active Rest to Build More Muscle

Active Recovery Workout: What Is Active?

The word “active” means being in motion or moving around. When you are doing something like walking, running, jumping, climbing stairs etc., it’s called passive exercise. You’re not actually working out your muscles at all; rather you’re just using them passively.

When you do some type of physical activity, you need to be actively engaged in order to get results. For example, if you want to lose weight, then you have to work out regularly so that your body becomes used to burning calories and losing fat. If you don’t engage in regular exercise, then your body will become resistant and won’t burn off those extra pounds easily.

Another way to look at it is that when you’re exercising, you’re not just sitting there and doing nothing. You’re actively moving your body through various motions. Your muscles are getting worked and they feel better because of it. That’s what active means!

In other words, when you use active rest, you aren’t resting passively either; instead, you are actively engaging in different types of movements while performing the same movement over and over again.

Why Is It So Important?

In case you haven’t pieced it together already, active recovery is really important for your body. You see, when you engage in regular exercise, your muscles need time to repair themselves. The rebuilding process can only occur when you’re resting. If you don’t give your muscles any “down time” to heal and recharge then they’re never going to become stronger or faster than they already are.

However, many people make the mistake of not engaging in active recovery. Instead, they just stop exercising altogether which can actually be more detrimental to your muscles than anything else. It might be tempting to do absolutely nothing after a grueling exercise session, but it’s better if you can move your muscles in some way afterwards. This will get the blood flowing again and give them the nutrients that they need to regenerate.

Try to remember that the human body is an amazing thing. It always finds a way to keep itself alive and well if you take care of it. If you push yourself too hard then you might do some serious damage in the long run (physical and mental). Nobody ever achieved success by overworking themselves.

So go ahead and take some time off, but don’t forget to stay active afterwards!

The popular saying “no pain, no gain” is an exercise misconception that tends to put unnecessary stress and guilt on people who are just trying to achieve a healthy lifestyle. In fact, many people give up on their fitness goals because they feel so overwhelmed or intimidated by the prospect of “suffering” through rigorous training. The truth of the matter is that you should only do as much as your body can tolerate and still recover in a timely manner. If you start to feel excessively fatigued, sick, or in pain during your workouts then you should consult a physician before trying to continue.

Your body will adapt and change as long as you listen to what it’s telling you.

It’s important to remember that you shouldn’t kill yourself every time you work out. Listen to your body and respect its limitations. Only you know your body better than anyone else so take note if something doesn’t feel right. If you’re working out at a gym, the staff there should be able to provide guidance on proper form and technique.

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Make use of their knowledge and don’t be afraid to ask questions if something isn’t clear.

The following are some examples of active recovery in action.


This is one of the best forms of exercise because it works your entire body without putting unnecessary stress on your joints and bones. Swimming is great for cardio and it also provides a low impact workout for your muscles. Not to mention the fact that this activity is typically low cost and most public pools offer this activity.


Riding a bike is a lot of fun and it’s a great way to get some physical activity. If you don’t own a bike or if the weather isn’t very cooperative then you can always check out your local community center or gym to use their equipment. You can also join a biking group or rent out an entire park for yourself and others. There are many things you can do to spice up your biking routine.


The stretching and breathing exercises in yoga are very good for your mind and body. The physical activity involved is not too strenuous so it’s a great way to start on your fitness journey. There are many types of yoga so you should be able to find one that fits your needs. Since this is a fairly low impact activity you can do this for long periods of time without getting tired.


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These classes are a little more exciting since they usually involve music and some people even take group fitness classes to help them stay motivated. This can be a fun way to start but you might get tired of it fairly quickly. Once again, this is a great way to improve your overall health so don’t discount it completely if you feel like it’s not “exciting” enough.

Step aerobics is a great way to improve your fitness routine. It involves using an elevated platform that you step up and down on while you perform various aerobic movements and routines. These movements typically include things like jogging in place, hopping, and even some basic choreographed songs. Using a step aerobics DVD will make it easier for you to follow along but you can also attend classes at your local gym or community center.

These are just some of the many exercises that you can try. It’s up to you to choose which ones sound the most appealing and will help you to reach your goals. Remember, a routine doesn’t need to be expensive or require lots of fancy equipment. The most important thing is to find something that you actually enjoy doing so you’ll look forward to working out every day.

Now that you’ve chosen your routine, it’s time to learn how to actually perform the movements in a safe and effective manner. This means finding a reputable coach or personal trainer who can teach you the proper form and technique for the activities you’ve chosen. Don’t worry too much about this step because these professionals are actually very affordable and work with all kinds of people every day. They’ll be able to give you personalized feedback on your form so you don’t get injured.

Last but certainly not least, you should take steps to ensure that you’re eating right while you’re trying to get fit. While exercise is definitely important, what you put into your body is equally as vital. Talk to a dietician or subscribe to a healthy eating meal plan so that you’re getting all of the nutrients your body needs to stay energized and strong.

Follow these steps and you’ll be well on your way to feeling great, looking amazing, and having more energy than you ever believed possible. You can do this, so start today!

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Sources & references used in this article:

… exercise combined with essential amino acid supplementation and energy deficit on markers of skeletal muscle atrophy and regeneration during bed rest and active … by NE Brooks, SM Cadena, E Vannier, G Cloutier… – Muscle & …, 2010 – Wiley Online Library

Production of interleukin‐6 in contracting human skeletal muscles can account for the exercise‐induced increase in plasma interleukin‐6 by A Steensberg, G Van Hall, T Osada… – The Journal of …, 2000 – Wiley Online Library

Active pauses induce more variable electromyographic pattern of the trapezius muscle activity during computer work by A Samani, A Holtermann, K Søgaard… – … of Electromyography and …, 2009 – Elsevier

Partitioning locomotor energy use among and within muscles Muscle blood flow as a measure of muscle oxygen consumption by RL Marsh, DJ Ellerby – Journal of Experimental Biology, 2006 –

The use of surface electromyography in biomechanics by CJ De Luca – Journal of applied biomechanics, 1997 –