The Importance Of Rest Days In Calisthenics: Reduce Soreness (DOMS)

When we rest, our body can recover, repair, and grow stronger, so it is important to take enough time to rest for the best results. Keep reading to learn how to get the most out of your rest days!

Why Rest is so Important For Calisthenics Progress

Your body grows stronger during periods of rest, not during training. Taking at least 1-2 days rest days from strength training is a must. The recovery process is essential for muscle growth and strength development. furthermore, adequate rest can alleviate muscle soreness (DOMS). Rest days are not just about physical recovery; they also support mental recovery. The central nervous system plays a vital role in training by coordination and motor control during intense calisthenics exercises.

Supercompensation is the body’s process of improving its performance beyond its previous level after experiencing training stress and adequate rest.

Recovery Strategies for effective rest days

sleep provides the body with an essential opportunity to repair, regenerate, and adapt after physical activity. It is during sleep that many of the body’s recovery processes occur, and without sufficient rest, you may not recover properly.

  • Aim for 7-9 hours of quality sleep per night.
  • To improve sleep quality engage in calming activities before bed, such as reading, taking a warm bath, or practicing relaxation techniques.
  • Avoid screens (phones, computers, TVs) before bedtime, as the blue light emitted from screens can interfere with your body’s production of melatonin, a sleep-regulating hormone.

Proper nutrition plays a critical role in recovery. After working out, your body needs an adequate amount of nutrients to repair and replenish energy stores.

  • You should aim to consume 1.2-2.2 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight. This range can help support muscle growth and recovery.
  • Consume a variety of colorful fruits and vegetables to ensure you’re getting a wide range of vitamins and minerals.
  • While your carbohydrate needs may be slightly reduced on rest days compared to active training days, it’s still important to consume complex carbohydrates like whole grains, fruits, and vegetables to provide energy and support recovery.
  • Stay well-hydrated on rest days. Water is essential for many bodily functions, including recovery.

Nutrition and sleep are some of the most important factors when it comes to recovery, however, other things such as stress management and social support also play a vital role that you should not ignore.

Utilize Active Recovery for Best Results

Having a rest day doesn’t mean you should lay on the sofa and watch Netflix. There are plenty of more productive ways to spend your rest days that can significantly enhance your progress in calisthenics.

flexibility and mobility exercises in your rest day routine can help your body recover more effectively, reduce the risk of muscle tightness or imbalances, and prepare your body for future training sessions.

  • Start with a brief warm-up to increase blood flow to your muscles and raise your body temperature. Light aerobic exercises like brisk walking or cycling for 5-10 minutes can prepare your muscles for stretching.
  • Include stretches for all major muscle groups in your routine. Pay particular attention to areas that are tight or frequently used in your activities.
  • Stretch Regularly, consistency is key. Stretching is most effective when done regularly. Aim to stretch at least a few times a week, if not daily, to maintain and improve your flexibility.

Skill work can also be done on rest days, this includes things such as tumbling/tricking and balance work such as handstanding where the application of strength is limited and technique is the primary factor. Strength skills such as front lever and muscle up should not be trained on rest days, because these exercises require significant strength and are very taxing on the muscles and nervous system, thus hindering proper recovery.

low-intensity cardio exercises like cycling or swimming can be a beneficial way to stay active without putting excessive strain on your body. These exercises can help enhance circulation, maintain cardiovascular fitness, and provide a gentle form of movement that complements your overall recovery.

Active recovery should not be confused with a full workout. The goal is to engage in light, low-intensity activities that provide the body and mind with the opportunity to recover, regenerate, and prepare for subsequent training sessions

When training calisthenics, how many rest days should I take?

How many days you should rest per week depends on how much volume you do on a weekly basis, generally, strength training for 2-5 days is going to be optimal for most people depending on the volume and intensity.

While rest days are very important, taking too many will hinder your progress. If you are constantly sore or skip workouts for other reasons then you should try to address those problems for optimal progress.

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