What’s The Best Active Recovery Protocol For Pro-Athletes?

What’s The Best Active Recovery Protocol For Pro-Athletes?

As a certified performance coach, I believe when mindful self-care and coaching come together, breakthroughs follow. Active recovery is part of pro athletes’ mindful self-care protocol.

I know lying down with your feet against the wall will not help expedite your recovery and prepare the myofascial (muscles and fascia), neurovascular, and cardiovascular systems for the next workout, practice, or game.

So what do the best 1% of pro athletes do to prevent burnout and stay on top of their game?

In my journey through athletic performance, I’ve realized that your physical game is as good as your mental preparation, and pushing yourself to the limits is the first step to overtraining, an under-recovered body, and injury—the opposite of a path to consistent performance and success.

However, through personal and professional experience and extensive research, I’ve learned that active recovery is a healthier approach to enhancing your performance and greatness.

Before I explain what’s unique about active recovery, I want to share that I am a big believer that recovery protocols need to be tailored to the individual athlete’s needs, training load, and sports demands. Performance and sports medicine professionals trained in the myofascial, neurovascular, neuromuscular, and cardiovascular systems must oversee a comprehensive recovery plan to prevent injury and keep the body at its optimal performance level.

Active recovery involves engaging in low-intensity mindful movement to facilitate the body’s recovery process. It’s a very well-structured approach that focuses on promoting rehydration of the fascia system, circulation and improving oxygenation and nutrient delivery to every tissue to reduce muscle and fascia soreness. 

Active recovery focuses on rejuvenating and nourishing every layer of your body: the fascia, tendons, ligaments, muscles, cartilage, bones, and the mind. It is both emotional and physical.

Here Are Some Examples Of Active Recovery Protocols That 1% Of Pro Athletes Apply:


    • The localized self-myofascial release must start with the feet but not end there. The purpose is to release tension and rehydrate the fascia and surrounding tissues. For example, the myofascial balls that are part of the core boot can be used on every part of the body to release tension and increase blood flow and oxygenation to every organ and surrounding tissue. However, the benefit of core boot goes beyond blood flow & oxygen support. 
      • One of my favorite ways to start rejuvenating the neurovascular system is by using Resync Your Body’s low vibroacoustic chair. Athletes can use it for meditation, visualization, or recovery breathing while performing gentle self-neurovascular releases for the upper body, focusing on the vagus nerve along the way. I am a big believer that to get the full picture of myofascial (muscle and fascia) fatigue and weakness, it’s critical to focus on the Central Nervous System (CNS), which includes the brain and spinal cord, and the Peripheral Nervous Systems (PNS).
        • Fascia Hydration through hands-on therapy or movement—a restorative, slow-paced movement routines that focus on the sponge principle that addresses every layer of the fascia to enhance connective tissues and muscle recovery.
          • Cranial therapy is an essential part of fluid and emotional recovery.
            • When it comes to nutrition, food comes first. A balanced diet rich in lean proteins, complex carbohydrates, and healthy fats supports every layer of the body, not just muscles. When it comes to liquid replenishment. Drinking water is not enough to rehydrate your body – the fascial system is the key to effective rehydration and needs more than water. You need the right balance between sodium and potassium and other electrolytes and minerals. Another critical point is collagen protein intake, not just whey, to refuel all amino acids for muscles, tendons, ligaments, fascia, cartilage, and bones. If you just take whey protein, your tendons and ligaments will suffer. That’s why I created Resync, which addresses the recovery of every tissue in the body. Also, allow me to say this: if drinking coffee after extensive training is one of your habits, you may want to stop, as coffee has catabolic effects and can result in a decline in the testosterone: cortisol ratio. That’s lesson number one, my first strength coach, Charles Poliquin, taught me back in 2009.
              • I am also a big fan of medical hyperbaric oxygen chambers (HBO). The oxygen level is way higher than in sleeping bags, and that matters when you are dealing with brain recovery, going through injury or surgery, and want to decrease your recovery time. I initially experienced hyperbaric chambers back in 2011. I did 20 dives myself before I suggested hyperbaric therapy to NFL and PGA Tour Players to recover faster.


              • Fundamental cold and heat therapy or cryotherapy can be beneficial in reducing chronic inflammation.

                Of course, there are other tools and modalities, like compression boots or percussive therapy guns, that athletes like to use. However, I am a big believer that low vibration is best for fascia recovery, fluid flow, and oxygen delivery to the tissues, and slow and gentle touch gets the best results for our nervous system.

                Recovery is crucial for every high-performing professional, not just the 1% of pro athletes, to perform at their best and prolong their careers. Applying the above strategies will improve cognitive health, energy production, and sleep patterns.

                Let’s remember that we do not improve sleep by taking melatonin or sleeping pills. We get peaceful sleep for 7-9 hours when we address our neurovascular system to create resilience within us.

                As an executive, I view myself as a pro athlete. My mind-body must be sharp every day so I can connect with my needs, stay resilient at times of challenge, and enjoy growing my business. Good examples of what helps executives keep their minds peaceful and resilient are the “awareness walks” – a self-care and self-growth tool I created to help busy professionals like myself focus on stress release, clarity, courage, energy, productivity, and presence. They are a mix of mindfulness and performance coaching.

                The Active Recovery Mindset- Growth Mindset.

                For the 1% of pro athletes, active recovery begins with adopting a mindset of self-care and self-compassion. It is an act of grace for our mind and body. In my coaching sessions, I often would say, “Give yourself some grace.”

                Let’s remember we only have one body. Listening vs. judging our needs is essential to stay on top of our game. The above active recovery techniques focus on improving blood, lymphatic flow, and oxygenation to all tissues, reducing lactic acid and metabolite buildup in the muscles and fascia, lowering cortisol (crucial for effective recovery), and supporting a healthier state of mind.

                The best of the best will tell you their performance is as good as their active recovery.