RUGBY: ADVICE ON HOW TO RECOVER AFTER A MATCH

RUGBY: ADVICE ON HOW TO RECOVER AFTER A MATCH

Post-match recovery is crucial during the course of a rugby season. Jean-Marc DOUSSAIN offers us his advice. 

To be at your best throughout the season it is vital to take time to recover between matches. Recovery involves several aspects, such as taking on water, eating and stretching. 

 

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1. THE IMPORTANCE OF DRINKING WATER

After 80 minutes of sheer effort, it is essential to take on plenty of fluids in the hours after a match. It is also important to eat well and get the necessary nutrients into your body so that it can recover as quickly as possible.  

“In the hours after a match it's important to take on plenty of water. And while it's often overlooked, it's vital to get some food on board too.”

 

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2. FIND TIME FOR STRETCHING

Often overlooked or forgotten about entirely, stretching is vital to post-match recovery. When performing stretching exercises, it is important to know your body and what it is capable of. Everyone has their own stretching exercises but you can also do them as part of a group. Ideally, every player should have their own routine

 

“I'm no expert when it comes to stretching. The most important thing is to listen to your body and maybe even have a routine. You have to know your body well but stretching is an essential part of recovery.”

3. THE DAY AFTER A MATCH

Your body will usually be tired after a match and you should start the recovery process slowly. Your body will need more than a good night's sleep. A good massage and some stretching the day after a game will help you recover. 

“The day after a match, we go to a spa to speed the recovery process and then have a massage and/or do some stretching. In the afternoon it's time for a good nap! Having a massage is a different way of recovering. It helps drain excess fluids out of affected areas when muscles are stiff the day after a match or training session.”

 

4. POST-MATCH WARM-DOWNS

After a match a lot of players go back into training very quickly, sometimes the following day. What is the best way to manage that process? Is it a question of not pushing too hard to avoid getting injured? In a word, yes. It's important to manage the resumption of training properly and to adapt it to how fresh you are feeling. You can continue your recovery process for a few days after a match to ensure you perform to the best of your abilities in the next one. 

“The day after a game is all about recovery and doing what I spoke about before. If you've been playing a lot, you continue your recovery two days after a game. Depending on how you feel and how fresh you are, you can do some strength work or weight training. Video work is also important the day after, with coaches looking through team and individual videos. You might not think it's training but that's what it is.”

 

Thanks to Jean-Marc DOUSSAIN's advice, you're now ready to get your post-match recovery process right. 

 

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