How many times have you been lying on your back, contemplating your life’s decisions and asking yourself, “Why do I do this to myself?” after a difficult workout? The next thing you hear is your Coach lower the music and shout, “After you’ve caught your breath, tonight’s accessory work is…..” You laugh at the thought, before picking up your gear and heading for the door? I know, I have done it!
Accessory work can include anything from unilateral movements, static stretching, foam rolling, low intensity mono-structural cardio or even light breathing techniques. All of these things can be key to kickstarting the recovery process after a grueling workout as well as helping prevent muscle imbalances, or even injuries.
Here are just a few examples of accessory exercises and their benefits:
- Banded Pull-through: Helps establish a solid hip hinge position as well as strengthening the glutes.
- Parasympathetic Breathing: Stimulates the body’s central nervous system to help start recovery after a hard workout.
- Single Leg Banded Hamstring Curls: Builds balanced hamstring strength and muscle that carries over into squatting and deadlifts.
- World’s Greatest Stretch: Stretching can help lighten the muscle fibers, leading to increased mobility as well as decreased muscle soreness.
They may not be sexy or as flashy as a new one rep max Snatch, but these are the things that will keep you crushing workouts and chasing new PRs for years to come!
So next time, before you head for the door, take 5 more minutes to finish the Accessory Work! It is just as important as the rest of the programming!