What is Active Recovery?


an active recovery stretch for rest days


Active Recovery: The Best Rest Day Workout

Active recovery uses lower-intensity movement on rest days to help muscles recover from higher-intensity workouts. It can also be done at the end of workouts as a cool-down. Yoga, walking, and swimming are just a few of the ways you can include active recovery in your routine.

While it may sound counterintuitive to include active recovery on a rest day, it actually promotes blood flow and muscle healing!

Why do rest days?

A common misconception in the fitness industry is that “more” is better. More weight, more reps, more time spent working out. But the reality is, our bodies need time to rest, restore, and recover in order to function optimally. Rest days are one of the best ways to do this!

Kaisa doing an active recovery strength and stretching exercise

The Benefits of Active Recovery:


  1. Reduce soreness and stiffness. Active recovery increases blood flow to your muscles, which helps your muscles recover from soreness quicker.
  2. Reduce the risk of injury. Properly recovering from intense workouts helps your body prepare for the next intense workout. The better you recover between intense workouts, the better your body is prepared to execute good form (and reduce the risk of injury) in the next workout!
  3. Improve performance. How well you recover in between workouts increases your body’s capacity to perform at it’s highest level.
  4. Keep your movement journey fun! Active recovery is a great way to try something new or to enjoy moving with a friend. 

Try an Active Recovery Workout

The possibilities are endless when choosing which active recovery activity to do, so here are a few of our favorites:

  1. Mobility Rx with Kaisa Keranen. This 4-week mobility program is designed specifically to improve your range of motion, learn how to recover your body, and ultimately get most out of your routine.
  2. Athletic Recovery with Elena Cheung. This 20-minute beginner yoga flow will help your muscles unwind after a tough workout or on your rest days.
  3. Basic Grooves with Kisha Vaughan. 25-minutes is all it takes to learn a hip hop dance combo and show your body some love with this fun active recovery activity.
  4. Stand Up with Georgina Shaffer. Short on time? This 5-minute, Start level, mobility class is a perfect way to add some active recovery into your day.

Try a complete training program!

If you are looking for a well-rounded training program that includes active recovery, try out Spring Training with KaisaFit, and her all-star team of coaches. This 4-week program includes new strength, conditioning, and active recovery workouts each week. Try the first active recovery class, and let us know what you think!

At-home active recovery workout class with coach CJ