Whether you work a manual labor job, are a recreational athlete, a high school or collegiate athlete, or professional athlete, you are consistently taxing your muscles and joints…essentially “beating up your body.” That constant abuse to your body requires some regular care to keep everything working properly.
On a personal note, I push my body hard at the gym 5 days a week, taking one day to focus more on mobility and skill/technique drills and one day completely off. Along with that, I get a deep tissue massage monthly and get dry needled or cupped (at least) every 4-6 weeks. With that consistent rest and recovery schedule, I have been able to stay injury free and perform at a very high level for over a year now. Eighteen months ago, I was not taking the rest days and was only getting dry needling when I got injured, which was fairly frequently, especially in my shoulders.
When you push your body/muscles hard, your muscles develop trigger points in them. Trigger points do not allow the muscle(s) to work properly. Over time, the muscles fire less efficiently, other muscles try to take over, and we develop weakness and instability in the joint the muscles are surrounding.
By getting rid of the trigger points and doing basic mobility work so the body moves better overall, the muscles don’t have to work as hard to function. This allows you to stay at your optimal performance level, without needing to take time off for injury or dealing with pain. And as a bonus, if the muscles are not working as hard, that means you are working more efficiently…likely able to go faster, longer, stronger!