The recovery workout

Trained so hard you hurt? Don’t sit around — try this recovery workout by top trainer Adriana Kalidis.

Adriana Kalidis is no stranger to recovering from hard exercise, partly because she’s always pushing herself beyond breaking point in all kinds of ways. As a PT she’s super-fit, but she also likes a good, hard adventure. Like when she decided she wanted to do a bush trek, she hit up the Kokoda trail in the rainy season for 11 days of slips and slides on a jungle track that’s just mud and mosquitoes.

It’s why we got Adriana, who is also the Personal Training Manager at Bondi Platinum Fitness First, to do this workout. She’s no stranger to DOMS, that soreness you get from an intense workout, change in training cycle or after exercising a whole new set of muscles that have gone lazy.

Adriana says it can take up to a week to fully recover from DOMS, which means you may end up breaking your training routine. This special workout is for DOMS days.

“These exercises move your body across every plane of motion,” Adriana says. “It’s a multi-directional program, so it’s best to work dynamically on a timed tempo so you complete more repetitions, improve your range of movement, increase blood flow and get a challenging aerobic workout to help stretch and relieve some of that soreness.”

Adriana’s tip is to start small. “If your body is sore from yesterday’s workout, start each of these exercise with a small range of movement. The more repetitions you perform, the more comfortable your movements will become.”

 1  Lawnmower

3 sets, 5-6 RPE, 45 sec each side

Stand with feet wider than shoulder width. Squat down, keeping your cable arm straight. As you stand, drive your elbow back towards your shoulder and rotate from the hips, keeping your feet flat and the movement flowing.

 2  Cable lunge/reverse woodchop

3 sets, 5-6 RPE, 45 sec each side

Set the cable low and grip the handle with both hands. Stand side-on to the cable machine with feet as wide as comfortable. Shift your weight and lunge towards the machine, keeping your arms straight. Shift your weight to your rear leg and reach up
into a diagonal upward chop. Keep your chest tall and open, and movement smooth.

 3  Cable chest press/fly

3 sets, 5-6 RPE, 45 sec each side

Set the cable to mid-height and grip the handle with one hand. Pull the handle to your chest and take two steps out. In a split stance facing away from the machine, punch your arm forward and rotate your body, keeping your arm slightly bent. Return your arm back to the machine with control. Keep your core switched on, and chest tall and open.

 4  Kettlebell windmill

3 sets, 5-6 RPE, 45 sec each side

In a split stance, press a kettlebell overhead with one arm and lock out, holding the other arm to your side. Turn your feet out and keep your eyes on the kettlebell. Push your hips out and bend forward and to one side, slowly leaning down until you touch the floor with the tips of your fingers. Return to standing with control.

 5  Push-up openers

3 sets, 5-6 RPE, 45 sec

Start in a push-up position with hands under shoulders and feet together. Perform a push-up. Bring one foot as far forward as you can to the outside of your hand. Raise your hand and rotate your body. Keep your eyes on your hand, pause at the top and return to the start.

 6  Caterpillar squats

3 sets, 5-6 RPE, 45 sec

Start in a standing position with feet a little wider than shoulder-width. Squat as low as you can and place your hands on the floor. Walk your hands out until you’re in a push-up position with hands higher up than shoulder height. Walk your hands back to reverse the movement and repeat.