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Soccer Star Alex Morgan Shares the 6 Recovery Tips That Help Her Keep Playing Her Best

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“Mexican food is actually really easy to make vegan, like fajita veggies, black or pinto beans, rice, salsa, guac,” she says.

2. Find a few favorite stretches—and slot them in frequently.

Stretching is crucial for Morgan on her active recovery days to help her improve flexibility and prevent injury, particularly in her legs.

“I do a lot of general hamstring, calf, hips, and quad stretches,” she says. “A lot of times it’s kind of active, almost like restorative yoga in a way, [without] holding the poses too long.”

One of her favorites? Pigeon pose, which is a super effective hip-opening stretch that also eases tightness in the lower back.

“My hip flexors get really tight as well, so I do a lot of lunging and crescent poses, too,” Morgan says. She also spends time on her thoracic spine, which helps with rotation and other movement.

Morgan doesn’t just focus on what muscles need her attention at the moment—playing the preventive game is also important. She and her athletic trainers and physical therapists view her body holistically, and also look at other muscles that actually might be sneaky culprits contributing to issues that could affect her performance. Then, they give those areas some attention as well.

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3. Foam roll daily.

“Foam rolling is huge,” Morgan says. She sets aside time to foam roll every day, and usually uses a vibrating foam roller—which can help increase flexibility and blood flow—for 10-minute sessions.

The roller has a timer, and when it goes off, she’s done. The whole foam rolling routine is pretty quick, but Morgan says she definitely feels it if she lets her routine slide.

“If I start to only do it once a week or maybe twice, my IT band starts to get tight, as do my glutes and my lower calf,” she says. Rolling out those areas, though, can help ward off that tightness before it rears up.

4. Then give your muscles some extra TLC.

After a tough game—where again, she’s pretty much running a 10K each time—stretching and foam rolling alone won’t cut it for muscle recovery. That’s when Morgan relies on a deep tissue massage.

“It’s [definitely] not a zen, dark room with candles, [where] I end up falling asleep,” she says. “It takes a day or two to recover from that [massage], so I want to make sure I’m not doing that too close to a game.”

She finds massages with lighter pressure helpful in the lead-up to a game, though.

“If I’m getting [the massage] a day or two before a game, then it’s kind of lighter, almost like just getting the muscles to feel good, so the next day you could pop back up,” Morgan says.

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5. Hydrate early and often.

Staying hydrated throughout the day is crucial, but drinking too much too close to bedtime is a big no for Morgan.

“I try not to drink too much at night because I don’t like to wake up to pee,” Morgan says. “It kind of disrupts my sleep.”

Source: Self

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