In-Season Strength Series: Recovery Week

These exercises will keep the body moving and blood flowing during your in-season rest weeks.

This session reflects the lower intensity and volume of your rest week. The exercises here will challenge your body to move outside of the positions and planes of motion it’s used to during sport-specific training.

Perform this strength workout twice a week to complement your other training. Focus on maintaining quality during your sets to ensure you’re rested and ready for the next training block.

Before getting started, be sure to go through the Warm-Up routine first.

Recovery workout at a glance

Push Press: 2 sets of 4-5 repetitions

Lateral Lunge: 2 sets of 4-6 repetitions per side

Bent-Over Row: 2 sets of 4-5 repetitions

Starfish Plank: 2 sets of 4-6 repetitions per side

Jump to the other weeks in our series:

In-Season Strength: Normal Week

In-Season Strength: Race Week

In-Season Strength: Post-Race Week

Video Transcript

Ryan Kohler  0:02

This session is great for your in-season recovery weeks. Just like your sport-specific activities, our strength training will follow that pattern of reducing volume and reducing intensity in order to prioritize recovery. So for this one, we’re just trying to keep the body moving, the blood flowing, and remember what these exercises feel like. So with that, let’s get started.


This exercise is called the Push Press. And this is a great overall exercise, but it also focuses on explosiveness in the lower body. So to do this, we’re going to come up to the bar with our hands about shoulder-width apart, kind of roll ourselves under here to get that bar up on our chest. Elbows are tucked in tight, and then we’ll step back into position. So from here, get a comfortable stance with your feet about hip-width apart. And the key here is to drive from the lower body, not simply start pressing the bar up overhead. So we’re going to squat down just a little bit, we’re gonna drive, and use that momentum to carry our bar up overhead to a nice tall posture. Bring it down nice and slow, and then repeat.


Cyclists and runners—triathletes—get very accustomed to moving in this forward plane of motion. So for a recovery week, it’s a great time to shift your focus on lateral movements. We’ll do that with this Lateral Lunge here. So take a small weight—you can hold it up in front of you like this—and what we’re going to do is step out to one side and focus on having the hip move over and behind that heel nice and strongly, and pop back up, driving from that hip. Then we’ll repeat on the other side, come back up, and back down.


You just came off a training block and you’ve probably spent a lot of time in this position. So this is a great exercise to help open that chest up and focus on good posture. This Bent-Over Row can be done with a barbell, dumbbells, kettlebells, anything you can bend over and pull. So we’ll grab our bar here a little bit wider than shoulder-width apart. We’ll pick it up and step back. And from here, we’re just going to find a comfortable position where we’re in this bent-over posture with a nice neutral spine, and we’re going to row up toward the torso and bring it back down. Keep an eye on your neck position here; as we row there’s sometimes a tendency to drive the neck down. Keep that neck tucked in so it’s neutral the whole time. And also think about pulling from the elbows or the upper arm rather than down here at the hands. That will help encourage you to draw the shoulder blades back and get a nice, strong contraction.


This next exercise is the Starfish Plank. It’s a challenging core exercise, but it’s also a great way to hit your core, but also focus on that glute activation. Again during a recovery week, good thing to refresh yourself on how to activate those glutes. So what we’re looking for with this, eventually, is going to be a standard side plank. We’ll have one arm overhead. And then we’re going to actually raise this leg up a little bit by firing the glutes. Now one thing to pay attention to here is if you start feeling the front of your muscles working or the side, likely what’s happening is you’re bringing in the hip flexors and you’re going too high or too far forward. This should be a very short, controlled range of motion where you feel the glutes firing in the back. So it’ll look something like this.


If you find that this is a very difficult exercise, you can bring it down a notch by lowering yourself down and just balancing now on half of your lower body. So just like we regress side planks, we’re going to have you on the knee now. Same exact movement: We’re going to have the hand overhead and then that slight upward movement here where we abduct the hips. Again, if this feels too hard, make sure—again, focus on quality first, so you could also go down to a straight clamshell exercise where we just bend both knees, and then just open a little bit at the knees, again squeezing at the glutes. Just like that.


All right, that’ll wrap up our rest week session. So hopefully you have some good exercises that will help you feel recovered, rested, and ready for that next training block. We’ll see you next time.