After sustaining a muscle injury like whiplash, the thought of exercising may make you wince, but exercise is an important part of recovery. In fact, if all you ever do is rest, your muscles will not be able to recover. Of course, some exercises are more helpful than others. Too much, or difficult exercises can actually hinder your recovery process. So what’s the most recommended form of exercise for muscle recovery.

Simple Chin Tucks

For a sore neck, try doing simple chin tucks. Lie flat on your back. Then tuck in your chin against your throat while pushing the back of your head against the floor. Repeat several times to strengthen weak neck muscles. This can be a good way to regain control of your recovering muscles after a whiplash accident when done methodically and carefully.

Cat and Cow

The yoga positions cat and cow are very popular for a reason. They help promote a healthy neck and spine. First, get on your palms and knees. Then look up with your back sagging. This is cow. Then transition to cat, where you lower your head and arch your back. Go back and forth between cat and cow twenty times for a good warm-up.

Arm and Back Stretch

Clasp your hands together and reach out and downwards with your arms until you feel your back stretch. This is a good way to get the upper muscles moving in your back and shoulders. Be sure to ease into this one if your muscles are cold at first.

Treadmills and Bicycle Rides

Once you're recovered enough to move onto slightly more intense exercise, it's time for some light cardio. Hop on a treadmill for a while, or go for a quick bicycle ride instead. Both of these are examples of active exercise and promote muscle recovery betterthan resting all day. It's important you don't over-do it, or you'll just injure and weaken your muscles. The goal at first should be getting moving and your heart pumping. Studies have shown that these sorts of exercises remove lactic acid from the muscles, which speeds recovery.


Going for a hike may not seem much different than a regular walk around the block, but it uses a greater variety of muscles. When climbing steep slopes or traversing over tree roots and rocks, the body is forced to practice muscle unity and balance which is great for all kinds of muscles, especially during the recovery period.


Swimming is a wonderful way to promote muscle recovery. Why? It's because this form of aerobic exercise works out the whole body during a feeling of weightlessness. There's no pressure on injured parts. With reduced soreness, it's easier to move freely. Plus, aerobic exercise works the heart and lungs as well as the muscles, which makes you stronger and grants better endurance.

To put it simply, muscle recovery is a game where the tortoise beats the hare. Go slow and steady, and don't do anything rash that will just result in more injury and weakness. Light exercise is the best path to muscle recovery.

Author's Bio: 

Eileen O'Shanassy is a freelance writer and blogger based out of Flagstaff, AZ. She writes on a variety of topics and loves to research and write. She enjoys baking, biking, and kayaking. Check out her Twitter @eileenoshanassy.