Slow workouts: Part 3 – What are the benefits of slower recovery workouts?


Over the year’s trainers have been producing workouts that are faster, more intense, and claim to provide you with better results. Although they are good workouts, most people’s bodies are not equipped to handle the high-intense workouts without risk of injury or reaching muscle failure so quickly.

Fast, high powered workouts may be challenging and produce a good sweat, but it is also important to have a balance of intensity along with recovery techniques. This allows the muscles to train for functionality and be strong in various ways.

Try slowing things down and see how these results work for you.


Often we tend to rush through things and not get the most out of the time we’re putting in. In fitness terms, regardless of how much time you spend ‘working it out’, it’s what you do efficiently in that time frame that makes all the difference.

Here are some top reasons why engaging in a slow-flow yoga practice integrated with recovery movements and will benefit you:

Prevents Potential Injury

Our muscles and joints require daily durability and sustainability for protection. When you slow it down, you are able to find the balance between gently pushing your limits while staying within a safe boundary.

Increased Flexibility

Flexibility results in increased mobility. It’s a win-win.

Improved Concentration

Sometimes you learn and focus more when you slow down. The process allows your mind to quiet down to fully concentrate or meditate.

Deepen your relationship with yourself

Your body is your temple, your mobile home. By slowing down, you may be able to think more clearly and be able to listen to your inner voice to guide you.

More open to receive

You are able to take notice of the little things which opens your mind, body, and soul to receive more.

Learn to appreciate yourself

We have one body to nurture and care for. Slower movements will help cultivate an appreciation for what your body can do.

Pain-free Movement

Slow motions allow you to move comfortably into pain-free ranges of motion at your own pace.

Appreciate Progress

Rather than being disappointed that you haven’t mastered a challenging pose, choose to celebrate your progress instead. When you slow it down, you are able to focus on mastering your skills and appreciate the journey of how far you’ve come.

Sustain movement for life

Increases the functionality of our bodies as we age.

Elevates your practice

Slower movements require control, precise motion, deep breathing, and a lot of mindful concentration. Therefore, it’s way more challenging to go slow!

Transcends skills into every day life

Slowing down in your practice allows you to slow down your breath, then your mind will follow. Eventually you will start to connect with your thoughts, ambitions and what you aspire. This process will allow you to shift and transcend into your daily life.


We all have a preference in how we like to sweat and move our bodies. The best combination is to incorporate a variety of different modalities so that you challenge your muscles and prevent them from adapting to the same movements.

Slower tempo workouts will challenge your muscles by igniting your slow-twitch muscles fibers as they work hard to control the movements and stabilize the joints. Your body will know it’s working hard when you start to ‘shake’ while performing the exercises. This is a sign that your neural system is adapting to the work your body is accomplishing.

A slower workout style may or may not be a part of your current workout routine. If it is, keep at it and alter it with other workout styles. If you’re new to this concept, then try these 3 different workouts I’ve created for you to do on your Total Gym.


This blog series explores different training styles by slowing down your workouts to maximize your results. The workouts focus on three different training styles:

Part 1: Pilates
Part 2: Slow Strength
Part 3: Yoga/ Stretching/ Recovery

These slower-style workouts are challenging and can be added into any routine. Be sure to check them all out!


Yoga / Stretch || Slow & Recovery


Perform the following yoga-based recovery poses slowly with control in a flowing sequence. The exercises listed have two different parts; (a.) a dynamic stretch followed by (b.) a static stretch.

•Perform each dynamic stretch (a.) for 5-10 reps slowly.
•Hold each static stretch (b.) for 3 consistent breaths before releasing from pose.
•Repeat the flow 1-3 sets depending on your timing.
•Use these movements as a guide to incorporate with other stretches.

Set Up: Medium level, cables
GB = Glide Board

1. Cat / Cow, Down Dog Peddling
(a.) Cat/ Cow
• Face the tower in a quadruped position
• Using your breath, round the back into cat, then into cow
• Do this motion 3xs, then move into (b.)

(b.) Down Dog Peddling
• Press hips up and back into a downward dog
• Arms and legs are straight and toes are positioned at the bottom of GB
• Alternate peddling by dropping one heel to stretch the calf while bending the opposite leg.
• Have equal weight in arms and legs

Repeat whole sequence (a.) & (b.)

2. Bridge, Hug Knees, Happy Baby
(a.) Bridge, Hug Knees
• Supine position facing away from tower
• Articulate spine into a bridge position (straight line from shoulders to knees)
• Clasp hands underneath spine if flexibility permits
• Articulate spine in reverse to come down

(b.) Hug Knees
• Hug knees into chest to release the lower back and hips
• Aim to place each knee inside the elbow creases and reach for opposite arms

(c.) Happy Baby
• Take the soles of the feet into each hand and lift legs to ceiling
• Gently pull down on the feet or rock side to side to feel the stretch

Repeat whole sequence (a.) (b.) & (c.)

3. Runners Lunge, Quad Stretch
(a.) Runners Lunge
• Face the tower and assume a deep lunge
• The front leg is bent at 90 degrees and the back leg is placed straight onto the GB
• Both hands are placed inside the bent knee on the top of the GB or forearms down if you are more flexible
• Roll from side to side to feel the stretch

(b.) Quad Stretch
• Bend the back leg and grab the top of foot, ankle, or shin with the same arm
• Pull the heel towards glutes gently or rock side to side to feel the stretch

Repeat whole sequence (a.) & (b.) on other side

4. 1/2 Kneeling Side Stretch, Inner Thigh Side Bend
(a.) 1/2 Kneeling Side Stretch
• Facing one side, assume a half kneeling position with one leg straight and the opposite arm extended for balance
• Reach the ‘free’ arm in a circle motion overhead
• Feel free to add in other needed movements (ex: turn head, circle wrists, etc.)
• Then move to (b.)

(b.) Inner Thigh Side Bend
• Transition by slowly sweeping the body to reach towards the straight leg
• Press the hips back and feel the stretch where your body needs it

Repeat whole sequence (a.) & (b.) a few times, then change sides.

Check out this slow flow video to see how these Recovery exercises are performed with control on your Total Gym.

Slow down, breathe, and listen within.

Combine these slower style workouts along with other training modalities to add variety to your workout program and get incredible results.


Maria Sollon

Maria Sollon Scally MS, CSCS holds a Master’s Degree in Performance Enhancement/Injury Prevention and Kinesiology. She has obtained numerous certifications in various areas of fitness and is a national conference presenter. Maria specializes in Pilates, Performance Coaching, and Corrective Exercise Techniques and Kettlebells. She is the creator of the Plyo Pilates Method and has developed a series of amazing workout DVDs. She is a Master Trainer for Total Gym, Resist-a-Ball, Body Blade, Peak Pilates, Kettle Bell Concepts and is a freelance writer for Fitness accredited magazines, newsletters, and fitness blog sites. Maria demonstrates her knowledge each day and uses her dynamic creativity throughout her specialized line of work. (purchasable workout videos) (workout clips)

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