If your rest intervals at the gym (between sprints, lifts, or burpees) serve as your prime time to catch up on your entire Instagram feed and Snapchat stories, you’re doing your body a disservice. (And getting your phone super germy, BTW.)
Even though, yes, it’s important to recover in between moments of all-out exertion, you shouldn’t just flop on the floor or park your butt on a bench till the next round. Research says that active recovery beats passive recovery when you’re resting between bouts of intense exercise.
The study, conducted by the High Altitude Exercise Physiology Program at Western State Colorado University and commissioned by the American Council on Exercise (ACE), looked at three different things: 1) the effect of active/passive recovery on endurance, 2) the effect of active/passive recovery on power, and 3) the effect of different intensities of active recovery on exercise performance. Overall, they found that moderate-intensity active recovery is more effective than passive recovery in helping you go harder and longer during the next round.