Your training schedule for the season is set – but what’s on the agenda for recovery?
Are you playing a team sport this season? Have you thought about your recovery schedule?
If ‘celebrate with the teammates’ is your only planned post-game activity, you might want to consider adding some recovery sessions into your schedule too.
Adequate recovery – both passive and active – has been shown to immensely benefit both the mind and the body and improve future athletic performance. Put simply, good recovery = better performance.
With many post-exercise recovery options available, here are three of our favourite strategies, specifically for team sports:
1. Stretch it out
At a minimum, your immediate post-exercise recovery should include some form of stretching.
The benefits of stretching are seemingly endless: improves muscle recovery, increases range of motion, reduces pain, inflammation and muscle cramping, helps prevent injury, improves circulation and posture + much more!
Post-game or training, get the team together for a full-body stretch session. Dedicate a minimum of 15 minutes to a cool-down recovery stretch and we guarantee you’ll feel the benefits!
Fact: the consequences of overtraining without proper recovery are plenty – research has found overtraining can increase your body fat, raise your risk of dehydration, lower your libido, and worsen your mood (Cadegiani and Kater, 2018). No, thank you.
2. Take a cold dip
As we head into winter, a cold dip might progressively sound more and more unappealing… but trust us, the recovery benefits of cold water immersion (CWI) far outweigh a few uncomfortable minutes in a cold pool.
Research has shown that post-exercise CWI accelerates acute recovery after training sessions (Fuchs et al. 2020). CWI can help improve perforamce, too. One recent study found that cold water immersion helped a group of runners improve their 5km running time trial performance (Fabrício, 2018).
This season, why not commit to a team cold plunge once per week after a training session? Aim to increase your time in cold water by a minute each week.
Don’t have a bunch of ice and a bathtub handy? Book a Rigs Recovery hydrotherapy session. A drop-in pass includes the use of the magnesium cold pools as well as the hot pools, massage spas and steam sauna – nice!
3. Switch it up with Contrast Water Therapy
Take your cold dip to the next level with contrast water therapy (CWT).
CWT or hot/cold immersion therapy is a form of hydrotherapy that involves alternating between hot and cold pools for set periods of time. Read our detailed blog post on Contrast Water Therapy here.
This practice has many science-backed benefits to help with rehabilitation, relaxation and recovery –i.e something the whole team can benefit from!
We recommend alternating between our hot and cold magnesium pools in four-minute cycles for three rounds. This process expands and contracts your blood vessels increasing blood circulation and reducing inflammation.
With roughly 24 minutes in the pools, you could easily complete a full hydrotherapy session in just half an hour post-game if you’re short on time.
While each of these three strategies can be excellent additions to your post-game/training recovery sessions on their own, we recommend trying out different combinations of recovery strategies to see what works best for you and your teammates.
Want more expert recovery tips? Speak with the team at our Bundall or Palm Beach centres about how Rigs Recovery can help you.