An easy alternative to ice baths

Updated: Jun 24, 2019

Don’t have access to ice baths or don’t have ready access to large amounts of ice? There’s still an easy way to boost your post-match recovery. All you need is a shower and a timing device and you are able to boost your recovery with a contrast shower. Contrast showers involve repeatedly exposing the body to cold and hot water.

The effect of this is to cause your blood vessels to repeatedly narrow and widen, which is thought to act like a pumping mechanism, helping to remove waste products and increase the delivery of nutrients to aid your recovery.

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Contrast showers can help you to feel alert and refreshed sooner, hopefully allowing you to train or play at a higher intensity over the following days. Step 1: cold shower for two minutes (temperature all the way cold)

Step 2: hot shower for one minute (temperature as hot as comfortable)

Step 3: repeat the process three times: 3 x cold and 3 x hot. If correct, the total time taken should be nine minutes. Important: make sure you are getting both the front and back of your body. Focus is on the legs (waist down).

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The beauty of this is that you can do with your team or as an individual. Many change rooms have showers so you can begin recovery straight after your match (or tough training session), or you can do it at home. For more tips on how you can get the best out of yourself as a player, keep an eye on this blog or sign-up for one of our regional football clinics. Dates for the July school holiday clinics have just been released.

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