We are always looking for ways to get bigger, better, stronger and more successful at what we do, when it comes to Crossfit I couldn’t agree more!
Talk to a successful athlete and they will have their own strategies for success, whether it is their nutrition, some fancy supplement they believe is key or perhaps a recovery method they swear by. I’m willing to bet that most of them are prepared to give just about anything a try if it promises to increase their performance. I read somewhere that the early Olympians would eat bull or goat testicles because they believed it would increase their testosterone, giving them extra strength, whether that’s true or not, I don’t know but you get my point.
Thankfully, there has been a great deal of development in the field of sport science and recovery methods over the years and we don’t have to go to those extremes to maximise performance (but if you want to try it, I’m not one to stop you).
As I’ve mentioned before recovery is an aspect of training I believe highly important when it comes to improving performance. Another popular method of exercise recovery, building on a previous article, is the use of cold therapy or contrast therapy. The soreness post-exercise or D.O.M.S (delayed onset muscle soreness) is a result of tiny micro-tears to the muscle, which is technically a form of injury. When we get injured the first thing we do is apply ice. This is because ice helps to reduce the inflammation and increase healing time. This is where cold therapy comes into recovery. There are many forms of cold therapy for muscle recovery some of which include:
- Cold-water immersion (Ice baths) – research supports that 15mins of cold-water immersion post-exercise helps speed up recovery allowing you to workout sooner and harder.
- Contrast therapy – alternating between hot and cold helps to flush any waste products from the muscles and reduces inflammation, meaning less soreness and a speedier recovery.
- Ice massage – similar to ice baths, also helps to break down any fascia and can be targeted to specific muscles.