Tips and Insights from Performance Experts

Wrestlers. Runners. Cheerleaders. Linebackers. After a long training day, they all have one thing on their mind: muscle soreness. No matter your sport, proper muscle recovery is key to helping you move better.

We’re here to push our members and help them exceed performance goals. But our top priority will always be to keep your body healthy. Accel offers multiple recovery options to relieve post-exercise soreness, muscle damage, and inflammation. But after a tough workout, there are two specific recovery tools we recommend: hot and cold tub therapy.

Let’s look at these two types of water therapy to see how you can experience their full benefits. They’ll help you follow your performance plan, stay motivated, and move toward your goals.

Hot tub therapy

The hardest part of a workout is often the start: the first deadlift, kettlebell swing, or sprint. Taking measures ahead of exercising can help combat soreness and stiff muscles.

Try using hot tub immersion before a workout to help warm up your muscles. We recommend athletes spend 10-15 minutes in the hot tub before their normal workout routine. The benefits of hot tub immersion include:

  • Increased blood flow to your muscles
  • Increased conduction of your nervous system
  • Increased heart rate with decreased blood pressure

You can also use the hot tub as a recovery tool to promote muscle relaxation and improved rest. If you want to unwind after an intense workout, you should spend 10-25 minutes in the hot tub.

Cold tub therapy

Ice baths aren’t just for the top Olympic athletes. At every level of their sport, athletes can use cold water immersion. A cold tub soak isn’t as comfortable as time in the hot tub, but the benefits will convince you to brave the chill.

Cold tub immersion therapy is most commonly used as a “cool down” recovery modality. At Accel, we recommend that athletes spend at least 7-12 minutes in the cold tub. It’s the perfect end to any high-intensity workout. Cold tub immersion provides:

  • Reduced muscle soreness
  • Reduced inflammation
  • Decreased muscle damage

Contrast bath

A contrast bath combines both hot and cold tub therapy. During a contrast bath, athletes spend one minute in the hot tub and one minute in the cold tub for seven rotations. Switching back-and-forth allows you to reap the benefits of a cold tub with minimal discomfort.

Research shows that you’ll still take advantage of:

  • Reduced muscle strength loss
  • Reduced muscle soreness
  • Decreased muscle damage

There are a variety of forms of hot and cold therapies. Some athletes stick to basics with ice or hot packs. Some opt for more advanced methods, such as cryo chambers. At Accel Performance and Wellness, we offer hot and cold plunge tubs. Our plunge tubs allow for full body immersion in either one. This makes it easy to hop back-and-forth between the two using the contrast method.

Access to the hot and cold plunge is available with all of our membership packages. Athletes also have unlimited access to our sauna, recovery compression boots, and Game Ready® compression/ice combo units. If you’re ready to move toward the best you and take advantage of pro-level sports technologies, join Accel today.