Best Types of Cold Therapy for Recovery

No Sweat! Best Forms of Cold Therapy For Recovery

So long sore muscles! Recover stronger with cold therapy after a good sweat session. Here’s how to do it and different types of cold exposure you can try today.

Published: September 1, 2022

Topics: Wellness Tips, Wellness

Author: Mollie McGurk

When we think about crushing a hard workout, we think of dripping sweat. But what's the best way to cool down and recover from a tough session on the heavy bag, long run, or a spin class? FightCamp has all the tips and tricks you need to plunge into an ice bath or get your “cool” on.

How do you do cold therapy?

There are many methods of cold exposure therapy, but athletes tend to favor ice baths to fully immerse their bodies – and to make it a challenge!

Cold exposure can feel unpleasant when first starting out, so there is a huge mind over body element that adds to the allure for anyone with a competitive streak, especially professional fighters. Watch FightCamp Trainers Coach PJ, Flo Master, and Aaron Swenson push each other to endure the chill in this Ice Bath Recovery tutorial.

If you’re new to cold exposure, you don’t have to take the total plunge just yet. Here are some of our favorite cold therapy options we recommend you start with.

Types of Cold Therapy

Cold Compress

Cold Therapy - Cold Compress

You have probably already used a cold compress if you’ve ever had sports injuries. The tried-and-true method for injuries, like the common sprain, is still RICE – Rest, Ice, Compression, and Elevation. Using a cold compress is equally effective in soothing sore muscles if you want to experience localized cold therapy rather than fully immerse yourself right away.

Cold Shower

Cold Therapy - Cold Shower

A cold shower is a great way to acclimate yourself to cold therapy and reap more of its benefits. Cold showers can help ease muscle soreness, stimulate the central nervous system, and elevate your mood, making them a great way to wake up in the morning on your active recovery day. Moreover, a cold shower in the evening can help you sleep by lowering your core body temperature. You don’t have to commit to a full-length cold shower either. Try ending your regular warm shower with a minute or two of cooler water as a rinse.

Ice Bath

Cold Therapy - Ice Bath

If you’re ready to take it up a notch, an ice bath will give you the total cold exposure therapy experience. Athletes can sit in an ice bath for recovery for as little as five minutes, or as long as an hour (not recommended for beginners). In general, we recommend starting with one minute and then working your way up. Coach PJ advises aiming for 11 minutes on average each week for maximum gains. It’s important to focus on your breathing when sitting in an ice bath as this will help keep you relaxed and focused – remember, it’s all about mind over body!

Whole Body Cryotherapy (WBC)

Cold Therapy - Whole Body Cryotherapy

An even more immersive option than an ice bath is whole body cryotherapy, which can only be administered by a professional in a controlled setting. Whole body cryotherapy involves being placed in a cryochamber that fully encapsulates your body, leaving only your head exposed. The air temperature in the chamber is decreased to between negative 200–300°F for about 2-4 minutes. WBC is popular with athletes for recovery, but it is being used for everything from brain and mood disorders to skin conditions.

Keep Cold and Carry On

We know that the chill isn’t exactly the most appealing thing, but that post-workout high after we crush an 8-round boxing workout definitely is. The best way to stay healthy and fit enough to keep up your fitness routine is recovery and rest. Trust us. With cold therapy, your body will recover stronger and you’ll be more resilient than ever. We test ourselves in our fitness routines every day, so why not push ourselves to the limit once again?

Before you take the plunge, be sure to speak with a medical professional.

Train Like a Fighter

Take your workouts to the next level and train like a fighter with the at-home connected fitness solution used by world champion boxers Mike Tyson and Floyd Mayweather. FightCamp has everything you need to work out on your schedule, with premium boxing equipment and hundreds of on-demand strength, conditioning, kickboxing, boxing, core, and recovery classes led by real fighters. As Mike Tyson said - “FightCamp is the next level of training!” 

Mollie McGurk

Mollie McGurk is a writer and has trained in boxing, kickboxing, MMA, and HIIT for over 10 years. She has also studied personal training through the National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM) program.

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