Recovery Modalities

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Joined: Fri Jul 05, 2019 8:36 pm

Recovery Modalities

Post by PeterTheWhabbit » Wed Jul 10, 2019 7:43 am

Looking to get perspectives on different ways people try and speed up their recovery process for their athletes. There are Normatec Boots, Contrast Tubs, Ice Baths, Foam Rolling, Massage Guns and more. What has worked for you? What are your thoughts on even trying to speed up recovery times? Are some modalities more mental than anything?

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Re: Recovery Modalities

Post by RandomJabroni » Wed Jul 10, 2019 9:04 am

Peristaltic Pulse Compression (like NormaTec Boots) is a game-changer. Anecdotally, athletes love them. Scientifically, good research is starting to emerge.

In addition to the benefits of the dynamic compression, getting athletes to lay on a table, prop their legs up, slow down their breathing and RELAX post-training will help facilitate the mechanisms of getting back into a parasympathetic state.

One thing I wish we would have done at our facility is put in nap pods. A handful of schools have already done this, and it is a really smart idea. There is no denying the benefit of sleep, and with the schedules our kids have, being able to sneak away and get a 30-minute nap in during the day would be clutch.

Here is a great article by William H Sands on Compression Boots at the US Olympic Committee Recovery Center. ... n-athletes

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Re: Recovery Modalities

Post by JB00 » Wed Jul 10, 2019 9:31 am

Sleep is the most underutilized recovery "modality" by far. More time needs to be spent TEACHING athletes about this and ways they can improve their sleep, both in duration and quality.

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Re: Recovery Modalities

Post by performancecoach1 » Wed Jul 10, 2019 1:55 pm

The term "recovery" is too general. We should be looking at these strategies as "positive adaptation influencers"

We tend to blindly throw a "recovery" modality at an athlete and assume that they are more prepared to train the next day. This is a dangerous game to play, as everything is a stressor and we need to be more aware of total load placed on the athlete and be more intentional about specific interventions for that individual. We assume that all athlete's are the same, adapt the same way to the same stimulus and those that do not adapt are the outliers, which is not the case. All athletes are unique and we need to be more specific in our recommendations and superscription in training and the stimulus we ask them to adapt to.

Depending on what we want to adapt to, determines modality selection, frequency, volume and intensity of those modalities. This is all predicated, however, off the athlete's context. Lifestyle, training loads, current status of training, access, compliance are just a few things off the top of my head that must be taken into consideration.

Of course sleep and nutrition are the underlying factors to optimal adaptation to a stimulus. However, we must think of this as a complex problem. Training loads for a specific adaptation will determine what nutrients and caloric intake are appropriate, so manipulation of these throughout cycles of training are necessary. Nutritional strategies for changes in body comp (increase lean mass or decrease body fat) both have distinct strategies, fueling for adaptation to changes in physical qualities (increase force, increase RFD, increase size of tissue) each have distinct strategies and are required to elicit positive adaptation.

Sleep is undoubtedly important but the training stimulus may effect sleep (ex. high loads, post-game, travel, ) may effect the nervous system (potentially made objective through HRV, CMJ, other monitoring or wellness score). Therefore the intentional use of a specific recovery modality or nutritional protocol will help with sleep. I will use a couple of examples (out of many), to show a point that each modality needs to have a specific reason.

1. Cryotherapy has been shown to have a increase in subjective and objective sleep score but may blunt strength adaptations. Therefore, further out in the off-season, if strength is a goal, we would want to avoid using this modality to increase sleep and look for another, possibly a good time to help the athlete develop a sleep routine and increase their sleep hygiene, which can positively impact their sleep throughout the season when the use of cryotherapy may be indicated and will be a supplement to an already sound sleeping strategy.

2. The use of anti-inflammatory foods as well as anti-oxidants is a heavily, but broad and vague topic discussed often. There is a stigma that inflammation is bad and oxidation will cause cancer. Excessive chronic inflammation and radical oxidative species may cause health issues, however acute inflammation is necessary for adaptation. With that taken into consideration, if we are constantly trying to reduce inflammation, we may be blunting the adaptive mechanism that allows us to create positive adaptation. This is why we should think of "recovery" more in terms of what is supporting positive adaptive responses. We know that anti-oxidants post-training will negatively effect strength and hypertrophy gains. Therefore, we need to be very intentional about how we control inflammation, when we want to allow for inflammation (maybe seen through soreness, feeling beat down, tired or signs of overreaching)

There are many more examples of recovery modalities needing specific purpose (cold water immersion, sauna, massage to name a few)

Here is a cool graphic: ... am-sports/

References to all that was said above available upon request.

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