Recovery post workout/sport - Fact or Fiction?



Limp in Leap out Physiotherapy & Wellness in Belfield provides servicing to many near by Inner West suburbs including Belmore, Strathfield and Croydon park. See our weekly blog below if you are interested in new research, facts, general information or ideas.

Compression Garments

The use of compression garments has increased dramatically over the past 10-20 years, but why? Does it actually aid in recovery? 


Various research studies have been conducted on different types of compression garments, in different sports and their effectiveness. Some studies have showed benefit on recovery from exercise performance - however they show weak to moderate evidence. Other proven results are shown with decreasing the perceived pain from delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS). So, will you use compression garment?


Ice Baths

Fill up a bath with hundred of ice cubes they say, it'll be fun they say...

Physiologically ice can be used to reduce muscle blood flow, oedema, perceived soreness and muscle damage. Many of the major players in basketball, football and other sports use it, but does it work?


Some studies have showed a negative impact on muscle growth, as using ice baths can blunt activation of key proteins and cells used in skeletal muscle formation/recovery. Many other journal and research articles have showed 

  • Decreased DOMS

  • Decreased muscular pain

  • Increase recovery time

So, will you use ice baths?


Static stretching is probably the most common form of flexibility techniques, it is safe and effective. With this technique, a muscle or muscle group is gradually stretched to the point of limitation, and then typically held in that position for a period of up to 30 seconds.

There is so much content we can add here... I particularly like an article by Budini 2016 that found static stretching appears to decrease neural excitability by as much as 16-88%. Increases in flexibility can also be attributed to decreases in neural excitability. Therefore they conclude static stretching may also improve flexibility by decreasing neural excitability.

Take home message

  1. Compression Garments - don't waste your money buying and using a compression garment for every part of your body. If you find DOMS in your legs or arms takes too long to recover, maybe give it a go and monitor changes in DOMS/recovery

  2. Ice baths - for those gym junkies, give it a miss. For those athletes training several times a week with their desired sport, give it a go once to twice per week and monitor the difference

  3. Stretching - use it, but limit amount of time per body part. Also maybe don't stretch each body part every day, just the one (one's) you are training. 

This information can be used to gain a better understanding of recovery. To find out more about how we can help your recovery, or to book in for a consultation you can contact us via our Limp in Leap out Physiotherapy & Wellness contact us page, or book online here.


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Written by Michael


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