Hot tubs have a long history of being used for athlete recovery. They not only help the sore muscles recover, but they also make them more functional. Here’s how a hot tub can help improve your recovery too.
It Reduces Injury Risk
One of the most beneficial ways a hot tub can help reduce the risk of injury is by loosening tight muscles and thus improving movement. For this to work, hot tub therapy should be implemented regularly. You can click here to review all the types of hot tubs and what they have to offer recovery-wise. The recovery is crucial because having stiff and tight muscles can lead to more severe strains or tears. Hot water from the tub can help the muscles relax by improving blood flow to them. It’s crucial to have fully functioning muscles that don’t have lumps and tight knots, and soaking in the hot tub regularly allows for just that. Most importantly, not having lumps and these tight knots prevents injury, and it also aids performance as well. If at least ten percent of muscle fibers are in spasm, they won’t generate force effectively, and if these are leg muscles, they can put extra pressure on your knees. Many athletes use hot tubs as a big part of their muscle recovery, and there have been some recent studies showing that this is especially beneficial for lower back injuries.
A hot tub can improve your recovery in many ways, depending on whether you soak post-workout or days after the workout. Your blood circulation, core body temperature, and metabolic rate will change when you’re soaking in a hot tub. Many studies have shown the benefits of this kind of hydrotherapy. What essentially happens is that the warm water increases blood flow from the extremities into your core. This will, in turn, speed up the metabolic rate of lactic acids and other metabolites produced during strenuous workouts. The use of a hot tub right after a workout can prevent elastic tissue damage in the body. Timing, in this case, is critical; to get the most benefits and reduce muscle inflammation, it’s recommended to soak only after the heart rate has dropped back to normal and the muscles have cooled off. If there is little time to spare, muscles could be cooled down with ice packs.
Soaking Days After The Workout
Soaking in a hot tub immediately after a workout can relax you and prevent sore muscles. They are also a vital part of the toning and healing process as well. When the muscles are used vigorously, they break down. This translates to them needing more rest and nutrition to recover and rebuild the broken tissues. This is the main reason why it is common knowledge not to work on the same muscle group two days in a row, no matter the location. A hot tub can improve your recovery days after a workout if you combine it with other recovering techniques. A process called AR (Active Recovery) helps to recover muscles by using a combination of stretching, massage, and hot tub therapy to treat the affected muscles. The tension will quickly dissipate if this is further combined with the hot tub’s heat and oxygen-enhancing. It’s worth mentioning that plenty of rest is needed too to make this recovering technique work.
Hot Tubs In Tandem With Cold Tubs
Last but not least, there is one more effective method to promote recovery using hot tubs. This one revolves around alternating between the use of cold tubs, hot tubs, and contrast baths. Cold tub plunges shouldn’t last for more than 10 minutes, at 50-60 degrees. These will cause an immediate constriction of the blood vessels. After the cold tub session has ended, the blood vessels will dilate, and the “new” blood from other body parts, which are nutrient-rich, will flood back to the muscles. This flush-like effect has shown promise in removing the build-up of lactic acid. Combining hot tubs with cold tubs will make this effect more prominent and the recovery process more efficient. Since hot tubs help dilate blood vessels, blood flooding back to the constricted muscles from the cold bath will be stronger if an athlete jumps in a hot tub right after. Contrast baths have a similar effect to this but should be used with caution.
These were some of the main ways a hot tub can help improve your recovery. The muscles should be treated very carefully because knots and tight muscles can cause long-lasting injury.