Boost Your Recovery With a Contrast Shower

December 9, 2012 | Raymond Tucker

Must See Training Videos

When you work out or play your sport, you put your muscles through a beating that can leave them fatigued and sore. To help improve recovery and alleviate muscle soreness, try taking a contrast shower post-activity. (Learn more about post-workout recovery.)

A contrast shower is simple. All you do is alternate between hot and cold water. The hot water dilates your blood vessels and increases blood circulation, and the cold water constricts your blood vessels and decreases blood flow. The contrast creates a pump effect that flushes your body of lactic acid and other toxins that build up during exercise.

It's best to take a contrast shower after a workout, practice or game; however, you can take one on off days as well. The cold water might be shocking at first, but you will soon adapt and learn to enjoy the changing temperatures.

How to take a recovery-boosting contrast shower

  1. Start with a hot shower (but not too hot; it should not burn) for 2 to 3 minutes
  2. Slowly turn down the water temperature from hot to cold
  3. Take a cold shower for 1 minute
  4. Repeat the hot and cold cycle for 5 to 10 minutes for optimal recovery
  5. Place the shower stream on any painful or sore areas for added relief

Click here to find out how to complete your recovery with a post-workout meal.

Raymond Tucker
- Raymond Tucker, CSCS, a Level 1 Track Coach certified by the United States Track and Field Association and Level 1 FMS certified by Functional Movement...
Raymond Tucker
- Raymond Tucker, CSCS, a Level 1 Track Coach certified by the United States Track and Field Association and Level 1 FMS certified by Functional Movement...

Featured Videos

Tim Tebow's NFL Off-Season Workout Tim Tebow's NFL Off-Season Workout Views: 152,523
Path to the Pros 2015: Trae Waynes Path to the Pros 2015: Trae Waynes Views: 80,325
Path to the Pros 2015: Marcus Mariota Path to the Pros 2015: Marcus Mariota Views: 1,267,361
Load More

Resources

STACK Fitness

Everything you need to be fitter than ever

STACK Conditioning

Sport-specific conditioning programs

Coaches and Trainers

Tips and advice for coaches and trainers

Magazine

Latest issues of STACK Magazine

STACK 4W

Women's sports workout, nutrition and lifestyle advice

Gamer

Gaming, entertainment and tech news

Basic Training

Military-style training for athletes

News

Find the latest news relevant to athletes

Most Popular Videos

Peyton Manning Dumbbell Bench With 80+ Pounds Peyton Manning Dumbbell Bench With 80+ Pounds
Views: 43,450,145
Drew Brees Will Not Be Denied Drew Brees Will Not Be Denied
Views: 12,117,693
Colin Kaepernick's Core Workout Colin Kaepernick's Core Workout
Views: 895,904
Robert Griffin III Pocket Presence QB Drill Robert Griffin III Pocket Presence QB Drill
Views: 6,866,240
Ohio State Football Open Field Plyo Drill Ohio State Football Open Field Plyo Drill
Views: 9,501,255

Load More
More Cool Stuff You'll Like
The U.S Women's National Soccer Team's Road to the World Cup

The U.S Women's National Soccer Team's Road to the World Cup

3 Goals of Off-Season Hockey Training

3 Goals of Off-Season Hockey Training

The Ultimate Fat Loss Workout for Athletes

The Ultimate Fat Loss Workout for Athletes

This Full-Body Workout Has Everything You Need

This Full-Body Workout Has Everything You Need

How to Repair Your Body and Mind After a Long Season

How to Repair Your Body and Mind After a Long Season

Kobe Bryant's 5 Most Beastly Moments in the Gym

Kobe Bryant's 5 Most Beastly Moments in the Gym

You Can't Do It All in the Weight Room

You Can't Do It All in the Weight Room

LeBron vs. Steph: Who Trains Harder?

LeBron vs. Steph: Who Trains Harder?

3 Keys to Successful Off-Season Training

3 Keys to Successful Off-Season Training

Challenge Yourself With These Balance-Boosting Plank Exercises

Challenge Yourself With These Balance-Boosting Plank Exercises

Lindsey Vonn’s Summer Core Workout

Lindsey Vonn's Summer Core Workout

How Kerri Walsh Jennings is Gearing Up for Her 5th Olympics

How Kerri Walsh Jennings is Gearing Up for Her 5th Olympics

7 Strategies for Overcoming Obstacles That Ruin Summer Workouts

7 Strategies for Overcoming Obstacles That Ruin Summer Workouts

All of the Football Positions, Explained

All of the Football Positions, Explained

10 Summer Fitness Tips to Help You Get Ripped

10 Summer Fitness Tips to Help You Get Ripped

10 Questions to Ask When Choosing a Gym for Your Summer Workouts

10 Questions to Ask When Choosing a Gym for Your Summer Workouts

Train Like a Pro: Beginner Triathlon Training Program

Train Like a Pro: Beginner Triathlon Training Program

How to Time Training Peaks to Be Your Best When It Matters Most

How to Time Training Peaks to Be Your Best When It Matters Most

10 Reasons To Take Your Workout Outside

10 Reasons To Take Your Workout Outside

13 Things You Should Do Before You Start Training This Summer

13 Things You Should Do Before You Start Training This Summer

3 Great Ways to Reduce Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness

3 Great Ways to Reduce Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness

Your Posture is Hurting your Performance—Here's How to Fix It

Your Posture is Hurting your Performance--Here's How to Fix It

Fighting to Stay in the NFL, Terrelle Pryor is on the Brink

Fighting to Stay in the NFL, Terrelle Pryor is on the Brink

Building Elite Soccer Players

Building Elite Soccer Players

Coaches: How to Customize Your Team's Workout Routine

Coaches: How to Customize Your Team's Workout Routine

YardBarker