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Why rugby players love ice baths
Around the Academy:

Jason Leonard and Trevor Woodman sit in an ice bath after an England training session
Jason Leonard and Trevor Woodman force a smile

Craig Smith

Recovery has become a bit of a buzz word over the past few years.

Teams and physios are always looking for the best methods to help sportstars recover from their gruelling training sessions as quickly as possible.

Rugby teams use massage, stretching sessions, relaxation therapy, steam baths, yoga and swimming to help their players overcome stiffness.

But the recovery method which has become the choice (and curse) of the players is the ice bath.

You may ask why Jonny Wilkinson bothers jumping into an ice bath after a match when all he wants to do is rest with a few cool drinks and a massage.

The reason lies behind what the cold, icy water does for a sportsman after a hard day at the office.

To understand how the ice baths work though, we first need to understand what recovery is all about.

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Why an ice bath?
The cold benefits

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You're body is pretty battered and bruised after a heavy game - it's the best way to recover from the aches and pains
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Jonah Lomu on ice baths

Did you know?
Muscles turn energy into motion
Paula Radcliffe sat in an ice bath for 30 minutes after winning the 2003 London Marathon

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