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Posted by Communicatorsilver Stuart K in Stretching & Recovery

Ice baths

Can someone help me out with how to use these? How cold do they need to be? can a cold shower have the similar benefits?

Replies (showing 1-13 of 13)


Ice baths are a great way to recover from grueling workouts. Just know that this is no walk in the park. Sometimes it is as painful as the workout itself. Unfortunately a cold shower will not do the trick. Typically the water should be in the range of 55 degrees F. About 8-10 minutes should do the trick. I do suggest having someone close by for safety reasons until you are sure your body can handle the temperature. It is not uncommon for people to pass out from the temp change.



President/Head Coach at Breakthrough Nutrition

Posted by Clifton D on 4 May 2012 at 2:36 AM

Hi Clifton

I have tried ice baths since post this and they just dont seem to work. I have made sure the water is the ocrrect temp and stayed in for at least 15 mins but not real sign of enhanced recovery.

I seem to find that a warm bath within 24 hours followed by some stretching work better.

Any advice gratefully received?

PS Nice website!

Posted by Communicatorsilver Stuart K on 4 May 2012 at 7:19 AM

Yesterday a friend and I had our shodan (black belt) grading and after the 3-4 hrs of strenous work and sparring we went to the beach for a quick dip. Here in new Zealand we are in winter and we are in the south island so the water was rather cold, but we did it, ran into the water and after the shock of freezing water we stayed there for nearly 15 min. after I went for a quick hot shower but ended with magnesium dissolved in water over my body. Much later I had a spa with lots more magnesium and although I feel sore and see many bruises I believe I am much better than I would if I had not done these things.

Posted by Communicatorbronze Gisell J on 17 June 2012 at 8:13 AM

I do a warm bath (with my nyr detox oil) and then ice on my ankles and feet. Works wonders for my planterfiscittis and greatly reduces the swelling in my ankles after a long run. I also do compression on the ankles.

Posted by Lyndee G on 22 June 2012 at 5:53 PM

After a game of Rugby League I have found that a cold shower as soon as possible after a game makes me feel a whole lot better and livens me up again. Like Gisell, I'm in New Zealand and the water is definitely a bit colder during the winter so this most likely helps. If I have any muscle injuries I ice that spot specifically. 

Posted by Communicatorbronze Michael S on 5 July 2012 at 6:55 PM

After my longest run to date - 17.46K Battle of Culloden run in the cold, cold north - I had a cold bath. (On the way back from the run I said to my wife that I should maybe pick up some ice, but she reminded me that we were in the cold, cold north and that it would be cold enough - she was right.) My brother ran me a cold bath and I sat there for a good 30 minutes. It was really difficult at the start - every sensible atom was saying, "Pull the plug! Stand up, you fool!" and it was really quite sore - until the numbness kicked in. I did shiver a fair bit, but then slipped into a zen-like mind-over-matter approach and saw it through. I have no doubt that it aided recovery to a great degree. I had to drive 200 miles home, and was fine the next day. I'm a convert to the self-flagellatory soak.

Posted by Communicatorbronze Nelson L on 20 November 2012 at 7:54 AM

These definately work for me. I sit in a cold bath for 10 miutes after long runs when i ammarathon training and i then lay on the floor with my legs elevated against a wall for 10 minutes and i recover much quicker. The cold bath is difficult and the hardest bit to get into the water is my bottom but once thats in it gets easier after a few minutes!!

Posted by Communicatorgold Kaye D on 20 November 2012 at 7:59 AM

#:oD Yes! The reflexes are strong that fight getting 'seat'-ed.

Posted by Communicatorbronze Nelson L on 20 November 2012 at 8:07 AM

Check out Take a brrrrrrrrrrracing ice bath after exercise to aid recovery I have only tried a full ice bath twice and, Like Kaye, once you actually get into it (the undercarriage doesn't like !!), you very quickly acclimatise. Its a very strange sensation when you move your legs about and discover that the water clsoest to your skin has warmed up !! Definitely helps recovery - and a leg only ice soak post-run can be really beneficial for strained achilles.

Posted by Communicatorgold Karen L on 20 November 2012 at 8:23 AM

A cold shower is much better suited to cure abstinence than aid muscle recovery.  But ice baths can make a big difference to recovery time.  Using 2-3 bags of ice in half a tub of cold water should drop the temperature to 12-15C when most of the ice has melted.  After the first few minutes, your body adjusts to the temperature to make the remaining time much more bearable.  I wouldn't suggest doing more than 10mins becuase it can affect your core temperature after this amount of time.

Personally I've found them most useful for my calf muscles, so have resorted to using a bucket of water instead of a full bath on most occasions.  But bath or bucket, they take a bit of getting used to.  The fist few minutes are really tough.  Good luck.

Posted by Communicatorbronze Jeremy O on 20 November 2012 at 8:46 AM

I have nothing bad to say about ice baths besides they are cold. while playing ball ing college i was a ice bath at least 4 days out of the week. it was awesome on my muscles.

Posted by Communicatorbronze Bingham T on 5 December 2012 at 3:09 AM

I really need a ice bath right now. Just completed a insane 5 round crossfit workout..LOL

Posted by Communicatorbronze Bingham T on 11 December 2012 at 3:35 PM

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