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Thread: Purpose of ice baths after competion?

  1. #1
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    Question Purpose of ice baths after competion?

    This one is likely for the Coaches and trainers out there. I just saw a swim documentary and after the first day of multi-day meet, the swimmers took an ice bath in a tub and sat in it for several minutes. Just curious what the purpose of the ice bath is? I would think you'd want to flush out the lactic acid from your muscles and sitting in cold/ice water would restrict that from happening, or is this more for helping with muscle inflammation? Just curious. Thanks!

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    Re: Purpose of ice baths after competion?

    Was it the Missy Franklin documentary, by chance? That one convinced some kids my girls' age that they HAD to do it after prelims. More important than a nap (regardless of how little sleep they got the night before). Ugh. I'm with you. Those fluorescent tapes are the same way (medical studies say it is all placebo). They are great for really hard, intense workouts, but not for meets. Note I am not a trainer or a coach.

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    Re: Purpose of ice baths after competion?

    Quote Originally Posted by 67King View Post
    Was it the Missy Franklin documentary, by chance? That one convinced some kids my girls' age that they HAD to do it after prelims. More important than a nap (regardless of how little sleep they got the night before). Ugh. I'm with you. Those fluorescent tapes are the same way (medical studies say it is all placebo). They are great for really hard, intense workouts, but not for meets. Note I am not a trainer or a coach.
    The Kinesio tape for people with injuries has been studied and for cervical issues and shoulder it is effective. For preventing injury studies don't back its use. Lower back it is less effective. I use it. There is a big difference in how it is applied. Having it done by someone who actually has the training to do it and works with sports injuries is key.
    TSAC-F,Swim Speed Secrets - STGRID

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    Re: Purpose of ice baths after competion?

    I can't speak to the effectiveness of ice baths (although I suspect that it has something to do with reducing inflammation), nor can I speak to the effectiveness of kinesio tape. But I can say that FINA and USMS prohibit kinesio tape during competition, unlike Track & Field in which kinesio tape application could be considered an art form.

  5. #5
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    Re: Purpose of ice baths after competion?

    Interesting that you ask this. We have an article on ice baths and recovery in the November-December issue of SWIMMER.

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