Especially useful in this freaking awful heat.
Rest and Recovery – Ice Massage
Written by Calvin Sun
Elite fitness requires an equally high level of maintenance and care. You wouldn’t expect your car to run at a peak level of performance without regular service and repair, so it doesn’t make sense when athletes neglect to take care of their bodies. Cryotherapy is an effective method for managing inflammation and providing pain relief. It is common to see cryotherapy used in a variety of sports. Most often you will see athletes with bags of ice on various parts of their body after competition. A simple method of icing is using a cold compress or ice bag in cycles of 20 minutes on and 20 minutes off. On the extreme end, you can jump into an ice bath after your next workout to see the recovery benefits (see Robb Wolf http://robbwolf.com/wp-content/uploads/2007/09/wolf-wanker.jpg). For those of you who have yet to build up such a tolerance, I would suggest ice massage as a simple and slightly less uncomfortable method of promoting recovery of the musculoskeletal structures.
Step 1. Fill your foam cup with water until it is almost full. You’ll want to leave some room for the expansion of ice.
Step 2. Place the cup in your freezer overnight or until the ice is solid.
Step 3. Peel away the foam cup to expose the ice.
Step 4. Keeping the ice moving, massage the affected area in small circles for 5 to 7 minutes. You can use a towel to clean up as the ice melts.
Ice massage is cheap and effective. All you need is a styrofoam cup like the one pictured here or if you are environmentally conscientious you can purchase a reusable product such as the Cryocup (http://www.cryocup.com/). An ice cube could be used but I would strongly recommend the foam cup or Cryocup as it will keep your hand from freezing.