You can enhance your performance as an athlete in many ways, such as eating a nutritious diet and sticking to a rigorous fitness routine. But there are other ways to improve your abilities in the game, too. For example, maybe you’ve tried visualization techniques to boost your capability—but have you ever tried hydrotherapy?
Hot tub benefits for athletes are numerous. If you’ve never given it a chance, now is the time to get started. For athletes, timing and frequency will play a big role in helping you get even more hot tub benefits that can lead to improvement. Check out our guide to learn the benefits of using a hot tub before or after exercise.
Hot Tub Benefits Before Exercise
You may naturally think to hop in the hot tub after an intense workout, but did you know you can reap the benefits of a hot tub even before you exercise? Whether you’re hitting the basketball court or the slopes, here are a few perks of soaking in a hot tub before you work up a sweat.
Reduce Your Risk Of Injury
Just as warming up helps to minimize the chance of injury before you get in the game, sitting in a hot tub before running, lifting weights, or doing any other workout helps to loosen up muscles so they’re ready for exercise. With muscles warm and relaxed, you’ll be less likely to get hurt, even if you take a tumble.
Improve Athletic Performance
Having loose and warm muscles before you spring into action offers another benefit, too. It can help you perform better as an athlete, giving you more agility and speed.
Treat Existing Injuries
Do your past injuries come back to haunt you when you’re in the middle of a workout? Maybe you’re training for a marathon, and your shin splints start giving you grief. Or maybe, you’re playing soccer, and your previously torn ACL prevents you from giving it your all.
In any case, a hot tub session before your workout can ease the side effects of your existing injury. According to research, people with chronic low back pain report a significant reduction in pain after soaking in a hot tub daily.
Hot Tub Benefits After Exercise
Sometimes you just want to roll into bed or sit on the couch after a long workout. But before you do, consider these hot tub benefits after exercise.
1. Reduce Muscle Soreness
Almost every athlete experiences sore and stiff muscles regularly, especially after an intense day of practice. Fortunately, a hot tub soak is a form of warm water therapy that aids blood vessels in expansion. This increases blood flow to muscles and can greatly reduce soreness.
2. Minimize Insomnia
If you work out later in the day, you may notice that it’s tough to shut your body down when bedtime rolls around. However, soaking in a hot tub an hour before sleep can have a huge impact on your ability to get some shuteye, helping your body to relax and wind down.
Hot Tub Exercises to Try
Working out in a hot tub is a low-impact way to work muscles and burn calories. You can work every muscle group using a variety of hot tub exercises, including:
Thigh and glute exercise: Get into a standing position and put your feet shoulder-width apart. Bring arms in front of you and squat down into a sitting position. Add resistance by standing on one leg and holding onto the side of the hot tub for support.
Shoulder exercise: Sink your body into the water up to your neck. Extend your arms in front of you and put your palms down. Cross your arms over your chest one at a time, then move them back to the initial position. Repeat.
Ab exercise: Sit down in the hot tub, making sure your shoulders are under the water. Cross your arms over your chest and extend your legs out in front of you, then lean forward and backward to perform low-impact crunches.