We talk about the ‘playing’ side of sport a lot. After all, that’s what we are most passionate about. However, without a good recovery plan in place, physical performance is hampered.
Just as an athlete plans their training, they should also plan their recovery with as much care.
In a new blog series, England’s mixed and women’s doubles star Lauren Smith talks us through her recovery strategies and their importance to her training programme.
First up – Icing.
A lot of people use ice treatment when they are injured but it is also beneficial to general recovery.
I ice most days and love a proper ice bath when I can access one. We previously had a plunge pool at the National Badminton Centre but unfortunately that has now closed so I stand in a bin of ice now!
Here is the basic science behind why ice baths are a great recovery aid:
- Icing constricts blood vessels and decreases metabolic activity, which reduces swelling and tissue breakdown.
- When you take the ice off, your blood flow to that area increases to warm back up. Your natural blood flow is what repairs muscle tears caused by exercise so you are speeding up that process.
- Icing numbs the nerve endings so can reduce pain at that time.
That is the very basic version – there is a lot more science to be learnt on this subject and more reading you can do.
However, in short, icing is a great way to aid recovery and get your body ready for more badminton, which can only be a good thing!
Next up in Lauren’s blog series – Sleep!
Want to put your recovery strategies to the test? Get back onto court now - we've been mapping which facilities are open for badminton! Find the ones nearest you on our activity finder.