Water immersion: does it enhance recovery from exercise?

Int J Sports Physiol Perform. 2006 Sep;1(3):195-206. doi: 10.1123/ijspp.1.3.195.


Purpose: To assess the effect that postexercise immersion in water has on subsequent exercise performance.

Methods: A literary search and review of water-immersion and performance studies was conducted.

Results: Seven articles were examined. In 2, significant benefits to performance were observed. Those 2 articles revealed a small to large effect on jump performance and isometric strength. PRACTICAL APPLICATION AND CONCLUSIONS: It is possible that water immersion might improve recovery from plyometric or muscle-damaging exercise. Such a statement needs to be verified, however, because of the scarcity of research on water immersion as a recovery strategy.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Bicycling
  • Body Temperature Regulation
  • Cold Temperature
  • Exercise*
  • Hot Temperature
  • Humans
  • Immersion*
  • Isometric Contraction*
  • Muscle Strength*
  • Muscle, Skeletal / physiology*
  • Recovery of Function
  • Running
  • Time Factors