One of my favorite recent discoveries has been the magic of contrast showers. Runners swear by the recuperative powers of ice baths, and while that certainly has some appeal, the idea of soaking in an admittedly not very clean tub of ice water makes me cringe.
Instead, I replaced my shower head with one of those European style, detachable heads. Every morning and after working out I take a contrast shower. Here’s what to do.
1. Take a shower. Remember to wash behind the ears.
2. At the end of the shower, turn the tap, so it’s only cold water.
3. Scream whatever expletive comes to mind first as the stream of ice cold water hits your body.
4. Working from your feet up, vigorously rub the cold water on your skin… Work up legs, stomach, back, armpits (woo, that’s cold), kidneys, lower back and face.
5. Turn the hot water on. Do the same thing. Repeat between hot and cold water for about 1-2 minutes each, paying particular attention to any sore or tired areas – quads, calves, piriformis, etc.
6. Always end with a cold cycle