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Contrast water therapy is a popular recovery modality in sport; however, appropriate facilities can often be difficult to access. Therefore, the present study examined the use of contrast showers as an alternative to contrast water therapy for team sport recovery. In a randomized, cross-over design ten elite female netball athletes (mean ± SD; age: 20 ± 0.6 y, height: 1.82 ± 0.05 m, body mass: 77.0 ± 9.3 kg) completed three experimental trials of a netball specific circuit followed by one of the following 14 min recovery interventions; (1) contrast water therapy (alternating 1 min 38°C and 1 min 15°C water immersion), (2) contrast showers (alternating 1 min 38°C and 1 min 18°C showers) or (3) passive recovery (seated rest in 20°C). Repeated agility, skin and core temperature and perception scales were measured pre, immediately post, 5 h and 24 h post-exercise. No significant differences in repeated agility were evident between conditions at any time point. No significant differences in core temperature were observed between conditions however, skin temperature was significantly lower immediately after contrast water therapy and contrast showers compared with the passive condition. Overall perceptions of recovery were superior following contrast water therapy and contrast showers compared with passive recovery. The findings indicate contrast water therapy and contrast showers did not accelerate physical recovery in elite netballers after a netball specific circuit; however, the psychological benefit from both interventions should be considered when determining the suitability of these recovery interventions in team sport.
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Performance Recovery, Australian Institute of Sport, Belconnen, Australian Capital Territory, Australia;
School of Psychology
and Exercise Science, Murdoch University, Western Australia, Australia; and
Department of Physiology, Australian Institute
of Sport, Belconnen, Australian Capital Territory, Australia
Juliff, LE, Halson, SL, Bonetti, DL, Versey, NG, Driller, MW,
and Peiffer, JJ. Influence of contrast shower and water
immersion on recovery in elite netballers. J Strength Cond
Res 28(8): 2353–2358, 2014—Contrast water therapy is
a popular recovery modality in sport; however, appropriate
facilities can often be difficult to access. Therefore, the
present study examined the use of contrast showers as an
alternative to contrast water therapy for team sport recov-
ery. In a randomized, crossover design, 10 elite female
netball athletes (mean 6SD:age,2060.6 years; height,
1.82 60.05 m; body mass, 77.0 69.3 kg) completed
3 experimental trials of a netball specific circuit followed
by one of the following 14-minute recovery interventions:
(a) contrast water therapy (alternating 1 minute 388Cand
1minute158C water immersion), (b) contrast showers
(alternating 1 minute 388Cand1minute188C showers),
or (c) passive recovery (seated rest in 208C). Repeated
agility, skin and core temperature, and perception scales
were measured before, immediately after, 5 and 24 hours
postexercise. No significant differences in repeated agility
were evident between conditions at any time point. No sig-
nificant differences in core temperature were observed
between conditions; however, skin temperature was signif-
icantly lower immediately after contrast water therapy and
contrast showers compared withthepassivecondition.
Overall perceptions of recovery were superior after contrast
water therapy and contrast showers compared with passive
recovery. The findings indicate contrast water therapy and
contrast showers did not accelerate physical recovery in
elite netballers after a netball specific circuit; however, the
psychological benefit from both interventions should be
considered when determining the suitability of these recov-
ery interventions in team sport.
KEY WORDS hydrotherapy, team sport, performance, core
temperature, fatigue
The professionalization of sport allows elite athletes
to perform a greater volume of training and com-
petition; thus, resulting in the need for recovery
strategies to enable athletes to cope with increased
training load (27). In addition, sports that incorporate tour-
nament style competitions provide a challenge for athletes to
recover adequately before the next exercise bout (4). Hydro-
therapy, specifically cold water immersion, can enhance
recovery after both simulated and actual team-sport compe-
tition (9). Recently, Webb et al. (31) observed enhanced
recovery in rugby union players after contrast water therapy
(alternating hot and cold water immersion). The use of con-
trast water therapy has also been shown to benefit athletic
recovery as evidenced by improved cycling sprint and time-
trial performances (28), decreases in rating of perceived exer-
tion and muscle soreness (13), and reductions in localized
edema (26). Furthermore, Vaile et al. (26) observed the res-
toration of dynamic power and isometric force after contrast
water therapy in individuals who completed a delayed onset
muscle soreness inducing leg press protocol. These findings
have increased the popularity of this recovery modality in
sport (5); yet, access to facilities can be difficult, specifically
when athletes are traveling. Most sporting venues allow ath-
letes access to shower facilities, providing a possible alterna-
tive to contrast water therapy through the use of contrast
showers (alternating hot and cold showers). To the authors’
knowledge, no studies have examined the recovery benefits
of contrast showers on athletic performance despite athletes
anecdotally using showers as a form of recovery.
The sport of netball is played worldwide with an
estimated 20 million participants and is characterized as
a fast moving team-sport placing high physical demands on
players through repeated jumps, lunges, and rapid acceler-
ations and decelerations (13,22). Furthermore, elite
Address correspondence to Dr. Jeremiah J. Peiffer, j.peiffer@murdoch.
Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research
Ó2014 National Strength and Conditioning Association
VOLUME 28 | NUMBER 8 | AUGUST 2014 | 2353
Copyright © National Strength and Conditioning Association Unauthorized reproduction of this article is prohibited.
netballers can be required to train or compete multiple times
per day in tournament style competitions resulting in large
demands placed upon the cardiovascular, metabolic,
immune, and musculoskeletal systems (13). For athletes to
cope with these demands, appropriate recovery is essential
which has led many teams to adopt some form of recovery
strategy. In a recent survey of New Zealand sporting teams,
100% of elite New Zealand netball teams reported using
contrast water therapy as their recovery modality of choice
(12). When coupled with the large travel commitments asso-
ciated with many elite netball teams, it is likely that the
development of alternative contrast water modalities is nec-
essary. The purpose of the present study was to examine the
influence of contrast showers and contrast water therapy on
recovery after a netball specific exercise circuit. The findings
could provide a viable alternative for coaches, athletes, and
strength and conditioning specialists who wish to use con-
trast water therapy as a recovery modality; yet, are limited
by available facilities.
Experimental Approach to the Problem
To determine the recovery benefits of contrast water therapy
and contrast showers in elite level netballers, this study
examined the influence of 3 recovery conditions (passive,
contrast water therapy, and contrast showers) on perfor-
mance (repeated agility), physiological variables (core and
skin temperature and heart rate), and perceptions of
effectiveness at 3 time points (acute, delayed, and 24 hours)
after a netball specific exercise circuit. Data collection was
conducted in a pragmatic manner because participants were
currently visiting our laboratory setting to complete a pre-
season training camp. Consequently, repeated agility was
selected as the only performance variable because of its use
within netball as a key performance test and its strong
association with the physical demands of the sport. The
study was conducted using a crossover design in which all
participants completed each of the 3 recovery conditions on
different days. The order of conditions was randomized for
each participant to avoid any order effects that could bias the
Ten elite female netball athletes (mean 6SD: age, 20 61
years [range, 18.5–20.7 years]; height, 1.82 60.05 m; body
mass, 77.0 69.3 kg) volunteered to participate in this study.
All participants were Australian representative netballers at
either under 19 or under 21 years of age and were in pre-
season training. The sample size selected for this study was
based on a sample of convenience because all participants
were attending the laboratory settings as part of a preseason
training camp. Before data collection, participants were pro-
vided with written documentation of the risks and benefits of
participation in the study and signed a document of
informed consent. Ethical approval was obtained from the
Murdoch University Human Ethics Committee (#2011/
015) and the Australian Institute of Sports Human Ethics
Committee (#20010206).
This study required participants to complete 5 separate
sessions: 2 familiarization sessions of the netball circuit to
limit any learning or training effects, and 3 experimental
testing sessions, during a 4-week period. All experimental
and familiarization sessions were conducted in controlled
conditions (indoor netball courts and recovery facilities),
separated by a minimum of 2 days and were completed at
a similar time of day (61 hour) to control for circadian
variability (23). Training workloads prescribed by coaching
staff were identical between sessions. Twenty-four hours
before testing, participants were asked to refrain from caf-
feine and alcohol consumption and to ingest a similar diet.
All participants were familiar with the performance test pro-
tocols and recovery techniques used in this study.
Six hours before the start of each experimental trial,
participants ingested a core temperature pill (CorTemp
courts, participants were fitted with a heart rate monitor (Heart
Rate Team Pack; Suunto, Vantaa, Finland) and skin tempera-
ture sensors (iButton; Embedded Data Systems, Lawrence-
calf and completed baseline psychometric measures. Partic-
ipants then commenced the exercise session (approximately at
08:45 hours) with a standardized 15-minute warm-up, which
consisted of running drills, dynamic stretches, and a series of
sprints and jumps. Immediately after the warm-up, participants
completed the baseline repeated agility test and commenced
the 15-minute simulated netball circuit. Immediately after the
simulated netball circuit, agility and psychometric measures
Figure 1. Mean (6SD) repeated agility measured at baseline,
immediately postexercise (PostEx), immediately postrecovery (acute),
5 hours postrecovery (delayed), and 24 hours postrecovery (24 h) in the
contrast showers (C), contrast water therapy (-) and passive (:)
recovery intervention groups. *PostEx significantly greater than all other
time points.
Contrast Showers and Performance
Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research
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were repeated, followed 20 minutes later by one of the 3
designated recovery intervention (passive recovery, contrast
water therapy, or contrast showers). Ten minutes after
completion of the recovery intervention, participants re-
turned to the netball courts for repeated agility and
psychometric measures (acute) after which they completed
these tests again at 16:00 (delayed) and 09:00 hours the next
day (24 hours) to replicate a typical training day for the
All recovery conditions were 14 minutes in duration
because this is consistent with previous contrast water
therapy research (2,30). During the passive recovery condi-
tion, participants remained seated with minimal movement
in a temperature-controlled room (20.0 60.78C). The
contrast water therapy condition consisted of participants
alternating between hot (38.0 60.48C) and cold water
(15.0 60.38C) full body immersion (excluding head and
neck; starting with hot immersion) every minute with
a 5-second transfer time between water baths. Water temper-
atures were controlled using a water tank and heater/chiller
pump system custom built as part of the Australian Institute of
Sport Recovery Center. Within the current contrast water
therapy literature, a multitude of temperatures and durations
have been used (2,30). The choice of temperature and dura-
tion selected for this recovery intervention is consistent with
previous contrast water therapy research within our labora-
tory (26,28,29). During the contrast showers, participants
started with exposure to the hot shower (38.0 61.28C) and
alternated between hot and cold showers (18.0 60.48C)
every minute. Participants immersed their entire body includ-
ing head under the shower. Participants were required to
alternate between 2 showers (one hot and one cold) to elim-
inate the need to adjust water temperatures. The temperature
of the cold shower represented the coldest water available
from a standard tap within the recovery center. During all
water-based recovery interventions, water temperature was
continuously monitored (1 Hz) using an iButton temperature
The netball specific circuit used in this study was modified
from Higgins et al. (10) and comprised of 5 stations spanning
the length of the netball court separated by 3.5 m. A “lap”
was characterized by running
through each station over the
length of the court and jogging
back in 30 seconds. The sta-
tions were comprised of move-
ments such as short explosive
sprints, agility, jumps, and
backward and sideways move-
ments. The completion of 1
circuit involved 5 laps of the
stations in 150 seconds (30 sec-
onds per lap) followed by 30
seconds to complete 5 maxi-
mal counter movement jumps
with any remaining time pro-
vided as rest. Two up and back
sprints from baseline to base-
line were then completed in
Figure 2. Mean (6SD) (A) skin temperature and (B) core temperature
after contrast showers (C), contrast water therapy (-), and passive
recovery (:) measured at baseline, postexercise (PostEx), start of
recovery (StartRec), end of recovery (EndRec), and 20 minutes
postrecovery (20minPost). *Contrast water therapy and contrast
showers significantly less than passive condition; #Contrast showers
significantly greater than contrast water therapy; **Selected time points
significantly greater than baseline; +Selected time points significantly
less than PostEx; ¥Significantly less than StartRec.
TABLE 1. Mean (6SD) fatigue scores (units) measured at baseline, immediately
postexercise, immediately postrecovery, 5 hours (delayed recovery), and 24
hours after recovery in the contrast water therapy, contrast showers, and passive
recovery conditions.
Baseline* PostexercisePostrecovery
24 h
Contrast water
3.1 60.8 7.6 61.8 3.9 61.5 3.8 61.1 3.7 61.1
Contrast showers 3.7 61.2 7.8 61.4 4.0 61.0 4.7 61.3 4.1 61.4
Passive 3.6 60.7 7.9 61.3 4.3 61.0 4.7 61.1 4.0 61.1
*Baseline values significantly less than all other time points.
Postexercise values greater than all other time points.
zMain condition effect, contrast water therapy significantly less than passive condition.
Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research
VOLUME 28 | NUMBER 8 | AUGUST 2014 | 2355
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24 seconds, followed immediately by 10 netball chest passes
at a wall. Five minutes were allocated to complete 1 circuit.
This circuit was completed 3 times, totaling 15 minutes.
The repeated agility test was used as the measure of physical
performance and was selected as it represents a measure
consistent with the primary physical demands of the sport.
Participants were required to start from a stationary position
and maneuver in and out of a series of 5 poles 2.5 m apart (21).
The test was performed 4 times with participants starting
every 20 seconds. The total time of each run was measured
by dual-beam electronic timing gates (Speedlight TT; Swift
Performance Equipment, Wacol, Australia). The laboratory
coefficient of variation for the repeated agility test is 1.2%.
Throughout the netball circuit, mean and maximum heart
rates were recorded. Core and skin temperatures were
recorded at baseline, after warm-up, postexercise, before
recovery, and immediately and 20 minutes postrecovery.
Mean skin temperature (T
) was calculated using the fol-
lowing equation derived by Ramanathan (19):
Tskin ¼0:33ðTchest þTarmÞþ0:23Tthigh þTleg :
Rating of perceived exertion was measured immediately
after the netball specific exercise using the Borg scale (3). In
addition, perceptions of fatigue were assessed at baseline, post-
exercise, immediately postrecovery, and at both delayed and
24 hours time point using a 10-point Likert scale (1 = no
fatigue and 10 = extreme fatigue) (3). To determine partici-
pants’ perception of the efficacy of each recovery modality,
a preintervention and postintervention questionnaire was used.
Before recovery, participants were asked “Do you believe the
postexercise recovery modality will accelerate your recovery
in this trial?” Immediately postrecovery, participants were
asked “Do you believe the postexercise recovery modality
has accelerated your recovery in this trial?” Participants
answered on a visual analogue scale (100 mm in length) with
strongly agree (0 mm) and disagree (100 mm) at each end.
Statistical Analyses
Differences in performance, psychometric and physiological
measures between conditions over time were determined using
a linear mixed model analysis. Significant main effects or
interactions were analyzed usinganadjustedFishersleastsig-
nificant difference post hoc analysis. The results of the efficacy
questions were analyzed using a 1-way analysis of variance to
test for differences within the 3 recovery conditions. A pre-post
t-test was conducted to analyze differences within each recov-
ery intervention. All statistical analysis was conducted using an
SPSS statistical software package (SPSS Statistics v.21, IBM,
New York, NY, USA) with the level of significance set to p#
0.05. All data are presented as mean 6SD.
No significant differences were observed for mean heart rate
during the netball specific exercise circuit between the
contrast water therapy (180 68b$min
), contrast showers
(181 67b$min
), or passive (182 68b$min
) recovery
conditions. Similarly, no significant differences were
observed for the rating of perceived exertion during the net-
ball specific exercise in the contrast water therapy (18 62
units), contrast showers (18 61 units), and passive (19 61
units) recovery conditions.
A main effect for time was observed for the repeated
agility test. In all conditions, immediately after the netball
specific exercise, repeated agility times were slower when
compared with all other time points (Figure 1).
There was a significant interaction between conditions for
skin temperature at the immediately and 20 minutes post-
recovery time points with a greater mean skin temperature
in the passive condition (31.2 61.18C and 30.6 60.88C,
respectively) when compared with contrast showers (27.4 6
1.58C and 25.4 61.78C, respectively) and contrast water
therapy (24.6 62.38C and 24.9 61.48C, respectively)
(Figure 2). No significant differences between recovery inter-
ventions were observed for core temperature. Regardless,
sured from immediately to 20 minutes postrecovery was
greater after contrast water therapy (20.3 60.28C) and
contrast showers (20.4 60.28C) compared with the pas-
sive (20.1 60.18C) condition.
Participants’ perceptions of fatigue are displayed in Table 1.
A main effect for condition and time was observed for the
fatigue measures with greater fatigue reported in the passive
compared with the contrast water therapy conditions. Fur-
thermore, in all conditions, perceived fatigue was lower at
baseline and 24 hours compared with all other time points;
however, no differences were noted between conditions at
any time points. Perceived effectiveness before the recovery
intervention was greater for contrast water therapy (20 615)
compared with contrast showers (47 615) and passive (69 6
11) conditions. After recovery, participants perceived contrast
water therapy (19 614) and contrast showers (18 613) to
provide superior recovery benefits compared with the passive
(73 614) condition. A change in positive perception prere-
covery to postrecovery intervention was observed for contrast
showers only.
This study examined the influence of contrast water therapy
and contrast showers on recovery after a netball specific
exercise circuit in elite netballers. The main findings were:
(a) despite inducing fatigue after the netball specific exercise
circuit in all conditions, no performance differences were
noted between recovery conditions at any time point, (b)
core temperature was not different between conditions at
any time point, although greater heat removal was observed
in both water recovery conditions compared with control
from immediately to 20 minutes postrecovery, (c) overall
positive perceptions of recovery were observed after contrast
water therapy and contrast showers compared with passive
Contrast Showers and Performance
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recovery, and (d) participants’ perceptions of contrast show-
ers changed positively preintervention to postintervention.
The use of either contrast water therapy or contrast
showers after the netball specific exercise did not enhance
the recovery of performance in comparison with the control
condition (Figure 1). Our findings are similar to previous
contrast water therapy research (6,13) during which an
inability to induce adequate fatigue was suggested as the
rational for the null findings. We do not believe this to be
the reason for our findings as postexercise increases in agility
times indicate fatigue. Furthermore, this netball specific cir-
cuit has previously shown to induce a high level of fatigue
(10). Contrast water therapy is associated with a reduction of
delayed onset muscle soreness after some team sports (e.g.,
rugby) that have been suggested to indicate recovery (31). It
is possible in this study, although not measured, that the
muscle damage may have been minimal that would have
limited the efficacy of our recovery interventions. Further-
more, current literature indicates contrast water therapy can
enhance recovery after team-sport activity; however, this
was only observed .24 hours after the intervention (31).
As the present study ceased measures at 24 hours to deter-
mine the suitability of each recovery intervention in relation
to normal netball competition demands, it is possible any
recovery benefit may have been missed. In the absence of
performance changes after either recovery intervention, we
suggest future research is warranted to examine the use of
contrast water therapy and contrast showers in netballers
after actual competition and repeated performance assess-
ments .24 hours after exercise (11,28).
To the authors’ knowledge, this is the first study to exam-
ine differences in core and skin temperature responses to
both contrast water therapy and contrast showers. Regard-
less of the difference in the temperature of cold water used
during the contrast water therapy (15.0 60.38C) and con-
trast showers (18.0 60.48C); no differences were observed
in core temperature between modalities (Figure 2B). This
finding is not surprising because Proulx et al. (18) have re-
ported similar core temperatures during postexercise cold
water immersion in water ranging 8–208C. Consistent with
previous research (15,16,25), this study’s findings are likely
a product of peripheral blood vessel vasoconstriction (16,28)
upon cold water exposure limiting blood contact with the
cooler periphery. Although not observed during the recov-
ery interventions, we did observe a delayed cooling response
in contrast showers and contrast water therapy from post-
recovery to 20 minutes postrecovery compared with the
passive condition. Versey et al. (28) observed a delayed cool-
ing response in 11 trained male cyclists who completed a con-
trast water therapy intervention (alternating 1 minute hot,
388C; 1 minute cold, 158C for 6, 12, and 18 minutes) after
a 75-minute cycling protocol (28). This delayed cooling can
be explained by the “afterdrop” phenomena (1), the removal
of core body heat after exposure to cold conditions because of
sustained peripheral muscle cooling after rewarming.
It should be acknowledged that fatigue is a multidimen-
sional phenomena (1,14) consistent with both physiological
and psychological changes, which can influence athletic per-
formance (1). In this respect, the efficacy of recovery tech-
niques should be evaluated at both physiological and
psychological levels. It is possible for athletes who feel less
pain and muscle soreness to have a heightened sense of well-
being after recovery and perform better (20). For this reason,
the placebo effect can have significant influence on the suc-
cess of a recovery intervention (7,17). Our participants per-
ceived both contrast water therapy (19 614) and contrast
showers (18 613) to accelerate recovery when compared
with the passive condition (73 614). These findings are
likely due to the change in skin temperature associated with
both water interventions (Figure 2A) because skin tempera-
ture is an integral component of a human’s perception of
fatigue and comfort (8,24). An individual’s comfort level is
shown to improve when the environment allows the return
of body temperature toward homeostasis (8). Compared
with the contrast water therapy conditions, a perceptual
change was observed preintervention to postintervention
for contrast showers. The noted change in perception fur-
ther indicates the influence of skin temperature on percep-
tion, while the difference between conditions is likely due to
previous exposure. The current group of participants had
routinely been exposed to contrast water therapy, thus influ-
encing the perceived benefit; however, contrast showers
were not as customary, therefore perceptions of this modal-
ity changed only after the initial exposure.
In conclusion, the current study provides novel informa-
tion regarding contrast showers as a recovery modality and
its comparison to contrast water therapy in a simulated
team-sport setting. Although no improvements in perfor-
mance were observed, contrast water therapy and contrast
showers resulted in accelerated skin cooling and greater
perceptions of recovery. With the continued use of contrast
water therapy and possible use of contrast showers in
netball, future research is needed to determine the efficacy
of these modalities using extended monitoring periods and
competition scenarios.
The large physical demands placed on athletes during both
training and competitions compel coaches and strength and
conditioning specialists to provide the most appropriate
recovery strategies to increase the chance of their athletes’
success. Past research indicates contrast water therapy can
be an effective recovery modality in a range of sports; yet,
practitioners may be limited in the ability to provide this
modality due to facilities and logistics. Findings from this
study showed 14 minutes of contrast showers (alternating
hot and cold each minute) used immediately after netball
training provided a similar perception of enhanced recovery
when compared with contrast water therapy. Although
neither modality resulted in enhanced physical recovery
Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research
VOLUME 28 | NUMBER 8 | AUGUST 2014 | 2357
Copyright © National Strength and Conditioning Association Unauthorized reproduction of this article is prohibited.
compared with the control condition, we would suggest that
the psychological benefits observed could lead to greater
athletic success in some circumstances. With the increasing
use of contrast water therapy as a recovery modality in team
and individual sport, we propose contrast showers could
provide a more practical alternative because of the availabil-
ity of shower facilities at most sporting events.
The authors thank all the participants for their participation
in the study and coaching staff for their cooperation during
the study. None of the authors of this article have any
professional relationships with companies or manufacturers
who would benefit from the results of the present study.
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Contrast Showers and Performance
Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research
Copyright © National Strength and Conditioning Association Unauthorized reproduction of this article is prohibited.
... The authors suggested that the similar rates of decrease in skin temperatures between the cooling methods were associated with a reduced respiratory drive (breathing frequency) during the CWI. In addition, Juliff et al. (14) observed that in elite netball players, contrast showering (alternating 1 minute at 388 C and 1 minute at 158 C for 14 minutes) after a netball-specific circuit session decreased skin temperatures compared with a passive recovery condition. However, despite the contrast showers having a psychological impact (recovery perception scale), there was no effect on Tc or performance measures (repeated agility). ...
... Therefore, a reduced skin temperature during the CWS intervention after exercise in the heat may have resulted in a satisfied rating (3). Our findings are consistent with previous studies that observed changes in TCS after taking a cold shower, which suggested an associated psychological impact (14,22). It is possible that CWS stimulated the temperature-sensory receptors on the skin, sending afferent thermal input signals to specific brain areas, resulting in an improvement in the participants' thermal comfort sensation (8). ...
... First, this study demonstrated a comfortable sensation of CWS over SIT25 after 15 minutes of the intervention period. This finding provides evidence that the faster HR recovery may also be due to cold showering causing the reduction of HR by a larger parasympathetic activity to counteract exercise-induced sympathetic dominance (14,22). Second, it is well known that cold water temperatures can cause the vasoconstriction of cutaneous blood vessels to maintain core temperature, which in turn increases peripheral resistance and arterial blood pressure, consequently enhancing venous return and increasing venous pressure with a corresponding decrease in HR (13,25). ...
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Post-exercise cooling, e.g. cold water immersion has shown beneficial cardiovascular and hormonal effects during recovery from exercise in a hot environment. However, not much is known about the effects of a cold water shower (CWS) as a recovery intervention. This study examined the effects of a CWS on heart rate (HR), core temperature (Tc), salivary cortisol, and thermal comfort sensation (TCS) after exercise in the heat. Nine healthy male subjects (age, 21±1 years) performed 45 minutes of cycling in a hot environment (35°C, 40-60% relative humidity) at 65% of peak oxygen uptake. Thereafter, subjects underwent the CWS condition (15 min, 15°C water shower) or control (SIT25; 15 min passive recovery in 25°C room) in a randomized cross-over design. After each 15 min, subjects sat in a 25°C room for another 2h recovery. HR, Tc and TCS were recorded pre-and immediately post-exercise, immediately after CWS or SIT25, and at 30 min, 1h, and 2h during additional recovery. Salivary cortisol was collected at the same time points except at 30 min of the additional recovery period. TCS was higher immediately after CWS (+4; Very comfortable) than SIT25 (+1; Just comfortable). The change of HR decreased faster with CWS (-18.3±2.3%) than with SIT25 (-7.0±4.6%) at the first 30 min recovery time point (p <0.01). No differences between recovery conditions were observed for the Tc or salivary cortisol at any time point during the 2h recovery period. The findings demonstrate that a 15 min, 15°C CWS was not effective in reducing Tc or salivary cortisol during recovery from exercise in a hot environment. However, CWS can promote TCS by facilitating a faster HR recovery after 30 min post-intervention compared with passive recovery. The cooling benefits of a CWS could be only recommended to reduce cardiac stress after routine workout in a hot environment.
... Nine studies investigated fatigue and recovery within netball (Supplementary Table S2). The majority of studies used elite level cohorts (n = 7, 78%) [63][64][65][66][67][68][69], with the remaining studies using Australian state-level athletes [3,70]. Two studies (22%) quantified the fatigue response to competition [63,67], whilst two studies (22%) investigated the effect [64] and the perceived importance [68] of various recovery modalities. ...
... The majority of studies used elite level cohorts (n = 7, 78%) [63][64][65][66][67][68][69], with the remaining studies using Australian state-level athletes [3,70]. Two studies (22%) quantified the fatigue response to competition [63,67], whilst two studies (22%) investigated the effect [64] and the perceived importance [68] of various recovery modalities. Four studies (44%) focused on sleep indices, patterns and/or behaviours [3,65,66,69]. ...
... players [68]. Additionally, Juliff et al. [64] found that following a netball-specific circuit contrast water therapy and contrast showers improved perception of recovery in comparison to the passive recovery condition, but no difference in physical recovery was reported. However, further research is required on recovery modalities and whether the development of specific physical qualities can positively influence transient (e.g., within match), acute (e.g., following a match) and chronic (e.g., over a season) fatigue and recovery profiles in netball players. ...
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Background Netball is the one of the most popular women’s sports in the world. Since gaining professional status in 2008 there has been a rapid growth in research in the applied sports science and medicine of the sport. A scoping review of the area would provide practitioners and researchers with an overview of the current scientific literature to support on-court performance, player welfare and reduce injury. Objective The primary objective was to identify the current research on the applied sports science and medicine of netball. Additionally, the article provides a brief summary of the research in each topic of sports science and medicine in netball and identifies gaps in the current research. Methods Systematic searches of PubMed, SPORTDiscus, MEDLINE and CINAHL were undertaken from earliest record to Dec 2020 and reference lists were manually searched. The PRISMA-ScR protocol was followed. Studies were eligible for inclusion if they investigated netball as a sport or the applied sport science and medicine of netball athletes. Results 962 studies were identified in the initial search, 150 of which met the inclusion criteria. Injury was the most highly investigated sport science and medicine topic ( n = 45), followed by physical qualities ( n = 37), match characteristics ( n = 24), biomechanics ( n = 15), psychology ( n = 13), fatigue and recovery ( n = 9), training load ( n = 4) and nutrition ( n = 3). A range of cohorts were used from school to elite and international standards. All cohorts were female netballers, except for one study. A rapid growth in studies over recent years was demonstrated with 65% of studies published in the last decade. There still remains gaps in the literature, with a low evidence base for nutrition, training load and fatigue and recovery. Conclusion This scoping review summarises the current evidence base and key findings that can be used in practice to enhance the applied sport science and medical support to netball athletes across a range of playing standards, and support the growth of the sport. It is evident that netball as a sport is still under-researched.
... Good bathing is bath that not only use one type water with the same temperature but better if we used two type water temperature usually called by Contrast Shower. It doing by the sportsman and very effective for remove muscles traumatic, tense muscles, and pain on our body [3]. ...
... Although has many advantages and benefits, Bath with contrast shower method have a disadvantages from the expensive price that you must have and the practical tools that used [3]. ...
Experiment Findings
Full-text available
Bathing is activity that cleaning up our body from all filth that is obtained after doing some activities everyday, Human usually bathing twice a day i.e. Morrning bath and Evening bath. But not everybody can do morning bath. At least there's three fact why someones is lazy to takes a morningbath : The Cold, Laziness, Gadget. Kamar Mandi Pemalas is very helpful technology especially for student college which is unsual do morning bath. The existance of Kamar Mandi Pemalas expected can makes someone more productive everyday.
... For changes in strength and power, the differences between CWI and CWT are inconclusive [9]. Lastly, in a study which compared the effects of CWT (alternating 1 min immersed in water baths at 38ºC and 1 min at 15ºC for a total of 14 min) to contrast shower therapy (alternating 1 min exposure to shower with water at 38ºC and 1 min at 18ºC for a total of 14 min) and a passive intervention in elite netballers, the authors found no differences in performance among conditions [35]. ...
... Nevertheless, perception of recovery was enhanced in the CWT and contrast shower therapy in comparison to passive recovery. The findings from this study demonstrate that given the limitations in facilities and logistics in team sports, using contrast shower therapy can improve perception of recovery to the same extent as CWT [35]. ...
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... King and Duffield [18] also reported benefits to performance with CWT and CWI producing the lowest decline in performance compared to passive/active recovery strategies. However, Juliff et al. [17] reported no significant differences on performance between the three recovery conditions (passive, CWT, and contrast showers). Yet, Elias et al. [11] reported that CWT restored physical performance measures more effectively than passive recovery but less effectively than CWI. ...
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Contrast therapy is the alternation of thermotherapy and cryotherapy. Commonly used modalities of contrast therapy include contrast water therapy (CWT) and cold/hot packs. Despite a lack of research, it is widely used in clinical and sporting settings, particularly to aid recovery. The scoping review aims to provide a comprehensive overview of research surrounding the use of contrast therapy for soft tissue injury management and recovery. Twenty-nine full text papers were included, following a search of the databases listed: PubMed, Cochrane, SPORTDiscus, EBSCO, CINHAL and MEDLINE (via OVID). The majority of research on contrast therapy focuses on recovery, using contrast water therapy. Despite a consensus for contrast therapy temperatures of 10-15 °C (cold) and 38-40 °C (hot), significant variation amongst recovery protocols still exists, with temperatures ranging from 8-15 °C and 35.5-45 °C and duration ranging from 6 to 31 min. Generally, beneficial effects are reported to subjective measures such as self-reported perception of recovery, fatigue and muscle soreness following contrast therapy. However, the evidence is less clear regarding the influence on physiological measures and performance. Contrast therapy appears to be most commonly used in the form of contrast water therapy for post-exercise recovery purposes. There remains a significant lack of research surrounding the efficacy of contrast therapy for soft tissue injury management and the use of alternative modalities.
... Although exercise under extreme conditions is a major field of exercise physiology enhancing theoretical knowledge for exercise physiologists and practical applications for strength and conditioning coaches, surprisingly a few studies have been conducted on prolonged swimming in cold water so far (18)(19)(20)34). On the other hand, a large body of literature has examined acute responses to short-term exposure to cold water in the context of postexercise recovery or preexercise strategy to enhance performance (1,8,11,16,18,28,31,33,36). Swimming 1 mile in cold water decreases both base excess and HCO 3 2 and increases lactate concentration. ...
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‘Ice Mile’ swimming (i.e. 1,608m in water of below 5°C) is becoming increasingly popular. Since the foundation of the International Ice Swimming Association (IISA) in 2009, official races are held as World Cup Races and World Championships. Ice swimming was a demonstration sport at the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia. This case study aimed to identify body core temperature and selected haematological and biochemical parameters before and after repeated ‘Ice Miles’. An experienced ice swimmer completed six consecutive ‘Ice Miles’ within two days. Swim times, and changes in body core temperatures, and selected urinary and haematological parameters were recorded. The athlete showed after each ‘Ice Mile’ a metabolic acidosis (i.e. increase in lactate and TCO2; decrease in base excess and HCO3−) and an increase in blood glucose, cortisol and creatine kinase concentration. The decrease in pH correlated significantly and negatively with the increase in cortisol level, indicating that this intense exercise causes a metabolic stress. The change in body core temperature between start and finish was negatively associated with metabolic acidosis. The increase in creatine kinase suggests a skeletal muscle damages due to shivering after an ‘Ice Mile’. For athletes and coaches, swimming in cold water during ‘Ice Miles’ leads to a metabolic acidosis which the swimmer tried to compensate with a respiratory response. Considering the increasing popularity of ice swimming, the findings have practical value for swimmers and practitioners (e.g. coaches, exercise physiologists, and physicians) working with them as our results provide a detailed description of acute physiological responses to repeated swimming in cold conditions. These findings are of importance for athletes and coaches for National Championships and World Championships in Ice Swimming following the IISA rules. Key words: cold water; aquatic sports; hypothermia; thermal stress
... This is most likely because CWT produced significantly reduced perceptions of muscle soreness and TQR ratings at 1 h in comparison to CONT (TQR only) and ACT. Similar findings have been reported with CWT producing better perceptual recovery following anaerobic exercise in comparison to ACT and CONT recovery strategies for state-level athletes [32], and CWT producing superior perceptual benefits of recovery in elite netball athletes following a fatiguing netball circuit in comparison to CONT [33]. Another previous study reported reduced perceptions of recovery 48 h post CWT in comparison to COLD [20], although this study utilised elite athletes. ...
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Background Despite debate regarding their effectiveness, many different post-exercise recovery strategies are used by athletes. This study compared five post-exercise recovery strategies (cold water immersion, contrast water immersion, active recovery, a combined cold water immersion and active recovery and a control condition) to determine which is most effective for subsequent short-term performance and perceived recovery. Methods Thirty-four recreationally active males undertook a simulated team-game fatiguing circuit followed by the above recovery strategies (randomized, 1 per week). Prior to the fatiguing exercise, and at 1, 24 and 48 h post-exercise, perceptual, flexibility and performance measures were assessed. Results Contrast water immersion significantly enhanced perceptual recovery 1 h after fatiguing exercise in comparison to active and control recovery strategies. Cold water immersion and the combined recovery produced detrimental jump power performance at 1 h compared to the control and active recovery strategies. No recovery strategy was different to the control at 24 and 48 h for either perceptual or performance variables. Conclusion For short term perceptual recovery, contrast water therapy should be implemented and for short-term countermovement power performance an active or control recovery is desirable. At 24 and 48 h, no superior recovery strategy was detected. Trial registration Retrospectively registered; ISRCTN14415088; 5/11/2017.
Context: Although active recovery (AR) and cold application is recommended, many people take a shower after exercise. Therefore, a direct comparison between a shower and other recommended methods (AR and/or cold-water immersion) is necessary. To compare immediate effects of 4 postexercise cooldown strategies after running. Design: A crossover design. Methods: Seventeen young, healthy males (23 y; 174 cm; 73 kg) visited on 4 different days and performed a 10-minute intense treadmill run (5 km/h at a 1% incline, then a belt speed of 1 km/h, and an incline of 0.5% were increased every minute). Then, subjects randomly experienced 4 different 30-minute cooldown strategies each session-AR (10-min treadmill walk + 10-min static stretch + 10-min shower), cold-water walk (10-min shower + 20-min walk in cold water), cold-water sit (10-min shower + 20-min sit in cold water), and passive recovery (10-min shower + 20-min passive recovery). Across the cooldown conditions, the water temperatures for immersion and shower were set as 18 °C and 25 °C, respectively. Lower-leg muscle temperature, blood lactate concentration, and fatigue perception were statistically compared (P < .001 for all tests) and effect sizes (ES) were calculated. Results: The cold-water walk condition (F135,2928 = 69.29, P < .0001) was the most effective in reducing muscle temperature after running (-11.6 °C, ES = 9.46, P < .0001), followed by the cold-water sit (-8.4 °C, ES = 8.61, P < .0001), passive recovery (-4.5 °C, ES = 4.36, P < .0001), and AR (-4.0 °C, ES = 4.29, P < .0001) conditions. Blood lactate concentration (F6,176 = 0.86, P = .52) and fatigue perception (F6,176 = 0.18, P = .98) did not differ among the 4 conditions. Conclusions: While the effect of lowering the lower-leg temperature was different, the effect of reducing blood lactate concentration and fatigue perception were similar in the 4 cooldown strategies. We suggest selecting the appropriate method while considering the specific goal, available time, facility, and accessibility.
The article presents the most significant literature data on the influence of hardening of a person on the possibilities of adaptive reactions of the body to low ambient temperatures. The most important functions of temperature receptors as an afferent link in the transmission of information, its correct processing and an adequate response of the body to the action of unfavorable environmental factors are shown. The review considers the main physiological reactions of the body to short-term and long-term exposure to cold. The processes of metabolic, vegetative, hormonal changes that help a person to adapt in terms of professional activity and living in harsh climatic conditions are described. The main principles of the hardening and training influence of environmental factors on a person are highlighted. The analysis of the literature data on the methods and methods of training the body’s resistance in case of its various dysfunctions in cold conditions is given. The positive effect of cold on the human body was studied. The article analyzes modern health-improving and cold training technologies. Methods are presented that combine cold training procedures with the use of drugs and physical exercises for faster and more effective adaptation to low temperatures.
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Water immersion is increasingly being used by elite athletes seeking to minimize fatigue and accelerate post-exercise recovery. Accelerated short-term (hours to days) recovery may improve competition performance, allow greater training loads or enhance the effect of a given training load. However, the optimal water immersion protocols to assist short-term recovery of performance still remain unclear. This article will review the water immersion recovery protocols investigated in the literature, their effects on performance recovery, briefly outline the potential mechanisms involved and provide practical recommendations for their use by athletes. For the purposes of this review, water immersion has been divided into four techniques according to water temperature: cold water immersion (CWI; ≤20 °C), hot water immersion (HWI; ≥36 °C), contrast water therapy (CWT; alternating CWI and HWI) and thermoneutral water immersion (TWI; >20 to
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The aim of this systematic review was to examine the effect of Contrast Water Therapy (CWT) on recovery following exercise induced muscle damage. Controlled trials were identified from computerized literature searching and citation tracking performed up to February 2013. Eighteen trials met the inclusion criteria; all had a high risk of bias. Pooled data from 13 studies showed that CWT resulted in significantly greater improvements in muscle soreness at the five follow-up time points (<6, 24, 48, 72 and 96 hours) in comparison to passive recovery. Pooled data also showed that CWT significantly reduced muscle strength loss at each follow-up time (<6, 24, 48, 72 and 96 hours) in comparison to passive recovery. Despite comparing CWT to a large number of other recovery interventions, including cold water immersion, warm water immersion, compression, active recovery and stretching, there was little evidence for a superior treatment intervention. The current evidence base shows that CWT is superior to using passive recovery or rest after exercise; the magnitudes of these effects may be most relevant to an elite sporting population. There seems to be little difference in recovery outcome between CWT and other popular recovery interventions.
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Despite lacking clear scientific evidence, hydrotherapies (water treatments) are accepted techniques to help team sport athletes recover from the physical effects of games. The purpose of this study was to assess the comparative effectiveness of cold water immersions and hot-and-cold contrast baths on athletes' recovery following a simulated game of rugby union. Twenty-four experienced, well trained, male rugby union players were divided into three groups to receive recovery interventions: cold water immersion for one group, contrast baths for a second group, and passive recovery for a third (control) group. Pre- and post-game measurements included a counter-movement jump (CMJ, normalised as a ratio to body weight), a sit-and-stretch flexibility test (cm), thigh circumference (to detect swelling; cm), as well as participants' perception of delayed-onset muscular soreness (DOMS, 100mm visual analogue scale). Statistical analysis included analysis of variance, as well as the calculation of omnibus effect sizes for each group (ηp2) and the magnitudes of change within and between groups (Cohen's d). Participants in the contrast baths group reported statistically significantly greater measures of DOMS than participants in the control group at one hour post intervention (p=0.05, control group d = 1.80; contrast bath d = 4.75), and than participants in the cold water immersion group at 48 hours post intervention (p=0.02, cold water immersion d = 1.17; contrast bath d = 1.97). These findings provide modest evidence that contrast baths are a less effective strategy for recovery from rugby union than are cold water immersion or passive recovery. Specifically, 2 × 5-minute cold water immersion is superior to both contrasts baths and passive recovery in alleviating DOMS after exercise-induced muscle damage. Our recommendation for rugby union players aiming to attenuate the effects of DOMS post games is to take 2 × 5 minute cold water immersions baths immediately after the game.
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Objectives. The aim of this review was to investigate whether alternating hot – cold water treatment is a legitimate training tool for enhancing athlete recovery. A number of mechanisms are discussed to justify its merits and future research directions are reported. Alternating hot– cold water treatment has been used in the clinical setting to assist in acute sporting injuries and rehabilitation purposes. However, there is overwhelming anecdotal evidence for it's inclusion as a method for post exercise recovery. Many coaches, athletes and trainers are using alternating hot – cold water treatment as a means for post exercise recovery. Design. A literature search was performed using SportDiscus, Medline and Web of Science using the key words recovery, muscle fatigue, cryotherapy, thermotherapy, hydrotherapy, contrast water immersion and training. Results. The physiologic effects of hot – cold water contrast baths for injury treatment have been well documented, but its physiological rationale for enhancing recovery is less known. Most experimental evidence suggests that hot– cold water immersion helps to reduce injury in the acute stages of injury, through vasodilation and vasoconstriction thereby stimulating blood flow thus reducing swelling. This shunting action of the blood caused by vasodilation and vasoconstriction may be one of the mechanisms to removing metabolites, repairing the exercised muscle and slowing the metabolic process down. Conclusion. To date there are very few studies that have focussed on the effectiveness of hot– cold water immersion for post exercise treatment. More research is needed before conclusions can be drawn on whether alternating hot– cold water immersion improves recuperation and influences the physiological changes that characterises post exercise recovery.
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To investigate whether contrast water therapy (CWT) assists acute recovery from high-intensity running and whether a dose-response relationship exists. Ten trained male runners completed 4 trials, each commencing with a 3000-m time trial, followed by 8 × 400-m intervals with 1 min of recovery. Ten minutes postexercise, participants performed 1 of 4 recovery protocols: CWT, by alternating 1 min hot (38°C) and 1 min cold (15°C) for 6 (CWT6), 12 (CWT12), or 18 min (CWT18), or a seated rest control trial. The 3000-m time trial was repeated 2 h later. 3000-m performance slowed from 632 ± 4 to 647 ± 4 s in control, 631 ± 4 to 642 ± 4 s in CWT6, 633 ± 4 to 648 ± 4 s in CWT12, and 631 ± 4 to 647 ± 4 s in CWT18. Following CWT6, performance (smallest worthwhile change of 0.3%) was substantially faster than control (87% probability, 0.8 ± 0.8% mean ± 90% confidence limit), however, there was no effect for CWT12 (34%, 0.0 ± 1.0%) or CWT18 (34%, -0.1 ± 0.8%). There were no substantial differences between conditions in exercise heart rates, or postexercise calf and thigh girths. Algometer thigh pain threshold during CWT12 was higher at all time points compared with control. Subjective measures of thermal sensation and muscle soreness were lower in all CWT conditions at some post-water-immersion time points compared with control; however, there were no consistent differences in whole body fatigue following CWT. Contrast water therapy for 6 min assisted acute recovery from high-intensity running; however, CWT duration did not have a dose-response effect on recovery of running performance.
Purpose: To assess the efficacy of a 1-off electrostimulation treatment as a recovery modality from acute team-sport exercise, directly comparing the benefits to contrast water therapy. Methods: Ten moderately trained male athletes completed a simulated team-game circuit (STGC). At the conclusion of exercise, participants then completed a 30-min recovery modality of either electrostimulation therapy (EST), contrast water therapy (CWT), or a passive resting control condition (CON). Twenty-four hours later, participants were required to complete a modified STGC as a measure of next-day performance. Venous blood samples were collected preexercise and 3 and 24 h postexercise. Blood samples were analyzed for circulating levels of interleukin-6 (IL-6) and C-reactive protein (CRP). Results: The EST trial resulted in significantly faster sprint times during the 24-h postrecovery than with CON (P < .05), with no significant differences recorded between EST and CWT or between CWT and CON (P > .05). There were no differences in IL-6 or CRP across all trials. Finally, the perception of recovery was significantly greater in the EST trial than in the CWT and CON (P < .05). Conclusions: These results suggest that a 1-off treatment with EST may be beneficial to perceptual recovery, which may enhance next-day performance.
This study investigated the relative efficacy of post-game recovery modalities on jump height performance, subjective ratings of muscle soreness and muscle damage at 1, 18, and 42 hours following professional rugby league competition games. Twenty-one professional rugby league players performed three different post-match recovery modalities; cold water immersion (CWI), contrast water therapy (CWT) and active recovery (ACT)). The effects of the recovery treatments were analyzed with mixed modeling including a covariate (fatigue score) to adjust for changes in the intensity of each match on the post-match values of the dependent variables of interest. Standardization of effects was used to make magnitude-based inferences, presented as mean; ±90% confidence intervals. CWI and CWT clearly recovered jump height performance (CWI 2.3; ±3.7%, CWT 3.5%; ±4.1%), reduced muscle soreness (CWI -0.95; ±0.37, CWT -0.55; ±0.37), and decreased creatine kinase (CWI -11.0; ±15.1%, CWT 18.2; ±20.1% ) by 42 hours post-game compared to ACT. CWT was however clearly more effective compared to CWI on the recovery of muscle soreness and creatine kinase by 42 hours post game. Based on these findings, CWT recovery is recommended post-match for team rugby sports.
This study investigated the effect of a backward training programme on the speed, agility and power of well-trained netball players. Seventeen women club netball players (aged 19 – 20 years) were divided into an experimental (n=10) and a control group (n=7) and participated in a six-week backward (BW) and forward (FW) training programme after the competitive season. Before and after the intervention, all the subjects completed the following tests: agility-505 test, agility-T, ladder-test, sprint test (5, 10 and 20 meters) and a vertical jump test. The experimental group showed a statistically significant improvement in the agility-505 test, both for the right leg (p=0.03) and left leg (p=0.03), the agility-T test (p=0.01), as well as the ladder-test (p=0.001). No statistically significant differences were found between the experimental and control groups with regards to straight-line speed and leg power. Although it is not uncommon for coaches to include backward running exercises in the conditioning programmes of team sport players, the actual value of this type of training may have been underestimated in the past. Our findings suggest that netball specific exercises, performed backwards, can be successfully included in the conditioning and skills training programmes of team sport players.