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Recovery strategies in sport and exercise
Recovery strategies in sport and exercise

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4 Recovery strategies: what’s the evidence?

Examining the research evidence is a vital step in investigating and evaluating any topic. In relation to recovery, research evidence helps us to critically evaluate how effective and appropriate recovery strategies are.

Research examining the impact of recovery on sports performance has been around for many years. A literature search on the topic indicates that articles have been published on the topic for several decades. Interest in different recovery strategies has evolved over the years. Interest in cryotherapy as a recovery strategy began around the 1970s, whilst research on both massage and compression garments as recovery strategies did not emerge until around the 1980s.

An article written by Barnett (2006), which reviewed the research examining the effectiveness of various recovery strategies, concluded that there was no substantial evidence to support the use of the recovery strategies, however, some research has suggested benefits. For example, Hill et al. (2014) after analysing 12 studies, concluded that compression clothing can enhance recovery.

Having looked at some of the research examining recovery we now move on to considering what we want or need to know about recovery.