The process of recovery after a football match

Athletes arrive at the club in the morning and consume protein (whey) and fruit shakes (healthy sugars) just before the active part of the training. Afterwards, they move on to the first part of the training – active rest, where cycling for 20-40 minutes (60-70% VO2max) is highly recommended. They can also use a stair climber. The main idea is to increase metabolism in damaged muscles and thereby accelerate the recovery process. Research shows that running exercises are not a good way to recover fast-twitch muscle fibers because they unnecessarily worsen the muscles with impact forces.

After active rest, athletes go to the wellness area within the club. First, recovery is individual for each athlete and varies depending on the playing time. Now, passive recovery begins, where athletes first go to the sauna (controlled/low heat) to dilate blood vessels and open up the muscles to be ready for the next phase of recovery. The next phase is massage (using soap is recommended) because soap is ideal for opening pores for the skin to breathe. Oxygen enters through the skin, making this principle important for massage.

After that, the recommendation is a cold pool, where usually only the legs (up to the hips) are targeted. This is done to constrict blood vessels again to remove lactic acid from them. Then follows the part with compression clothing (this way, we stimulate venous circulation to return to the heart and oxygenate). The last phase of passive recovery always ends with a cold part – cryotherapy, or cryosauna – the temperature is lowered to 0 for the first minute. Over the next few hours, the temperature returns to normal, and thus, over several hours, we act on the regeneration of the whole body (this procedure lasts 1-3 minutes in the cryosauna at -150 degrees).