UK Rugby giants Sale Sharks on Cryotherapy

For the star-studded line up of the Sale Sharks, recovery, peak performance and optimal match fitness are top priority. As one of Europe’s leading pro Rugby Union teams, the club consults with the best of the best in performance management.

The club boasts multiple trophies including two European Challenge cup titles and a 2006 premiership win. Big name players such as TJ Leone and Johnny Leota are among the elite athletes of the Sale Sharks.

Not unlike Australia’s NRL, with each new Union season comes greater challenges as the game is becoming harder and faster. Athletes push their bodies and fitness levels to places beyond their limits. Immense strain is placed on their bodies during matches and training sessions.

Sale Sharks performance Manager Adam Grainger gave USN a unique and interesting run down on the club’s intensive preparation regime.

Tools utilised for accelerated recovery between games, many of which are only one week between, include swim active recovery sessions, strict nutritional intervention and recovery drinks, firefly electrical stimulation devices, compression garments and cryotherapy; all scheduled between regular weights and rugby sessions to ensure optimal match fitness for the following week’s play.

Players have reported cryotherapy treatment has proved its benefits. The club has utilised the technology as its recovery ‘secret weapon’ since 2013. Player Michael Paterson commented that the recovery is a lot faster and the speed in which they get into the gym and out to training has improved overall.

Adam Grainger says the players are positive about the effective results of the treatment, they have reported that they’re sleeping better, they feel more refreshed and energised and they’re able to train to a maximum more.

So impressed with cryotherapy was former Sharks player Phil Mackenzie, that he and a business partner secured funding from the dragon’s den to supply a cryogenic unit to Canadian sports clubs and facilities.

The non-invasive therapy entails bursts of extremely cold air less than -120°C to the exterior of your body. This practice evokes physiological reactions to the cold that prompt recovery and healing. The long list of benefits to sports people include improved muscle and joint function, the soothing and elimination of pain, increased blood circulation, chronic pain and injury recovery and joint recovery.

Whatever their secret weapons, the Sharks remain top contenders in their profession and the use of cryotherapy to optimise their recovery and performance is here to stay.

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