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Table 2 Number of total responses and the popular response themes from free text answers for the perceived effectiveness of five recovery strategies

From: Team sport athletes’ perceptions and use of recovery strategies: a mixed-methods survey study

  Active, land-based recovery (ALB) Active, water-based recovery (AWB) Stretching (STR) Cold water immersion (CWI) Contrast water therapy (CWT)
Physical Benefit N = 23 Improves range of movement (8) Loosens (4) Reduces injury (4) N = 41 Improves range of movement (13) Less stress/strain on body (8) Non weight bearing (6) N = 80 Improves range of movement (25) Reduces tightness (23) Loosens (20) N = 5 Reduces tightness (2) N = 2 Reduces stiffness (2)
Physiological benefit N = 18 Warm/cool down (9) Removes lactic acid (3) Blood flow (3) N = 29 Cools (11) Blood flow (7) Pressure (4) N = 23 Blood flow (7) Removes lactic acid (3) Heals muscles (3) N = 35 Reduces swelling/inflammation (16) Cools (11) Removes lactic acid (4) N = 14 Cools (6) Blood flow (3) Reduces swelling/inflammation (3)
Psychological benefit N = 19 Decreases soreness (8) Relax (7) Unwind (4) N = 44 Relax (23) Decreases soreness (10) Freshens (9) N = 51 Decreases soreness (23) Relax (21) Feel better (4) N = 41 Relax (15) Decreases soreness (11) Feels good (10) N = 23 Decreases soreness (9) Relax (6) Feel better (4)
General/unspecified benefit N = 10 It works (3) N = 16 Helps recovery (3) Relatively effective/helpful (2) N = 22 Helps recovery (10) N = 21 Helps recovery (13) Speeds recovery (4) Limited facilities (2) N = 13 Helps recovery (7) Speeds recovery (3)
Sceptical/unsure/neutral N = 13 Don’t feel better (5) Don’t know (3) Sceptical if it works (2) N = 3 Other recoveries better (1) Don’t feel better (1) Don’t know (1) N = 5 Don’t feel better (2) N = 4 Don’t know (2) Don’t feel better (1) Am not convinced of the science of it (1) N = 1 Don’t feel better (1)
Did not answer N = 71 N = 29 N =38 N =31 N = 22