Original Article

Effects of Cool-Down Exercise and Cold-Water Immersion Therapy on Basic Fitness and Sport-Specific Skills among Korean College Soccer Players


Background: We aimed to examine the effects of cool-down exercise and cold-water immersion therapy on agility, speed, power, balance, and sport-specific skill performance in college soccer players, and to provide baseline data for the development of effective recovery programs.

Methods: In August 2020, 21 male college soccer players in Seoul, Korea, were randomly divided into the following groups: control group (CG, n=7), cool-down exercise group (CDG, n=7), and cool-down exercise plus cold-water immersion group (CDCWG, n=7). Agility, speed, power, balance, and sport-specific skill performance were assessed before and after the intervention.

Results: No significant differences in Southeast Missouri (SEMO) Agility Test, 20-m sprint test, vertical jump test, or Y-balance test (right) were observed among the groups; however, there was a significant effect of time (P<0.05) and a significant time × group interaction (P<0.05). Significant effects of time (P<0.001), group (P=0.043), and a time × group interaction (P=0.009) were observed in the Y-balance test (left). There were no between-group differences in the 22-m dribble test, shooting test (left), or shooting test (right); however, there were significant effects of time (P<0.05) and significant time × group interactions (P<0.05). No significant effects of group or time × group interactions were observed for the kicking test (left or right); however, there were significant effects of time (P<0.001).

Conclusion: Addition of cold-water immersion therapy to a recovery program including cool-down exercise can promote recovery of basic and sport-specific abilities among college soccer players.

1. Abaïdia AE, Lamblin J, Delecroix B, et al (2017). Recovery from exercise-induced muscle damage: Cold-water immersion versus whole-body cryotherapy. Int J Sports Physiol Perform, 12(3): 402-9.
2. Afsharnezhad T, Faghihi S, Hazrati A, et al (2017). The effects of cold-water immer-sion on anaerobic power, dynamic bal-ance and muscle activation after a karate kumite fighting in female karateka. Int J Appl Exerc Physiol, 6(3): 72-9.
3. American College of Sports Medicine (2021). ACSM's resource manual for guidelines for exercise testing and prescription, 11th edition. Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Philadel-phia, United States.
4. Bailey DM, Erith SJ, Griffin PJ, et al (2007). Influence of cold-water immersion on indices of muscle damage following pro-longed intermittent shuttle running. J Sports Sci, 25(11): 1163-70.
5. Best TM, Hunter R, Wilcox A, et al (2008). Effectiveness of sports massage for re-covery of skeletal muscle from strenuous exercise. Clin J Sport Med, 18(5): 446-60.
6. Çakır E, Şenel Ö (2017). Effect of cold-water immersion on performance. Eur J Phys Ed Sport Sci, 3(12): 419-28.
7. Cheng CF, Hsu WC, Lee CL, et al (2010). Effects of the different frequencies of whole-body vibration during the recovery phase after exhaustive exercise. J Sports Med Phys Fitness, 50(4): 407-15.
8. Clarkson PM, Hubal MJ (2002). Exercise-induced muscle damage in humans. Am J Phys Med, 81(11): S52-69.
9. Delextrat A, Calleja-González J, Hippocrate A, et al (2013). Effects of sports massage and intermittent cold-water immersion on recovery from matches by basketball players. J Sports Sci, 31(1): 11-9.
10. Devlin J, Paton B, Poole L, et al (2014). Blood lactate clearance after maximal ex-ercise depends on active recovery intensi-ty. J Sports Med Phys Fitness, 54(3): 271-8.
11. Gibson H, Edwards RHT (1985). Muscular exercise and fatigue. Sports Med, 2(2): 120-32.
12. Gladden LB (2004). Lactate metabolism: a new paradigm for the third millennium. J Physiol, 558(1): 5-30.
13. Hayter KJ, Doma K, Schumann M, et al (2016). The comparison of cold-water immersion and cold air therapy on max-imal cycling performance and recovery markers following strength exercises. PeerJ, 4: e1841.
14. Hoff J, Helgerud J (2004). Endurance and strength training for soccer players. Sports Med, 34(3): 165-80.
15. Ihsan M, Watson G, Abbiss CR (2016). What are the physiological mechanisms for post-exercise cold-water immersion in the recovery from prolonged endur-ance and intermittent exercise? Sports Med, 46(8): 1095-109.
16. Ispirlidis I, Fatouros IG, Jamurtas AZ, et a. (2008). Time-course of changes in in-flammatory and performance responses following a soccer game. Clin J Sport Med, 18(5): 423-31.
17. Kraemer R, Knobloch K (2009). A soccer-specific balance training program for hamstring muscle and patellar and Achil-les tendon injuries: an intervention study in premier league female soccer. Am J Sports Med, 37(7): 1384-93.
18. Lindsay A. Carr S, Cross S, et al (2017). The physiological response to cold-water im-mersion following a mixed martial arts training session. Appl Physiol Nutr Metab, 42(5): 529-36.
19. Machado AF, Ferreira PH, Micheletti JK, et al (2016). Can water temperature and immersion time influence the effect of cold-water immersion on muscle sore-ness? A systematic review and meta-analysis. Sports Med, 46(4): 503-14.
20. Marquet LA, Hausswirth C, Hays A, et al (2015). Comparison of between-training-sessions recovery strategies for worldclass BMX pilots. Int J Sports Physiol Perform, 10(2): 219-23.
21. Mawhinney C, Jones H, Joo CH, et al (2013). Influence of cold-water immer-sion on limb and cutaneous blood flow after exercise. Med Sci Sports Exerc, 45(12): 2277-85.
22. Mohr M, Krustrup P, Bangsbo J (2005). Fa-tigue in soccer: a brief review. J Sports Sci, 23(6): 593-9.
23. Powden CJ, Dodds TK, Gabriel EH (2019). The reliability of the stat excursion bal-ance test and lower quartet Y-balance test in healthy adults: a systematic review. Int J Sports Phys Ther, 14(5): 683-94.
24. Sánchez–Ureña B, Martínez–Guardado I, Crespo C, et al (2017). The use of con-tinuous vs. intermittent cold-water im-mersion as a recovery method in basket-ball players after training: a randomized controlled trial. Phys Sportsmed, 45(2): 134-9.
25. Stølen T, Chamari K, Castagna C, et al (2005). Physiology of soccer: an update. Sports Med, 35(6): 501-36.
26. Sutkowy P, Woźniak A, Boraczyński T, et al (2015). Postexercise impact of ice-cold-water bath on the oxidant-antioxidant balance in healthy men. Biomed Res Int, 2015:706141.
27. Tomlin DL, Wenger HA (2001). The rela-tionship between aerobic fitness and re-covery from high intensity intermittent exercise. Sports Med, 31(1): 1-11.
IssueVol 50 No 11 (2021) QRcode
SectionOriginal Article(s)
DOI https://doi.org/10.18502/ijph.v50i11.7575
Cool-down exercise Cold-water immersion Physical fitness Soccer Muscle fatigue

Rights and permissions
Creative Commons License This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.
How to Cite
Lee Y-H, Yoon JH, Song K-J, Oh J-K. Effects of Cool-Down Exercise and Cold-Water Immersion Therapy on Basic Fitness and Sport-Specific Skills among Korean College Soccer Players. Iran J Public Health. 2021;50(11):2211-2218.