Athletes who practice various sports utilize float therapy for its wide range of benefits. Not only can floating tanks help with recuperation after an intense competition, but float sessions can also assist with quicker recovery between training sessions, so you can get back to lifting, drilling and scrimmaging at a faster pace. In addition, floating regularly can help boost focus – especially if you are experiencing difficulties from concussions – and visualization tactics to improve your sports performance.
Floatation Therapy Benefits for Athletes
Sports hobbyists and professional athletes alike look to floatation for its many mind-body advantages. In fact, promising sports performance requires a mix of wellness rituals to keep the body in shape and healthy – especially the joints and muscles, which are subject to injury and wear and tear over time, if not properly maintained. Some of the advantages of float therapy for athletes include:
- To reduce lactic acid: This is one of the many benefits of an Epsom salt-filled tank, which is infused with magnesium sulfate. The zero gravity component of floating also works to lower lactic acid levels in the blood.
- Quicker training recovery: The act of lactic acid reduction can speed up the body’s recovery between workouts, which provides a more efficient training experience. Additionally, floating tanks reduce tension in the body, which assists with injury prevention.
- To boost focus: Salt water therapy in a float tank can allow you to detach from scattered thoughts, and instead, improve your focus and visualization strategies to prepare for future competitions. Strengthening your concentration is also one of the main benefits experienced during meditation, which is a common goal of athletic floaters, thanks to the refuge of the float pod.
- Injury recovery: The weightless relaxation takes the pressure off your body, while the Epsom salt goes to work build protein in your joints and rejuvenate sore muscles. The salt therapy can also provide a natural pain reliever in the form of endorphins, and the enriched waters may have the ability to heal injuries up to twice as fast.
- Sounder sleep: Regular float center visits can help athletes disconnect from the pressure of sports performance and achieve a more relaxed state to gain the rest needed for proper athletic recovery. In fact, a float session can allow your body to physically rest up to four times faster than sleeping in a bed.
- To relieve stress: Floatation is known to reduce stress hormones, like cortisol (which is released during exercise), and can help with calming both the mind and body.
Types of Athletes Who Turn to Floatation
Integrating float spa visits is a growing trend among various athletes today. Thanks to its many benefits, from pre-game visualization to post-game recovery, float therapy wellness centers are frequented by professional mainstream sports athletes (including Team8 athletes and Olympians), runners, golfers, CrossFitters, tennis players, gymnasts, MMA fighters, and even swimmers. In fact, there are many famous athletes who commend floating – many of whom own their own tanks. Ten famous athletes who use floatation therapy regularly include:
- Steph Curry: The six-time NBA All-Star and MVP loves floating so much he discussed it on ESPN and even published a video about how he uses the benefits of floating to train the mind.
- Tom Brady: This famed, six-time Super Bowl Champion and New England Patriots quarterback owns a float tank. (When you visit Float8’s Fort Lauderdale location, you can book a float in the same orb that Brady owns.)
- Michael Phelps: The most decorated Olympic athlete of all-time has a sensory deprivation tank, which helps him meditate, relax and achieve inner peace.
- Wayne Rooney: Manchester United’s third-highest paid soccer player has a floating tank at home and spends up to 10 hours a week to relax and quickly recover from injuries.
- Phillips Idowu: The Silver Medalist in the 2008 Beijing Olympics, this British Triple Jumper ranked No. 1 in the world in 2008, and used weekly floatation therapy to help with back injury recovery.
- JJ Watt: The Houston Texans defensive end and three-time NFL Defensive Player of the Year owns a float tank and endorses it for its life-changing benefits.
- Jon Olsson: The Swedish freeskier and alpine ski racer, as well as nine-time Winter X Games medalist, says floatation tank visits help him stay on top of his game.
- Carl Lewis: Arguably the greatest track and field athlete in history, Lewis reportedly used in-tank visualization techniques in preparation for his gold medal-winning long jump performance at the 1988 Seoul Olympics.
- Pat Healy: This MMA fighter credits floating for both pre-match relaxation and match-day victories.
- Lennox Lewis: The boxing Hall of Famer praises the benefits of Epsom salt, while in the tank, for recovery.
Float Therapy & Additional Athletic Recovery Methods
At Float8 Wellness Lounge, we recommend athletes visit a float center once per week, with increased appointments scheduled before and after major competitions, as well as part of an injury recovery plan. However, floatation is not the only wellness therapy you should utilize to assist with both sports performance and recovery. Enhance your overall well-being with additional progressive practices, including:
- Cryotherapy – This ice bath alternative sends energy to the muscles, reduces inflammation, decreases blood flow to extremities, speeds up recovery from soft-tissue injuries and more.
- Infrared saunas – Like float therapy, this practice can also speed up muscle recovery – especially after taxing training sessions.
- Yoga – Stretching not only lowers your risk of injury, but can also help you reduce tension and meditate.
- CBD massage – Studies show that cannabis-derived CBD, short for cannabidiol, is an anti-inflammatory, and when coupled with massage therapy, may relieve pain and muscle soreness, as well as provide deep relaxation.