The sauna usually strikes fear into the heart of any combat athlete at the mere mention of its name. This is a place of misery and suffering. Convincing them to step back in is a real struggle. However usage of heat therapy seems to be a nearly universal human tradition, from most well know swedish/finnish sauna (never tell either the other invented it) to Japanese Onsen, Korean JimJilbang, Roman and Turkish Baths and Russian Banya.
The sauna or steam room produces a very mild sympathetic stimulus and this is why subsequent cooling is so important a part of the process also.
Its interesting to note that traditional warrior cultures were also some of greatest bath house cultures. Some sort of secret to recovery? Now before we make an appeal to the ancients there is some good science under pinning the usage of sauna’s and heat therapy.
Benefits of using saunas for grapplers include:
Dan Gable endorses their use and when Dan Gable tells you to do something you do it! “Theres getting to be science!” We suggest the usage of sauna during hardest training cycles.
Here is a routine adapted from Joel Jamieson. Only difference is that we’ve added a short steam into the mix, as we find it helps breathing and evidence suggests it also has similar but slightly different benefits to sauna.
Dry yourself completely off, lay down and relax for 5-10 minutes.
The more experienced you are the longer you could potentially stay. This comes with a warning be prudent when making use of the sauna or steamroom build familiarity first, everyone’s response to heat stress is different.
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