In Hull FC’s most recent Elite Performance Blog, Paul Hatton discusses the role that Jacuzzi Tubs have played in the recovery, training and wellbeing of Hull FC squad members, as well as touching on the challenges that the club overcame during the COVID-19 restriction period.
“The biggest thing about the Jacuzzi hot tub for me is that it is not only for recovery, but it’s also about the feeling of wellbeing. It’s that feeling of being able to sit there for half an hour and just relax – it’s second to none. You also get the added advantage of the hydromassage jets and the relaxation of hot water on the muscles. From a mental wellbeing side, it’s a phenomenal tool.”
“A lot of people ask what we use the Jacuzzi hot tub for and the answer tends to vary depending on what kind of training session the players have had. If they had a long pre-season session, we would use a contrast where the players get into an ice bath and then into the hot tub, swapping back and forth numerous times. There is a lot of research going into contrast bathing in the present day, which is something we can use to help the nervous system relax.”
“Gareth Ellis is probably the prime example I would use. He was still playing last year, right up to his late 30s. Because of his age compared to others in the squad, he would genuinely benefit from spending half an hour in the hot tub as opposed to being out on the training field and putting his body under additional strain that he’d then struggle to recover properly from. That isn’t just all he would do every day, by the way! He had several massages that he had to do, which would let his muscle tissue relax, as well as his mind.”
“Players at other clubs use health spas for their recovery sessions, but the really great thing for us at Hull FC is that we have the Jacuzzi hot tub on site. The second we finish training, we are straight into recovery mode. The mobile devices, hot tub and ice baths we have are all on site and play a major role in our recovery sessions.”
Jamie Shaul suffered a horrific ACL injury back in 2020, thus the hot tub was used as an important tool during the entire recovery process.
“We can also control what chemical we use in the water, which is something you don’t get at a health spa; we don’t use chlorine because it’s not something that the body typically encounters and can potentially be stressful. We are in a very fortunate position where we have got an immense piece of equipment that we can control, even down to when we replace the water. I don’t know what the protocols are at other health clubs, but we’re in the position where as soon as the players are finished, we can empty to hot tub, fill it back up and it’s clean and ready to go again the next day.”
“Towards the end of last year and at the start of 2021, players weren’t allowed to mix in the hot tub due to COVID-19 restrictions. Because of this, we had prioritise things and Jamie Shaul was singled out as the sole user of the hot tub to aid with his recovery from an anterior cruciate ligament injury he suffered at the back end of last season.”
“I think the important thing for Jamie is that the Hot Tub has allowed him to get into recovery straight away, allowing us to then push him again the next day. If we didn’t have that piece of equipment, would we have that same level of progression we have already had? Possibly not. It’s certainly allowing us to recover him quicker. In normal circumstances we might push him on the Monday, but he’s too sore to go again on the Tuesday whereas having the Jacuzzi hot tub allows us to push him hard one day in the knowledge that we can probably repeat the session the day after.”
“This is something we’re very grateful for because his progress so far has been superb and hopefully we will see him back out on the field in the very near future.”
Links to both Hull FC’s and Jacuzzi’s websites can be found below: