Passive recovery strategies after exercise: A narrative literature review of the current evidence

Michael Flynn L. Cullen, Gretchen A. Casazza, Brian A. Davis

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Passive recovery techniques are popular and offer a diverse spectrum of options for athletes and the clinicians providing care for them. These techniques are intended to minimize the negative effects of training or competition, thus enabling the athlete a quicker return to peak performance. Current evidence demonstrates improved athlete recovery with compression garments, cold water immersion, partial body cryotherapy, hyperbaric oxygen, and vibratory therapies. Other popular modalities, such as compression devices, whole body cryotherapy, percussive gun-assisted therapy, neuromuscular electrical stimulation, and pulsed electromagnetic therapy lack convincing evidence concerning athlete recovery. This article seeks to review the current literature and offer the reader an updated understanding of the mechanisms for each modality and the evidence regarding each modality's potential benefit in an athlete's recovery strategy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)351-358
Number of pages8
JournalCurrent Sports Medicine Reports
Issue number7
StatePublished - 2021
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


Dive into the research topics of 'Passive recovery strategies after exercise: A narrative literature review of the current evidence'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this