West Ham United were up bright and early on Wednesday morning as the Hammers continued their pre-season training camp in Cork.
Having converged at 7am, the squad was split into two halves, with one group enjoying a cycle ride through the surrounding countryside and the other heading to the pool at the Fota Island Hotel.
There, under the guidance of physiotherapist Jon Urwin, the players went through a series of movements in the main pool, hydropool and walking river, designed to remove waste products from the body and prepare them for the exertions of the day ahead.
HAMMERS TAKE TO THE WATER - PHOTO GALLERY
"In the main pool, the depth of the water is more than 120cm - 1.2m - which is important because it means the pressure of the water is potentially higher than the diastolic (minimum) blood pressure in the players' bodies," Urwin explained. "Basically, this means it helps to remove any waste products from the training the previous day because it is really good for lymphatic drainage.
"We got them into the water as a first port of call and then we got them moving. Generally, the first pool is a mobility and flexibility session and it loosens them off from the previous day and gets them prepared for the training session that starts a couple of hours later.
"It's a lower tempo than a warm-up and is a specific session set up to remove waste products from the previous day and to set them up for the morning training session. It's a preparation for their busy day ahead."
The players enjoy the benefits fo the Hydropool
After spending 20 minutes in the main pool, Urwin took the group to the hydropool and walking river.
First, the players made use of the hydropool, which contains nine different, specifically-designed areas to massage the entire body. They then did a number of laps through the walking river, which utilises different temperatures to reduce muscle fatigue.
Urwin explained that the different water temperatures and movements would again be beneficial to the players ahead of a busy day of pre-season work on the pitch.
The Hammers make their way through the Walking River
"We had a hot section in the hydropool and then a colder section in the walking river. What we are trying to do there is to provide a contrast, with the players spending a longer period of time in the warmer hydropool and then walking through the colder section.
"This again aids waste product drainage, while the walking river also has a mobility aspect to it as well. It's all preparing the lads for what they have got to do, not just today but for the whole week and through the actual season.
"We like to use pool sessions as often as we can. The good thing about pre-season is that we have the pool on-site, so the lads have ready access to it, so we will take advantage of it as much as possible. We are going to do the same session later in the week and get the lads into the pool as often as possible.
"The lads enjoy what they are doing, even though they aren't too keen on wearing swimming caps and I wasn't too sure about some of their gear!"