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Friday 10 January Updated Wednesday 18 February

Hammers go sub-zero

West Ham United's players have continued their preparations for Saturday's Barclays Premier League trip to Cardiff City with the use of cryotherapy.

On Thursday, the first-team players visited the cryotherapy - cold therapy - chamber to help them to recover from a busy period that saw the Hammers contest seven league and cup matches in 22 days.

The portable chamber, which visited Chadwell Heath, is as an alternative to jumping in an ice bath. Players spent 30 seconds in the initial chamber at minus 63C (minus 81F) and then three minutes at temperatures of minus 135C (minus 211F) in the main chamber This treatment aids recovery in the players' muscles.

The Hammers have used cryotherapy regularly since manager Sam Allardyce arrived at the Club in the summer of 2011.

After initially using the process to help with the rehabilitation of injured players, the chamber is now also used to help them to recover more quickly following intense periods on the fixture list.

Mark Noble

"This is something we have used for two-and-a-half years now," confirmed head of sport science and sport medicine Andy Rolls.

"With so many games in a short space of time, we have been taking the players into the chamber with the idea that the extreme cold temperature almost shocks the body and pulls the blood inwards to the vital organs and then when it comes out to the muscles it has a flushing out effect and removes any debris from the muscles left by excess work.

"This has been shown to help the body to recover so, with a number of players close to making their return to first-team duty, we intend to continue using this throughout the remainder of the season, when the need arises.

"Ice and cold therapy has something that has always been used to reduce swelling. We regularly use ice baths and cryotherapy has been shown to be beneficial and a number of the players believe it has really helped them.

Cryotherapy

"Over a the course of a season, if you are always doing the recovery sessions on a bike or in swimming pool it is nice to do something different and this has been good for team-building.

"The players have to dress up in protective clothing, including masks, hats and gloves to prevent frostbite or the sweat from burning the skin, so it's good for team spirit and morale.

"It has to be taken seriously but it has a fun side as well."

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