How to take an ice bath?

Are you ready to take the plunge into an ice bath? Follow these tips and tricks to prepare yourself and make the most of your ice bath experience. From focusing on your breathing to using thermal clothing, we've got you covered. Get ready to push your limits and relax in the ice bath.

Cold Theraphy
Growth Manager @ Icetubs

An ice bath isn't something you just dive into. No, you must be well prepared. How exactly do you take an ice bath? We share some tips and tricks with you in this blog.

Start with a warm body

Never step into an ice bath when your body is feeling cold. Make sure your body is warm. You can do some short exercises or go for a walk if you're feeling a little cold. You can handle the cold temperature of an ice bath much better with a warm body. We do not recommend getting into an Icetub if you're already cold and not feeling so well.

Focus and breathing

The key words when taking an ice bath are focus and breathing. Make sure you are fully focused on yourself and your breathing. A great exercise is to test the quality of your breathing. It will help you conquer the cold and control your body. Performing and especially to sustain an ice bath session requires a good dose of perseverance and technique. You may find it hard to imagine sitting in a cold bath every day, so you need that discipline, which also applies to focus and breathing. Wim Hof has been inspired for his method by various forms of meditation and kung fu. He adds another important element, which is retention after exhaling. That means holding your breath for a moment. Controlled hyperventilation enriches your blood with more oxygen. So before you step into an ice bath, it is important to master this breathing technique.

  1. Lie on your back in a quiet place and find a comfortable position. It's best to do this on an empty stomach.
  2. Breathe in and out deeply through your mouth. Breathe in consciously, exhale automatically. Start breathing into your belly and exhale into your chest, then breathe out in the opposite direction.
  3. Then inhale and exhale quickly 30 times using the technique described above. After the thirtieth inhale, exhale completely and hold your breath for as long as possible. Focus completely on your breathing the whole time. If you wish, stop breathing and see how gradually you can hold your breath more easily.
  4. Then inhale slowly, exhale deeply once and hold your breath again after the next deep breath.
  5. When you feel good, practise three rounds of this technique. You will probably notice that the pauses in breathing get a little longer with each round.
  6. Once you have control of this breathing, you can step into the ice bath and focus on the breathing the moment you are in the bath.

These breathing exercises can make you feel light-headed and sleepy. It is important to move slowly after these exercises. Yoga exercises are ideal for this.

Use thermal clothing if necessary

Your feet and hands can get cold very quickly when you enter the cold water. There are a number of useful accessories that help you in the ice bath. Think of thermal socks or trousers.

Start with your lower body

Start by simply submerging your lower body in the water when you first step into the ice bath. The cold water is likely to shock your body, so take it easy and never be alone.

Immerse the rest of your body

When you get used to the cold water, you can choose to go under the water up to your shoulders. Make sure you feel comfortable in the water, otherwise it's best to get out of the Icetub. If you really think you can handle it, you can also choose to submerge your head. Always take a few deep breaths first and focus on your breathing.


The ultimate goal of an ice bath session is of course that you relax and push your limits every time. To come out of a session mentally and physically stronger, you have to focus on your breathing and relax. Every muscle in your body needs to rest. So make sure you don't get cramps in the ice bath.

Not too long

Never stay in an ice bath for too long. When you're in an ice bath, you don't really feel anything on your skin. The cold numbs your feeling. Therefore, especially in the beginning, don't bathe for too long. Build it out. If you've been in an ice bath for too long, you can develop hypothermia.

How do you start?

Do you have an ice bath, a cold lake nearby or do you want to prepare yourself before taking a cold shower? Then start with Wim Hof's focus and breathing exercises. You will notice that these exercises become easier and that you can handle a cold shower, dive or dip more easily.