You know the struggle too well. Forgetting to stretch after working out, having to take additional rest days because your muscle soreness is too intense, or not being able to sit down without having that pain-stricken look on your face. Wondering why you had to go this hard during your last workout, or why you thought you could skip your cool down once again. Luckily, the athlete recovery world is well equipped with wide arrays of exercise recovery products to aid in these situations and keep you from experiencing exercise-related muscle pains in the future.
Let’s dive into our favorite athlete recovery tools to help you decide which product is right for you!
Hyperice Vyper 2.0
The benefits of foam rolling or self-myofascial release (SMR) are widely known and accepted in the fitness industry. Foam rolling focuses on muscular trigger points and sore spots to relax shortened muscles, improve mobility, increase blood circulation, and aid with post-workout muscle soreness.
Hyperice took this simple recovery tool and amplified its effects by including the benefits of vibration technology: with the Hyperice Vyper 2.0, you can switch between three speeds of vibration to maximally aid in your recovery after intense workouts. The device is powered by a rechargeable lithium-ion battery and is TSA carry-on approved, making it extra convenient.
- Combines SMR and vibration technology
- TSA carry-on approved
- Requires charging to get full effect
- Not as affordable as a standard foam roller
The perfect addition to your gym bag, the Marc Pro is an electrical muscle stimulation tool that can be attached to just about any muscle group and that creates non-fatiguing, completely painless muscle contractions that set in motion an array of recovery-promoting physiological processes. The Marc Pro helps eliminate metabolic waste products that build up as a result of strenuous activity, allowing you to recover faster and perform at your best.
The device is popular among all levels of athletes – elite, collegiate-level, and recreational athletes and is backed up by names such as Noah Olsen, Heather Jackson, and Andy Potts. It is easy to use and portable, making recovery accessible at any time and in any place.
Read our extensive Marc Pro Plus review here. Reduce muscle tension drug-free and try out Marc Pro’s unique technology for your post-workout recovery.
- Effortless recovery
- Easy to use
- Fits in any gym bag
- Comes with 20 replacement electrodes
- Electrode pads are expected to last for about 20 uses.
- Sticky electrode adhesive may pull on body hairs
- Electrodes need to be purchased after the initial supply is used up
Idson Muscle Roller Stick
Muscle roller sticks come in different lengths, materials, and textures. What they all have in common, however, is that they offer us the ability to roll out tight or overactive muscles, much like a traditional foam roller does. What is the difference between the two, you may ask? The main difference between a foam roller and a muscle roller stick lies in the way the pressure is applied: a foam roller relies on your body weight to roll out tight muscles, while you use your hands to move the muscle roller stick around your body and apply pressure on the muscles you want to lengthen and relax. The roller stick is an especially good tool for smaller muscle groups that a foam roller may be too large to target.
Like other self-myofascial release tools, muscle roller sticks can help ease muscle soreness, improve range of motion, and reduce stiffness in the body so you can get back to training safely and efficiently.
The Idson Muscle Roller Stick is very affordable, made from high-quality materials, provides a good grip, and only weighs 9 ounces, making it incredibly portable.
- Targets smaller muscles effectively
- Very affordable
- Some users find muscle roller sticks more painful than foam rollers
The WHOOP wristband is a preventative recovery tool. It collects your individual health data 24/7, giving you precise insights into your bouts of exercise, your workout recovery, quality of sleep, and relaxation, and is the first of its kind to tell you exactly how much rest you need to be fully recharged before your next high-intensity session to avoid excessive fatigue and strain.
The band is also able to recommend a daily exertion level based individually on your body, allowing you to optimize performance without risking injury or overtraining.
If you love data and can’t get enough of understanding your body’s signals and unique abilities, the WHOOP is a great tool to manage your exercise and recovery process. For example, if you wake up and don’t feel 100%, you can look at the data on your WHOOP App to understand how rested you are and where you might have gone wrong in order to optimize and improve your wellbeing.
- Preventative tool
- Personalized recovery insights and data
- 4-5 day battery life
- Requires a membership
Freeze Sleeve Cold Therapy Compression Sleeve
As its name indicates, the Freeze Sleeve is a compression sleeve that makes cold therapy simple and accessible. Made from soft and comfortable materials, the Freeze Sleeve fits your body like nothing else and allows for direct contact with the skin without risking ice burns or other skin damage.
Users have the ability to choose their size (from a small to 3-XL), which allows for comfortable wearing and maintaining full mobility so you can continue your daily activities even while icing. The Freeze Sleeve also allows you to say goodbye to using frozen peas or ice in a towel to cool painful areas of your body (no more leaks, no melting ice, or ruined vegetables) and its design provides 100% coverage of the cooled area.
- Provides full coverage
- Wide range of sizes available
- Comfortable, high-quality materials
- No ice burns or skin damage
- Stays cool for ideal cryotherapy length (15-20 minutes)
- A bit more pricy than frozen veggies
- Some users found it difficult to put on
Traditional Foam Roller
If you’re looking for ways to prevent delayed onset muscle soreness and aren’t too keen on a recovery device that will cost you an arm and a leg, think: back to basics! Amazon’s basic high-density foam roller comes at an affordable price and is just right to treat sore muscles, improve blood flow, aid in muscle tissue recovery, and reduce tension in your muscles, even before delayed onset muscle soreness hits.
Strategically placing pressure on tight and overactive muscles helps remove knots and can improve the muscle tissue’s ability to lengthen, increasing your overall range of motion and mobility. This not only helps you recover easier after hard workouts but having a better range of motion also positively impacts the effects of your time in the gym as you’ll be able to better perform exercises and improve your posture. A no-brainer if you ask us!
- Very affordable
- Simple and straightforward to use
- Great for large muscles
- Cannot effectively target smaller muscles
- Cannot reach between shoulder blades
The PSO-RITE is a revolutionarily simple product. It was designed to mimic the hands and elbows of a therapist and effectively targets the psoas complex (hip flexor area) for immediate relief of pain and tightness in this area.
Healthy hip flexor muscles are crucial for healthy life and movement: they affect our posture, blood circulation, support our digestive organs and stabilize our spine.
You can also use the PSO-RITE on nearly every other muscle of your body – try using it to release tension in your thighs, hamstrings, calves, glutes, back, chest, and arm muscles.
Read more about the pocket-size, in-house masseuse that is PSO-RITE plus its benefits and mechanisms in our comprehensive PSO-RITE review.
- Simple design and use
- Can effectively target most muscles
- Recommended to consult a doctor before use
- Can be painful while using
Hyperice Hypervolt Massage Gun
Hand-held recovery tools are gaining massive popularity for their ease of use, powerful massage capabilities, and deep-tissue care to loosen tight muscles and sore body parts you forgot to stretch right after your workout. The Hyperice Hypervolt Percussion Massage Device offers three speeds at up to 3200 percussions per minute and comes with five attachments to target different muscle groups. It’s cordless, rechargeable, and TSA carry-on approved.
Contrary to foam rollers, hand-held recovery devices such as the Hypervolt massage gun are great choices for pregnant women as well, as the massager does not put pressure on the abdomen, and does not require you to get into prone positions to roll out those muscles. Think of it as your very own trigger point massage therapist that you can pack into any gym bag to use before or after a hard workout, long run, or even on a rest day.
- Offers three percussion speeds
- Rechargeable battery
- Long battery life
- Comes with five attachments
- Makes very little noise
- Soft rubber material prevents slips and gives good grip
- Does not come with a case (can be purchased at additional cost)
Rapid Reboot Compression Boots
Compression boots are an athlete’s recovery dream – you slip in, zip up, lean back, and relax while Rapid Reboot’s Compression Boots give you a comfortable massage that boosts circulation, accelerates muscle recovery, reduces soreness, and flushes out toxins from your body.
Each boot is divided into four air chambers that reach your feet, ankles, calves, knees, and quads/hamstrings. Simply set a timer on the control unit, choose from 10 compression levels, and lean back while the boots do all the hard work for you while you relax.
Rapid Reboot Compression Boots are high-quality, affordably priced, and available in different sizes, ensuring a comfortable fit for all users. Besides the boots, Rapid Reboot offers packages for arms and hips, enabling full-body massages and recovery paths.
- Different sizes available
- Easy to use
- Fairly priced compared to competitors
- Control unit needs to be plugged in to use the compression system
- Not the most affordable recovery tool
Recoup Fitness Cryosphere Ball
The Recoup Fitness Cryosphere ball combines cryotherapy (cold therapy) and self-myofascial release (SMR) in one handy and effective tool… not to be confused with the lacrosse ball which has far less science and technology backing it. The cold effect of the Recoup ball helps remove built-up lactic acid while the myofascial release massage improves muscle tenderness and increases mobility. Arguably the best part about this specific product is that it leaves no mess in your gym bag or on your clothes. The ball is gel-filled, so it does not require the addition of water that may drip all over you or your things. Simply place it in the freezer for two hours and the ball will remain cold for six.
Read more on our Recoup Fitness Cryosphere Ball Review.
- Stays cold for a long period of time
- Water-less cooling = no mess
- Combines SMR and cryotherapy in one tool
- Some users dislike the metallic surface of the ball
The Chirp Wheel is designed to target your back and neck muscles perfectly, helping you to bounce back from a tight back. (pun intended!) It offers a safe stretch of your spine and gives you the deep-tissue massage foam rollers can’t provide in this area as they don’t fit between your shoulder blades. The Chirp wheel travels on the muscles along your spine with ease, helping apply pressure on these muscles, improve backaches, and relieve tension.
Read our full Chirp Wheel review here.
- Feels very comfortable
- Safe way to target neck and back muscles
- Reaches areas a traditional foam roller can’t access
- Reaches muscle tissue close to the spine for a deep tissue massage
- Requires some balance to use