If you’ve finally developed a routine for working out consistently during this pandemic, we’re proud of you, but chances are this newfound passion is taking a toll on your body.
Giving your body sufficient time to recover not only helps repair damaged muscle tissues and reduces inflammation, but can also make you stronger and enhance endurance in the long run, which is why it’s almost an important a process as the exercise itself.
However, this doesn’t give you a free ticket to lounge around on the couch after that killer workout. While there’s the option of active recovery — think yoga or pilates — there are also a number of tools out there which speed up the process. Foam rollers, for example, can help relieve muscle tightness and increase your joint range of motion, while percussion massagers can relief muscle tension and break up pesky knots that linger after a hard workout.
Here are some of the best and most innovative options in the market to help you bounce back faster from those home workouts.
There are foam rollers, and then there’s the Hyperice Vyper, which easily makes its regular counterparts look like primitive caveman toys.
Thanks to a rechargeable lithium ion battery, this powerhouse device offers three speeds of robust vibration to deliver deep release to muscles. Coupled with the rolling motion, the tool promises to alleviate delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS) and improve range of motion, especially after a particularly tough workout. It’s also portable with decent battery life; it might take a few hours to charge it up from dead, but it’ll last for days on end.
Vibration therapy, in particular, has become fairly popular over the years; even NASA has been using it to help strengthen astronauts’ bone mass and muscles for space missions. The vibrations are said to cause your muscles to contract and relax, hence aiding in the recovery process.
Call this the Rolls-Royce of home recovery tools if you must, but NormaTec is on to something here. You might look ridiculously over-the-top with this, but it’s magic for legs that have seen too many squats over the past week.
To use, place your legs into each zippered sleeve, and enjoy the alternating cycles of compression (the maximum intensity is 100mHg). This advanced system not only improves blood circulation, but also aids in the repair of muscle tissue.
There’s never been a greater demand for percussion massagers now that they’ve found a following beyond the chiropractor’s office, but not all were made the same.
Achedway’s is best suited for novices who aren’t sure what they want simply because it covers the entire spectrum. The gun has five power and speed settings that are conveniently labeled based on what you’d like to achieve, and feels sturdy in hand for easy usage.
Multiple head attachments for different muscle groups are provided, each promising to not only wake up muscles, but also eliminate lactic acid and release the fascia for muscle recovery. Most importantly, it’s been designed to not make your brains rattle like some of the other ones do.
Muscle knots are unfortunately a byproduct of any fitness quest, and foam rollers might be great for muscle soreness, but you’ll want a massage ball to truly get to the root of the problem.
Precisely engineered bump flexions are optimally spaced on the Beastie for the deepest possible muscle penetration, while its smaller size effectively targets hard-to-reach areas. It also comes with a detachable multi-function base which can be used as a wall mount for standing tissue work.
If you’re looking for one on the cheap, a tennis ball is a less satisfying but decent alternative to this coronavirus-resembling contraption.
Releasing your back muscles with recovery tools at home can be tricky if you don’t do it right, especially since too much spinal pressure can lead to more injury.
The Mobility WOD Gemini is shaped with curves that allow its user to get more leverage and a better deep tissue massage on the T-spine and other difficult trigger points. Even the deep groove pasterns were designed for a consistent “grip” to give more control. Bonus points for being just as effective against shin splints and foot ache.
We get that it looks wacky, but if it’s good enough to be endorsed by the head trainer for the L.A. Lakers, it’s good enough for us. This versatile contraption sees a clamshell arm that closes on targeted body parts from two sides via an adjustable hinge.
The foam rollers on each side provide the ideal tension and shape for arm and leg routines, but separating the ergonomic tool into two also allows you to target hard-to-roll spots like the neck, pec, and trap muscles.