Ease Your Stress
and Sore Muscles

Best recovery tools for men in 2022
Best recovery tools for men in 2022

Ease Your Stress and Sore Muscles

The next generation of recovery tools

Recovery has become something of a buzz word in the world of fitness and wellness lately. But what does it really mean? The concept refers to self-care—working to reduce exercise-induced muscle damage. If you're anything like us, you take sore muscles as a welcome side effect, at first. It's proof you pushed yourself and put in the work. But not all soreness is the same. Some is longer lasting or deeper and more painful—when this happens, it can be a sign that you sent your muscles into shock or have too many tears in the muscle fibers, which leads to higher than normal inflammation. And then the soreness is less welcome.

The key, of course, is to focus on recovery after substantial activity. Something that a lot of us tend to forget. We asked human movement specialist Dr. Emily Splichal, podiatrist and founder of Naboso, why so many guys skip recovery. “Most people, not just men, overlook recovery—and that's because it can be tedious, boring, even,” she says. “I tell my patients that to prevent injury it is simply a balance of stress versus recovery. If you stress your body or tissue to a point that it exceeds the rate of recovery you will eventually get injured.”

Keep in mind, you don't have to be punishing your body like a pro athlete to need a recovery plan. Even those who aren't that active—the average person who's just sitting at a desk all day or hunched over their phone for too many hours—will benefit from setting aside time to focus on how their body feels and what it needs.

Sure, you're not sweating through grueling two-a-days, but in our always-on world, you are constantly dodging stressors that hot-wire your sympathetic nervous system (the one that controls the body's fight or flight response). That eventually leads to health problems because your body won't heal itself properly unless you're in a parasympathetic state. According to author and clinician Chris Kessler, if you're suffering from chronic stress, your body spends too much time alert, with your brain, heart and internal organs optimized to fight or flee; instead of in “rest and digest” mode, with a slower heart rate and organs doing internal maintenance.

Consistency is important when it comes to recovery. “Small doses of daily recovery however keeps your body and tissue away from this tissue stress threshold and you avoid injury,” advises Dr. Splichal. “In fact, it's actually better to do five minutes of recovery every day and be consistent than two times a week of 30 minute recovery sessions.” And with a regular recovery program, you not only alleviate aches and pains from your workouts and athletics, but you minimize the toll stress takes on your body throughout the week. To get you started, we've pulled the most technologically-advanced and expert-backed recovery methods on the market today. You won't need them all, but this is a great place to start.

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The Best Recovery
Tools for Men

For Your
Whole Body

We've tried several and this is still our favorite. Not only is the Lyric quieter and more stylish (look at this tasteful matte finish) than your average percussive gun, it's more streamlined too. The gun charges and holds the interchangeable tips in that sleek, minimalist base. The company says it uses “rhythm therapy” based on vibroacoustic science to offer a wider frequency range and lower amplitude than other massage guns. The WiFi-enabled gun allows you to connect it with an app so you can have guided massage sessions. And a handy touchscreen lets you choose the experience you need: Pain relief, calm or energy. Each feels a bit different but definitely hits the spot. There's even an extension handle you can click on to get hard-to-reach areas like your back.

Therapeutic massager,
$199.99 / $179.99 by Lyric

For Muscle Knots

This was one of the most fun products we tested. Rather than pulling your body over a foam roller, open this spring-loaded massager and clamp it over your barking quads, hamstrings, calves, glutes, arms or body part that's sore. It applies deep tissue massage force to break up muscle adhesions for myofascial release while reducing inflammation and boosting circulation. The patented technology self-adjusts for different body parts and sizes.

R8 deep tissue massage roller,
$139 by Roll Recovery

For Persistent Pain

If you find yourself having more nagging pain and soreness, you might want something more long-term. ASYSTEM's supplements offer a 100% natural solution that provides long lasting relief. The first product to combine the turmeric extract Turmacin with CBD from American-grown, full-spectrum hemp, the clinically-backed supplements are proven to reduce inflammation and pain, while improving overall joint mobility. Basically, it keeps you running smoothly and prevents pain from even creeping up.

Radical Relief anti-inflammatory pills,
from $49 by ASYSTEM

For the Feet

Don't overlook your feet when it comes to recovery. Naboso's patent-pending neuro-stimulating texture is the first-ever small nerve proprioceptive material commercially available and designed for the purpose of improving posture and enhancing movement. These socks are lined in hundreds of little pyramid-shaped spikes that stimulate the entire soles of your feet with each step. It's a hurts-so-good sensation that not only increases foot circulation and stimulates plantar foot nerves, but creates a mini-massage effect to relax you and ease your mind. For runners or those who spend hours on their feet at work, these are for you.

Foot recovery socks,
$60 by Naboso

For Back, Glutes
and Legs

Can recovery be as easy as sitting or laying down? With this it can be. It utilizes a pulsed electromagnetic field (PEMF) to send electromagnetic waves through your body to help promote your body's own recovery process. The PEMF increases circulation and boosts cellular repair with the addition of infrared heat that not only eases sore muscles but also initiates a nice, restorative sweat too. Since this mat is smaller in size you can position it in a chair to target right where you want it.

Infrared mat,
$599 by HigherDose

For Legs

If you want serious and consistent massage-like pressure to stimulate blood flow in your legs to speed recovery after tough workouts or rides, then you need some compression boots. These next-level boots from Therabody were utilized by Team USA at the 2022 Winter Olympics. Unlike other boots with bulky external tubes and cords, these are wireless—making them a lot more portable too. A small control panel at the top of each leg sleeve allows you to select the time and amount of pressure. And it's not just brute force, the JetBoot uses Therabody's TruGrade and FastFlush tech to encourage blood flow while flushing out bad stuff like lactic acid.

Wireless RecoveryAir JetBoots,
$899 by Therabody

For Knees
and Joints

Contrast therapy—the practice of exposing parts of the body to hot and cold temperatures—is used to reduce inflammation and help create better circulation near injuries or areas of chronic pain. We don't all have access to hot tubs, saunas and ice baths, but this is the next best things. This sleeve has a comfortable, adaptive fit that provides contrast therapy treatment on demand, holding at a consistent temperature for as long as you need it, or automatically switching between hot and cold, without wires.

Hyperice X,
$399 by Hyperice

Sleep illustration

Old School Remedy

When you’re sore, go to bed early. It sounds simple, but the body does the bulk of its repair work while you’re snoozing. This is why so many pro athletes are also expert nappers. Plus, a lack of sleep has been found to increase inflammation in the body.

NOTE: Items featured in this story are independently selected by the editorial team. Purchasing via our links may earn Valet. a portion of the sale, which helps fund our editorial mission.

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