If you’re looking for new tools to incorporate into your recovery room, training room or spa, look no further. Gone are the days when training rooms are just for strapping on bags of ice and rolling out with a foam roller. New, high-tech tools are coming out with the goal of speeding up muscle recovery and aiding in injury prevention and rehabilitation. Here’s a roundup of some of the best additions to your training or recovery room that will help athletes and non-athletes alike in their physical recovery and goals for the new year.
RICE (rest, ice, compression, elevation) is commonly accepted as the best way to treat injury. On top of helping immediately after an injury, compression does wonders to help speed up muscle recovery after a hard workout. The NormaTec system is a great addition to the training room that you’ll get loads of use out of. It has the option for legs, arms and hip and has become one of the most popular pieces of equipment from training rooms to CrossFit gyms and the like…and for good reason!
Post-workout, simply slide on the NormaTec sleeve on your arm or leg, turn it on and relax. The system uses a pulse massage pattern utilizing pulsing, gradients and distal release. All of this was created by a physician so if it feels a little overwhelmed don’t feel bad, all you need to know is it feels great and is backed by science – awesome.
- Pulsing massage – instead of using just static compression, the NormaTec uses dynamic compression pulsing that more effectively mimics the muscle pump of the legs and arms, really enhancing blood flow for faster recovery after a workout.
- Gradients – NormaTec uses hold pressures to keep fluids from being forced in the wrong direction, which means it delivers maximum pressure in every zone during treatment.
- Distal Release – too much static pressure can be harmful. For this reason, the system releases the hold pressures once they are no longer needed so the limb gains the maximal rest time without too much time in between compression cycles.
This is one of the most popular tools for athletes and comes at a completely reasonable price point. It’ll get great usage out of it by your athletes and is extremely relaxing and easy to use and travel with for going on the road. If you’re looking to gain an advantage and don’t have any compression tools in the training room this should be top of your list.
No more freezing cups!
This is one of the most dynamic (and low cost) products you can bring into your training room this year. The Recoup Cryosphere combines ice and massage for up to 6 hours of cold therapy. The stainless-steel ball is filled with non-toxic cooling gel that goes in the freezer whenever your athletes aren’t using it. The ball is larger than a lacrosse ball making it easy to dig into muscles, while the six hours cold means it can be used on multiple treatment areas for the ideal 20 minutes.
The Recoup Cryosphere is used in professional and college training rooms and is a great take-home tool if you’re looking to have athletes or clients use it at home. It travels easily due to its size and can be cleaned with a disinfectant wipe in between uses. This is a great alternative to freezing ice cups or water bottles without the mess.
The Recoup Cryosphere is a great tool for treating specific injuries like plantar fasciitis, cramps, tennis elbow and carpal tunnel, shin splints and general muscle aches and soreness. Check out the reviews to learn more about some of the injuries this tool can help within your training room.
Ready to Buy? The Cryosphere is a staple in every NFL locker room and over 30 NCAA schools - get in touch for case packs or check out the product collection here
If you’re looking to upgrade your cold plunges in 2019 take a look at some cryochamber options. While cold plunges still have the upper hand in training room settings due to their ability to fit more than one athlete in them at a time, cryochambers are a great option for recovery rooms. The treatment is quick at under three minutes so people can cycle through quicker than an ice bath with all of the same benefits.
Cryochambers are popular in professional teams’ training rooms with growing popularity in the NCAA. Dropping as low as 120 degrees below zero Celsius, these cold chambers are brutally cold but you’ll reap the rewards in the short time you’re inside. They provide whole-body cryotherapy in an effort to relieve muscle pain, swelling and soft tissue damage. Since the inception of cryochambers in clinical settings and training rooms, they have continued to be a popular way to recover and treat injuries. Now that they are more and more prevalent, their cost is going down for purchase making them a great investment. Check out this article for a more in-depth analysis of the benefits of total body cryotherapy.
Traditional saunas have a variety of health benefits and are a common find in recovery rooms, gyms and spas. For athletes or anyone looking to get the benefits of a sauna, an infrared sauna is a step up. Infrared saunas don’t heat the air around you so they don’t have to get up to the extremely high temperatures (they usually heat up to between 120-140 degrees Fahrenheit). Infrared saunas use infrared panels instead of conventional heat so the heat can penetrate muscles more deeply than just heated air. This also allows you to tolerate the heat longer to get the benefits of hot therapy.
Saunas are believed to have a positive effect on athletes post-workout and improve recovery in a variety of ways including:
- Decrease in muscle soreness
- Improved circulation
- Relaxation → Better sleep
- Decrease in joint pain
If a cryochamber and sauna aren’t’ in the cards due to space or budget, another alternative with great recovery benefits is contrast baths. Contrast therapy using ice and heating pads is common for injury treatment, especially right after an acute injury. Contrast therapy alternates cryotherapy and thermotherapy to dilate and constrict the vascular system. This can help relieve pain and swelling and give the benefits of both therapies back to back. Contrast baths give the entire body the benefits rather than just a small area that ice and heating pads would offer. You can also get multiple athletes going at a time without needing to prep ice cups or packs.
No matter your budget or space constraints, there are always great tools that can make your life easier when it comes to treating athletes’ injuries. Many companies, including Recoup, offer a discount to athletic trainers and clinics, and even offer a wholesale option for recovery rooms. These upgrade investments are well worth putting on your training room wish-list this year.