5 Best Recovery Tools for Athletes

photo of a woman getting ready to start her workout


Recovery isn’t just about taking a break, it’s part of how your body adapts to the pressure and stress of physical activity and becomes stronger. Having the right athlete recovery tools can help facilitate faster recovery and even aid in sports injury prevention down the line. Looking to level up your recovery routine? Today, we’re exploring five of the best recovery tools for athletes to help you take care of your body and keep you at optimal performance.

Choosing the Best Recovery Tools for Athletes

Having the best recovery tools for athletes is vital to your athletic journey. After all, stronger gains require smarter recoveries. Athlete recovery tools may help enhance how the body heals itself, improve circulation, flush toxins from your body to keep you healthy, or increase mobility and flexibility. Depending on which tools you use, you could see different results.

Just how each athlete performs differently, finding the right tools for the best post-workout recovery routine can take a little exploration. To help you choose, we’ve gathered the best recovery tools for athletes you can try, including:

  • A foam roller for post workout stretching
  • Zero gravity chairs for full-body recovery and relaxation
  • Portable massage guns for recovery on the go
  • Infrared mats to enhance cellular repair and increase circulation
  • A cold sleeve for shin splints, tennis elbow, or runner’s knee

Bonus: It may surprise you, but some athlete recovery tools can help pre-workout, too! Give them a shot and see how they help you.

Foam Rollers for Post Workout Recovery

Kicking off our list of the best recovery tools for athletes is the popular foam roller. Available in a variety of sizes and designs, foam rollers are ideal for pre and post-workout use.

Before a workout, using a foam roller can help loosen tight muscles, stretch your tissue, and keep you limber. This can lead to fewer sports injuries that may keep you out of commission too long. For post-workout use, foam rollers make some of the best recovery tools for athletes because they may keep muscles loose as you cool down, increase blood circulation for faster bodily healing, and lower pain symptoms.

How do you use a foam roller? In essence, you put the area you want to “massage” or work out on top of the foam roller and allow the weight of your body to do the work for you as you glide back and forth over it. It’s simple, yet effective!

Pro Tip: Foam rollers pair well with a plethora of exercises that may also help with other ailments, too, making them popular for things like sciatica treatment at home.

Post Workout Recovery in Zero Gravity Chairs

Without a doubt, there are a wide variety of zero gravity healing benefits for athletes. The far-reaching potential health benefits of zero gravity chairs range from better blood flow that may help reduce recovery time and heal the body faster to muscle tension relief, back pain relief, and better sleep quality, and more.

This is why zero gravity chairs make any list of the best recovery tools for athletes! The versatility of these chairs allow you to integrate them into each part of your fitness routine. From pre-workout warmups to post workout recovery (and even full body workout exercises in between), having a zero gravity chair is a must for athletic recovery.

How do zero gravity chairs work, you ask? The benefits of these revolutionary recliners stem from the zero gravity position itself. In the zero gravity position, the legs are elevated above the heart level, which drastically reduces excess pressure on the lower back and distributes weight along the body.

The bonus features of zero gravity luxury recliners may include heat therapy and massage functions that help with how athletes take care of their bodies, as well. Choosing a zero gravity chair with massage and heat therapy features combines the best of all three, giving you an unparalleled experience.

Massage Guns as Portable Athlete Recovery Tools

Where you’ll benefit from a zero gravity chair with air pressure massage (or vibration massage) at home, massage guns like the Hyperice Hypervolt and Theragun are next on our list of the best recovery tools for athletes.

These portable athletes recovery tools allow you to bring some immediate post-workout recovery with you on the go. Studies have shown that massage and vibration therapy can be effective at preventing Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness (DOMS), which could otherwise keep you from performing at optimal levels for a while. Using them immediately after a workout and intermixing them with using a zero gravity chair can combine the two for an incredible recovery routine!

Infrared Mats for Cellular Repair

Another of the best recovery tools for athletes that have become extremely popular this year are infrared tech items. Specifically, an infrared mat could be immensely beneficial for athletes and other active individuals as they seek to recover from a hard workout and prepare for future activities.

Lying on the mat is all it takes to allow a pulsed electromagnetic field (PEMF) to enhance cellular repair and increase circulation. Simultaneously, infrared heat initiates a deep-tissue sweat to help you relax and recover, decrease muscle soreness and reduce blood pressure. An infrared mat is certainly a high-tech athlete recovery tool you’ll love.

Cold Sleeves for Arms, Calves, and Knees

The next entry on our list of the best recovery tools for athletes has multiple application possibilities, as well. Experiencing shin splints, tennis elbow, or runner’s knee after exercising? A cold sleeve fits over either arm or leg, providing cold and compression for up to an hour.

Many options on the market have adjustable fit capabilities to allow you to ensure a snug fit that doesn’t move from the area you need. Making it a little extra tight may be a way to get the benefits of compression to help heal an injury, while keeping it loose is for wearing it during regular post-workout recovery to reduce inflammation, soreness, and pain.

Lacrosse Balls for Runner Recovery

The last spot on our list of the best recovery tools for athletes may take you by surprise: the lacrosse ball. While items like a zero gravity chair may appeal to your recovery at home, more portable recovery tools for athletes don’t have to be as high tech to be effective. Lacrosse balls are an inexpensive addition to your athletic gear that are ideal for runners. They’re great to roll under the balls of your feet, your lower back, or even under your glutes for an effective portable athlete recovery tool.

If you’re an athlete, you know the importance of self-care and recovery. The best recovery tools for athletes can make a noticeable difference in physical performance, recovery, and future injury prevention. You may also consider combining elements to create a full post-workout routine that keeps you feeling great! Try a massage gun, grab a lacrosse ball for foot pain relief or choose a zero gravity chair to take care of your entire body at home. You’ll be glad you did!

Want to learn more about potential health benefits of zero gravity chairs for athletes? Learn how they could positively impact your physical and mental health in these resources: