6 Best Recovery Tools for Serious Athletes

Medically reviewed by: Dr. Ronald Mochizuki, MD

As a high-level athlete, you spend hours honing your strength, challenging your endurance, pushing your body to the limit, and breaking new barriers. But in between your training sessions, it’s important to make time for recovery. In fact, it’s only with proper recovery time and post-training recovery techniques that you can come back stronger and push yourself even further.

In this guide, we’re discussing the importance of rest and recovery in your fitness regimen, then breaking down our top recommendations for athletic recovery equipment so that you can make the most of your training and your recovery. 


The Importance of Rest and Recovery for Athletes

It may sound surprising, but rest and athleticism actually go hand-in-hand. That’s because high-quality rest increases stamina and energy, and gives your sore muscles the time they need to recover. 

Whether you’re playing sports or working out, the physical exertion tears your muscles. It’s through the body repairing these tears that your muscles grow back bigger and stronger. However, this process of repair can only occur while you’re at rest. 

Aside from this, rest and recovery also helps prevent injuries like joint damage, muscle injuries, and strains during physical activity.

On top of its physical benefits, rest can also boost your mental health. Psychologically speaking, rest lets you refocus your mind and renew your energy. Think about it in practice: when you push yourself too hard without taking breaks, you’re more likely to feel irritable, moody, and anxious. 

In fact, your body will often let you know when it’s time to take a rest day. Aside from mental fatigue, many athletes report experiencing:

  • Physical fatigue
  • A decrease in performance
  • Lethargy that can last from weeks to months
  • Reluctance to start workouts
  • Musculoskeletal aches and pains

If you’re experiencing any of these symptoms, it might be time to cut back and rest up. Here’s another tip to keep in mind: most athletes should rest for a full day every 7 to 10 days. However, everyone’s needs are unique, and your needs may even change depending on your health and fitness goals. Ultimately, it’s best to continually adjust your rest and recovery needs depending on what your body demands.


But what does recovery look like? 

The Science Behind Recovery

Muscle fatigue can take days to recover from, while injuries may take weeks. During that time, your body is hard at work repairing tissues and muscle tears.

You can help this process along by engaging in passive or active recovery: the two primary ways that your body bounces back from fatigue or damage.


  • Active recovery – This involves engaging in light exercise like yoga, swimming, or walking. Many athletes stay active in this way even on their breaks.
  • Passive recovery – This is a state of true rest that doesn’t require movement. During passive recovery, you may aid your body’s recovery through the use of items like heating pads, ice packs, and elevation.


Both passive and active recovery are necessary for healing. However, active recovery increases your blood flow and oxygen levels. This helps you maintain strength and health as your body repairs damaged tissues.


Top Recovery Tools for Athletes

During periods of active and passive recovery, consider using an athlete recovery tool to speed up your body’s healing. You can easily add any number of the following tools into your daily life.


1. Compression Gear

You can find compression gear for almost any part of your body, but it’s most popular for wrists, ankles, and knees. Compression gear wraps tightly around a body part with the intent of:

  • Reducing muscle soreness
  • Increasing and improving blood circulation
  • Providing stability during workouts

If you want to take advantage of compression gear, keep the following in mind: 

  • Using compression gear post-workout helps reduce swelling and muscle soreness
  • Using compression gear during a workout keeps your joints stable and steady, allowing you to avoid injury 

2. Foam Rollers and Percussion Massage Tools

Foam rollers and percussion massage tools are common in spas, physical therapy settings, and massage parlors. They help your muscles recover by:

  • Alleviating spots of muscle tension and soreness
  • Releasing tightness and knots

The constant, gentle pressure from these tools can target pent-up tension in your myofascial tissue, resulting in myofascial release. Not only does this help your muscular flexibility, but it also provides a serotonin boost, too.


3. Heat and Cold Therapy

Heat therapy works well for addressing stiffness and muscle pain since it increases blood flow throughout the body. There are two primary types of heat therapy to consider:

  • Dry heat – Think dry heating packs, heating pads, and electric blankets. This type of heat is easy to apply, especially in a pinch.
  • Moist heat – This includes moist heating packs, steamed towels, and hot baths. Some studies suggest that moist heat achieves the same muscle-soothing effects as dry heat but in less time.

It’s important to note that heat therapy isn’t for everyone. Steer clear if you have:

  • Vascular diseases
  • Deep vein thrombosis
  • Dermatitis
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Sensory disorders like diabetes

Cold therapy, on the other hand, helps to reduce inflammation. Cold therapy often involves ice bath, ice massage, coolant sprays, and ice or gel packs. While it works well to reduce inflammation, you don’t want to use cold therapy if you have:

  • Poor circulation
  • A sensory disorder that will prevent you from detecting cold damage
  • Stiff muscles or joints that heat therapy doesn’t help with

When implementing heat and cold therapy, consider alternating between the two. For instance, you can apply an ice pack for 20 minutes, rest for 10, and then apply a heat pack for another 20 minutes. This can help reduce swelling while also relaxing your tight muscles.


4. Vibration Plates

These devices use cutting-edge technology to transmit vibrations through your body, causing your muscles to contract and relax dozens of times per second.

These contractions help to: 

  • Redevelop your muscles
  • Restore motion to your joints


5. Hydration and Nutrition

Your body can’t properly recover if it’s not well-nourished and well-hydrated. A good diet should include electrolytes, salts, protein, vitamins, minerals, fats, and carbohydrates. Without this well-rounded balance, you can’t build or maintain muscle and energy.

Dehydration can also shrink your muscles, contributing to weakness and muscle fatigue. Additionally, when dehydrated, you can’t sweat properly, which leads to temperature fluctuations. You may even pass out or vomit if you don’t drink enough water before a workout. 

To ensure you’re properly hydrated, drink water throughout the day and not just when you hit the gym.


6. Quality Sleep

In the same way that rest days aid with muscle recovery, quality nightly sleep also mends the body. In fact, if you aren’t sleeping well, you may experience:

  • Concentration problems
  • Weakened muscles
  • Trouble with fine and gross motor skills
  • Issues with coordination

Practice good sleep hygiene to boost your healing and physical performance. Fortunately, working out regularly is one of the best ways to get a decent night of rest. You should also aim to go to bed at the same time each night and avoid screen time in the hours before sleep.

Incorporating Recovery Tools into Your Routine

It’s easy to incorporate sports or gym recovery equipment into your regular training schedule. In fact, you can add tools based on whether you’re engaging in passive or active recovery.

During passive recovery, make sure to get a good night’s sleep and never skimp on a healthy day of eating. Drink enough water to stay hydrated, and apply heat or cold therapy as needed.

During active recovery, try using a foam roller or low impact exercise equipment like a vibration plate during a yoga session. You can also add compression gear to your routine for that extra boost of stability.


Power Plate’s Contribution to Athletic Recovery

At Power Plate, we design our products with the needs of high-level athletes like you in mind. With our whole body vibration (WBV) plates, you can:


  • Build stronger bones – An independent study showed that of 116 women, those using Power Plate saw a 4.3% increase in bone density.
  • Lose weight – When used in tandem with other weight loss measures, the vibrations from a Power Plate activate muscles, increase circulation, and burn more calories.
  • Improve athletic performance – With a rate of 40 vibrations per second, WBV plates help strengthen and restore your joints and muscle tissue.


These features make Power Plate’s WBV plates a valuable tool for periods of active recovery.


Elevating Your Performance with the Right Recovery Tools

As an athlete, it’s crucial to prioritize rest and recovery in between your training sessions. With the right recovery tools and techniques, you can improve your athletic performance, support your mental health, and see the gains you’ve been striving for. 

If you’re on the hunt for top-of-the-line athlete recovery equipment, look no further than Power Plate.

Our whole body vibration machines can be used both during your workouts and during your rest days. When used as part of your training regimen, it can help sculpt muscle and improve core strength. As an active recovery tool, it can aid muscle repair and increase bone density.

Make the most of your rest and recovery with Power Plate today.



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