Best recovery gear 2023: top tools for fitness fatigue
Don't ache, recuperate.
Ah, January. The time when resolutions are made and abruptly broken. Whether you want to run, ride, row, crossfit or curl up in a ball of fatigue after a heavy workout, there are countless apps, exercise regimens and paid for online boot camps out there that would suit.
But the thing about fitness is that, inevitably, you’ll get injured. You’ll slip on ice during a 5K, will lift a little too heavy, or go a little too hard at HIIT class. Hell, once you reach 30 you’ll randomly start waking up with random back aches, because that is your life now. When it comes to avoiding injury and muscle fatigue, proper recovery is key but is often overlooked. Sure, you don’t get the same rush of endorphins stretching as you do deadlifting a personal best, but a good recovery routine can work wonders.
Here, we run down some of the best gear to aid your recovery and keep you going through 2023.
Hoka Ora Recovery Slide (£40)
Pottering around the house in a pair of Hoka Ora Recovery Slides is like walking on a cloud. The slip ons feature a ridged, slightly domed soul that gently massages your foot as you walk. They’re quite cool too, in a ‘Crocs are now stylish’ kind of way. The Ora Recovery Slides features several layers of Eva foam and an oversized midsole, which fits snugly with wide, swollen or flat feet. They’re available in both mens and womens sizes, a range of colours, and are approved by the American Podiatric Medical Association (APMA).
Buy the Hoka Ora Recovery Slides here
Therabody Theragun PRO 5th gen (£549)
Imagine being pummelled by a pair of tiny fists over and over again at great speed. That’s something that can help you recover now. Theraguns have become the must have gadget for pro athletes and amateurs alike. Think of it as an automated meat tenderiser that pounds your muscles post-workout and prepares them for the next one. Benefits can include reduced pain, increased blood flow, and improved range of motion.
Buy the Theragun Pro (5th gen) here from Therabody
TriggerPoint Grid Roller (£26)
If you’ve never used a foam roller before, imagine the feeling of being stretched out through a pasta maker…but in a good way. At first, you’ll bend and flex muscles you never knew you had, but your body will thank you for it later. One of our favourites is the TriggerPoint Grid Roller, a tube-like apparatus that’s akin to stretching on a long pine cone. Rollers can aid with increased flexibility, muscle soreness and can help work out muscle knots, and the TriggerPoint Grid Roller is a cheap but effective way of doing just that.
Therabody TheraCup (£109)
The Therabody TheraCup is yet another recovery device that looks, and works, similar to a torture device. But trust us, it works. Cupping increases blood circulation to any area where the cups are placed, and is great for localised tension relief. The Therabody TheraCup comes with three suction settings, three heat levels and vibrates, too. A slight word of warning, though. The suction cups may leave a circular mark known as ecchymosis – in other words, a love bite – for a few hours or several days after treatment.
Buy the Therabody TheraCup here from Therabody
Normatec 3 Leg Recovery System (£598)
Designed mostly for professional athletes and high intensity sportspeople, the Normatec 3 Leg Recovery System is an expensive but worthy addition to your recovery routine. Similar in look to a pair of padded cowboy chaps, the Normatec 3 uses air compression to massage the legs, and claims to increase circulation, boost muscles and reduce swelling post-workout. They’re not exactly cool, nor are they justifiable for the typical gym-goer or 5K runner. But for those looking to supercharge their recovery, the Normatec 3 is your friend.
Roll Recovery R8 Plus
The Roll Recovery R8 Plus may look like a contraption found in a Saw movie, but it’s a very useful tool for deep, DIY massaging. It works similar to a foam roller but for deeper tissue massages. It can be adjusted for higher or lower intensity, and works great on achy calves, hamstrings and thigh muscles. Perfect for long distance runners and cyclists.
Buy the R8 Plus here from Roll Recovery
Stox JumboVisma Recovery socks
Compression socks come with a range of benefits that aid your recovery and up your running game. Some studies suggest these knee high socks can help with muscle fatigue and improve blood flow. Compression socks are considered medical-grade devices, so it’s worth doing a little research for choosing a pair – pressure levels are a key feature to look out for, but compression socks come in a range of sizes and price points. Our personal picks are the Stox JumboVisma, which are comfortable, cushioning and hardy enough to tackle muddy trails.