The Workout Recovery Tools Your Fitness Routine Is Sorely Missing

Your muscles will thank you.

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While regular exercise is an important part of a healthy lifestyle, there's one aspect of it that's often overlooked: recovery. Yet according to Jennifer Jacobs, fitness expert and founder of the J METHOD, it shouldn't be an afterthought. In fact, you should consider it just as important as the main event. "If you are looking to optimize performance, avoid injury, or be at your best, integrating a consistent recovery routine into your training program is essential," she tells TZR in an email. What exactly does that look like? Well, you'll want to focus on a few types of workout recovery tools.

Though that doesn't mean *just* going out and buying a bunch of different items to help you out. Rather, you should approach recovery as a holistic process. "One of the principals of the J METHOD is to recover often," Jacobs continues. "This doesn't mean only using recovery tools, such as the J METHOD recovery ball, but making sure to focus on the importance of sleep, hydration, and movement."

That said, the right tools coupled with these practices can help maximize your recovery results, thus reducing muscle soreness and helping you move more freely so that you feel your absolute best in your next workout. Yet with so much out there to choose from, it can be daunting to find ones that are effective. To help guide you, TZR reached out to fitness experts and trainers to get their suggestions on the buys that really do work, plus a few tips on how to use them and why they do the job. Their recs, ahead.

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Workout Recovery Tool: An Oat Milk & Herbal Blend

Recommended by: Andrea Marcellus, fitness expert and AND/life app creator

"My hands down favorite recovery tool is an iced oat milk turmeric latte featuring Oatly's full-fat oat milk and Joya’s Glow turmeric and herbal support blend," says Marcellus. "Oat milk is higher in protein than other plant-based milks, which is really just glorified juices full of sugar and without superfood benefits like fiber, plant-based protein, or big micronutrient value. Oat milk is full of vitamins and minerals, particularly calcium, potassium, and magnesium, making it an excellent post-workout recovery snack, as well as hydrating beverage."

"Joyà’s Glow is a blend of turmeric and black pepper, which is essential for the body to access circumin in the turmeric — the powerful anti-inflammatory we all want from it," continues Marcellus. "It’s a delicious blend that also includes herbal supplements designed to boost mood and balance hormones. So after a workout, not only are you getting a powerful anti-inflammatory to help with muscle recovery, you’re getting support for mental and emotional balance to go along with the endorphins you released during your workout, maximizing your workout's net-positive effect on your mental wellness as well as your physical wellness."

Workout Recovery Tool: Heatable Massage Ball

Recommended by: Andrea Marcellus, fitness expert and AND/life app creator

"My second great recovery tool is Dr. Cohen’s AcuBall," says Marcellus. "The small hardball is excellent for trigger point release therapies, particularly for the QL and the medial glute, two of the biggest contributing muscles to chronic lower back and hip pain. As much as we ask of our bodies, it’s important to know how to strategically release some of our hardest-working muscles so that we can keep leveling up without injury."

Workout Recovery Tool: Foam Roller

Recommended by: Aliyah Sims, trainer at Rumble and Rumble TV

"I highly recommend using a foam roller if you don’t already, because it's a game changer," says Sims. "Foam rolling helps to improve muscle soreness and your body's recovery. It's one of my favorite self-myofascial release (SMR) techniques. It helps to relax your muscles and release built-up tension. I like to foam roll before my workouts as well to get the blood flowing and to increase my range of motion. Post-workout, it's a great way to give some extra love to muscles you used during your workout and maybe even some areas that were overworked, since we are naturally imbalanced. It helps me bounce just a little quicker after long, arduous days. I like to foam roll two to three times a day for about 10 minutes, but everyone is different and has different needs. I target the main muscle groups and give my lower body a bit more attention."

Workout Recovery Tool: Theragun

Recommended by: Aliyah Sims, trainer at Rumble and Rumble TV

"Theragun is like a deep-tissue massage at your fingertips!" says Sims. "[It] has many of the same benefits as the foam roller; [using it] helps with a speedy recovery and prevents injury by breaking up all of that built-up tissue and increasing blood and lymphatic flow. [But], less is more. You don’t want to apply too much pressure and overdo it. You want to glide over the affected area as well as the surrounding muscles."

Workout Recovery Tool: Recovery Ball

Recommended by: Jennifer Jacobs, fitness expert and founder of the J METHOD

"As a movement specialist, I highly recommend any recovery tool that will allow you to perform SMR, which is a self-massage to improve muscle and joint movement," says Jacobs. "The J METHOD Recovery Ball (included in the J METHOD Travel Size Gym) is the perfect tool allowing you to more accurately pinpoint and more easily reach a certain area while offering the right amount of pressure needed to effectively help those certain muscles or joints." To use it, she says to "start by exploring areas of your body where you feel tension such as your upper traps, hips, even the feet. Once you have found a point on the fascia on top of the muscle, apply gentle to medium pressure until the 'good pain' subsides. Allow the recovery ball to melt into the tissue to release the tension while being careful not to press on any bones, keeping it in the soft tissue."

Workout Recovery Tool: Pre-hab & Rehab Training

Recommended by: Harley Pasternak, Chief Fitness Advisor to FORME Life

"The FORME Life is the most efficient and aesthetically pleasing way to transform your body at home," says Pasternak. "It allows you to engage with movement content ranging from body weight resistance, table resistance, yoga, and other forms of pre-hab and rehab to help users recover from both sedentary and active lifestyles. Their 1:1 live training feature really separates them from the connected fitness competition and enables trainers like myself to give actionable feedback in real time during a session."

Workout Recovery Tool: Percussion Therapy

Recommended by: Harley Pasternak, Chief Fitness Advisor to FORME Life

"Hyperice's Hypervolt is the cheat code to keep your body feeling and moving the way it's supposed to," says Pasternak. "They have a new app that guides users through a range of warm up and recovery routines. I've got some tips on there to check out as well!"