BEST RECOVERY TOOLS FOR ATHLETES AFTER A WORKOUT ARTICLE OVERVIEW
- Professional athletes often rely on advanced workout recovery tools and recovery equipment specifically designed for athletes, such as EMS for muscle recovery, to enhance their recuperation process and maintain peak physical condition
- Various forms of muscle recovery tools for athletes are available for sore muscles such as massage guns, foam roller, deep tissue massage, and full spectrum CBD balms.
- The best recovery tools for athletes should include EMG. EMG often used in physical therapy but available to the public may improve recovery and pain relief, reduce inflammation and delayed onset muscle soreness, and improve blood flow.
- EMS may improve post workout recovery from intense training sessions when used post-exercise.
Muscle recovery tools are very popular for improving muscle recovery and function from intense exercise. The best recovery tools, such as massage guns, percussion massagers, foam rollers, CBD balm, etc, have all been advocated to reduce inflammation and sore muscles, pain relief, and improve blood flow. Post workout recovery equipment for athletes such as massagers and balms are convenient to carry and fit in most gym bags. These devices and products can be applied directly to the affected muscle groups. These recovery equipment for athletes have been used to reduce delayed onset muscle soreness DOMS from an intense training session.
RECOVERY TOOLS SUCH AS EMS MAY IMPROVE RECOVERY POST EXERCISE
Recovery Equipment for Athletes Post Workout
Muscle recovery devices such as the Marc Pro Muscle Stimulator are something more advanced athletes may want to consider. Massage has been shown to enhance muscle recovery, but something else to consider is micro-current stimulation. Electrical Microstimulation (EMS) is the transcutaneous delivery of low amperage Direct Current (DC) and/or Alternating Current (AC) via adhesive electrodes with adjustable frequencies in the microampere (μA) range. The electrodes cause the muscle fibers to contract and relax, mimicking contractions during exercise. These products have a long battery life, so you don’t have to keep charging it everyday.
EMS is a recovery tool often used in physical therapy to contract and relax muscles to prevent muscle atrophy. EMS has been proposed to improve recovery from exercise.(1) Studies in rats have found that EMS can lead to increased protein synthesis and elevated adenosine triphosphate (ATP) levels.(2) Muscle recovery devices such as EMS may be useful for Crossfit recovery tools or post-marathon recovery kits.
RECOVERY TOOLS POST EXERCISE MAY STIMULATE MUSCLE GROWTH
A study earlier this year found EMS could stimulate muscle growth. The researchers found that combining EMS with resistance exercise did not result in greater muscle growth than resistance training alone. However, EMS stimulation alone increased muscle growth compared to the control group. The EMS and resistance exercise increased muscle size by 13% compared to 6% for EMS alone.(3)
A 2012 review of the literature found that EMS improved strength, power, sprint speed, and vertical jump height across 59 studies in both trained and untrained individuals after short-term EMS.(4) A study found that 20 minutes of EMS to the hamstring after intense eccentric exercise reduced delayed onset muscle soreness after exercises (sets of seated leg curls).(5) Other studies have found that EMS may be able to improve muscle mass for those recovering from surgery or older adults with impaired exercise capacity.(6, 7)
PROFESSIONAL ATHLETE RECOVERY TOOLS FOR
20 resistance-trained men performed five sets of deadlifts to failure with a six-repetition maximum (RM) load in two different sessions. In one session, subjects performed deadlifts and underwent sham microstimulation. In another session, subjects performed the deadlifts followed by 30 minutes of actual microstimulation of the neck, lower back, and glutes.
Six electrodes on each subject – two on the upper buttocks, two on the lower buttocks, one on the lower back, and one on the upper neck. The subjects who received the EMS felt significantly more recovered after EMS than those who received the sham treatment.
Thus, EMS may be an additional workout recovery tool to consider to recuperate faster from exercise. EMS may also be a non-invasive, cost-effective, and safer option for muscle regeneration than NSAIDs used to reduce muscle soreness.
- Professional athlete recovery tools such as EMS is a recovery equipment for athletes that may enhance muscle recovery post-exercise, but more research is needed.
- EMS may be the best recovery tool for runners not being used.
1. Piras A, Zini L, Trofè A, Campa F, Raffi M. Effects of Acute Microcurrent Electrical Stimulation on Muscle Function and Subsequent Recovery Strategy. Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2021;18(9).
2. Cheng N, Van Hoof H, Bockx E, Hoogmartens MJ, Mulier JC, De Dijcker FJ, et al. The effects of electric currents on ATP generation, protein synthesis, and membrane transport of rat skin. Clin Orthop Relat Res. 1982(171):264-72.
3. Matos F, Amaral J, Martinez E, Canário-Lemos R, Moreira T, Cavalcante J, et al. Changes in Muscle Thickness after 8 Weeks of Strength Training, Electromyostimulation, and Both Combined in Healthy Young Adults. International journal of environmental research and public health. 2022;19(6):3184.
4. Filipovic A, Kleinöder H, Dörmann U, Mester J. Electromyostimulation—A Systematic Review of the Effects of Different Electromyostimulation Methods on Selected Strength Parameters in Trained and Elite Athletes. The Journal of Strength & Conditioning Research. 2012;26(9):2600-14.
5. Curtis D, Fallows S, Morris M, McMakin C. The efficacy of frequency specific microcurrent therapy on delayed onset muscle soreness. J Bodyw Mov Ther. 2010;14(3):272-9.
6. Kemmler W, Weissenfels A, Willert S, Shojaa M, von Stengel S, Filipovic A, et al. Efficacy and Safety of Low Frequency Whole-Body Electromyostimulation (WB-EMS) to Improve Health-Related Outcomes in Non-athletic Adults. A Systematic Review. Frontiers in Physiology. 2018;9.
7. Nishikawa Y, Takahashi T, Kawade S, Maeda N, Maruyama H, Hyngstrom A. The Effect of Electrical Muscle Stimulation on Muscle Mass and Balance in Older Adults with Dementia. Brain Sci. 2021;11(3):339.