As a certified personal trainer, group fitness instructor, and health and wellness editor, I know as well as anyone how important recovery is for my body after a workout.
And yet, I am admittedly the worst at it.
As good as foam rolling and stretching feel, I often skip these because of a lack of time or just plain laziness. Isn’t it funny how the simplest, most important things are often the things we skip? I would rather put myself through a grueling 30-minute high-intensity interval training workout than foam-roll—one of these things is way easier than the other, and yet I’d forgo the recovery portion for the pain. Why is that?
In my case, it’s because I view the workout as the most important thing—the part that gets me the results I want. But it turns out that the cool-down portion of your workout is arguably the most important part of your entire fitness routine.
Here’s why: Recovery is where the muscle magic happens. When you work out, you are essentially breaking your body down—your muscles are forming micro-tears that, when repaired, are what make them stronger. But in order to repair, they need a recovery period. Without that recovery period, you run the risk of injury and stunt your ability to get stronger.
That’s right: Recovery means results.
Now, if you’re anything like me, getting on the ground to stretch and roll sounds exhausting or time-consuming, or both.
Luckily, companies like HyperIce are changing the recovery game with tools like the Hypervolt vibration massage device. This hand-held self-massager helps relax your sore and stiff muscles after a workout and improves mobility, range of motion, circulation and more. I was lucky enough to get my hands on one for a week. Below, I’m sharing how this versatile device changed my recovery and fitness game. But first, a little history lesson on the Hypervolt.
Hypervolt: A history
Anthony Katz was a high school history teacher from Laguna Beach, California, when he founded HyperIce in 2010. The company was named after its first and only product, the “Hyperice”—a portable ice compression device made specifically for NBA players to ice their knees for recovery and injury prevention. As more and more NBA players starting wearing the device, word spread to athletes in the NFL, MLB and Olympic sports. The debut product line laid the groundwork and paved the way for other innovations by the company like the Vyper in 2014 and the Hypervolt in 2018. The company helped create the recovery and performance tech category and continues to be a leader in the space of helping athletes and everyday people alike do one thing: move better.
Years and many innovations later, HyperIce currently has a number of recovery products, including a vibrating foam roller and its latest, the Hypervolt massage device. I tried it, and it changed my post-workout recovery game, making my cool downs easy, effective and enjoyable. So I reached out to HyperIce’s CEO Jim Huether, who has years of expertise within the sports technology industry, for the science behind my experience with the Hypervolt.
Expertise not required
Just aim and activate. There’s no fancy manual or complex instructions. (Though you can visit HyperIce’s YouTube channel for detailed instructions on how to use it if you choose to.) With four percussion attachment options and three speeds to choose from, this device can definitely seem complicated at first, but with a little practice, anyone can use it on themselves.
“The Hypervolt provides tremendous benefits, in that it increases circulation and reduces muscle soreness. This percussion massage device is a fantastic device for a therapist or personal trainer, and for the everyday fitness enthusiast,” Huether says.
Double-duty warm-up and recovery tool
Because the Hypervolt increases blood flow, thereby increasing mobility, range of motion and flexibility, it has the same effect on your body as a dynamic warm-up.
“This is a great device to use as part of a warm-up,” Huether says, “allowing you to prepare for activity while increasing your range of motion and flexibility.”
After a lunchtime workout, I could stand at my desk and answer emails or be on a call while pressing the Hypervolt to my shoulder. Or at home, I could be stirring soup on the stove and break up low-back tension—instead of having to lay on the floor to roll it out. For a busy multitasking maven like me, this device made recovery an easy piece to add to my day.
“The Hypervolt features our quiet glide technology, allowing you, the user to use it wherever you go,” Huether says. “People can enjoy this at home; people can use this in the office. Many companies are even implementing the Hypervolt into their workplace wellness programs.”
Trouble spots within reach
Let’s face it, it’s hard to find the correct position to foam-roll a specific muscle. (I’m looking at you, piriformis.) Instead, the Hypervolt can target specific muscles or areas where I’m experiencing soreness or stiffness. It also gets deep into large muscles that need a little extra TLC.
“The Hypervolt compliments foam rolling and stretching—it’s a versatile device that provides for a relaxing and comfortable experience, and you can use it anywhere,” Huether agrees. “I have one on my desk right now, and after my calls, I can stand up and use it on my legs or I can use it on my neck seamlessly.”
Four heads allow you to customize your recovery based on how tender or sore a spot is or where you’re attempting to target—like using the fork head on your calves. Ouchie mama! Three speeds ensure you can apply the right amount and depth of pressure to sore, achy or tender muscles.
“The ball attachment is the one that I recommend starting with to experience how powerful the device is,” Huether explains. “You can use that on any major muscle. The flat-head attachment is going to be great for large muscle groups; most people like to use it on their quads or glutes after sitting for a long day. The fork is going to be great for a round muscle group to help release certain trigger points in that area or help improve range of motion. The bullet attachment is more about pinpointing trigger areas when you need a release, like a knot in your upper neck.”
Travel-friendly and portable
Smaller than a foam roller, the Hypervolt is easily transportable between work, home, the gym or wherever else your sore muscles may need a little attention. The rechargeable cordless battery lasts for up to three hours, and a carrying case makes this ensemble easy to grab and go.
“The portability of it is key,” Huether says, “You can include it in your gym bag and you can actually take [it] with you wherever you go.”
ROI for results
Looking at the price tag, the Hypervolt may seem like a big investment. But, Huether says, it’s no different from buying something like an electric toothbrush for your oral health.
“Many people invest in an electric toothbrush because the dentist recommends it for a better clean. We all prioritize our oral health.” Huether says. “Maintaining our physical health, and taking care of our soft tissue is no different. This should be a priority for us all.”
As always, if you have any health concerns or are pregnant, consult your primary-care provider before using.
Head into your local 24 Hour Fitness and 24Store to learn more about or purchase the Hypervolt.
Photo credit: Courtesy of HyperIce