Six high-tech gadgets to help average Joes train like pros
Hypervolt by Hyperice
This cordless vibration massage device has a powerful, high-torque motor that delivers up to 3,200 rapid, concentrated percussions per minute. It penetrates deep into the tissue, breaking up adhesions and scar tissue, relieving soreness and relaxing stiff muscles, which results in improved circulation, flexibility and range of motion. The Hypervolt’s four interchangeable heads target any muscle group to accelerate both warm-up and recovery. It is quiet, lightweight and portable and can be used in place of a massage therapist for self-myofascial release.
Cleveland Indians ace Corey Kluber and many other major league pitchers now use this electronic muscle stimulation device to bounce back more quickly after each outing. Unlike other EMS devices that can further tire muscles with prolonged use, the Marc Pro produces a non-fatiguing muscle contraction to flush out waste and facilitate the repair of damaged tissue; it’s an active recovery without the activity. Trainers also use Marc Pro to accelerate the healing of acute injuries by pumping out the swelling that stagnates the healing process.
New York Yankees reliever Dellin Betances swears by this system, which consists of a quarter-sized sensor fitted with accelerometers and gyroscopes and a compression arm sleeve and batting-glove clip in which to put it. It can be used with two separate apps: MotusThrow, which helps pitchers monitor their mechanics and the workload on their arms to improve performance and decrease injury, and MotusBatting, which gives feedback on bat speed and attack angle to help hitters become more effective throughout the strike zone. There are also variations for football, volleyball and cricket players.
From $1,495; www.normatecrecovery.com
MLB’s Tampa Bay Rays, the NHL’s Philadelphia Flyers and the NFL’s Kansas City Chiefs, along with many other collegiate and professional teams, love this dynamic compression device so much that they have constructed recliner-filled NormaTec “recovery rooms” in their practice facilities. With attachments that mold to the exact shape of the arms, legs or hips, NormaTec uses pulsed, compressed air to massage the limbs and facilitate the movement of fluid and metabolites out of the extremities after intense exercise.
Golfers Rory McIlroy, Justin Rose and Tony Finau use StaminaPro patches to reduce pain and inflammation before, during and after activity. Using energy medicine technology based in quantum physics, patches are charged with electrons captured from 200 natural constituents — from arnica and glutamine to green tea and turmeric — known for their anti-inflammatory properties. The electrons work with the body’s own electric field to accelerate the healing process. Patches contain no chemicals or drugs, come in three sizes, are water- and sweat-proof and are effective for 24 hours.
$29 per month, including hardware; www.whoop.com
The secret to performance is recovery and Whoop has it down to a science, using three physiological markers — heart rate variability, resting heart rate and sleep — to assess one’s readiness to perform. Five sensors in the wristband measure personal metrics 100 times per second, so users will know precisely when they’re ready for their next training session. It also measures exertion over a given period or for the entire day and monitors the quality of sleep.
Lindsay Berra is a freelance journalist who was a senior writer at ESPN The Magazine and a reporter at MLB.com.