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The Best At-Home Recovery Tools for Sore Muscles

Natacha Vidal, co-founder of Phila Massages, spills her tips and tricks for some sore muscle TLC.


Background courtesy of iStock user Strawberry Blossom.

Photograph courtesy of Jeremy Buck.

Who here has been so sore that sneezing hurts? Given that a lot of Philly’s trendiest workouts — like Solidcore, X-Force and spin and TRX fusion classes — are also total butt-kickers, we’re now feeling the effects of our workouts days after the fact.

That’s where Natacha Vidal, co-founder of and massage therapist at Phila Massages, comes in. Recovery is kind of her profession. Below, she’s outlined a shopping cart full of items that will help heal your sore muscles at home, since daily professional massages may not be in the budget. (Although, tons of local trainers agree that Phila Massages is totally worth it.)

Below, you’ll find the products that massage pro Vidal suggests for a trusty at-home recovery session that will have you back in tip-top shape in no time.

Massage Balls

“For those smaller areas that need more focused massage, these massage balls will do the trick. The different sizes are convenient to reach smaller muscle knots in the upper back, deep in the gluteals, or even the neck, and the rubbery texture prevents the balls from slipping away when you roll on them.” $54.95 from Tune Up Fitness.

Foam Roller

“Foam rollers are great to self-massage larger soft tissue areas such as quadriceps, hamstrings, and IT bands. I like this foam roller because it is affordable and small – throw it in your gym bag or suitcase and you can self-massage anywhere!” $5 from Five Below.

Stretching Band

“Assist your hip stretches with a stretching band to go deeper and be more effective. These hold your foot in place while you pull with your arms, and the different slots conveniently cater to different arm or leg sizes.” $17.95 from OPTP.

Yoga Mat

“You will need a yoga mat to do all of the above. Being tall, I prefer the extra-long and large mats, like this one from Amazon.” $27.99 on Amazon.

Cold Pack

“Cold packs are best used in the first two-to-three days post-injury, or when pain is acute. The large ColPac is our office favorite, as we can wrap it around joints or apply on large surfaces such as the lower back during a session.” $11.35, depending on size, on Amazon.

Hot Pack

“Heat therapy is best used to relax and loosen muscles, or to help relieve chronic, low-grade pain. This hot pack goes in the microwave, then in a pouch that you can wrap around sore areas so that you can continue going about your day while the heat soothes you.” $13.99 from CVS.

 Compression Leggings

“Wearing compression garments post-training can help recovery. The 2XU compression series are durable and comfortable.” $119.95 from 2XU.

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