First, there were face gyms. Then, mirror exercising became the buzzy new workout. But the latest fitness trend is all about what happens when the sneakers come off. Because although you may think that you’ve totally nailed your workout routine, that doesn’t mean that you’re getting the most out of the experience. Introducing the latest buzzword in the wellness world: the recovery room.
Somewhere between a workout studio and a spa, recovery training can encompass a variety of different practices including cryotherapy, infrared saunas, compression treatment, hydromassage, float tanks, foam rolling and lymphatic drainage. (So yeah, a lot.) And it’s definitely having a moment. Why? According to Marc Violone, co-owner of ReCOVER in New York City, stepping into a recovery room is an easy and effective way to minimize systemic stress in as little as 20 minutes.
“People often get caught in a cycle of trying to do the most, opening the door to stress, fatigue and maybe even sleepless nights,” Violone tells us. “We’re surrounded by a lot of things that are in place to maximize productivity. With this in mind, people have slowly been taking steps to improve their personal wellness and lifestyle.”
Another reason recovery is so popular right now is because celebs like Jessica Biel and Jennifer Aniston love it (and where the rich and famous go, the masses will follow). But you don’t need to be a superstar to take advantage of the perks. “People have different performance demands. Some need to de-stress after a long day at work, while others want their legs to feel restored after a training session,” says Violone. “By putting the best recovery technologies in the world under one roof, we’ve created a studio that can help people with stress, sleep quality, muscle soreness, weight loss demands, and performance enhancement,” he adds. Translation? It’s as much about relaxing and recovering from daily pressures as it is improving your athletic performance.
While some gyms are incorporating recovery training into their classes and facilities, there’s been a rise recently in dedicated recovery spaces (like ReCOVER in New York City or HM Sports Performance and Recovery in Santa Monica, California).
And while some of the recovery gear can be pretty high-tech (think: cryo chambers or ReCOVER’s CVAC—a spaceship-like pod that claims to improve circulation and flush out toxins), there are plenty of lower-key practices available, too. At Lymbr studios (locations in Connecticut, New York, Massachusetts and California), it’s all about stretching. A trained therapist takes you through a series of movements designed to increase flexibility and improve range of motion. “Personalized stretching, specifically targeted to treat areas of overuse, helps clients recover faster, relieve sore muscles, improve flexibility and posture, prevent injury and find your body’s full potential range of motion,” says Lisa Schneider from Lymbr. Sounds pretty nice, right?
Prices for using recovery rooms vary depending on the treatment—but it’s not cheap. A 30-minute infrared sauna session at ReCOVER costs $45, while a 60-minute stretch at Lymbr will set you back $100. (Yikes.)