Review: It’s Time to Add This “Ice Massage Ball” to Your Recovery Routine

Got back pain, tennis elbow or plantar fasciitis? Give Recoup Fitness's Cryosphere a shot.

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My favorite review of Recoup Fitness’s Cryosphere belongs to a man named Gary. For years, his wife suffered from episodes of intense leg cramps in in the middle of the night. She’d wake him up, screaming “Get the ice pack!” Gary would then head to the kitchen to “… dig around the freezer and try to find the coldest one, then hustle it back to the bedroom where the wife is hoping on one foot cussing and wanting to know what took so long.” It’s a bad sitcom bit, which led to a lot of bad sleep. But according to Gary, the Cryosphere has changed everything.

“The Cryosphere has brought relief almost instantly. My wife has gotten the idea to take a few minutes before getting into bed to massage several areas on her leg with it as a prevention to the middle of the night attacks. We can now almost count on a full night’s sleep every night. I also use it after I’ve weed-whacked for a couple of hours. After about five minutes, the tension in my neck, shoulders and back usually melts away.”

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This is what happens when you invent an effective recovery fitness tool like the Cryosphere. People starts lining up to tell the world about nightly screaming sessions and battles with bushes in the backyard. It’s a testament to the versatility of the product, which is essentially a stainless steel ball housed in a rolling massage port. The Cryosphere is a pioneer in “trigger point ice massage,” a nifty tool intended to deliver the cryotherapeutic benefits of an ice pack, alongside the myofascial release of a lacrosse ball or foam roller.

No matter your story of muscle soreness, there’s probably some reason you could use the Cryosphere. The CEO of Recoup Fitness, Matt Hyder, invented an $8 prototype of the product back in college, after struggling to find anything to relieve his pain after a basketball injury. He sold enough to buy a 3D printer, and then started making a version similar to today’s model. His first big client was the San Francisco 49ers, who purchased the product en masse in 2018. Business grew by 426% from 2018 to 2019.

Recoup Fitness/Instagram

I’ve been testing the Cryosphere myself now for a weeks. It’s the real deal. Application is pretty simple. You put it in the freezer for a couple hours, take it out, make sure your skin isn’t wet, then apply to an afflicted area. You can roll it back and forth against the skin in a massaging notion, or untwist the port and pull it out (it’s about the size of a baseball) then work into a “hot spot” by sitting on it or pressing it between you and the floor. If you have literally any of the following — tendinitis, joint pain, mobility issues, plantar fasciitis, shin splints, sore muscles, muscle strains, arthritis, carpal tunnel, back and neck pain, or tennis elbow — the Cryosphere will provide relief.

As an avid runner, I generally have aches up and down my legs. These trigger points can lead to what’s known as “referral pain” elsewhere, and sometimes poor mechanics in my running form, as I try to cover for one inflamed muscle by relying too much on another. This thing, though, has been an absolute game-changer. I use it once every two days at the end of the day, after a hot shower. The hard exterior of the Cryosphere encourages deep-muscle relief, while the cold therapy diverts blood flow to calm down inflammation and (temporarily, at least) turn off nerve receptors.

It’s the elbow of an experienced masseuse and your favorite ice pack forming a super team, basically. Only it’s way more portable, accessible and affordable. In the world of home fitness recovery products, with its $500 infrared sauna blankets and $600 percussive therapy guns, finding a $50 tool that works is a godsend. Plus — and we know Gary must appreciate this — unlike an ice pack, it doesn’t leak or sweat all over the place.

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