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Try It Out: Active Recovery

Posted by Roberta Levine on January 13, 2023

I liked the sound of the class – “Active Recovery” – even though I didn’t think I had anything specific to recover from.

Except… I’d done some intense workouts in the past couple of days. I have stiff joints when I get out of bed in the morning or get up from sitting a long time. And then there are those vague aches and pains that get the generic diagnosis – age.

So I was 100% game to try out Annie Kostovny’s Active Recovery class, held in the serene Recovery Room in the Squirrel Hill JCC.

Annie opened the class by taking inventory of what participants wanted to work on. “Hips and psoas.” “Lower back.” “Hamstrings are tight.” “Quads.” “Shoulders.” Basically, everything!

We started out on mats with some easy yoga-like cat-cows, down dogs and other stretches. To be honest, I get lost in the moment of whatever the movement or stretch is, so I can’t remember each and everything we did. But trust me, everything felt good.

From the floor stretches, we moved to using some specialized equipment. First, lying on an Acumobility Massage Ball for tight or sore spots in places like the scapula for shoulder release and in the hip area. Then, under Annie’s guidance, each of us turned on a Hypervolt Percussion Massage device. It’s like a big gun with a changeable tip, like a cushion or ball shape, that you turn on and apply to various spots. You control where it goes and the pressure and intensity.

We hit key spots from the bottoms of our feet to our calves, hamstrings, hips, lower back and shoulder area. The percussive vibration takes some getting used to but soon, I got the hang of it and looked forward to experiencing how I would feel when we were done.

The first clue came after we had put away the device and were lying on our backs, pulling our legs into our chests. I’m sure that I was able to pull my legs closer to my chest than I had since I was a kid. Standing up, my body felt freer and more mobile. I felt great!

Annie, who oversees the Recovery Program, is a huge advocate for recovery practices. “Rest is so important to help build strength and flexibility, and to prevent injuries,” she says. “We encourage everyone to make recovery part of their workout routine.”.

I’ll be back.

Learn more about the JCC Recovery Room HERE

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