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Tech & Wearables

Reviewed: Vibration Therapy You Wear

Recovery technology is going to the next level with wearable, hands-free focal vibration therapy to target certain muscles while you multitask. 

Review Rating


Basics

Myovolt is a New Zealand-based company with a background in wearable tech that has created focal vibration treatment garments—like a percussive massager you wear. 


Pros

Portable

Hands-free

Soft and comfortable

Cons

Limited to only certain body part configurations

Extension straps needed for larger users

Cost (each unit sold a la carte) 


Price

$130

Brand

Myovolt


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Myovolt Pricing

Myovolt Back – $150 USD
Myovolt Shoulder (tested) – $150 USD
Myovolt Leg (tested) – $150 USD
Myovolt Arm – $130 USD

Athletes wanting to maximize performance and recovery have looked to devices throughout the years. This quest has fueled the evolution from the standard foam roller, to more advanced foam rollers with vibration and different textures, and recently to percussion therapy guns like offerings from Hypervolt and Theragun. The latest iteration, aimed at optimizing recovery is from Myovolt—a wearable device that you wear and delivers targeted vibration. The creators of Myovolt have been producing performance-enhancing wearable technology for NASA, the military, and Olympians for years and developed Myovolt with the goal of making their technology accessible to all.

Basics

Think of Myovolt as a wearable sleeve (Myovolt Wrap) that houses a unit (Myovolt Module) with 4 vibrating tips. The Myovolt straps to your body and delivers 10 minutes of vibration therapy to your soft tissues from three pre-programmed protocols. The unit is charged via USB and claims a battery life of eight to 10 uses between charges. The wrap is machine washable (though not the Module) if you find yourself using it often immediately after training. Myovolt can be used both as a muscle warm-up and as a recovery tool. The company states that the unit massages muscles, stimulates blood flow, promotes circulation, relieves soreness, and increases flexibility. The unit delivers 1-2 mm of amplitude of vibration over 30-60 Hz (cycles per second). To put this number in perspective, leading percussion guns deliver 16 mm of amplitude over 30-50 Hz (listed as “Percussions Per Minute” at 1750-3200 PPM).

Related: Face-Off: Theragun Mini V. Addaday BioZoom Jr. Percussion Devices

The Good

Don’t you just hate having to unnecessarily use your arms (Gen Z statement, right)? Though I did not know how much I would appreciate hands-free percussive-like therapy until I experienced it first hand. Myovolt is portable and flexible making it convenient to bring in your workout bag for an immediate start to your recovery without any effort at all. Unlike using a foam roller or a percussion gun, you can strap on the Myovolt and you are free to move around (-ish, but more on that later) taking modern multitasking to the next level. What isn’t to like about being able to use your hands freely for pressing issues such as updating/comparing Strava/Instagram/Tik Tok and more? With current percussion technology, you’d have to use a pesky hand to hold the device or negotiate with your significant other to help out. The gentle nature of the Myovolt makes it ideal for less aggressive recovery (far more comfortable than foam rolling), and it can be worn over clothing or directly against the skin without much of a difference in effectiveness.

The wrap is soft and made of quality fabric—as are the included velcro tabs. The Module has an easy to use power/mode toggle button and is not cumbersome in regards to weight or size. I have absolutely no complaints about the craftsmanship of the manufacturing.

The Not-So-Good

Portability is relative. In order to be able to walk around while using the leg sleeve without it constantly sliding down, you really have to snug down the unit—to the point of being uncomfortably tight. This may be an issue of user error. I may also be a case of user build, as Foster Farms chickens have more developed legs than I do, and there might simply not be enough girth for the device to hold onto (cue the sad violin music). However, I cannot imagine the specimen that would be able to walk around enough to make their recovery smoothie without having to readjust the unit every third step. This problem only applies to the leg unit as I had no issues while using the shoulder unit (I only tested the leg and shoulder units).

Myovolt is sold in individual units, making buying a “triathlete set” relatively costly at nearly $600. Also, at only 1-2 mm of amplitude, the unit feels underpowered compared to the percussive guns we’re used to. In an era where more seems like more, the lack of power of the Myovolt gives an impression of a relaxing massage set to Yanni rather than a Sumo wrestler administering a Thai massage.

Conclusions

In terms of feel, “subtle” and “gentle” are the adjectives I would use. That said, I found the portability of Myovolt a welcomed surprise. I could use the leg wrap for a warm-up before heading out on the bike and the shoulder setup for recovery after a swim on the drive home. However, if you are the masochist type that favors the extra-firm foam roller, percussion gun on high, or rolling out on a Lacrosse ball, you might find Myovolt to be too “soft” for you. But if you are an athlete who likes to collect recovery toys and budget is not a factor, this is one to consider adding to your collection.