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Crazy Spa Treatments Every Athlete Should Try

  • courtesy of Sea Island Resort


    Forget an hour-long session—the performance therapy that's taking the fitness scene by storm is over and done in just three minutes. Jump into a chamber after an exhausting workout at Sea Island Resort (the first U.S. resort to offer the treatment), and get ready to bear the cold as the nitrogen-iced air lowers to -220 degrees Fahrenheit (hey, we said it was cold). While research is mixed, supporters of the treatment (think pro athletes like Kobe Bryant and Dancing with the Stars' Derek Hough) believe cryotherapy can burn calories, rev your metabolism, calm inflammation, and soothe sore muscles. Just make sure someone has a warm, fluffy robe on standby.

  • courtesy of Camelback Inn

    Thai Massage

    Buckle up, 'cause this isn't going to be an average day at the spa. When you sign up for a table Thai massage at Camelback Inn, you're encouraged to wear form-fitting workout gear. You'll be glad you did because you're going to get a fully interactive treatment that combines yoga with rhythmic compressions to improve circulation and give you a jolt of energy. Your muscles will be gently kneaded and stretched based on your individual needs, and we have a feeling you'll walk out ready to nail that yoga pose that's always been juuust out of reach.

  • courtesy of Four Seasons Resort and Club Dallas at Las Colinas

    Muscle Activation Technique

    Whether you realize it or not, you probably have a few muscle imbalances (it's just what happens when you do triceps all the time, but forget to show some love to those biceps). This therapy, offered at Well & Being at the Four Seasons Resort and Club Dallas at Las Colinas, is designed to help correct those trouble spots, plus improve joint instability and range of motion. You'll keep your clothes on, and after a series of muscle contraction tests (a certified MAT therapist will have you try to resist against him moving your arm, for example), you'll go through force application techniques—which basically feels like a really great, deep massage. The goal is to restore muscle efficiency and help strengthen the weaker areas.

  • courtesy of Hard Rock Hotels

    Rhythm & Motion Synchronicity Massage

    Think of this as your typical Swedish massage...just kicked up a musical notch (which is pretty fitting, considering it's offered at Hard Rock Hotel Riviera Maya​, among other Hard Rock locations). You'll lie out on a table that has speakers built inside, which pulse vibrations through your body to help improve circulation. This isn't supposed to be a traditional zen massage, so you won't find soothing music that makes you want to sleep. Instead, expect tunes ranging from the Rolling Stones to Fleetwood Mac played through a speaker-like dome that hangs overhead so it feels like you're surrounded by music. The therapist's playlist is curated to sync up perfectly with your treatment.

  • courtesy of Spa at St. Julien

    Biker Tune-Up

    Remember the last time you went on an all-day bike ride? Yeah, your muscles were sore (if they weren't, please spill your secret). Give those tired limbs a break with a Back in the Saddle Tune-Up at St. Julien Hotel & Spa, which is customized specifically for cyclists. With the help of arnica oil (which can support muscle function), your therapist will take you through techniques like myofascial release, trigger point therapy, cross-fiber friction, and deep tissue massage—all of which help reduce inflammation, improve circulation, and shorten your recovery time. Not to mention you'll get a big focus on your hips and ankles, which need plenty of love after working so hard to push and pull your pedals.

  • courtesy of Talise Ottoman Spa

    Snow Room

    Your idea of relaxation might not typically involve sitting in a freezing room full of snow. But don't discount this treatment just yet. The snow room at Talise Ottoman Spa at Jumeirah Zabeel Saray follows the Finnish tradition of snow after the sauna. The quick hot-to-cold temperature change is said to rev your metabolism and improve skin tone, not to mention it's way better than the dreaded ice bath.

  • Shutterstock

    Quirogolf Massage

    Avid golf lovers can now take their adoration for the sport directly into the treatment room. When you opt for a Quirogolf massage at Rancho Valencia Resort & Spa (hopefully after a great round on the course), you'll get a deep tissue treatment that's performed with—wait for it—golf balls. Therapists maneuver the balls around your body based on a four-pillar philosophy that reportedly uses synergy to help relax and warm the muscles, treat trouble areas, and improve flexibility. And we can only imagine just how deeply those golf balls can really dig into a muscle to Hurt. So. Good.

  • courtesy of Red Mountain Resort

    Himalayan Stone Massage

    Instead of your traditional hot stone massage, which typically uses basalt rock, mix it up with a Himalayan salt stone at Red Mountain Resort. The stones still feel warm to the touch (a.k.a. insanely relaxing), but the stone itself has 84 trace minerals within it that are absorbed through the skin to help alleviate tension and soreness. Bonus: These stones are shaped so that your therapist can do any necessary deep trigger work to really push through particularly bothersome areas.


Samantha Lefave

Samantha is a writer who is living, eating and sweating her way through NYC. You can find her running half-marathons like it's her job, Instagramming her favorite food and fitness finds or, let's be honest, eating peanut butter straight from the jar.

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