All athletes and physical fitness experts say the same thing - no matter what form of exercise you do, be sure to properly warm-up before starting as well as cool down and focus on recovery once you’re done. This is exceptionally true for athletes who do high-intensity workouts, such as those who play professional sports, train for marathons or competitions, or simply love to push their bodies to the limit with high-performance workouts.
Recovery is now an extremely important part of an athlete’s training regimen. To ensure they stay in peak form, coaches and sport medicine professionals continuously look for ways to help their athletes recover the most efficient way possible after the strain of training and compressed competition schedules.
One important recovery method utilized by professional sports teams and trainers is the pneumatic compression systems. These compression systems help relieve muscle strain, improve circulation, and speed up recovery, but how do they work? Understanding the basics of pneumatic compression recovery and its benefits will help you find the best system for your personal training needs.
What is Compression Recovery?
To fully understand the benefits of compression recovery, you need to understand how blood flows through the body and how this affects your workouts. To put it simply, the heart pumps oxygen-filled blood to your limbs and working muscles. Once the cells use the blood’s oxygen and nutrients, deoxygenated blood and waste go back to the heart where the blood is replenished with oxygen again. This system continuously repeats itself.
Keeping oxygen-filled blood flowing to your muscles is key to good athletic performance. Your muscles function better the more oxygen they have. Additionally, during exercise or training, your body produces lactic acid. If this is not removed from your muscles, it results in soreness and decreased performance.
This is where compression comes in. Blood travels faster through narrow blood vessels as compared to wide ones. Compression helps boost recovery by narrowing your veins and making blood flow faster and more efficiently to your heart, allowing it to pump back oxygen-rich blood back to your hardworking muscles at a faster pace. Targeted compression can also help your body clear up lactic acid and relieve muscle strain and soreness.
Pneumatic Compression Recovery
Athletes previously relied on special clothing to provide compression. These restrictive garments helped blood flow better. Sports medicine experts then discovered a new means of refining compression and designed pneumatic compression recovery systems that utilized air pressure to help support fluid circulation. These systems typically utilized a cuff, inflatable pants or sleeves, and an air pump to inflate the sleeves to desired levels of pressure.
Air pressure recovery systems are intermittent and pressure is purposely not continuous as it is much higher than the pressure provided by compression garments. Most systems provide a practical pulse carefully moving up the limbs sequentially and mimicking the muscles’ own movements for pumping blood through the veins for maximum efficiency. Through this pulsing pressure, circulation is improved, resulting in faster recovery, more manageable post-workout pain, a decrease in muscle soreness, and improved athletic performance.
Let’s delve even deeper and take a closer look at two of the package offerings from Rapid Reboot.
Rapid Reboot Systems
Two of the most popular Rapid Reboot system packages include the Rapid Reboot Standard Boot Recovery System and the Rapid Reboot Complete Recovery System. Each system utilizes the same Rapid Reboot pneumatic compression recovery technology and comes with a control pump with customized settings for tailored recovery modalities. Each set comes with the inflatable sleeves in different sizes and a carrying case for easy travel. They both come with a two-year warranty.
Both systems are designed for ease-of-use. After a workout, you simply:
- Choose the length of your recovery – 10, 20, or 30 minutes.
- Pick your recovery mode – Rapid Flush or Intermittent Massage
- Set your pressure – Ten pressure settings give you a wide array of options
- Activate/Deactivate chambers as needed – You can select certain chambers to activate or deactivate to either focus on or avoid target areas
- Relax – Enjoy your recovery and let the system help your body get back in peak form
Which Rapid Reboot System Will Work Best for Me?
Both the Rapid Reboot Standard Boot Recovery System and the Rapid Reboot Complete Recovery System offer the same full sequential compression massage perfect for pre or post-workout recovery, relieving sore muscles and improving performance. The difference is simply that the Complete Recovery System includes arm and hip sleeves for a full-body recovery while the Boot System only comes with boot sleeves that focus on just your legs.
To select the best system for you, you need to assess what type of recovery are you looking for and how much impact you put on your body during training and sports. For runners, basketball players, cyclists, and athletes with similar routines, the Standard Boot System will more than suffice. However, if you indulge in sports that strain your upper body as well like CrossFit, baseball, or weight-lifting, the Complete Recovery System is your best bet.
However, athletes of all disciplines tend to put pressure on their whole body. If you are serious about training and recovery and can afford it, investing in a whole-body system may be worth it in the long-run to stay at peak athletic performance.
The Rapid Reboot Recovery System vs. the NormaTec Pulse 2.0 Recovery System
With several air compression systems available in the market, it can be easy to get confused as to what's the best leg compression machine. To help you make your decision, we’ll look at two of the leading systems in the market today—the Rapid Reboot and the NormaTec. Most buyers go back and forth between these two brands when looking for an all-inclusive air compression recovery system.
Rapid Reboot and NormaTec compression boots both employ the same air compression recovery treatment, but there are some slight differences in specs and features between the two. We stack them up against each other to give you a better idea of the pros and cons of each. At the end of the day, buyers can decide which system meets their needs and provides them with the best value for money.
NORMATEC PULSE 2.0
Rapid Reboot has a maximum of 200mmHG and lets you shuffle between 10 levels starting at 20mmHG up to 200mmHG.
NormaTec has a maximum power of 110mmHG with 7 different power levels.
No battery. Needs to be plugged in to use.
Up to 6 hours of battery life per charge. May be used while plugged in as well.
Rapid Reboot has more options for sizing to help ensure a better fit. They offer 5 different sleeve size options.
NormaTec offers 3 basic size options (S, M, L)
Standard package includes boots with arms and hip sleeves sold separately. Users have added that they prefer the hip shorts sleeve of Rapid Reboot as compared to hip attachments of competitors.
Standard package includes boots with arms and hip sleeves sold separately.
10, 20, or 30 minute interval sessions only.
Users can choose from 10-minute sessions to up to 2 hours and 55 minutes per session.
Yes. Bluetooth-enabled app allows users to control sessions remotely and track sessions and data.
A start-up Amazon brand steadily growing and continuously innovating.
An established brand used by athletes in the NBA, MLB, NFL, and the Olympics.
While NormaTec is more prevalent in terms of branding with popular athletic endorsers, the Rapid Reboot stacks up quite nicely against it by providing a similar system at a lower price point and giving athletes more options when it comes to their air compression recovery system needs.
Pneumatic compression recovery systems like the Rapid Reboot system are a popular choice for athletes, trainers, and rehabilitation specialists. Despite their higher price tag, the long-term benefits to your body, their portability, and their warranty coverage ensure that the investment in these systems is definitely worth it.