Normatec Compression Benefits and Buyer’s Guide

Normatec Compression Benefits and Buyer's Guide

Intermittent Pneumatic Compression used to be a recovery method only available to the world’s most elite athletes. But now, this cutting-edge recovery and performance-enhancing technology is accessible to any athlete with Normatec’s compression therapy devices.

The benefits of improving circulation using compression technology have tremendous impacts on accelerating post-workout recovery. From delivering oxygen and nutrients to depleted muscles to helping transport exercise-induced waste from the body, better circulation leads to better results in your training.

Your workout recovery is a critical component in the journey to improving your athletic ability. And finding ways to maximize the work you put in during hard training sessions is the backbone for taking your performance to new heights.

Normatec’s leg and full-body recovery systems unlock the exploration of potential that Intermittent Pneumatic Compression can have for all athletes. 

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What Is Normatec Compression Therapy?

Normatec’s recovery system is a pneumatic compression device that provides targeted compression for the lower body with their Pulse 2.0 Leg sleeves and the upper body with their full-body array of attachments.

Pneumatic compression used to be a technology that was either too challenging to find for consumer use or too expensive for everyday athletes to incorporate into their pre and post-workout regimens.

But with the development of Normatec’s consumer-focused product line of compression therapy, athletes of all levels have an accessible way to discover the benefits of Intermittent Pneumatic compression for their own athletic performance and recovery.

How Normatec Compression Works

Before we dive into the details of the different packages and specifications of Normatec compression, let’s outline how this technology actually works and how it affects the body to produce the benefits for athletes before and after training.

The foundation of Normatec’s recovery system is based on a technology called Intermittent Pneumatic Compression. 

Like many workout recovery technologies developed over the past few decades, Intermittent Pneumatic Compression (IPC) has its origins as a therapeutic medical device. Through the consolidation of research and results in a medical setting, the benefits and effects gradually made their way into the world of improving athletic performance and post-training recovery.

Intermittent Pneumatic Compression

IPC is a technique that places inflatable sleeves or boots over your limbs and then adds compression through intermittent air pulses to improve circulation. 

Initially, the technology was used as a therapeutic intervention to treat lymphedema (which causes swelling) and for patients that may be less active during recovery from a medical procedure.

Any form of compression to a localized area of the body helps reduce the diameter of your blood vessels. This reduced diameter increases the rate of blood flow, similar to how an attachment to a garden hose increases water flow rate when you’re washing your car on a hot summer day. 

The added benefit of Intermittent Pneumatic Compression compared to static compression is that it simulates the same natural pumping motion provided by the heart during circulation.

Naturally, the improvements in blood and lymph circulation in a medical setting drove the interest for their use in athletic performance and workout recovery.  

Improved circulation is an essential part of your body’s ability to repair itself after intense bouts of exercise or training. It’s what helps re-oxygenate and deliver nutrients to your depleted muscles and moves metabolic waste created during exercise out of your body.

Although the studies for the benefits of pneumatic compression are well established in a medical context, the field of study is gaining interest and expanding to the world of workout recovery

While the hard science is building in the athletic context, the anecdotal evidence for using devices like Normatec boots is quite compelling. From casual endurance athletes experiencing their effects after long events to professional athletes using them to find an edge in their training recovery.

Normatec Compression Therapy Benefits

The benefits of Intermittent Pneumatic Compression are primarily caused by creating pressure gradients and improving circulation. 

The resulting effects from using Normatec compression therapy either for pre-workout warmups or post-workout recovery to accelerate post-workout recovery can maximize your performance in several ways:

  • Improving circulation of blood and lymph
  • Improving oxygen and nutrient delivery to muscles
  • Reducing inflammation and swelling
  • Improving range of motion
  • Removing metabolic waste like muscle lactate post-exercise
  • Reducing delayed onset muscle soreness
  • Stimulating post-workout recovery
  • Relieves muscle fatigue

Additionally, there is a more intangible benefit to using compression therapy. The way it makes you feel afterward. Compression therapy has the unique effect of making you feel both relaxed and recharged after a session. 

The combination of improved oxygenation and mental decompression, similar to how you feel after a massage, leaves you mentally and physically rejuvenated. It’s an effect that’s difficult to quantify by science and research and is something you experience for yourself after your first few sessions.

Buyer’s Guide:

Normatec 2.0 Control Unit

Normatec Pulse Control Unit

The Normatec Control Unit is the brains and power of any Normatec compression sleeve you attach to it. Its compact design and button-controlled color display panel give you simple yet powerful control of your compression therapy session.

The control unit is included with most Normatec standard packages, but you only need one if you purchase additional attachments in the future. 

For example, if you purchase the Normatec Legs Pulse 2.0 package, it will come with the control unit. Then later on, if you decide that you want the hips and arm attachments in the future. You will only need to buy the sleeves themselves, and they will connect to your existing control unit.

But you don’t have to just rely on the physical control unit to maximize your sessions. It is also Bluetooth-enabled to seamlessly connect to your smartphone with the Hyperice App. The Hyperice App gives you additional personalization of your compression therapy, lets you save your favorite settings to use for future sessions, and even allows you to upload your recovery data to fitness tracking apps like Strava.

What used to be a tool only at the disposal of elite professional athletes is now available to any athlete serious about taking their workout recovery to the next level. 

Features of the Normatec 2.0 Control Unit:

  • Button controlled color display panel
  • Bluetooth connectivity for complete remote control through the Hyperice App
  • Pulse 2.0 Sequential Pulse Technology mimics the way your body naturally pumps blood to your limbs
  • ZoneBoost for extra time and pressure in particular zones of the sleeve
  • Works with the Normatec legs, hips, and arm attachments
  • 7 compression levels
  • 2-hour battery life
  • Approved by the TSA for carry-on

Normatec Boots – Pulse 2.0 Leg Recovery System

Normatec Boots

The Normatec Pulse 2.0 Leg Recovery System (referred to by most simply as Normatec Boots) is the bread and butter of compression therapy for athletes.

The reason why the Normatec leg sleeves are the most popular first choice for athletes is because of the excellent surface area coverage for the lower body. Since the leg sleeves cover the entirety of the legs from the origin point of the quads all the way to your feet, it provides a powerful pressure gradient for increasing circulation through your entire lower body.

Your legs are the foundation for your athletic performance for most sports and physical activities. Because of that, they’re often the body part that takes the most extensive beating. 

Whether you’ve been charging hills on your road bike, just finished the fourth quarter of a basketball game, or had an intense leg day in the gym, your legs are likely to be the number one most depleted muscle group.

Normatec Boots rejuvenate your depleted muscles by bringing fresh oxygenated blood and nutrients directly to your legs while shuttling metabolic waste out to reduce inflammation, swelling, and muscle soreness.

If you’re an athlete who’s just getting into exploring the benefits of pneumatic compression, the extensive lower-body surface area coverage from the Normatec Legs makes it the best place to start. 

Normatec Full Body Recovery System

Normatec Full Body Recovery System

The benefits of compression therapy don’t just end with the legs. The Normatec Full Body Recovery System is the full-coverage package, including attachments for the legs, hips, and arms for the best possible recovery experience.

Since we already discussed the details of the Normatec leg sleeves from the base package. Let’s break down everything you need to know about the Normatec Hip and Arm attachments, which can either get as a part of the Full Body Recovery System or purchased as stand-alone sleeves to be used with your existing control unit.

Normatec Hip Attachment

Normatec Hip Attachment

If your quads, hamstrings, IT bands, glutes, and lower back need some extra attention for either pre-workout warmup or post-workout recovery, the Normatec hip attachment is exactly what you’re looking for.

The muscle groups located from the quads up to the lower back are a few of the trickiest body parts to isolate for compression. But the Normatec hip attachment is uniquely designed with two overlapping zones to create isolated compression to cover the quads, hamstrings, IT bands, glutes, and lower back – all at once in one attachment.

The hips and IT bands specifically are crucial for your range of motion and mobility in any sport. And if you’ve ever rolled them out with a foam roller before, you know just how tight they can get if they’re not warmed up properly or don’t recover quickly enough between training sessions.

The Normatec hip attachment gives you a powerful tool in improving circulation before training to prime the hips and lower back muscles and gives them everything they need to jumpstart the recovery process after they’ve taken a beating during training.

Normatec Arm Attachment

Normatec Arm Attachment

The Normatec arm attachment takes the same principles from lower-body compression with the Normatec Legs and allows you to experience the same warmup and recovery benefits for your arms.

The most essential factor in pneumatic compression in the upper limbs is the complete coverage all the way from the shoulder to the hand. 

The Normatec arm attachment has five overlapping zones to give you that complete coverage. Your body’s natural circulation path travels from the tops of your shoulders down to the tips of your extremities and back to your heart. The arm attachment mimics this natural process by ensuring compression from your shoulders to your fingertips, giving you the maximum benefit from compression therapy for your entire arm.

How to Use the Normatec Recovery System

Basic Operating Instructions:

  1. If the battery on the Control Unit is not yet charged, plug the power supply into an electrical outlet and then into the Control Unit.
  2. Connect the Normatec Hose to the Air Outlet on the front of the control unit.
  3. Put on the leg, hip, or arm attachment. Ensure that any zippers are fully zipped-up and buckles are secured in place on the attachment.
  4. Connect the Attachment Connectors to the Junction Box Air Outlets.
  5. Press the Power Button on the Control Unit and the green LED next to the button will light up.
  6. Set the intensity level: 1 being the gentlest, 7 being the maximum intensity. (You can adjust the pressure during your session as well)
  7. Set the session time (Typical session time is between 20-60 minutes)
  8. Start the session

What to Expect During Your Session

When you’re using the Normatec Pulse Massage pattern, the attachment will first mold to your exact body shape with a pre-inflation cycle.

The session begins by initiating compression starting at your feet for Normatec Legs, hands for Normatec Arms, and quads for Normatec Hips. Then, each segment will inflate and compress, working its way up the limb in a pulsing manner, and will finally deflate for a rest period before beginning the cycle again.

Tips and Common Questions:

Using Normatec for Post-Workout Recovery

For best results for post-workout recovery, the session time should be between 20-60 minutes on Medium to High intensity level of compression.

Using Normatec for Pre-Workout Warmup

For best results for pre-workout warmup, the session time should be between 10-20 minutes long with a moderate intensity level of compression. 

How Often Should You Do a Session?

Normatec compression can be done daily, but most athletes experience great results having a session about 3-4 times a week.

Like all forms of exercise or recovery, you should always first consult your doctor or preferred healthcare provider for guidance before taking on a new fitness protocol. 

Review and Final Thoughts on Normatec Compression Therapy

Normatec compression is an excellent way to boost circulation, accelerate recovery, and prime your body before a workout.

But aside from the physical benefits that come along with pneumatic compression therapy, the intangible benefits of relaxation and rejuvenation are something you have to experience firsthand to really appreciate.

Another fantastic feature of Normatec’s compression devices specifically (that you won’t find from reviews of new happy users of their products) is just how durable and reliable they are. 

We spoke with a few local compression therapy providers who have been using Normatec Legs, Hips, and Arms for years, and they have yet had to replace their devices from heavy use or malfunction. Unlike our set of Normatec gear which gets used roughly one time a day, their Normatec equipment is being used for multiple sessions every single day for their clientele.

Pneumatic compression isn’t the cheapest recovery method out there, but its benefits are worthwhile for a lot of athletes. So if you decide to make the investment, you want to ensure you’re getting a quality product that will stand the test of time.

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