If you’ve ever wandered out into our Recovery Centre, you may have noticed some of our members and athletes leisurely lying back in our comfy reclined lounges with inflatable boots on. Some might be lying there reading a book, others may even be having a little nap, but there is definitely a lot more going on here than just a rest.
You might be wondering what on earth those boots are for and probably a whole heap of other questions… lucky we are so happy to share our knowledge!
Muscle soreness and fatigue builds up after high levels of exercise and training. While it would be nice to have a sports massage everyday, for a lot of people, this is just not possible. However, the recovery pumps and boots can be used as a daily, aggressive recovery treatment for fatigued muscles (and if you become a member of our Athlete’s Lounge Recovery Centre, you can most certainly use them daily!)
The recovery pump system increases blood circulation by applying compression to help clear out metabolic waste build up, while restoring the delivery of oxygen and nutrients to the muscles.
A ‘massaging’ type action squeezes air filled chambers, starting from the foot and sequentially filling to the last chamber at the top of the thigh and hip. If you have ever had your blood pressure taken, it feels very similar to this. The recovery pumps and boots deflate after about 30 seconds, allowing the blood to flow. This cycle then repeats itself for up to 30 minutes or more – depending on how long you’d like to stay in them. It’s highly relaxing and no surprise that our members often fall asleep while using them.
The recovery pumps and boots manipulate the venous system through compression, rather than the muscle itself to remove inflammation in the joints, soft tissue and muscles. The pumps also achieve quite a different outcome to massage therapy and ice baths, although we recommend all three for fantastic forms of recovery and injury prevention. Massage primarily works muscle groups, elongates them, draws fluid from them and relaxes them. Ice baths constrict blood vessels resulting in reduced swelling, tissue breakdown and flushing lactic acid. For injury, this is great news, but for muscle recovery from daily training, the recovery pumps are a more desirable tool. Plus, this means you don’t have to brave freezing temperatures in the middle of winter everyday!
Recovery pumps and boots can actually be used pre and post training – it all just depends on the desired outcome. For pre-training, try using them for 15-20 minutes to get the blood moving and dilate the vascular system. This is pretty much the equivalent of a warm up jog, but can be done in a passive way without dipping in to your energy stores. Awesome!
If using the pumps post training or immediately after a workout, 30-45 mins is sufficient. But if you are using the pumps on a pure recovery day where no training goes down, you can be in them for up to an hour. They are simple to use, fully adjustable and incredibly relaxing.
We can’t encourage the use of the pumps more highly and if you’re interested in starting up a recovery centre membership with us, please enquire next time you’re in the clinic, or call us on 9939 1133.
*If you’re into studies and research, this might float your boat: