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What the Heck Is Normatec? Here's What You Need to Know

Research is ongoing about what will give athletes an edge. Over the past few years, it's all about recovery.

High schools, colleges, and professional sports — no matter what the age of the athlete, everyone is looking for a way to win. It used to be that the focus was on sport-specific skills for professional athletes and those younger. But as the research evolved people learned that you had to train smart as well to enhance athletic performance. Then they looked at diet and its effects. Now the buzz word is recovery, and NormaTec is one of the leaders in that area.

Recovery and Performance

Your body is like a machine that needs to be taken care of properly. To perform at optimal levels you need to consider not just training and competition, but all the components that will help your body recover so that it can perform at the highest level. Nutrition, sleep, periodized training, and modalities such as compression therapy all play a role. If one or all are neglected, you can't compete — and you may end up injured.

What is NormaTec?

The NormaTec PULSE Recovery Systems are compression devices that can be used for recovery and rehabilitation. The goal of their PULSE technology is to help athletes recover faster from training and after competitions. There are attachments that can go on your legs, arms or hips, depending on your training and sport. The system uses compressed air to massage the limbs, mobilize fluid in the limbs and speed up the recovery process. The system can be controlled to adjust pressure, and length of time used. So far, the research on compression therapy is promising, and many athletes, teams, and universities are using the NormaTec system.

Your Takeaway

Many people want to jump on the bandwagon and try out anything the pros use, even if you are an amateur athlete or an avid exerciser. But make sure that compression therapy, and the NormaTec, is right for you. First, talk to your doctor. There are some medical conditions that inhibit the use of NormaTec, or other compression devices. Secondly, make sure you are addressing the other aspects of recovery. NormaTec is not a miracle worker. If you are not sleeping well, over-training or not addressing nutrition, Normatec may not give you the best result. Use all the tools for proper recovery and performance. Lastly, find someone that has been trained to use the system. You may do more harm than good if you try it out on yourself without fully understanding the protocols.

[Image via iStock/Getty]

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