Ok, it looks ridiculous, but the idea behind it seems simple enough: pump air into large inflatable sleeves running the length of the legs to increase blood flow, clear post-workout waste products, reduce swelling, provide massage, and speed recovery.  With those benefits in mind — and knowing that it could be used in the privacy of my own home — I decided to give the recovery pump a try.
     The Recovery Pump is described as an “FDA approved, medical grade SIPC- Sequential, Intermittent, Pneumatic, Compression device with 4-chambered sleeves that inflation sequential from the toes to the base of the buttocks.”  Imagine a giant blood pressure cuff, inflating to squeeze your legs from the bottom on up, and you’ll get the basic idea.
     I decided to give the Recovery Pump a challenging test: I would use it immediately after running a marathon.  My session began soon after I crossed the finish line.  I laid each of my legs in an inflatable sleeve, and zippered them up from my foot to my hip.  Next I used the pump’s controls to select compression force and interval times, and flipped the on switch.
     The pump began to fill immediately, providing a squeezing sensation around my foot, and then my calf and my thighs.  After a short period, the sleeves emptied, and the process began again. 
     It felt great.  Even if I didn’t experience all of the promised benefits, I was sold.  And the next day I felt better than I usually do following a marathon run.  I had less soreness and stiffness, and had better than usual range of motion in my leg joints. 
     While recovery certainly is based on many factors –  including the level of training, pre- and post-race fueling and hydration, and the percentage of max effort at which a race is run – I felt that the Recovery Pump had something to do with how good I felt.
     Based on my own experience, the I consider the Recovery Pump to be a useful and effective tool for athletes.  For those of you with the means to buy one (the cost is about $1,200, with some discounts often available) it’s an investment I reommend making.  For more inforation, including a page on applicable research results, see the company website at


About horowitzrun

Jeff is a certified running, cycling, and triathlon coach, and is the author of "My First 100 Marathons" (Skyhorse Press 2008) and "Smart Marathon Training" (Velo Press 2011). An obviously addicted runner, Jeff has run at least one marathon in every state and on 6 continents, including marathons in South Africa, China, Bangkok, and Antarctica. Jeff is available for group, one-on-one, and virtual coaching. Options include: 1. Basic Training Plan. This includes a customized training schedule geared towards a goal race, with a detailed running schedule that would include all distances and target times for each workout, including speedwork, tempo, and endurance sessions. 2. Complete Fitness and Race Plan. This includes the plan listed above, plus the non-running workouts and drills that runners need for better overall fitness and performance. You would get strength & core workouts, as well as run-specific training drills and stretches. 3. Virtual Coaching. This includes all of the above, implemented on a week-by-week basis. We review each week's progress at week's end so that adjustments can be made. The program is tailored to suit you right up to race day. It involves more contact, on a weekly or even daily basis. 4. Full Coaching for athletes in the Washington DC area. All of the above, plus a weekly workout together including speedwork, drills, and strength training. 5. Individual track sessions. One-on-one track-based workouts. Contact Jeff for pricing.
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  1. Neil Westlake says:

    I’ve been using the RevitaPump At only $529 the price was fair and it works great so far. I am looking to get the pants cuffs to treat my glutes whenever it becomes available. I have done my research. A friend of mine uses the PowerPress Digital Sequential Compression pump he purchased for under $700 on Amazon Its not marketed to athletes, but essentially does the same thing as other “sports recovery pumps”. The Recovery Pump, Sport Pump, and Normatec MVP are excellent products. But, I don’t think you need to spend in the thousand dollar or more range as long as the a pump has 4 chambers and FDA approved.

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