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On Tuesday, August 23, Hyperice released the Normatec Go, a smaller and incredibly portable version of their larger Normatec pneumatic compression device. The Normatec Go is designed to just fit on the calves and deliver therapeutic relief and recovery throughout the entire lower body through stimulating blood flow, lowering inflammation and swelling, and speeding up recovery after exercise.
The Normatec Go is available for purchase on Hyperice’s website now. SPY spoke with Hyperice’s Chief Innovation Officer and Normatec’s Founder and CEO Gilad Jacobs about the new product, its ethos and who it’s for. Keep reading to hear about how the calf-centric device came to be and key information about the product itself.
Hyperice Normatec Go: At a Glance
Hyperice is a recovery gadget brand known for its top-rated percussive therapy devices and the only real competition with Therabody in terms of the best massage guns on the market. Their Hypervolt 2 Pro is our runner-up for the best massage gun of 2022, and their Hypervolt Go 2 was one of our most-anticipated massage gun releases this year.
The Hyperice Normatec Go is a portable, wearable compression device that essentially acts as a targeted massage for your calves and is designed to help your entire lower body recover faster. Each unit has seven different customizable levels of compression and control modules, making it easy to turn on/off and adjust the intensity and time. You can also sync both devices to compress and release in tandem, and they have a super portable design that’s just slightly bulkier than your average knee brace because of the control module.
Read More: SPY Hypervolt Go 2 Review
- Very slim, portable size that would fit perfectly in a carry-on on an airplane, or even a gym bag
- Easy to use and charge, with only four buttons on the whole device
- Countdown clock tells you how much time you have left in your session
- You can wear them while walking around your apartment, making you more mobile than you with full-leg compression systems.
- Finding a perfect fit can be tricky
Compression Tech and Developing Normatec Go
The new Normatec Go is described by Hyperice as a “dynamic air compression wearable” and uses similar technology to Therabody’s RecoveryAir line of pneumatic compression devices. If you’ve never worn one of these devices, it’s an interesting experience. They squeeze and release your legs, feet and even arms if you purchase ones designed for the upper body. Jacobs walked us through the technology and how the idea for Normatec Go came to be.
The original Normatec was created by Jacobs’ mother, an MD and Ph.D. who originally constructed the device to help women who had just survived breast cancer control swelling. According to Jacobs, the original product was “huge” but has become more streamlined with time.
Jacobs and his engineering team started asking, “How can we make it even more accessible from a price point perspective and make it even easier to deploy when you’re at your desk?”
When discussing the design of the Normatec Go, Jacobs said that one of the most important requirements was comfortably fitting a wide range of body types. Once they got the design, they tested it on a a range of body types to ensure they could all find a fit that works.
“We’ve done everything from super skinny, non-athlete, younger types to 300-plus pound lineman in the NFL, and all of our testing around calves have fit nicely both in terms of circumference and type,” said Jacobs.
“Turns out the calf area differs between people, but it’s not as extreme as overall height or level leg height.”
He also noted that noise level was something they paid particular attention to when it came to the design. They wanted this to be a device you could use in your everyday life, rather than something too loud or disruptive to be deployed while doing other things.
“So there’s a nice gentle, quiet hum, but it’s nothing that’s gonna get in the way of what you’re doing.”
Hyperice Normatec Go and Focus on the Calf
After testing numerous models of Therabody’s RecoveryAir boots, which cover the entire leg and work in compression cycles that squeeze and release different areas of the leg over time, I was skeptical that this calf-only sleeve would work. Why focus on the calf in particular?
“The reason we chose the calf as opposed to the foot or the quad is the calf is acting as the heart of the lower body,” said Jacobs, pointing out that many post-op patients or new mothers in the maternity ward use similar devices.
“They’re anti-blood-clot devices,” he said. “They go really, really high intensity for short durations just to keep everything moving. It’s kind of like a cement mixer, right? If you stay stagnant, you’re gonna be in trouble. You gotta keep it moving.
“So that was a guiding physiology principle that the calf is really that area that you want to make sure is moving and can do a lot when it is moving, so that’s exactly why we focused on it.”
Who Normatec is For
“So the quick answer to the question of ‘Who can use it?’ is anybody,” said Jacobs. “Whether you’re a pro athlete or you’re a weekend warrior, or you’re just trying to get in a 20-minute Peloton run, right? Before your day gets started, or you’re sitting at work, or you’re fatigued when you get home because you’re standing there — it can really be for anybody.”
The Verdict: A Big Step Forward in Compression Recovery Devices
I can corroborate that out of all the pneumatic compression recovery devices I’ve tried, this one feels the most universally applicable due to the small, portable size. I’m planning to bring it on future trips for mid-flight refreshes on the plane since the slim sleeve design would make it easy to use in a seat without disrupting those around you. I’ve also walked around my apartment a few times mid-compression cycle, and the sleeves haven’t fallen or shifted position much.
Other compression systems are large, inflatable leg tubes that feel ridiculous unless you’re a professional athlete in the locker room. These sleeves feel like an elevated version of a knee or elbow sleeve, with some added electrical capability.