As a gym rat and recreational runner, I’m often annoyed by sore muscles holding me back from that early-morning workout. That’s why I was excited to try Spryng, a calf compression device that debuted in 2018 at the New York City Marathon.
The concept behind Spryng is pneumatic compression. Pneumatic compression isn’t a new idea – it’s commonly used in hospitals to prevent deep vein thrombosis and in serious athletes to speed up recovery times. Studies do suggest that compression therapy reduces muscle soreness and swelling after maximal exercise. Most compression devices, however, are expensive and require a continuous power source. Spryng’s take on pneumatic compression is unique in its portability, playfulness, and accessibility to the wider public.
As Spryng’s website says, “We believe in living life like it is a video game.” When you first open the box, you see this theme immediately in the box’s playful rhomboid shape and block letters reminiscent of an arcade game. Inside the box are two Spryng devices (one for each leg), a matching bag for travel or storage, and a charger.
The most visually stunning aspect of Spryng was the brightly-lit indicator lights on each device. Given the dark olive color of my Spryng devices, I was definitely not expecting to plug into the wall and receive a reply of pulsing, bright yellow lights. I imagined that if Marvel superheroes had to charge up their suits, this is what it would look like.
After a full charge, a day of standing, and a hard workout, I was eager to see what Spryng could do for me. I wrapped one around each calf and pressed the appropriate buttons to begin what the user’s manual (and the futuristic indicator lights) told me would be a standard 15-minute session at high intensity compression.
The minutes flew by. Walking around with a Spryng wrapped around each calf felt surprisingly natural. I was impressed with the ability of the right and left devices to detect each other and sync compression patterns with the press of a button, although they did un-sync fairly quickly after the initial sync.
After removing the devices, I could see that my calves were noticeably smaller. Perhaps this really was because excess calf swelling — the interstitial fluid and blood that had slowly accumulated over a day of standing and exercising — had been massaged out over the last 15 minutes. As for whether it worked for recovery purposes, it’s hard to say. I wasn’t sore the next day, but then again, I might not have been anyway.
Regardless, it felt great. The devices are portable, comfortable, and provide a solid level of compression. The fastening was very adjustable and easy to use. Although not a lifestyle necessity for a non-athlete like me, Spryng was fun to use and seemed to reduce the calf swelling that had accumulated over a day.
Spryng plans to sell its calf compression devices for $129 a pair. According to the company, it will be available on Kickstarter by April.