Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness (or DOMS to your average runner/cyclist/triathlete/weightlifter – delete as necessary) can be hell. When we train hard, we expect it – some of us even relish it. ‘Leg day’ is famous for the cowboy walk that follows in the next couple of days and after a 20 mile run, you’d be lucky if you could even get up out of a chair without making an old person style noise. So what if we told you that there was a company who say they can make you recover quicker and reduce the pain, therefore allowing you to train harder again, sooner.
Firefly Recovery harnesses OnPulse TM Technology to increase blood circulation through neuromuscular electrostimulation, thus reducing DOMS. What does that actually mean, though? Well… It means Firefly uses small electro pulses to help your body flush out the waste associated with exercise. But does it work?
The Firefly is clinically tested. It’s CE certified and it loves fantastic. It sits on the head of the fibula (leg bone at bottom of your knee) and has seven levels of stimulation. It ranges from ‘is it on yet?’ to ‘my leg is out of control!’ This stimulation does take some getting used to but eventually, you find the right level for you and you forget it’s even there. Initially, it’s a bit of a ball ache to get in the right position and if we’re honest, we felt a bit out of our depth in making sure it was attached to exactly the right location, but maybe that’s just because we’re paranoid.
The units aren’t cheap at £29 a pair and four pairs for £99. Supposedly, they’re single-use, too. Initially, that suggested to us that the target mark is people with a little more money than sense. Yes, the science is fantastic and yes, it looks fantastic. They have professional sports teams on board and we know that use of TENS machines, for example, have had great benefits to recovery in the past. On closer inspection, though, they don’t have to be single use. They are sticky and they do lose a bit of stickiness, but they have 30 hours of battery life in them and they don’t lose power over time. So keep it clean and use it over and over!
We used two pairs for two reasons. The first was a standard ‘athlete’ test used by one of our team in a hard training block for an upcoming half marathon. With a PB on the cards and 5 runs a week scheduled, the Firefly was really put through its paces. And you know what? It work! As a seasoned runner used the Firefly for us, they knew their body and they knew what DOMS they had previously had. Without doubt, the Firefly improved recovery time and was quick, easy and bearable to use. So far, so good.
The second set was used after a serious knee injury. After tearing medial ligaments in my left knee, I was struggling to recover. My knee was immensely swollen and the range of movement was minimal. With nothing to lose, I used the Firefly to see if it could help. The problem is, of course, there’s no ‘control’ mechanism so there’s no sure fire way to say if it worked or not. All I can say is that it was used correctly and the swelling did go down in just under a week. I’m a geek and a scientist and the research I did definitely held up.
But would we buy it? Now that’s a tough one. On the one hand, it helped us to recover. But supposedly at almost thirty quid a pop for one use, definitely not. But keep it clean and perhaps adapt it to be reusable then yes, absolutely. Oh, and did we mention that it’s beautifully designed?!