It takes a lot of strength to fight the dark side. That’s why when the Jedis—we mean stars—of The Last Jedi had to get in tip-top shape to battle the First Order, they relied on every single trick of the trade. And that includes some high-tech gadgets like this bizarre-looking cold sleeve.
The Game Ready compression sleeve is usually reserved for medical purposes and according to the New York Post, is actually only available by prescription from a doctor. But the “Star Wars” crew, including Daisy Ridley, Adam Driver and Oscar Isaac, probably needed it more than most thanks to their intense training schedule.
“Normally, we could train [actors] two times a week, but with this recovery technique, we can work with them five times a week, sometimes more,” Christopher Vincent of the sports-medicine company Altus Health, told the Post.
If you’re not convinced of the sleeve’s magic just by looking at the fight scenes in the film, then think about the fact that Vincent has used the device and trained with the actors of the last three “Star Wars” franchise movies, along with the actors of “Blade Runner 2049” and athletes like Serena Williams.
So what makes the sleeve so special? It’s mostly the fact that it hits two of the four main components of recovery. Those components are Rest, Ice, Compression, and Elevation, or (as you may remember them from 9th grade gym class) RICE. The sleeve combines Ice and Compression, helping to hasten recovery time. The sleeve also comes with a warming feature, but as the Post explained, the device is used primarily for its cooling technique, which circulates 38-degree water through its system for up to 40 minutes at a time.
“It’s not always pleasant to put cold things on your body, so it took a little coaxing for people to use [it],” Vincent added.
Beyond the ice, the compression from the sleeve also helps to flush out lactic acid and post-workout blood to help reduce swelling and inflammation. It feels akin to getting your blood pressure taken, the Post reports.
And it’s not simply made to help release tension in the arms and shoulders. In fact, the sleeve can fit over many body parts including legs, arms and a few things inbetween.
Of course, this wasn’t the only thing helping the actors get in perfect “Star Wars” form. Vincent explained that his team helped train the actors to workout and eat more like athletes to stay battle-ready.
“We’d feed them more in line [with] a marathon runner, which is [a] higher-fat and -protein and lower-carbohydrate diet,” he said. “Their diet was very high in vegetables and probiotics like kombucha—the gut really affects your recovery, your acuteness of the brain, your immune system.”
If you can’t get your hands on a $300 compression sleeve, have no fear! There are other, lower-cost alternatives out there that may be able to do the trick.
By Stacey Leasca