American half-marathon record holder Ryan Hall has not been shy when it comes to exploring new things in retirement.
First, he went mountain climbing in the Alps. Then, he began training for seven marathons in seven days. Now, he’s experimenting with cupping.
The two-time U.S. Olympian, who has gotten into weightlifting after he retired in early 2016, tried out the ancient Chinese practice recently at his home in California. The technique has been making headlines of late after swimmer and 23-time Olympic champion Michael Phelps was spotted with cupping bruises during the Rio Games.
The bruising can be seen on the swimmer’s left shoulder in the below photo.
With its recent rise in popularity, Hall figured he would give the technique a try. In an Instagram photo posted today by his wife Sara, the former runner can be seen with nine suctioned cups on his back.
“Anything is fair game to become a toy in the Hall house! #PoorDad #PhelpsApproved,” wrote Sara Hall. Sara is still a competitive runner and set her marathon personal best this past spring in London by running 2:30:06.
As The New York Times describes it, with either heat or an air pump, the cups lift the skin and distance it from the underlying muscles. Depending on the intensity, bruises may result from the practice as was the case with Phelps in Rio. The aim is to draw blood to the area to reduce soreness and speed recovery.
The 33-year-old retired from running in early 2016 citing low testosterone levels from decades of competitive training and racing. After an initial break, he has slowly gotten back into higher volume but cross-trains more and does less mileage than before.
Hall holds the American record in the half-marathon (59:43) and has the fastest marathon (2:04:53) of any U.S. runner in history though it was done at the Boston Marathon, an ineligible course as it’s point-to-point.