Odds are, you don't put your body through even a fraction of what Olympic athletes do in a day. Actor Bill Murray recently tweeted that we should put average folks next to Olympic athletes in competition just for reference, and it's totally true: Next to them, our daily cardio and clean diets looks downright lazy.
But don't feel too bad about it. For starters, not all of us were born to swim like fish, run like the wind, or jump as if gravity didn't apply to us. And while we definitely can't compete with them, we can treat ourselves to the same post-workout treatments as they do — of course, once you see this, you may not want to.
It's a post-competition physical therapy that's basically been sweeping the Olympics this year, and inquiring minds want to know just what the hell those red, circular marks are all over the Olympians' bodies. We've got the answers here, along with some cool news: You may not be able to swim like Phelps, but you can totally get the same treatment he does to recover.
Recognize this guy?
Yes, that’s Michael Phelps — Olympic champion, world record-breaker, and all around one aquatically blessed kind of dude. But do you see those red marks on his body?
Ryan Pierse / Getty
Don't worry, they're not bruises from accidentally running into the walls of the pool.
In fact, the marks are indicative of a treatment that’s actually beneficial to these athletes, an ancient practice that actually promotes wellness.
Vaughn Ridley / Getty Images
It's something we haven't seen much of before.
We’re not sure why it’s such a big trend this year, but maybe all of the athletes caught wind of the benefits of this, all at once.
And it's not just swimmers, either.
Athletes across multiple sports have cropped up with the marks all over their arms and back.
So what's the deal?
The marks are actually part of a sports therapy known as cupping.
Matt Slocum / AP