Friday, March 31, 2017

Product Review: RockTape OCR Arm and Calf Sleeves

RockGuards Arm Protection -
RockGuard Arm Protection sleeves are designed for OCR, cross-training, mountain biking, and other high-impact sports. Made from Lycra® spandex, they offer abrasion protection with a unique asymmetrical design.

My Review:

Arm Sleeves Comfort and Fit
The RockTape Arm Sleeves fit to size based off their sizing chart on the website. The sleeves are available in three sizes. The sizing chart is included below for reference. My arms were right on the cusp between Medium and Large. I opted for the smaller size. They fit snug with little slack. The sleeves were extremely comfortable and weren’t as noticeable as other compression gear.

Arm Sleeves Function
One factor that a lot of racers fail to take into account is how the product deals with water and/or mud. This is important as many races have you constantly in and out of liquid. I have not ran a full OCR with these but from testing during training they do not retain a noticeable amount of liquid. The sleeves were exposed to many elements since I do a lot of workouts out side, the sleeves never gave off a ‘water-logged’ feel.  The bands are tighter than other compression probably to keep unwanted foreign objects from getting into the sleeve and avoided sacrificing comfort.  I am quite impressed with how much protection they provide!

OVERALL RATING: 9.9/10 -  I have worn many different arm sleeves for arm protection while throwing and pitching, these are by far the most comfortable and durable sleeves I have ever worn! They have an unbeatable price as well, and for a limited time come as a free gift when you spend $50 on the RockTape Website!

RockGuards Shin Protection

RockGuards are designed for rope climbs, deadlifts, cleans, snatches, box-jumps… really anything that punishes your shins. Tall socks can only go so far – our specially designed RockGuards are made from perforated 5mm neoprene with a mesh backing. Slide them on easily before your WOD and lift with confidence.

Built Tough
The 3rd generation RockGuards are made with durable 5mm neoprene on the shin-side – and a lightweight mesh on the back for easy on-off during your workout. The neoprene is also perforated for breathability and will not retain water during obstacle course racing.

Not Just the Gym
RockGuards are absolutely fantastic for a variety of collision sports – including mountain biking, obstacle course racing, and trail-running.

I had the same great experience with the calf sleeves. Actually, I was able to use my calf sleeves in more ways than I ever expected.  However, with my RockTape Rock Guards Shin they literally melt into my skin, and I can wear them post recovery for as long as I want!

Similar Comfort, Fit, Function, and Durability as the arm sleeves above!  However the calf sleeves come with a couple extra features such as a 2" Zipper for secure fit and easy removal,  Footstrap to keep in place during functional training and running, and finally a 5mm Neoprene Shin Guard pad to protect you from rope burn, deadlift bruises and double under lashes!

Overall, I highly recommend these Calf sleeves  to anyone looking for active support for endurance, protection from the elements during a race, or even for all day post recovery.

OVERALL RATING: 9.9/10 -  Once again RockTape's Protection sleeves do not disappoint!  

Head on over to their website via my Referral link to get a pair of your own!

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

WOD Wednesday #13


Tabata push-ups
Run 2 miles
Bottom-to-bottom Tabata squats

We're gonna sandwich a 2 mile run between two Tabata sessions of pushups then Tabata squats where the "rest" is at the bottom of the squat.

A Tabata interval is 20 seconds of work followed by 10 seconds of rest, with this 30 second period repeated a total of 8 times. The entire interval is 4:00 long. We count every rep you do. Make sure you always get that last possible rep, EVERY ROUND!

Tabata round #1 is push-ups. Maintain a strict plank position. Lower yourself until your chest and thighs hit the deck. Raise yourself to a plank. One. Can't do a perfect push-up? Go ahead and do the Push-ups from your knees.

Next, go run 2 miles. It doesn't matter where you do your run. Inside on a treadmill or outside on the street or a track. Makes no difference. If you do use a treadmill set the incline to 2 degrees to more closely approximate running outside.

Finish with Tabata squats. Not just any squats though. Rather than rest at the top of the squat you spend the 10 second rest period at the BOTTOM of a squat. No resting at the top during the work, either.

Monday, March 27, 2017

Application Technique - Procedure Using Intermittent Compression Device

  • Intermittent pneumatic compression unit
  • inflatable sleeves for upper and lower extremities
  • stockinet
  • blood pressure cuff and tape measure

  1. Remove jewelry and clothing from the treatment area and inspect the skin.  Cover any open areas with gauze or an appropriate dressing. 
  2. Place the patient in a comfortable position, with the affected limb elevated.  Limb elevation reduces both the pain and the edema cause by venous insufficiency, if applied soon after the development of these symptoms, because elevation allows gravity to accelerate the flow of blood in the veins towards the heart.
  3. Measure and record the patients blood pressure
  4. Measure and record the limb circumference at a number of places with reference to bony landmarks.
  5. Place stocking or stockinet over the areas to be treated and smooth out all the wrinkles, apply the sleeve from the compression unit, and attach the hose from the compression pump to the sleeve.
  6. Set the appropriate compression parameters:  (parameters detailed below***)
  7. Total treatment time is approximate 2 hours per day (multiple 30-60 minute sessions)
  8. When the treat
  9. Remeasure and record limb volume in the same manner as step 4 to compare.
  10. Apply a compression garment or bandage to maintain the reduction in edema between treatments.

  1. Inflation and deflation times:
    • Edema/Venous Stasis and DVT prenstion = inflate 80-100 sec/deflate 25-50 sec
    • Residual limb reduction: inflate 40-60 sec/deflate 10-15 sec
    • Goal is a 3:1 or 4:1 Inflation:Deflation ratio
  2. Inflation pressure:
    1. Upper extremity 30- 60 mmhg 
    2. Lower extremity 40 - 80 mmhg
    3. Pressure should be atleast 20 mmhg below diastolic blood pressure.

Saturday, March 25, 2017

The DO's & DON'Ts After Having a Total Hip Replacement

An important factor to remember is that your "New Hip" should not bend more than 90* degrees because of the possibility of dislocating.  With this in mind, you should be able to understand the reasoning behind the following "DOs and DON'Ts".

  • Don't put too much weight on your "new hip". Weight bearing on your hip will be as you can tolerate.  If pain is felt in your new hip joint, ease up on the weight.
  • Don't rotate (turn in or out) your new hip, but keep it in a neutral, straight position when you are sitting, lying in bed and walking.
  • Don't force your hip to bend more than 90 degrees.  avoid low stools, chairs or toilets. Have them high enough so your hip does not bend more than 90 degrees.  Arrangements can be made for you to get a raised toilet seat if necessary.
  • Don't cross your legs, even at the ankle, until your return visit to the doctor.
  • Don't attempt a tub bath until directed. 
  • Don't lie on the unoperated side without a pillow between your legs for the first 6 weeks after surgery.
  • Don't try to put your own shoes or stockings on in the usual way until six weeks after surgery.  after this time, you my careful and gently try to put your shoes on in the normal way.  If you have no pain in your new hip join, this may be continued
  • Do get in cars, buttocks first, and then swing your legs in.  To get out of the car, swing your legs out first, then stand.  You may be more comfortable sitting on a firm cushion or board when riding in a car.
  • Do take frequent short walks, but avoid fatigue.  Morning or afternoon naps may be necessary for a time.
  • Do report any drainage from the incision, pain in your leg or chest, calf tenderness or coughing of blood to your doctor.
  • Do follow these rules until your first visit to your doctor and they will give you further instructions regarded progress.

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

WOD Wednesday #12

15-12-9 reps for time of:
Wall-ball shots, 20-lb. ball
75-lb. thrusters

15-12-9 Reps of the 3 exercises in our triplet today. Toes-to-Bar (TTB), Wallball shots (WB), and Thrusters. Do 15 reps of each exercise (completing each one before going on to the next), then do 12 reps of each exercise, then finally 9 of each.

TTB without any additional guidance means to hang from a PU bar and bring your feet up so that they simultaneously touch the bar between your hands. They do not need to be straight, your legs that is, nor do they need to be pointed. Your toes, of course. It is possible to kip this movement by sending your hips in front of the bar and your feet behind it on the re-load. In fact, if memory serves your feet MUST go behind the vertical standard holding the PU bar up at some point at the bottom of the movement.

There are a number of ways to scale TTB. You can simply to an L-lift, hanging from the bar and lifting your legs straight out in front of you. If that is too much do a knee lift, lifting your bent legs so that your femurs are parallel to the ground. Another option is te V-Up: lie on the ground and then lift your torso and your straight legs up off the ground, reaching out to touch your toes with your hands. No matter what you choose do all of the reps; don’t scale down.

Weight for the WB is 20lb. (14 for women). Hold the WB in the rack position. Do a squat with the crease of your hips below your knee at the bottom. Come up out of the squat and throw the ball to a height 10’ above the ground (8’ for women). Catch it and repeat.

A thruster is pretty much just a WB shot using a barbell.  With the bar in the rack position do a front squat. Rise out of the hole and do a push press ending with the bar above your head, elbows locked out, some part of your ear visible in front of your ear. Rx’d is 75lb. (45lb. bar with 15’s on each side) for men and 50lb. for women. Scale the weight down if necessary but again, do all of the reps.

Think about what we are doing with our mid-line here. The TTB is an accelerated closure of the hip, while both the WB and the Thruster ask for a rapid opening of the hip when done properly.

Monday, March 20, 2017

Application Technique - Compression Bandage

Equipment Needed:
  • Cohesive gauze, foam or cotton under bandage
  • Bandages of appropriate elasticity
  • cotton or foam for padding

Bandage/Wrapping Size:
  • Hand/Wrist: 2-3 Inches
  • Foot/Ankle: 3 or 4 in
  • Elbow = 3, 4, or 6 in
  • Knee = 4 or 6 in
  • Upper Arm = 6 in
  • Thigh = 6 in

  1. Remove clothing and jewelry from the area to be treated
  2. inspect skin in the area
  3. apply foam or cotton padding around anatomical indentations
  4. Dress and cover any wound according to the treatment regimen being used for that wound
  5. Apply a cohesive gauze, foam or cotton under bandage to protect the skin from the compression bandage and minimize slipping of the bandage, starting distally and progressing proximally 
  6. Apply compression bandage, starting distally and progressing proximally. when applying a bandage to the lower extremity, first apply it around the ankle to fix the bandage in place, then wrap the foot, leg and thigh.  Wrapping around the foot should be from medial to lateral dorsum of the foot, in the direction of pronation.  When applying a bandage to the upper extremity, first apply it to the wrist to fix it in place, then wrap the hand, forearm and arm.  More tension should be applied distally then proximal and apply in a figure 8 manner

Advantages of Compression Bandages:
  • Inexpensive
  • Quick to apply once skill is mastered
  • readily available
  • extremity can be used during treatment
  • safe for acute conditions

Disadvantages of Compression Bandages:
  • When used alone it does not reverse edema
  • effective only for controlling edema formation
  • requires moderate skill and flexibility to apply
  • inelastic bandages are ineffective in controlling edema in a flaccid limb

Friday, March 17, 2017

Scaled Open Series: Workout 17.4 Tips - Presented by Gravity Fitness and Protes Protein Chips

WORKOUT 17.4 is.....16.4

Complete as many rounds and reps as possible in 13 minutes of:
     -55 deadlifts
     -55 wall-ball shots
     -55-calorie row
     -55 hand release push-ups

Scaled: (Ages 16-54)
Men deadlift 135 lb., throw 20-lb. ball to 9-ft. target and perform hand-release push-ups
Women deadlift 95 lb., throw 10-lb. ball to 9-ft. target and perform hand-release push-ups

Strategy and Tips for doing 17.4 Scaled:

- First lets look at the movements:The Deadlift is the simplest expression of strength: "I pick things up and put them dowwwwn." The Deadlift is actually somewhat complex and the very best thing you can do if you don't belong to a CrossFit Affiliate is to find someone who can teach you how to do it safely. Feet shoulder width apart, hands just outside your legs. "Pinch" your shoulder blades and lift the loaded bar moving your chest and hips in sync. Stand straight up. Reverse the movement to return the bar to the ground.

Wall Ball Shots (WB). Standing a couple of feet in front of a wall and using a Dynamax or other soft medicine ball held just under your chin, do a deep squat. As you come up out of the squat throw the ball up the wall so that it hits a target 9 feet from the floor. Catch the ball on the way down and repeat.

We use the Concept 2 ergometer for our WODs. The little square box that sits at eye level is a computer that can record all kinds of cool stuff including how many calories you’ve ”burned” while rowing. Set the computer to record Calories (as opposed to Watts or Meters). The little handle on the side of the big wheel thingy in front of you is called the “damper”. Most folks will find that they get the most out of each stroke with a damper setting of 4 or 5. Then pull like crazy with a strong leg drive!

Push up - From a plank lower yourself until your chest is in contact with the ground. Lift you hands clearly off the ground at the bottom to remove any momentum (this is the "hand release" part). Push yourself back up so that your elbows lock out. Keep a straight back; no sticking your butt up in the air!

55 reps of each in a chipper format - max reps in 13 minutes. I feel the scaled version of doing this workout lends its self to make up time on things you are just naturally good at, rather than having the need to develop skills such as hand stand push ups or strength (yes, strength is a skill that requires development!) .  The formulating a plan for the first 2 movements are key to this workout.  Depending on your personal strengths is where you put the most effort between the deadlifts and wallballs.  For example if you have a strong build, try to make short work of the deadlifts @ 135/95lbs.  If you have a big engine the keep going on the wall balls since 20/10lbs is not as heavy relatively.  The goal is to keep your rest breaks to short 5 seconds or so, with the goal of finding how many reps you are able to complete before you only need a 5 second rest.  If you do too many reps of deadlifts or WBs and need to rest longer than 5 seconds you did too many on that next set and need to cut back.  You could try doing sets in a descending format such as 10-9-8-7-6-5-4-3-2-1 so each time you go again there are less reps to do (that rep format will get you to 55 total reps!)

Try not to rest between movements, after the wall balls move right on the row and start pulling, just adjust your pace accordingly to keep moving, same with the push up, from the rower drop down and do atleast 1 push up before taking a breather! Most of us will not make it to the second round so if you do, drop the hammer and go all out because you probably don't have much time left anyway!

Thank you to Gravity Fitness and Protes Protein Chips for supporting our 17.4 Blog Post!  To return the favor please check out their products with these discount codes!  - "TryProtes" for 15% off! -  "ptherapy" for 10% off!!

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

WOD Wednesday #9

3 rounds of:
Wall-ball shots, 20-lb. ball, 10-ft. target (reps)
Sumo deadlift high pulls, 75 lb. (reps)
Box jumps, 20-inch box (reps)
Push presses, 75 lb. (reps)
Row (calories)

Rest 1 minute

Each exercise complete 1 minute Max Reps

5 exercises, each done for exactly 1:00; the clock does NOT stop between exercises as you move immediately from one to the next. Your score is one point for each rep (or calorie in the case of rowing). Wall Ball -> Sumo Deadlift High Pull (SDHP) -> Box Jump -> Push Press -> Row. At the end of the Row you rest precisely 1:00 and then do all 5 again, rest 1:00, then do all 5. Collapse in a heap. You do 3 rounds of FGB, a total of 17:00 for the WOD.

Wall Ball 20#, 10’ target. 14# for women. Hold the WB in the front rack. Do a front squat, rise, and thrust the WB to a height 10' above the ground. Catch the ball not the way down and repeat. Sumo Deadlift High Pull. SDHP 75#. Assume a Sumo stance, feet measurably further than shoulder width apart. Grasp a bar with a total load of 75# (45# bar w/2 15# plates, 35# bar w/4 10# plates) with your hands ~9” apart. Extend your legs then rapidly open your hips then pull with your arms ending with your elbows above the bar, bar elevated to neck level. Reverse the order on the way back down to the ground. A typical women’s weight is 55# (35# bar with 2 10# plates).

Box Jumps; the Box is 20” (women can scale to 16#). From a standing start jump to the box and stand up straight, hips fully open. Jump back down. Women and any man who has ever taken the antibiotic Cipro should STEP down (risk for achilles injury in this exercise). Push Press 75#. Use the same bar you used for the SDHP. You may start from a rack or from the ground—the original FGB was always from a rack. From the front rack position Dip and Drive the bar up, locking out your elbows and pushing your head through your arms so some part of your ear is visible in front of your elbow.

Row for calories. As noted previously, we use the Concept 2 rowing machine or ergometer.  Set the C2 damper on 4 or 5 and the computer on Calories. Pull like a …well, like crazy. You get 1:00 of rest after the row.

Monday, March 13, 2017

PT Modalities - External Compression

  • CONGRATULATIONS to the winner of our RockTape 17.3 Open Workout Giveaway!
    • Bruce Dupont - wins the RockTape Care Package!!!
    • Brittany Swaim - wins the free Pocket Protein Sampes!!!

Effects of External Compression:
  • Improved venous and lymphatic circulation
  • Limits the shape and size of tissue
  • Increased tissue temperature 

Adverse Effects:
  • May aggravate a condition that is causing edema
  • If to much pressure is used it can act as a tourniquet 

Clinical Uses for External Compression:
  • Edema - due to venous insufficiency and lymphedema
  • To prevent deep vein thrombosis
  • Residual limb shaping after amputation 
  • To control hypertrophic scarring

When NOT to Use External Compression:
  • Heart failure, recent or acute deep vein thrombosis, or pulmonary embolism
  • Obstructed venous return
  • Severe peripheral artery disease
  • Acute local skin infection
  • Acute fracture or other trauma

Precautions (be careful when using)
  • Impaired sensation or mentation
  • Uncontrolled hypertension
  • Cancer
  • Stroke or significant vascular insufficiency 
  • Superficial peripheral nerves

For our use in physical therapy we typically use compression wrapping (separate post), compression garments (shirts, socks, etc or custom upper and lower extremity for lymphedema patients) or intermittent compression pumps.

Advantages of Intermittent Pneumatic Compression Pumps:
  • Actively moves fluids
  • compression is quantifiable 
  • can provide sequential compression
  • requires less finger and hand dexterity to apply than compression bandages or garments
  • Can be used to reverse as well as control edema

Disadvantages or Intermittent Pneumatic Compression Pumps:
  • Used only for limited times during the day
  • expensive to purchase unit
  • extremity cannot be used during treatment
  • patient cannot move during treatment
  • pumping motion of device may aggravate an acute condition

Friday, March 10, 2017

Scaled Open Series: Workout 17.3 Tips - Presented by RockTape and Pocket Protein


WORKOUT 17.3 is.....

Prior to 8:00, complete: 3 rounds of:
    6 chest-to-bar pull-ups
    6 squat snatches (95 / 65 lb.)
Then, 3 rounds of:
    7 chest-to-bar pull-ups
    5 squat snatches (135 / 95 lb.)

*Prior to 12:00, 3 rounds of:
    8 chest-to-bar pull-ups
    4 squat snatches (185 / 135 lb.)

*Prior to 16:00, 3 rounds of:
    9 chest-to-bar pull-ups
    3 squat snatches (225 / 155 lb.)
*Prior to 20:00, 3 rounds of:
    10 chest-to-bar pull-ups
    2 squat snatches (245 / 175 lb.)
Prior to 24:00, 3 rounds of:
    11 chest-to-bar pull-ups
    1 squat snatch (265 / 185 lb.)

 *If all reps are completed, time cap extends by 4 minutes

Scaled: (Ages 16-54)
Jumping chin-over-bar pull-ups Squat snatches or power snatches with overhead squats permitted  Men use 45-75-95-115-135-155 lb.
 Women use 35-55-65-75-95-105 lb

Strategy and Tips for doing 17.3 Scaled:

- First lets look at the movements:
With the loaded bar starting on the ground lift it in one continuous movement to a position overhead, elbows locked out, standing straight up. What differentiates a Snatch from a Clean is the absence of a pause in the rack position. A Power Snatch is “caught” with the bar overhead in a ¼ Squat (caught means bar overhead with arms locked out). A full Snatch, or Squat Snatch, is one in which the bar is caught at the bottom of a full squat. For the purposes of this WOD if you cannot catch the bar in the bottom of the squat it is acceptable to do a Power Snatch and then “ride it down” to the bottom, essentially an Overhead Squat. 

Jumping pull ups with head starting 6 in below the pull up bar.  Start with arms locked out and jump/pull till your chin is over the bar.  Pretty simple on this one.

Tips for this workout in the scaled division is to push the pace for the first 3-6 rounds to buy some extra time when the weights get heavier.  Do your best to jump with your legs as high as you can to reduce the effort needed to pull and the fatigue on your grip.  This can be another grip intensive workout depending how you break it up.  I would suggest doing you best to utilize the jump as efficiently as possible to not have to break up the pull ups, then do you best to not break up the snatches on the 45/35lb barbell due to how light it is.  If that means taking an extra breather between the pull ups and the snatches go for it.  Try to do the same thing for the 75lb barbell if possible, however if it is not the next would be to shoot for 4+3 reps.  Continue unbroken jumping pull ups, and if you get past the initial 8 minutes move on to singles for the rest of the rounds of snatches as far as you are able to make it.  Make sure you have a buddy to switch out your weights for you!!!

Take time doing your regular warm up routine and build to roughly 80-85% of your 1 rm snatch. you should be sticking your warm up sets and going into this one with confidence!  Last bit of advice. If those are some big jumps for you, hit one lift with an in between loading to feel the weight. Just receive it and don't bother standing up. Then make your jump to the lifts that count.

In terms of warm up I would strongly suggest using a voodoo band pre workout on your ankles,  and knees. Also, use a peanut mobility ball on your midback (t spine) to open it up and allow your shoulders to receive in a better position.  To do this roll around with a ball on each side of your spine and move your arms up and down over yours head (mobilizing in the planned movement pattern), and spend time where the spine feels the most stiff (2-5 minutes total).  Finally, I would use a banded hip distraction (youtube this) on each leg or couch stretch for about 2 minutes to help with any impingement that may affect your ability to hip hinge or externally rotate and get into a good bottom squat position.

With this open announcement we will be giving away a FREE Pocket Protein Samples, RockTape Tshirt, Rock Sauce , RockTape WristBands, and RockTape KTape courtesy of RockTape (check the Blog Partners Page to follow the referral link to get your own gear 😉)  

To be entered to win you must COMPLETE THE FOLLOWING:
  • Post your open score in the comments (you do not have to do it scaled to qualify for the giveaway!!, along with where you did the workout.
  • Subscribe to the blog at the bottom of the page.
  • Receive your FREE Gear! (Winner will be chosen with the Monday post, so check back to claim!)

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Product Review: MOBLoko Kit

Mobility Kit Includes...
  • Foam Roller
  • Small Massage Ball
  • Large Massage Ball
  • Mobility Peanut
  • Latex Rubber Band
  • Carrying/Stretch Strap
Available at 
Use Promo Code "vitruvian" for $10 off your purchase!

Foam Roller & Massage Balls made of high density EVA Foam
Lightweight, Durable, Easy to Clean.
Twist End Caps for Convenient Storage of all Components.

My review:
Mobloko's new mobility and stretching products take an updated look at traditional myofascial release techniques. Not only does the Mobloko Foam Roller assist with pre- and post-treatment muscle recovery, but the end caps screw off to offer internal storage for the rest of the kit, mobility balls, voodoo band, but also your wallets and car keys. A convenient carrying strap is included for easy transportation to and from your practice.

I would label the foam roller as a medium sized roller, which brings with it limitations as well a perks. Everyone loves a great big foam roller where you never roll off the sides, and the MOBloko roller is just big enough that it felt comfortable being on it and rarely hitting the edges. Big muscle groups were no problem and it covered the width of our entire backs. The internal PVC tubing structure helps the roller to maintain its rigidity even after plenty of use. While the foam exterior not only provides enough cushion to make the rolling bearable, but the modest textured design feels great along tight, sore muscles.

The roller did great on all of our leg muscles. Once you move up into the shoulders and neck area, we found there were places you still needed the pin point effects of a lacrosse ball, Good thing the kit includes a variety of different mobility balls!  The high density foam mobility balls seem to do their job pretty well and have held up so far. I've been using it on my legs and upper back and does a lot better job than a standard roller. It gets into smaller places than a large roller can. However, I would prefer stand rubber lacrosse balls and rubber peanut to be able to apply more pressure, and I am worried with high use the foam balls will lose their shape and rigidity over time. But for now, it is doing its job just fine.

Final Results:
Overall I rate this Mobility Kit from MOBLoko as a 9/10 and would definitely recommend it to every beginner starting a mobility program and to have a kit for home use.  It allows coaches, trainers, therapists to easily direct a buyer to one location to purchase all they need in one well thought out kit.  Their website even includes many technique and demonstrations on how to use the different items in the kit on different muscle groups so they provide a great value.  Like I said my only critique on he product is that I prefer harder rubber mobility balls, for the pressure I can get out of them and the longevity of the material.

Monday, March 6, 2017

Lymphedema and Manual Lymph Drainage

  • CONGRATULATIONS to the winner of our Iron Bull Strength 17.2 Open Workout Giveaway!
    • Rick Rohdenbaugh - wins a FREE Iron Bull Strength weight lifting belt!!!

Lymphatic Obstruction - Lymphedema
  • Lymphatic obstruction is a blockage of the lymph vessels that drain fluid from tissues and allow immune cells to travel where they are needed.  This may cause lymphedema which means swelling due to a blockage of the lymph passages.  The most common cause for lymphtic obstruction is the removal or enlargement of the lymph nodes due to: Infections with parasites such as filariasis, injury, radiation, surgery, or tumors.  The main symptom is persistent or chronic swelling of arm or leg.
  • Lymphedema is a chronic disease that usually requires lifelong management.  In some cases, lymphedema improves with time, however some swelling is usually permanent.

Purpose of Manual Lymph Drainage:

Very effective treatment that involves a gentle massage, compression wrap, remedial exercise and meticulous skin and nail care.  It is a light massage therapy technique in which the skin is moved in certain directions based on the structure of the lymphatic system.  This helps the lymph fluid drain through proper channels.
  1. Increase the lymph vessel contractillity,  it empties and decompresses the lymph and interstitial fluid.
  2. Improves lymph circulation, it increases the volume of lymph fluid transported by abnormal and normal lymph vessels.
  3. Breaks down fibrotic areas (proliferated connective tissue and scar tissue)
Purpose of Compression Bandaging:
  1. Reduces the ultra filtration rate.
  2. Improves the efficiency of the muscles and joint pumps
  3. prevents reaccumulation of evacuated lymph
  4. Help to break up deposits of accumulated scare and connective tissue

Phase 1 - Treatment by a therapist that can last anywhere from 3 - 8 weeks.  Treatment involves gentle massage, compression wrap, meticulous skin care and education.

Phase 2 - Maintenance and optimization phase.  Patient is independent with self wrap, has been fitted with compression garment, continues meticulous skin care and begins remedial exercises.  This phase continues for the rest of the patient's life.

Friday, March 3, 2017

Scaled Open Series: Workout 17.2 Tips - Presented by Iron Bull Strength


WORKOUT 17.2 is.....

12-min. AMRAP
2 rounds of:
       50-ft. weighted walking lunge
       16 Hanging Knee Raises*
       8 power cleans
Then, 2 rounds of:
       50-ft. weighted walking lunge
       16 Pull ups*
       8 power cleans
Etc., alternating between toes-tobars and bar muscle-ups every 2 rounds.
* Movements vary by division.

Scaled: (Ages 16-54) 
Men use 35-lb. dumbbells, perform hanging knee-raises / chin-over-bar pull-ups
Women use 20-lb. dumbbells, perform hanging knee-raises / chin-over-bar pull-ups

Strategy and Tips for doing 17.2 Scaled:

- First lets look at the movements:
We all were warned there were going to be dumbbells in the open this year and we open with it as the first movement of 17.1, and now back again with 17.2, Men use 35lbs, Women 20lbs.

50 Foot weighted dumbbell walking lunges (held in the front rack!) step forward with one leg being careful to keep the knee tracking on or outside your big toe. Let your trailing knee gently kiss the ground and then lunge forward with the other leg.  On to 16 hanging knee raises, hang from the pull up bar, pull your knees up past parallel to the floor, simple.  8 Power Cleans with dumbbells (DB). One in each hand, DB’s starting on the floor before each rep. Clean the DB to your shoulders. This can be a muscle clean (straight legs at the top), power clean (“catch” the DB on your shoulder in a ¼ squat), or a squat or full clean (“catch” the DB on your shoulder at the bottom of a full squat).  The first 2 rounds follow this format, the next 2 rounds repeat while subbing the knee raises for pull ups.  These pull ups are chin to bar, and and technique will work (strict, kipping, butterfly) in workouts like this efficiency is key.

My tips for 17.2, I believe the key to this workout is preserving grip strength by breaking up everything, except the walking lunge, before you think you need to.  Pace the walking lunge steps, and rest the dumbbells on your shoulder to use less grip.  Take a deep breathe between each step. On the pull up bar figure out how many knee raises and pull ups you can comfortably complete unbroken in warmups then scale it back a few reps and drop at the point in the workout.  This is for pacing and to preserve your grip!  Same goes for the DB cleans, use more hips to save your back and have good technique when pulling from the floor.  Only pull the dumbbell as high as you need to be able to catch it in a 1/4th squat, no higher.  This saves your pulling strength so you aren't doing several curls each set before you have to hold on to them while doing lunges and also gripping the pull up bar.  Finally strategically rest during the power cleans at rep 5, 6, or 7 so when you hit rep 8 you can go right into your walking lunges and do not have to clean an additional rep.  This is a slow paced workout where the only 2 places I see that you can make up some time safely by going faster are during the hanging knee raises or during the pull ups (if you have GOOD kipping or butterfly pullups).  Please do not try to speed up the lunges, for balance reasons and you may end up shuffling you feet which is a no rep. Also do not speed up the Power cleans as this requires a longer range of motion compared to a power clean with a barbell and will put more stress on your spine.

In terms of warm up I would strongly suggest using a voodoo band pre workout on your ankles, knees, and elbows/forearms.  Compression of the knees and ankles will allow better joint mobility during the lunges.  Some light compression to the forearms I hope will increase the blood supply and nutrient/o2 rich blood to the tissues to help reduce grip fatigue during the workout!

Post workout? Get back in that ice bath!  or throw on the Marc Pro (blog partner!)

With this open announcement we will be giving away a FREE IRON BULL STRENGTH PERFORMANCE WEIGHTLIFTING BELT (check the Blog Partners Page to follow the referral link and use PROMO CODE: "ND10" to get your own gear 😉)  

To be entered to win you must COMPLETE THE FOLLOWING:
  • Post your open score in the comments (you do not have to do it scaled to qualify for the giveaway!!, along with where you did the workout.
  • Subscribe to the blog at the side of the page.
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Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Iron Bull Strength Alpha Grips 2.5 Product Review

To buy Iron Bull Alpha Grips. Click the link below and use PROMO CODE "ND10" for 10% off at checkout!

What do they say about their Product?
Alpha 2.5 - Unlock Your True Potential
The fastest, easiest and cheapest way to add muscle to your upper body is definitely through thick grip training.

My Review-  Iron Bull Strength Alpha 2.5’s

I have been using these Iron Bull Alpha Grips 2.5’s for a while. If you don’t know what they are, they are like a portable and affordable FATBAR. Coming off of hand surgery I thought these would be a great tool to add in my Training. Their primary purpose is to challenge the hand and forearm muscles more during pulling and curling movements, but they also improve hand comfort during heavy pushing movements and prevent active and passive insufficiency of the wrist and finger flexors during wrist curls and extensions.  The 2.5’s are the middle of the pack in their Alpha Grips. They have 2.0’s, 2.5’s and monster 3.0’s. I have small hands so I knew right off the bat the 3.0’s were out. The 2.0’s would have been nice, but I thought I maybe I was a little more advanced for those. Man I didn’t know what I was getting into to.

I had them on all the barbells, curl bars, pulldown, row and even the dip machine. What I found out was they are easy to snap on and easy to remove.  The next day was Deadlifts and some Rows. Time to really see how these will work out. I started off with deadlifts. I snapped them on the bar and started warming up. Slapped 135lbs on and then 185lbs. I quickly had to use chalk to help hold my grip. These really showed me how weak my grip really was and what maybe was the reason for my hand injury! I followed up with one more set with them on. Then I ditched them for my heavy deadlift sets.

They are easy to put on and take off of equipment, and once on they are very secure. Moving the alpha grips between different bars and handles takes only a few seconds, so if you rush between exercises for metabolic effect they won’t slow you down (this is key for a crossfitter when I am just lifting heavy to keep up the intensity) With my smaller hands these grips were challenging enough to grip to produce a considerable burn in my forearms.

My thought’s so far. These Alpha Grips will humble even the biggest guy in the gym.   BUT they will help you build the strength and grip needed so it does not become the limited factor on your lifts. I have been using these weekly and have made them a staple in my routine. I use them mainly on warm ups leading up to my heavy set.

What makes these different than other Fatbar attachments? The biggest thing for me is the curved surface of the grip itself. It’s more form fitting to provide a more secure grip. I also found it easy on the wrist then a normal Fatbar. All the other grips I have seen have been straight flat surface. Iron Bull Strengths are the only ones I’ve seen like this.

My Overall Rating: 10/10 for sure! The convenience, the burn, and the pump you get from these things are crazy and the results you get will show the effectiveness!