Avoid These 4 Useless Rehab Methods

February 08, 2016 David McAuliff

useless-rehab-header As scholars of the sport of muscle building, we are often inundated with theories for quick fixes, new "advancements" and of course, "get ripped quick" schemes.  We all know that while ingenuity can be a wonderful thing when it comes to creating efficient means of reaching our goals, there are no gimmicks that truly work.  And even some "proven" methods are often uprooted and disporven, debunked by practice and research and time passes and data accumulates and is analyzed.  Let's check out some debunked training & rehab methods and tools which should be tossed by the wayside as we learn & discover. FOAM ROLLING For some reason, athletes around the world have taken a liking to a practice known as "form rolling".   They administer an odd sort of self-massage, using a simple round foam roller pad.  The hope is that lactic acids and other waste will be removed from the system as a result of its use.  Unfortunately, the long and wide nature of the foam roller pad usually results in a good idea (massage of inflamed training areas) going to waste.  Lifters sore from a tough workout would be better served using much smaller foam rollers, or preferably, just their hands, to break up soreness and waste in the smaller muscle group regions. K-TAPE The latest trend, thanks to Olympic sport marketing, has been a self-adhesive known as "kinesio tape".  Simply put, this tape is laid on the muscle groups in hope it will limit pain and enhance performance.  Experts from all fields have condemned the practice as everything from silly to dangerous, but some athletes just plain like it.   There is a science to it, and an actual K-tape adminstration from an actual sports performance professional, does have some place in sports injury recovery, albeit a small one. EXTREME STRETCHINGuseless-rehab-01 In the higher levels of some sports, there are people who have made a (very good) living while providing nothing but "stretching support" - Helping their client bend, twist and stretch for 30 to 60 minutes, or more, in hopes of delivering some incredible muscle recovery and performance.  What these professional "stretchers" do not realize is that after a certain point in the stretching process, the positives suddenly become a negative.  The structural integrity of the muscle group is lost, and the lifter actually becomes weaker and more prone to injury.   While it may seem like dedication, stretching for more than 5 to 10 minutes can actually become counterproductive as you work to reach your goals. RICE Sports stars have long been subjected to the "Rest, Ice, Compression, Elevation" mantra when bouncing back from sports injuries.  However, recent research has shown that extreme cold temperatures (the ice) actually hinder the healing and recovery process by limiting cell healing and nutrient transport.  And rest?   Suddenly going inactive can limit nutrient transport and hurt circulation in a body that is quite used to it.  The most useful form of treatment for actual injury is the C & the E: Compression and Elevation.  And of course, barring actual injury, the most useful form of recovery from DOMS (delayed onset muscle soreness) is a combination of recovery factors.  Sleep 8 hours each night and nap when you can.  Enjoy adequate healthy fats, protein, and carbohydrates.  Stretch and massage your muscle groups to ensure you are able to break up lactic acid stores.  Finally, drink plenty of water to help bring our waste from the muscle fibers. There's nothing wrong with using traditional tools and means.  Likewise, there is nothing wrong with analyzing current trends and practices, coupled with emerging research and documentation, to find out which strategies and techniques are most effective and likely to deliver great results in the long run! Keep the mental wheels turning and keep plugging away in the gym and in the recovery room - the results of continual research, adjustment, testing, and analysis may leave you very happy!

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