A Day in a Box with Steph “The Hammer” Hammerman

A Day in a Box with Steph “The Hammer” Hammerman

Steph “the Hammer” Hammerman recently visited us up at RockTape HQ, so naturally we couldn’t pass up the opportunity to watch her train with Neal Maddox and Chris Hinshaw at CrossFit X-treme Athletics. For those of you who haven’t heard of Steph’s story, check out this CNN interview. We weren’t sure what would happen—filming without a script, a plan, or expectations—when we joined her at CrossFit X-treme Athletics with Coach and CrossFit Games Competitor Neal Maddox and famed endurance coach Chris Hinshaw. We arrived a bit late so we thought we missed the magic. A TrueFormâ„¢ Treadmill was already set up under a pull-up rig with a Ring Thing® hoisted above. Just as we were about to pack it up and cut our losses, Steph casually walks over to the rig and Neal helped her in—using the rings to anchor the harness. We were skeptical about this entire setup. It looked fragile, awkward… we definitely weren’t prepared for this.   With a huge smile on her face, she started running.   Typically, Steph uses her crutches to support herself while running. It’s inspiring, but you can see the struggle. This puts a lot of pressure on her arms and less on her legs. In this moment, she is still supporting herself with the railings, but the power output from her legs is obviously increasing—Chris gives updates on her speed and confirms her mile time has improved. Interestingly, one of the most inspiring moments was watching Steph ask Neal for a little more assistance. With just that bit of extra support from Neal, she was able to let go of the railings and experience something entirely new. She walked...

Running with Rocktape

I’ve got to admit, it’s a bit strange writing an informative blog post. I’m used to sticking on updates about how training’s going (or not going!) and what’s been happening as I raise money for my charity. But this is a little different today so you’re going to have to bear with me as I scratch around for a decent introduction. This post is, essentially, about the benefits of Rocktape, and how I feel it has helped me get to where I am now. But to write that, I’d better fill you in on ‘where I am now’! I’m 20 and I’ve always felt a bit of a need to keep fit, since I was a young child – probably down to the fact my mum always made sure to keep up a routine of gym work and healthy eating herself. Naturally, when I was very young, it was a case of everywhere mum went I went – there’s a picture of me pretending to use the sit up machine aged 5! At about 14/15 I enjoyed running a mile or two, but only to keep in shape for riding (we’ve always had horses and I’m now a riding instructor). I don’t think I really considered ever being a ‘proper’ runner. But then, two years ago, I went for a run and got lost (anyone who reads my blog will know what a diabolical sense of direction I have). I’m never one for stopping during a run so I just kept running….and running until eventually I managed to work my way back to where I started. When I had...
In Pain? How to Assemble a Winning Team for Your Rehab

In Pain? How to Assemble a Winning Team for Your Rehab

“You wake up in the middle of the night and your shoulder is screaming as you lie on it. In the morning, you can barely bend over to put your Stance socks on after that heavy squat session yesterday. Box jumps and double-unders are impossible because of your heel pain. You’ve rolled, smashed, broke out the bands, taped, and enlisted a “super-friend”. Nothing works. What gives? Is this the life of a CrossFitter?” To read the article from RockTape Instructor and Chiropractor Rob Crowley in full 0n the Breaking Muscle website click...
Kinesiology tape shown to help acute low back pain

Kinesiology tape shown to help acute low back pain

Acute low back pain is very common, and a condition that affects a large proportion of the population at some stage throughout their life. Kinesiology tape has been shown to be an effective early intervention in a recent study from Turkey. In this study, 109 subjects with acute low back pain were allocated into two groups. Both groups received the same intervention consisting of information regarding lumbar pain, correct lifting techniques and advice re sleeping positions. They were also given reassurance about the benign nature of their pain, and advice re keeping active within pain limits. Both groups were allowed to take paracetamol as required. The intervention group also had kinesiology tape applied to their low backs in a star, or “zapper” formation. (See our website for a video on how the “zapper” is applied). The tape was applied three times, and left in place for four days each time. This gave a total taped duration of 12 days. The researchers measured pain on a VAS, determining a priori that their MCID (minimal clinically important difference) would be a reduction in this score of 3.5cm. They also utilised the Oswestry score as a measure of disability, and also the number of paracetamol tablets consumed. The study found that the VAS had reduced by the pre-determined 3.5cm by day six in the taped group, compared with day twelve in the control group. The Oswestry score was significantly reduced in the taped group at twelve days when compared with the control group, and it was still better four weeks later but this was not quite at a statistically significant level. The...
Equine Taping with Helen Barker

Equine Taping with Helen Barker

Helen is a fully qualified Equine Physiotherapist and sit on the committee for IAAT (The International Association of Animal Therapists). Helen provides some insights into the world of equine taping… As with any human athlete, horses also require help every now and again for support with their muscoskeletal system. I use tape in several ways to maximise the horse’s athletic potential in different disciplines and decrease the recovery time during injury. The main reasons I find for taping are; Proprioception – asking the horse to use muscles that are perhaps atrophied or contracted Haematoma – as a lymphatic drainage to reduce the swelling Pain – to lift the fascia and allow blood flow to the pain site Support – for tendon, ligament issues Using tape alongside physiotherapy, I am able to best judge the suitability of each application for maximum rehabilitation of the horse.  E.g. A rotated pelvis  would require taping along the Semitendinosus for proprioception to encourage the opposite hind limb to step under and help rebalance, or where I have manipulated the pelvis back, keep the pelvis level. Where a trauma has occurred, perhaps a kick in the field, I am able to alleviate stiffness through stretches but with the use of tape I am able to treat any Haematoma that has occurred by encouraging the drainage back to the lymph glands. The tape lasts (dependant on weather, rugs, clipping etc) between 3-5 days and I always leave the client with spare tape pre cut and instructions on how to reapply. Kinesiology taping is a simple and affective form of treatment that most owners can use to...
Skiing with Heroes

Skiing with Heroes

By Rachael Dickens Medical Lead for Skiing with Heroes Last week 26 wounded veterans, who had all seen service in Iraq or Afghanistan went to Switzerland where they spent a week with the charity Skiing with Heroes. They were joined by two wounded veterans from Canada who were with us via Soldier On! A Canadian charity wanting to copy our success and take the idea back to Canada. Skiing with Heroes aims to support wounded veterans back into education/employment and ultimately back into civilian life. It takes a group of wounded veterans and after a ski week gives every single person a mentor for a year. It also funds the first ever Pain Management Clinic for veterans in association with King Edward VII Hospital in London. During the ski week the veterans are assisted by a medical support team of 7. These medic volunteers including two osteopaths and one physiotherapist have once again been tape sponsored by RockTape. During the week the physio osteo team used the tape supplied on over 60 treatments. The veterans without one exception had never had this tape used on them before. Most likely reason is that they receive their treatments from the NHS and not from private clinics. The physio is an army physio and loves RockTape but doesn’t get to use is as the army buy different (ie cheaper) kinesiotape. (We let him have all the tape that we had left over so our soldiers can benefit when he gets back to his own command) Why do we prefer RockTape? Because amputees have heavy prosthetics and this causes a huge strain on...
The Secret to Recovery: Crossfit Open 2016 by Jeffrey Kurtz (RockDoc)

The Secret to Recovery: Crossfit Open 2016 by Jeffrey Kurtz (RockDoc)

You have eaten right, trained hard, and mentally have prepared for the Open 2016. You may have had an injury on and off in the last year, but have struggled through it. You may have even struggled with going to the Box for your workouts because you felt burned out. Now you dig deep for the best performance possible and maybe or maybe not you are meeting your expectations. Some of these symptoms are signs of OVERtraining. Other signs include chronic injuries, loss of motivation, and increased susceptibility to injury resulting in stupid little injuries that start to add up or are just painful enough to annoy you and affect your performance. Overtraining occurs when we have an imbalance between the anaerobic and aerobic systems in the body. Many sports are anaerobic, aerobic, or both. Some sports that are thought to be aerobic are actually anaerobic based on the intensity of the exercise that causes a specific sympathetic response in the nervous and endocrine systems. Sports like weightlifting, crossfit, hockey, football (soccer), and tennis are anaerobic. Things like walking, running, and cycling are anaerobic, BUT it depends on the intensity of the training. There are two gears to our nervous system: there is the fight or flight state (sympathetic) and the rest and digest state (parasympathetic). When we are under stress our nervous system goes into a fight or flight response and we release specific hormones from our adrenal glands (nebennierre) which help us manage the situation. The sympathetic response will constrict blood vessels, dilate the pupils, increase blood flow to the muscles and away from the digestive organs,...
RockRub review from runningmonkey.co.uk

RockRub review from runningmonkey.co.uk

Rock Rub is something of an oddity, but like many oddities we’ve sort of fallen in love with it. The basics: Rock Rub is either a massage wax or a callus-busting moisturiser or possibly both. If you looked at the cheeky strap-line on the jar – ‘Go stronger, longer’ – you might get a third, more Fifty Shades, impression. The confusion comes in depending on whether you check out the wax on the US website or its UK counterpart. In the US Rock Rub is predominantly sold on the basis of its moisturising strengths whilst in the UK it would appear we’re not quite ready to admit to rough skin and it’s marketed as a massage wax. In fact Rock Rub is pretty damn good all round. The reason why Rock Rub works well as both a moisturiser and a massage aid is down to the ingredients. Beeswax (Australian beeswax to be specific, although we don’t know if that’s significant) forms the base along with canola oil, to which is added vitamin E, patchouli, lavender and the mysterious sounding ylang-ylang. It’s really the latter – along with the vitamin E benefits – that make Rock Rub so good for the skin, whilst the beeswax, with it’s slightly ‘tacky’ qualities that make it so well balanced for massage, particularly myofascial release. Whilst we had feared that patchouli and lavender would be an overpowering combination, the smell is actually subtle and, most importantly for massage, the consistency remains constant during treatment. A little also goes a surprisingly long way. Many runners opt to go for a good long-term build up of...
Talking H2O with Terry Robinson PT, ATC & Head Athletic Trainer for USA Diving

Talking H2O with Terry Robinson PT, ATC & Head Athletic Trainer for USA Diving

I was at a Health Expo prior to the Dallas Marathon. I had been using kinesiology tape extensively with my patients as well as the athletes of USA Diving for many years. I saw a RockTape booth and was intrigued to find what this tape had to offer that my current tape didn’t. So I stated talking to this guy named Greg van den Dries. He had no idea who I was and I had no clue who he was. We were just two guys at a pre-race health fair. I was browsing around looking at products and was intrigued by this new tape with the slogan “Go Stronger, Longer.” He was an owner and developer of a relatively new kinesiology tape company called RockTape. He went through his little spiel trying to convince me how much better RockTape was compared to the “other” brand. I then told him of my involvement with the US Diving team as their Head Athletic Trainer/ Physical Therapist and that I was about to travel for the World Cup of Diving. So he handed me six rolls. In a month I was in London for an event leading up to the 2012 Summer Olympic Games. It was there that I first exposed the athletes of USA Diving to RockTape. One by one, these athletes came to me and said that RockTape was “by far better” than what I had previously been applying. It stayed on longer and held up to the demands of hitting the water at 35+ miles per hour. RockTape quickly became an integral part of my medical kit. Today, RockTape...
Crossfit Regional’s and dealing with injury By Beth Hoggarth (RockStar)

Crossfit Regional’s and dealing with injury By Beth Hoggarth (RockStar)

I read this quote a few days ago, and it actually took some time to sink in and think about… “The suffering is so intense, that it’s absolutely cleansing. The pain is so deep and strong that a curtain descends over your brain….Once, someone asked me what pleasure I took in riding for so long. ‘PLEASURE???? I said.’ ‘I don’t understand the question.’ I didn’t do it for the pleasure; I did it for the pain.” – Lance Armstrong I totally get it! I have spent years competing. In Judo – where i have represented my country for many years, and then in CrossFit, where I have fought, and succeeded for a place at the Regionals in 2014 and 2015. We put ourselves through these workouts… and yes, it actually hurts! Every single person who is competing in the Open will have finished a workout and been left rolling around on the floor – thinking what the fuck! Incoherent and bemused yet satisfied! What pleasure is there in feeling your lungs hurt, and your muscles cry?! Well there is pleasure… there is pleasure in pain. Having competed and fought for a place at the European/ Meridian Regionals for two years, I was a bit – no let’s re-phrase that… very down… not to be in ‘that fighting place’ this year. A shoulder injury has set me back this year, and I was thinking about not entering the Open for 2016. But then I remembered why I love this sport. I love the pain. I thrive off the feeling of hurting. Of putting myself into ‘that’ place where nothing else...
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