Challenging Core Strength and Stability with Variation

Challenging Core Strength and Stability with Variation

Let’s face it… planks are boring. But they’re also effective, especially if you mix up how you’re using them. All too often athletes will get into a plank position, hold it for as long as they can, and call it good. That’s not the worst idea in the world, but your trunk or core or whatever you like to call it needs strength and stability in multiple directions of challenge, needs to be able to brace statically as well as dynamically during movement, and in different positions, so mixing up the plank is both fun as well as better training for the central axis of your body. First things first, make sure your plank is awesome in form before you do anything else. A good planker will have a relaxed neck (and a relaxed jaw and face), will have engaged abs and butt that you could bounce a quarter off of, a neutral head position (not looking up or clamping your chin down to your chest) and a neutral spine position (no butt up in the air or saggy back). Last, but definitely not least, a good planker will be able to do all this while maintaining normal breathing, not holding their breath or sounding like they’re about to give birth! Your first goal is to be able to do all of this (and either to this with mirrors or video yourself because planking is like drunk dancing at a wedding, what’s in your head is never as pretty as reality) for 30-90 seconds and eventually for several minutes at a time. Once you’ve mastered the basics, then it’s...
Life after a RockTape course

Life after a RockTape course

To say I was a little dubious about the rock tape course was an understatement. I’m an engineer in the military with, at the time, very little knowledge of physiology and couldn’t get my head around how tape could do so much to help the body. The two day course back in October has now happened to be one of the best courses I’ve done. It was an intense but very fun two days, with a great bunch of people and Dan the instructor had no problem helping me with things I couldn’t get my head around. I left the course with a quickly improved skill set which has set me up for a great 2016. Since the rock tape course I gained a place on the RAF ladies football team to do all their taping for them. Also a place on the RAF winter sports team which covers bobsleigh, luge and skeleton. I’ve just got back from a week in Austria taping up all three teams. It’s a great feeling to be able to explain to other weary people how RockTape works and be able to physically show them too. This is a picture of me with the RAF Skeleton team after they had just completed in the RAF Champs in Austria. Also a picture of one of the skeleton competitors knees I taped up. He went on to win the competition. Next stop, Gibraltar, at the RAF ladies football training camp....
RockTape and UHC: Kinesiology tape for cycling recovery and performance

RockTape and UHC: Kinesiology tape for cycling recovery and performance

We reached out to the UnitedHealthCare Pro Cycling team to get their thoughts on RockTape Kinesiology Tape. Check them out below! When did you first begin using kinesiology tape and how were you introduced to it? Linda Villumsen: Back in 2007 when racing a world cup in Germany, I had a bad crash resulting in a heap of injuries, including a broken wrist and a badly injured knee. I went through a couple of real hard months debating whether I would ever ride again because I suffered from swelling around the knee. My team doctor advised me to try kinesiology tape and at first I was very skeptical, but I was proved wrong, and I have used kinesiology tape in just about every race ever since then. Cari Higgins: I was lucky enough to come into contact with RockTape when it was a baby company, maybe months old. Unfortunately, it was because I had a nasty crash on the Velodrome in San Jose, CA. My hip was majorly swollen and puffy the next day, but I still wanted to race. I ran into the founder of RockTape, because his daughter was racing, and he convinced me to try out the tape in a spiderweb fashion to reduce the swelling. The results were pretty amazing and you could tell exactly where the tape had been applied and where the spots I missed. I was sold. Danny Summerhill: I used kinesiology tape for the first time in 2007. I got tendinitis in my knee while doing base miles early in the season, and as it was my first ever time with...
RockTape Sponsors the GB Men’s Ice Hockey team

RockTape Sponsors the GB Men’s Ice Hockey team

RockTape Sponsors the GB Men’s Ice Hockey team. Ice Hockey UK have extended their deal with RockTape – the leading provider of kinesiology tape – to include Great Britain Men. RockTape, who began their sponsorship with IHUK for GB U20s’ bronze-medal World Championship success in France, will now supply the product for GB Men’s trips to Italy and Croatia. Pete Russell’s side take part in the Olympic Pre-Qualifying next month in Cortina and then the World Championship (Division 1B) in Zagreb in April. Ice Hockey UK, general secretary, Andy French, said: “It is fantastic the RockTape will now supply GB Men for their upcoming tournaments. “The U20s squad had nothing but praise for the product in Megeve. “We are proud to be associated with RockTape and very happy to have them on board with us again.” Director of RockTape, Simon Bunyard, said: “RockTape UK are delighted to be working with GB Men’s ice hockey team. “The grit and endurance they display when competing makes them a perfect match for RockTape and we look forward to helping the team on their way to victory.” For more details on Ice Hockey UK visit their website...
The “0%” – Kinesiology Tape Doesn’t Make You Stronger

The “0%” – Kinesiology Tape Doesn’t Make You Stronger

0%. Null. Nothing. Nada. Zilch. The September 2015 issue of Men’s Health proclaimed this is the amount of “measurable change in people’s strength when they lifted weights” while wearing kinesiology tape.[1] We’ve been telling people the same thing since the first Fascial Movement Taping course we ever taught, so this is hardly news to RockTape or to the thousands of people who’ve been trained by us. This latest revelation from Men’s Health is attributed to the Journal of Science and Medicine in Sport. We can only assume they’re talking about Csapo and Alegre’s paper that was published in that journal in 2014.[2] The paper concludes that the best evidence seems to point to the fact that putting kinesiology tape on doesn’t make you magically stronger. And we agree. Traditionally, it was thought and taught by other groups that depending on which direction you apply kinesiology tape you can strengthen or weaken muscles. Very complicated approaches using elaborate tape applications were founded on this idea. These approaches still get taught by some people today, despite all the evidence to the contrary. Several studies, like the one mentioned earlier, do not lend support to the idea that tape can be used to strengthen and weaken muscles. This is actually great news that RockTape embraced early on because it frees people to use our tape without having to fuss over which direction and “over which muscles” to apply it. That makes it faster and easier to apply, so what’s not to like? So, we hate to burst anyone’s bubble, but Men’s Health and the Journal of Science and Medicine in Sport are...
Strength Training for Runners

Strength Training for Runners

Most people don’t think of strength training as a necessary part of being a better runner, but it is an important routine to get into for anyone putting miles on their shoes. The stigma against strength training for runners has always been twofold: first, that to be a better runner you just have to run. A lot. And, second, that strength equates to more bulk to have to carry when running. In reality, strength training gives your body a needed break from the repetition of running and it can lead to better performance and fewer injuries. Most of the injuries associated with running can be offset with greater strength, which means stronger muscles, connective tissues and joints. The problem areas of hips and knees for runners do really well with regular strength training. More strength in those areas means more control and tougher structural integrity to be able to deal with the impact of running. And, more strength means more speed, too, which every runner likes! The most basic exercises that use lots of muscles and joints are the best ones for runners. Using equipment this means squats, deadlifts and overhead presses and most runners would benefit from bench press, too. Without equipment, you can effectively strength train using just your bodyweight, too. Bodyweight squats, lunges, push ups and even things like wall walks and handstands give plenty of resistance for runners to build strength with. Keep your routine basic. Try to do some strength training before or after every run, for 5-10 minutes. Keep the weight relatively light, using less than 70% of your one-rep max (the most...
The British Keelboat Academy – Time to create some supple sailors!

The British Keelboat Academy – Time to create some supple sailors!

By Tom Colwill BSc Sports Therapist | Strength & Conditioning Coach RockDoc and ROCKTAPE Ambassador The University of Bath was the location for the introduction weekend for the British Keelboat Academy. 36 sailors from around the country all meeting up to develop their understanding of what it takes to be a top level, professional sailor. The content was delivered by different lecturers focusing on Nutrition for sport, the Psychological demands of a team, calendar synchronisation, the financial demands as an athlete, then there was my segment, ‘Fitness testing and an introduction to movement and mobility’. The fitness testing section came first and we asked the sailors to complete as many “correct” air squats as possible in a minute, as many “correct” Pushups as possible in a minute followed by a 1K run around the track. We recorded all the athletes completing the squats and pushups on video, so that their movement can be reviewed individually and common movement faults can be identified. This was followed by a Movement and Mobility session aimed at addressing common movements that the sailors would need to perform regularly in their sport and to help them understand how to correctly execute them. We reviewed the squat and the pushup as a group and then gave out different mobility exercises to different sailors depending on their needs. We added in the sit-and-reach test which they performed, we mobilised the hamstrings, they performed again and were able to see the instant change. Instant change, that’s a concept that is quite nice. It definitely made a difference to position and movement, and it definitely caused a few...

GB U20S TEAM UP WITH ROCKTAPE

Ice Hockey UK are pleased to announce that Great Britain Under-20s have teamed up with RockTape – the leading provider of kinesiology tape. RockTape will supply the product for this year’s World Championship in Megeve, France which runs from 12th to 18th December 2015. GB U20s physio, Gabby McGraw, said: “Unlike conventional sports tape, RockTape is designed to mimic human skin, allowing our athletes to move freely while they play. “Not only can we use RockTape to support athletes during game time, we can promote recovery by applying tape to influence swelling, bruising and inflammation – therefore encouraging faster healing. “We hope that by introducing RockTape to the team, we can help the players be at their peak for the duration of the competition.” Director of RockTape, Simon Bunyard, said: “RockTape are really excited to be partnering up with GB ice hockey. “We wish the team well and are very excited to be play a small part in getting some wins under their...
Spray on Jeans – also known as skinny jeans!

Spray on Jeans – also known as skinny jeans!

There is a particular news story that I can’t get out of my head. It was only ever a quirky, slightly comical story but I can’t help but think it’s part of a slightly bigger issue. The story of a lady temporarily paralysed because her jeans were too tight appeared in the news in June of this year. Now I am not concerned about what people wear but when people cannot move properly this does concern me – and it should concern them too. It is not ideal to awkwardly shuffle about while wearing restrictive clothing, but if you limit movement too frequently, you will end up limiting movement permanently by creating poor movement patterns. The end result is a stiffer and awkwardly moving body, with or without jeans. So while the skinny jeans may go out of fashion, they may leave their mark on our muscles and joints. In relation to back pain – if you stiffen up your legs with tight jeans then your spine naturally compensates by moving excessively and increasing the likelihood of poor lifting habits. Of course it’s not just about skinny jeans, lots of clothing can be very restrictive, in fact our culture and British history is marked by our sartorial standards, stiff collars, corsets, thick leather shoes, all wonderful refinery but coffins for our bodies. What’s the answer? Lets...