Other than your professional or career athlete, some people – accurately called fitness gurus – take their personal fitness to an obsessive level. Although being obsessed about staying in shape is not exactly unhealthy, it can lead to some pretty crazy methods. From extreme nutrition to high-intensity workouts to clothes that promise better performance, people will try just about anything to reach the next level of fitness. More to the point, the weekend warrior, as well as the professional athlete, will try just about anything to stay injury-free. But how many of these methods actually work?
Compression Tights Myth Busted
One of the most popular fitness fashion trends of the past few years has been compression tights. Supposedly, the form-fitting leggings are supposed to hold muscles in place. Therefore, it increases performance as well as cuts down on injury risk. However, according to researchers at the Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center, there’s no evidence to support such a claim. During the study, researchers found that people who wore the tights on a 30-minute high-intensity run didn’t have any less fatigue than those who didn’t wear the tights. The tights did, in fact, reduce muscle vibration, but not enough to reduce injury risk.
Kinesio Tape: A Tried And True Method
It’s probably next to impossible to go to an athletic event and not see someone decked out in neon-colored tape. However, it’s not just another athletic fashion trend. Kinesio tape is a real method of preventing injuries and helping in injury recovery. However, it’s important to remember that it’s not some magical method of preventing injuries. Rather a support system for a deeper therapy or strengthening and injury prevention program.
“Kinesio tape doesn’t solve the problem,” says Kyle McCuskey, a certified athletic trainer for OSR Physical Therapy. “It can be used as maintenance and can help catch some pain, but it’s building strength and letting the injury heal that’s going to solve any problems.”
The Michael Phelps Welts, AKA Cupping
If anyone watched the 2016 Olympics, they probably noticed the huge red circles and welts on Michael Phelps. No, he wasn’t a part of some underground fight club. He was just partaking in the centuries’-old ancient Asian medicinal therapy known as cupping. There isn’t a lot of scientific studies that prove or disprove its effectiveness. However, many athletes and medical professional swear by it. Cupping helps relax the tissue of a knotted muscle through its creation of an inflammatory response in the affected area. This helps in the healing process as well as relaxing the muscles, which can aid in preventing an injury.
The Number One Way To Stay Injury-Free
People will go to great lengths to stay injury-free, from special outfits to ancient medicine. Some methods have been proven to not make a bit of difference, while others have yet to be fully studied. Although it’s impossible to prevent an injury 100% of the time, there is a way to reduce your risk substantially. With the right strengthening and training program, as well as good advice, you can reduce your risk to injury without the need of special tights or welts.