Percussive Therapy for Crossfit Athletes
Percussive therapy is a treatment administered through a gun-like device called a massage gun that operates through an oscillating head motion, which when applied to the body, gently pounds the body area, sending deep pulsating effects into the muscles, thus helping to release tight muscles, heal several muscle injuries and attain a precious state of comfort and relaxation.
CrossFit is a company that organizes several combinations of intense exercises often to improve the body's physique, lose bodyweight, and enhance the overall internal and external well-being of the body. CrossFit has been known popularly for its extremely intense exercise plan and sessions. The types of CrossFit workout plans include, but not limited to:
- EMOM: It's the short form of "Every Minute on the Minute". It is usually done with a stopwatch. It's a workout session where you perform a specified number of movements of an exercise in a minute. As the next minutes start, you are up again. (So, you have to literarily work hard to secure a period of rest for every minute).
- AMRAP: A short for " As many rounds as possible". Here, you perform as many rounds of the different exercises as possible in a specified period. For example, performing 5 rounds of 10 pushups and 3 rounds of 10 sit-ups within 10 minutes. After which, you can take a record of the numbers of exercises and rounds you did, or for better result and convenience, get someone to do that for you.
- RFT: Stands for " Round for Time". It involves performing and completing a specified number of rounds of an exercise movement at a great level of speed.
- Chipper: It can be considered a quick workout session as it combines several exercise movements (up to 10), performing them in a high number of rounds and also as quickly as possible.
- Ladder: It is the gradual increase or decrease in the number of movements of an exercise workout after completing each round. For example, 10 push-ups, 20 sit-ups, 30 push-ups, 40 Burpees, and 50 box jumps OR 100 push-ups, 80 sit-ups, 60 Air squats, 40 kettlebell swings, 20 Ball Wall, 10 deadlifts.
Benefits of Percussive Therapy to CrossFit Athletes
- CORE MUSCLES
The core muscles consist of muscles around the groin /trunk area of the body. The core muscles primarily act as a foundation upon which other muscles functions. (upper and lower body). It can also be likened to the center point of the upper and lower body. The CrossFit gives the CrossFit athletes above anything, stamina, and a strong base. It prevents injuries targeted to the spine and maintains body balance and posture. Core muscles suffer several injuries ranging from lower back muscle pain and soreness to extreme muscle tightness and discomfort/pain at the lower and upper abdominals and obliques, these muscles may also experience cramps and tears.
- THE SHOULDER MUSCLE (THE SHOULDER ROTATOR CUFF
This is a band of muscle and tendons located around the shoulder joint that functions by restraining the position of the ball or head of the humerus (upper arm bone) securely within the socket of the shoulders. These muscles help in making several CrossFit exercises possible. Such exercise includes weight lifting, pull-ups, standard push-ups, wall balls, etc.
Percussive therapy is a solution to frequent shoulder muscle discomfort experienced by CrossFitters. In fact, one of the great benefits of massage guns is the fact that it saves you the stress of having to book an appointment with your therapist. It also makes the work of the therapist easier. It also increases the efficiency level of the therapist as the machine cannot become tired or stressed while functioning on the body.
- THE PECTORAL MUSCLES
The pectoralis major and pectoralis minor link the front chest wall to the upper arm (humerus) and scapula. Several CrossFit exercises that work, the pectoralis include pull-ups, standard and hand raise push-ups, deadlifts amongst several others. Purchasing a massage gun is a great step towards paying attention and taking care of the pecs.
The massage gun sends surges through the pectorals which shake deep into the muscle capillaries to push out accumulated metabolic waste and capillaries debris and obstructions, therefore facilitating excellent blood and lymph circulation. Building the pectorals improves the cardiorespiratory system as well as improve the overall health state of the body, making your muscles more resilient and resistant to certain sicknesses.
- THE QUADRICEPS AND HAMSTRINGS
The two upper leg muscles are involved in Several CrossFit workouts like a sprint, squat, deadlifts, wall sit, cycling, box jump, and lunge. The hamstrings are also very important body muscles, although not as strong and voluminous as the quadriceps, yet co-works with the quadriceps in a continuously alternating motion. These alternations are often noticed during cycling, sprinting, walking, pushing, squatting.
From mild to intermediate quad and hamstring sprains, it's advisable to perform adequate stretches to prepare these muscles. Applying the massage gun on the quads and hamstrings increases their range of motion, reducing the pain that comes with the tight muscle, restrictions. It also reduces the reoccurrence of muscle cramps and also the period of soreness.
- BICEPS AND TRICEPS (ARM MUSCLES)
These are one of the most worked muscles during a CrossFit activity. Exercises that engage these muscles include push-ups, planks, deadlifts, pull-ups, and kettlebell swings. Engaging the biceps and triceps strengthens the muscle, making you more capable to handle several physically tedious tasks.
Applying the massage gun on the arm muscles sends waves that acts of the biceps and triceps, relieving pain and muscle tightness, and also drastically reducing DOMS. The bullet head of a message gun is very effective in breaking of scar tissues and muscle knots, a very common occurrence in the upper arm of CrossFit athletes.
CrossFit activities scream “intensity!” It is highly recommended that you do some body stretches especially in the part of your body that feels worked out the most. Apply the massage gun on your worked-out muscles, spending extra seconds or minutes on the muscles that you feel the need to. However, avoid applying the massage gun on areas that show red skin color as this denotes efficient blood flow on such areas already. As a fit-requiring adventure for CrossFitters massage gun will help to stay fit!