Since the beginning of this COVID-19 pandemic, I have been focusing on writing these about how we can best endure this crazy situation. This week will be a little different, but be patient because I will bring it back around... Earlier this week, I stumbled across a little piece of research, which seemed to fly in the face of everything that I had been told by every coach (that I can recall) since I was a little boy.  This is something that everyone needs to know!

Some myths need to be busted! The last time that I remember being shocked by a myth being busted was back in 2015. Dr. Gabe Mirkin, the doctor who coined the term R.I.C.E (Rest, Ice, Compression, Elevation), published a very interesting blog post on his personal blog, that basically said: "Oops, just kidding."  RICE has been the standard treatment for most injuries since Dr. Mirkin introduced the term in 1978. The crazy part is that after promoting RICE as the best solution for 37 years as the best option for sprain/strain injuries, he retracted it. (If you would like to read that article here is a LINK). Now he believes that "both ice and complete rest may delay healing." 

Earlier this week, I came across a study that had me shaking my head again. Admittedly this study had a VERY small sample size, but that doesn't make the results any less significant. The results indicated that we have most likely been using the wrong recovery position, and instructing others to do the same, after a tough workout. How many times have you heard a coach or trainer instruct you to put your hands on your head following a grueling workout? I have vivid memories of being told to do just that. It was all a lie! Well, at least according to a study published in the Translational Journal of the American College of Sports Medicine. In this study, they evaluated the two most common recovery positions following a tough workout, "Hands on Head"(HH) or "Hands on Knees"(HK). Incidentally, following a tough High Intensity Interval Training workout, HK is the position that most people will naturally drop into, despite being coached into the HH position. The results show that our bodies know more than our coaches! HK position showed improved recovery when compared to HH. Again this study had a small sample size (24 Female Division II soccer players), but the findings were enough to make me reconsider my recovery following a tough training session. 

From this day forward, I will no longer resist doing what my body naturally wants to do!

What is the take home message on this one? It is always important to question what we "know" is true! For 30 plus years, I have avoided the hands on knees recovery position because I was always told that it was not what was best for me. I believed all of the coaches were telling me the "truth." In their minds, they were telling me the truth. It just turns out that science eventually disproved their truth.

Sometimes we need to question the truth. We should NEVER be so convinced of the truth that we stop pursuing knowledge that might just change our minds. We have to always maintain a thirst for knowledge. A drive to learn more than you knew yesterday. 

When it comes to this pandemic, we are learning new things EVERY DAY. None of us know the truth. We cannot possibly know the whole story. The politicians out there don't know the truth. The scientists know the most about the truth but even they cannot possibly know the truth and that is why they continue to do research and testing. They are constantly striving to learn more than they knew yesterday. And so should you!


Movement is my medicine,


Dr. William "Chip" Bleam

Dr. William "Chip" Bleam


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