Over the last few years, Orangetheory Fitness (OTF) has been making big waves in class-based high intensity interval training (HIIT). OTF’s workouts last about an hour and they’re pre-programmed for members, so all you have to do it show up and sweat! OTF’s edge is the reliance on heart rate monitors for each athlete during the workout. Most people overdo their effort compared to what their HR guidelines are, so monitoring heart rate is a smart way for OTF to scale the workout to each individual in the class while also giving them technology-based feedback at the end of every class.
All that said, like any HIIT program, OTF workouts can challenge and reveal shortcomings in your movements. The mix of cardio and resistance training will result in some aches and pains as you discover your body’s limitations in mobility and stability. The medical pros and developers at RockTape have been collaborating, and training ourselves, in HIIT for a long time, so we have a good understanding of the support athletes need.
A lot of OTF’s training requires a solid core, good breathing mechanics and the ability to build dynamic movements of the arms and legs from a stable, safe spine. When your core is “soft” and doesn’t engage properly, overhead movements, push-ups, stability ball and strap-based exercises will all be murder on your low back. RockTape on the lumbar spine and even two strips up your abdomen can dramatically help your brain maintain its connection to your core and mitigate a lot of these problems. Here’s the best way to tape your lower back and taping your abs is easy… just engage your abs, tuck your pelvis a little, and tape a strip on each side of your tummy from the pubic bone to the base of the front of your ribcage (just like the video showed on your back, only repeat this on your front!).
Now that your core has some extra support, let’s look at your shoulders. Orangetheory Fitness classes use a lot of push-up varieties and a good amount of overhead effort with dumbbells and kettlebells. Both of these movements, and all their variations, require both mobility and stability/control from your shoulders. Again, RockTape comes to the rescue because shoulders absolutely love kinesiology tape. This shoulder application is the best all-around approach for HIIT athletes. In other cases, shoulder soreness and dysfunction may be more related to what your spine is doing (or not doing) doing upper extremity movements. In that case, try this application.
Finally, probably the last part of your body that Orangetheory Fitness’s HIIT approach will “wake up” is your knee. For a lot of people, their knees just need a little extra support and warmth to feel good throughout a HIIT workout. In that case, the thinner RockTape Assassin knee sleeves are perfect. Like the shoulder, your knees love to be taped, too. As an added bonus, once you learn how, taping your own knee is quite easy to do. There are a ton of ways to tape a knee, but this classic application is a classic for a reason, so start with this.
If you’re using RockTape, applying it about an hour before your training session is ideal because it will stick better. Finally, if you’re warming up and cooling down with RockTape mobility tools like rollers and balls, that’s a good idea, but there is a methodology to it. Before an OTF class, using rollers and balls should involve relatively light, quick oscillations over the areas you’re targeting. Spend 10-15 seconds, tops, moving the implement quickly and lightly over the area. After workouts is where the deeper, slower method for self-myofascial release works best. These deep, slow movements help relax tissues and slow your body’s nervous system down. Spend 30-60 seconds on target areas with deeper pressure (but still pain-free that does not cause you to change your breathing or clench) for recovery mobilization. Don’t do deep, slow grinds before a workout because you’re shortchanging yourself before the HIIT session has even begun!
Of course, you should rely on RockTape’s provider locator when your problems aren’t just simple exercise-related aches and pains so you can get an accurate diagnosis and more dialed-in treatment when necessary.