Tools of the Trade

24 Mar

Over the past year, I’ve discovered a variety of products that help stabilize hypermobile joints. Having added stability often helps me to focus on strength, instead of on needing to keep all my parts aligned. 🙂  Keeping my joints safe and happy – in the gym and in “real life” – is key to my success. Injuries are no fun, and they set you back. 

 

Some of my favourites:

KTTape

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(The pink KTTape, giving me some wrist support while I pat Malcolm!)

I’m a little obsessed with KTTape. It’s a sports tape product that can be applied to pretty much any part of your body. The adhesive is less irritating than normal adhesive (at least for me!), and the tape stays on for several days at a time. 

I like KTTape better than a brace because it can be customized to whatever issue you’re having on a particular day, it can stay on 24/7 (even in the shower!), and it’s more comfortable and less restrictive than bracing.

I almost always have some KTTape on my right ankle for anterolateral (forwards/sideways) stability. I can do squats with the tape on, which would not be possible with a conventional ankle brace.

Some examples of taping I’ve done for various joints in need of support:

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Shoulder & Wrist

 

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Radio-Ulnar Joint Subluxation

 

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Ankle stability

KTTape has a variety of excellent videos for applications on their website: http://www.kttape.com

 

Wrist Widget

The Wrist Widget was suggested to me by a physiotherapist who was making me a conventional wrist brace. (I wear it more than I wear the brace…) It’s designed to provide ulnar-side (the side of your wrist where your pinky finger is) stability.

It’s fantastic because it is light, comfortable, not restricting, and it locks my wrist in precisely where I need it. I wear it almost all the time – to school to give me support while I’m taking notes, to the grocery store to protect my wrist when I’m carrying stuff, when I’m driving, when I’m walking my dogs, and (obviously) to the gym. 

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(My Wrist Widget!)

You can get one here: http://www.wristwidget.com/

 

Wrist Wraps

Most people who lift, and particularly those who do Olympic lifts that put the wrists in significant flexion, wear wrist wraps. They’re made by a variety of companies. Trainer Dan likes the ones from Rogue Fitness. I wear wrist wraps anytime I’m going to be doing a lot of work in the front rack position (front squats, power cleans) or doing overhead work (shoulder-to-overhead push or jerk, clean & jerk, etc.). 

 

What tools to you use to keep your joints safe and happy?

 

Welcome to Hypermobility WOD!

22 Mar

Hi there! I’m Emma. I’m a law student and fitness enthusiast from Victoria, BC.

I also have Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome. It’s a collagen-vascular disorder that gives me extremely lax and flexible connective tissues, stretchy skin, and causes me to bruise easily.

Over the past year, I’ve been on a journey of fitness and strength with my trainer, Dan. (find him here!) We’ve developed, through trial and error, a pretty good system for working with and around my hypermobility to allow me to gain strength and skill as an athlete.

For comparison purposes, this was me before:

Me, 2011
And this is me a few weeks ago, doing a 55# split jerk.
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Along the way, I’ve discovered that there is very little out there on the Internet about *how* to train as a hypermobile athlete. Medical professionals have been surprisingly unhelpful.
So, inspired by Kelly Starrett’s amazing Mobility WOD series (he has done a couple of neat videos about hypermobility!), I’m creating this space to provide information for people like me who want to be strong, fit athletes, and for the trainers who are helping them get there. I want to push back against the idea that EDS, hypermobility, and related conditions mean that you can’t be strong, can’t be athletic, and can’t meet your fitness goals.
I hope you’ll join me for the ride!
-EB