Sunday, September 22, 2013

RGIII Knee rehab could've taken some notes from Butkus' Knee rehab

In 1973, Butkus knee was so bad it stuck out 20 something degrees away from where it should. He went down to visit Arthur Jones, the inventor of Nautilus Sports Industries, to see about strengthening the knee without surgery in order to get back on the field next season. Jones took one and said "If you can withstand the pain" so Butkus went through the most agonizing, painfully grueling workouts that would make any current player throw up in the corner. Imagine bone against bone and doing all out workouts on it. 

It was very clear to me in watching RGIII's recent national ESPN documentary, "Will to Win" on his knee injury, surgery, and subsequent rehab that showed a flawed rehab process. 

Without going through each of the 20 different exercises shown during program which ranged from various lunges with rubber bands around his waist (does nothing but looks cool), squat jumps on a machine (extremely stressful to joints and probably was counter productive), kneeling medicine ball chops (Thought to have increased core power but it's not really how the body works), and 1 leg explosive hops (thought to increase neural output and joint stability, what it really does is put an extreme amount of stress on the joints). Not only are the exercises probably some of the least productive for muscle strength but they're dangerous as well.  This reflects on how RGIII is moving on the field, you can see that he's just not moving right.  When a joint isn't a strong as possible, the body naturally compensates and there's nothing you can do about it except for strengthen the muscles that support it.

Properly done workouts on a proper machine is the only way to put the right torque on the joint to activate the muscles in the most functionally correct way, it can't be done with a rubber band or a medicine ball!!  We're talking knee extensions, leg curls, and leg presses or squats till your head explodes.  All done in a slow controlled pace with the intent to move the weight fast although the actual speed will be slow. No explosive movements that just violently jerks and puts stress and damage on the joints.   This is by far the most productive way to make the muscles that support the joint stronger.

It would be a challenge for any of the participants to see the flaws and it's almost impossible for someone to realize what they've been doing for the last 8 months has been wrong.  

I wasn't surprised at what exercises they had him doing because the industry often does what looks cool and not what works good.  All exercises work, the ones they chose just aren't as good as others.  
Bottom line if 8 months ago, RGIII would've done the right kind of exercises...he'd be dominating the current RGIII in every way....NO doubt about it. 

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