ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Coaching/Administrative Experience: JFK Special Warfare Center and School USASOC – strength & conditioning specialist, 2019-2020 | 58 Special Operations Wing AFSOC – human performance advisor, 2020- Present Certifications: CSCS, SCCC Family: Wife, Erin Son, Bexar
// REFLEXIVE PERFORMANCE RESET AND INSTRUMENT AIDED SOFT TISSUE MANIPULATION
The RPR method agitates the tissues, warming up the body. It is a simple system of breathing and rubbing that enables athletes to feel better, move better, and live a better life. By doing so, athletes learn how to control the electricity of their body, a.k.a the central nervous system, by pinpointing and illuminating the locations of internal light switches. After executing the RPR System, athletes should move into a dynamic warm up flow to prepare for the physical stress of the day.
The concepts surrounding the techniques of RPR can be overwhelming to many. Because of this, I like to introduce the system in small, bite-size batches or zones:
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The best way for athletes to maximize the execution of the RPR is to use an Instrument Aided Soft Tissue Manipulation (IASTM) device. Sometimes the tissue being engaged can be dense and non-responsive, requiring a more aggressive approach. The manual therapy approach of using specially designed tools, though, can engage the musculoskeletal tissue.
There is a broad spectrum of IASTM tools to choose from, ranging from a manually executed device to a self-percussion apparatus. These devices can increase the overall utilization of the RPR system by making it more easily accessible for the athlete. They can also be used to aid in an athlete’s overall recovery, making them versatile pieces of equipment.
Engage Athletic Potential with these Tools
The next IASTM tool I recommend is a car buffer. The oscillation of the buffer agitates deep tissue well, is easily available at many retailers, and is cost-effective. The size of the buffer, though, means that it is difficult to target acute spots such as the psoas or VMO. You are also limited in where you can use this tool since you need access to electricity for it to run.
The last tool, and my preferred one, is the Hyperice Hypervolt. Unlike other percussion IASTMs, this one is quiet and battery powered, making it more mobile than the car buffer. The Hyperice also comes with different attachments for the reciprocating head, providing options for different intensities and enabling athletes to target tissue at various depths. This is the most costly out of all three options, but it is worth the investment in my opinion.
The minimalism of the equipment necessary to implement RPR is one of the main reasons why I love this method. RPR can be done anywhere and at any time, making it an easy program to include in your repertoire to further drive athlete performance and mitigate injury.