Since I’ve bought it, this tube of “Muscle Rub” by Tiger Balm has not left my gym bag. Or my school bag. Or my side at all. I swear by it, and though I understand it’s just a pain reliever, when your IT band continues to act up and you’ve got muscle aches and pains, there’s nothing like this stuff. Nothing even comes close in comparison– not even your standard ibuprofen. So, how does it work, and why do I love it?
Remember how I kept complaining about my leg and talking about this mysterious “IT band?” Well, it’s real. And I was diagnosed with ITBS, better known as IT band syndrome, which is a mythical disease. Doctors literally characterize it as pain localized to the IT band, or inflammation, or overuse. Which sounds very broad, if you ask me. But whatever, I’m not the doctor, I don’t have an M.D., so here is where I will resort back to my happy and convenient use of scholarly peer-reviewed research.
IT band stands for Iliotibial band. Aka, the super annoying thing that’s been causing me a lot of pain lately, and preventing me from squatting or doing any kind of leg lift. Yeah. It’s that bad. I went to the gym on Tuesday to try to finally get a lift in, and not only was I nearly crying in pain after about 5 minutes, I had to sit down for the rest of my time there and walking afterward was pretty painful. If this has happened to you before, then you know how much it sucks.
They say too much of a good thing is bad. Well, cardio isn’t even a good thing. I mean, it is, but it’s just not fun. Let’s be honest, it kind of sucks. Every time I go for a run, the entire time I just think to myself “this sucks, this sucks, this sucks, ugh when can I be done!?”
Well, I have good news! Too much cardio is actually bad for you. So now everyone who wants to slack on their cardio (ahem, me) has a justified reason to do so. Allow me to explain.
I’m not gonna name any names, but growing up I was always told I had cankles (my mom was pretty instrumental in teaching me the value of honesty; in hindsight, this was great because I was always able to identify any shortcomings I had. This meant I always had a clear vision of what to improve upon. So thanks, mom!). Cankles are slang for your calves and ankle joined as one– the term joins the two words “ankle” and “calf” just as the two parts of the body are seamless. Basically, this “condition” is characterized by a general lack of definition in the area.
Okay, I have a lot of pet peeves that come into play whilst going to the gym. Curling in the squat rack, screaming or grunting loudly and continuously, and unwarranted advice are a few of them, but there’s one major one that really pisses me off… mostly just because people don’t even know about it: behind the neck shoulder exercises. So many “fit” people swear by these. I’ve even seen personal trainers teach their clients a behind the head military press, even though it’s known to be an extremely easy way to injure your shoulder.