For who? Baby Boomers, retirees, student-athletes
For what? mobility, flexibility, recovery
Danny Woodhead is one tough athlete. Small in stature for an NFL fullback, but huge in heart, the 33-year-old NFL running back has had his share of injuries including two separate torn ACLs experienced many years apart.
His first ACL surgery was in the early part of his professional career and he rehabilitated in the traditional manner. His latest ACL surgery occurred during early part of the 2016 season, but he returned to the field in unprecedented time. Steven Munatones recalls,
“Danny started doing Progressive KAATSU Cycle sets on the KAATSU Master at his home, every day. This was in early October. I told him that by Thanksgiving in late November, he would be back. Both he and his wife didn’t believe me at first, but when he sent a text with photos of his rehabbed leg before Thanksgiving, I could not help but smile.”
His return was indeed quick – much quicker than expected under standard orthopedic protocols. He combined his physical therapy regimen with the standard KAATSU Cycle sets including doing a variety of isometic exercises during his rehabilitation from surgery. He sat on his couch at home watching NFL games during his recovery, simply and repeatedly contracting his thighs and hamstrings as the KAATSU Cycle mode was on. Three times per day: morning, afternoon and evening. The result was no muscle atrophy, a key benefit for a veteran player whose leg strength is off the charts.
Woodhead adhered to standard physical therapy, but also enhanced his recovery with the standard KAATSU rehabilitation:
- focusing on the KAATSU Cycle mode
- starting with low pressures and gradually building up to higher pressures
- combined physical therapy movements with the KAATSU Air Bands on
- doing conservative KAATSU Cycles within an hour of going to bed
- also combining isometric exercises while at home in the KAATSU Cycle mode
- gradually increasing the intensity and range of motion
- start with KAATSU Cycles on your arms, and then move to your legs
- you can also do KAATSU Cycles only on your injured leg (i.e., Single-limb KAATSU)
Fundamentally, KAATSU is separated into different protocols in each of the following 3 areas:
- Athletic Performance
- Recovery and Wellness
Athletic Performance: KAATSU is used in slightly different ways to improve speed, stamina, strength, muscle size or BMI.
Rehabilitation: KAATSU is used to enhance traditional physical therapy for people with broken bones, or torn ligaments, tendons, and muscles. These protocols are specific with different applications of pressure.
Recovery: KAATSU is also used for recovery from injuries and the effects of sedentary living.
KAATSU Arm Protocols
- Even for post-ACL surgery recovery, start KAATSU Cycles on your arms first.
- Do KAATSU Cycles starting at lower pressures and building up to higher pressures.
- Your Base SKU can vary between 10 – 30 SKU depending on your age and physical condition (i.e., placing 1-2 fingers between your limb and the KAATSU Air Bands). In general, the younger and more fit you are, the higher your pressures. But everyone differs.
- Stretch your arms or upper body, do isometric exercises, and/or do 3 sets of the KAATSU 3-Point Arm Exercises (i.e., 3 sets of Hand Clenches + 3 sets of Biceps Curls + 3 sets of Triceps Extensions) during the KAATSU Cycle mode.
- Rest while there is the KAATSU Air Bands are deflated.
- Move while the KAATSU Air Bands are inflated.
Specific Post-ACL Surgery Protocols
- Do muscle contractions of your quadriceps and calves, stretch, and/or perform simple physical therapy movements (in combination with resistance bands or other equipment that is requested by therapist during the KAATSU Cycle.
- Higher SKU levels are usually tolerable on your legs compared to your arms in most cases.
- Do specific physical therapy movements, stretch, and/or the KAATSU 3-Point Leg Exercises:
Simple: 3 sets each of Toe Curls + Toe Raises + Sitting Heel Raises
Moderate (after the body begins to heal and such movements become possible): 3 sets each of Balancing on one leg + casual walking
Advanced (after the body begins to heal and such movements become possible): 3 sets each of Standing Heel Raises + Standing Leg Curls + Non-lock (partial extension) Quarter Squats
- Note: KAATSU Air Bands are waterproof and any kind of aqua-therapy movements can also be done in the water or on an AlterG treadmill. However, do not take the KAATSU Cycle 2.0 or KAATSU C3 or KAATSU B1 devices in the water.
How to Wear
- Place the KAATSU Air Bands on your upper arms, above your biceps, and below your deltoids near your armpits. Your KAATSU Air Bands should be placed snugly so your finger cannot be easily slipped under the bands when it is against your skin.
- The palms of your hands should start turning pink or even a redness right away. Your KAATSU Air Bands are on too tightly if the hands turn white, gray and blue or you feel numbness.
- If the KAATSU Air Bands are on too tightly, your Capillary Refill Time (CRT) will be longer than 3 seconds. In this case, loosen the KAATSU Air Bands on your arms.
- To check your CRT, firmly press your thumb into the palms of both hands and release. The temporary white spot on your palms should quickly fill back with blood and turn pink (or red). You can do this anywhere on your legs, but preferably on your quadriceps above your knee on your legs, when you are checking your CRT on your legs.
- Place the deflated KAATSU Air Bands around the upper legs, right by your groin (i.e., under mens’s briefs or a woman’s swimsuit are worn).
- Start with the appropriate KAATSU Cycle level depending on your age and physical condition (10 – 30 SKU).
- Do 3-4 sets of each exercise, stretch, and/or physical therapy exercises. Then, continue with the next 3 sets with a different exercise, stretche, or movement.
- For rehabilitation and recovery, movements should be performed slowly, steadily and non-stop (e.g., do not lock knees on squats).
- For athletic performance, movements should be performed at desired pace or speed in a game, set or match. This is called KAATSU Performance Training.
- After 3-4 sets of a specific exercise, stretch or movement, then move onto another type of exercise, stretch or movement. Note: If you are working on your legs, do 3-4 sets on one leg and then 3-4 sets on the other leg.
- Keep rest short between sets and between exercises. That is, rest 20 seconds maximum between sets of 3 or 60 seconds maximum between different exercises. Modify as necessary.
- Select exercises, therapeutic movements or resistance loads that allow performance of a good number of repetitions (e.g., 30- 40 in the first set, 20-30 in the second set, fewer than 15 in the third set, fewer than 10 in the fourth set).
- Reach maximum effort (or go to muscular failure or technical failure) within each set.
- Always remain well hydrated before and during the entire KAATSU session.
- Always start with standard KAATSU Cycel (i.e., 8 cycles of 30 seconds of pressure followed by 5 seconds of pressure off with sequentially
- Always conduct movements with a good range of motion. However, if you feel any pain or uncomfortable sensation, restrict your range of motion so there is no pain or uncomfortableness. That is, never push your joints or limbs to the point of pain.
- Always follow KAATSU protocols (i.e., have Capillary Refill Time within 3 seconds with no occlusion or lightheadedness, and no paleness or no numbness in limbs).
- Immediately release and remove KAATSU Air Bands if there is any numbness or lightheadedness, or the skin color becomes pale or white. Lie down with the legs elevated if necessary.
- First start KAATSU on your arms and then proceed to do KAATSU on your legs.
- Never simultaneously put on or use the KAATSU Air Bands on your arms and legs.
- Limit KAATSU to 15 minutes on your arms and 20 minutes on your legs.
- Frequently check your CRT (i.e., Capillary Refill Time). Confirm that the color of your limbs remains either pink or beefy red.
- Your veins may become distended (i.e., popping out) during KAATSU.
- You may feel a slight tingling in your fingers or toes during KAATSU.
- KAATSU should be implemented with the understanding of your physician.