Annie Thorisdottir is a two-time CrossFit Games® champion, a fitness role model around the world, and is now preparing to take on the 2017 CrossFit Games®. The Rehband team met with her in Iceland earlier this spring to talk about functional training and her workout routine.
“What enables me to reach my highest potential is putting full effort into every single day. It’s making sure that I eat correctly and that I’m drinking enough, that I’m getting treated if I need to be treated, and that I’ll be able to give everything that I have in every single training session.”
Annie works out around six days a week, and still gets excited looking through her training program. But earlier on in her career she started experiencing problems with her knees, which was preventing her from performing on top. Today, she uses Rehband knee sleeves to protect her knees and to stay injury-free.
“My knees are the biggest thing on me that tend to get tight, but I feel such a big difference if I make sure to treat them correctly,” she says. “I wear knee sleeves to keep my knees warm and comfortable, not only during but also in-between sets.”
Annie tells us that she plans her workout outfits depending on what kind of program she will be doing on that particular day.
“If I have a lot of climbs I need to wear long pants. If there’s any squatting involved I need to have my knee sleeves. If there’s a lot of repetitions of shoulder overheads I like to have my wrist wraps on. It’s just making sure that I have everything packed. After I know that I have the gear that I need, I play around a little with colors and outfits.”
Annie and her boyfriend, Fredrik, are both Crosstrainers who work out every day. Annie tells us that she goes through around 13 workout outfits a week, which usually means doing laundry once every day.
“You always have your go-to top, or your go-to knee sleeves. I’m a little bit superstitious. If the knee sleeves worked really well for snatching one day then I might wear them for snatching the next week.”
“I feel more awake and have more energy if I wear a pop of color. I think everyone knows that feeling. It’s just a color that makes you smile, a color that makes you feel like you are awake. It’s more fun when you see more colors. Especially in the winter time when it can be a little bit bland and dull in the gym, then it might be nice to have some super bright red knee sleeves on with a red top.”
Annie’s opinion on using sport protection and support has changed since she started training. When she started out, she didn’t really want to use a lot of support. This was mainly because she thought that you should be able to do it all with your own body.
“A lot of people are scared they will get addicted to using support sleeves, but I look at it more as injury prevention. I like using the knee sleeves especially for longer sessions or for keeping the knees warm. Why not use them if it’s going to make you feel better the day after and allow you to train more?”
Because of problems with her knees, Annie has tried many different brands of knee sleeves. The most common issue Annie found with other brands was the thickness and compression of the sleeves were too restricting and didn’t allow her knee to move correctly.”
“When I tried Rehband, my knees finally started getting better. It was the weirdest thing. The sleeves fit so perfectly that my knee was still capable of moving the correct way, only giving the support they were supposed to be giving me, not more or less.”
“The reason I feel so comfortable with recommending Rehband to other people is because they have a medical classification behind them. That means that all the claims that Rehband is making for their products must have medical research behind them. I feel comfortable with standing behind a product like that.”
Annie’s warm-ups are usually pretty long, and involve several breathing exercises before she starts warming up her muscles.
“We start with doing some breathing exercises, focusing on breathing patterns, making sure that we are ready for when we start to get the heart rate up by warming up the diaphragm.”
After the breathing exercises, they move on to a touching routine, to become more aware of every part of the body before starting the workout.
“I start with my eyes and hair, then ears and neck, and work my way down rubbing and warming up the nerve ends. It’s making sure that your brain is aware of all the different body parts and that way it should be able to communicate better once you start moving.”
“The knee sleeves do a very similar thing for you. When you have them on, they will be a little bit tighter on your knees and make your body more aware of the movement patterns you are doing with your knees.”
Research shows that the compression from Rehband knee sleeves increases the receptive input from the knee, helping an athlete perform more controlled and stable movements. An increased receptive input means that your brain is receiving more information from the part of your body experiencing the compression. Therefore, when using a knee sleeve you can perform movements better – both in terms of balance, coordination and muscle activation.
“For anyone that has issues, maybe with their squats or if it’s just with their knees, I would say it makes total sense for them to put the knee sleeves on and just see what kind of effect it might make on them.”
“I want to be active all my life, so I try to be smart about my training. Using Rehband allows me to give my all today, and make sure that I can repeat it again tomorrow.”
Celebrate your fitness and get the Rehband CrossFit® Games Editions knee sleeves today.
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