One of the worst feelings as a practitioner is when I feel that I haven’t done my job and pushed my patients hard enough during their treatment sessions. Typically, when I feel this way, it is because of feeling trapped by whatever pains, limitations, or exercise tolerance limitations that my patients present with. Sometimes I feel like I just can’t increase volume or intensity without adverse effects and an unhappy patient. Enter the rEMOM, or Rehab Every Minute On the Minute, as a way to get those patients working MUCH harder without increasing the resistance used or drastically increasing the volume of their work. Instead, the rEMOM makes use of manipulating rest intervals to ensure more work done per time spent exercising. The timer for the workout does not stop and alarms every minute, while the patient is required to maintain a constant number of reps during each minute of work. Therefore, as the patient tires and it takes longer for them to complete each exercise, the rest time decreases between exercises.
The rEMOM is a great way to keep my patients engaged in their treatment and avoid the inevitable boredom of the “3 sets of 10 reps” model. Keeping patients engaged, interested, and feeling like they WORKED HARD is key. Our patients’ needs differ by degree, not kind!
· Choose a few exercises that your patient is working on (perhaps standing high knee marching, chair sit to stands with 10#, alternating step ups, and 10# deadlift from an elevated surface)
· Program a number of repetitions for each exercise that will cause them to work for 40-45 seconds, giving them 15-20 seconds of rest time
· Use a timer that you can program to go off every minute, and then immediately start the next minute (tons of workout timer apps available)
· Set a total time for the workout (with 4 exercises: 3 rounds = 12 minutes, 4 rounds = 16 minutes, etc)
· Complete the goal # of reps for each exercise, moving to the next exercise every minute, until the workout is finished
· Adjust your patient’s reps to ensure 40-45 seconds of hard work
Have fun with exercise selection, and add in a cardio round on the bike/elliptical for total calories or distance as needed. You can either focus in on a particular muscle group or motion, or mix in upper/lower extremity and push/pull activities to get a more inclusive full body workout session. I have found this to be a very efficient way to get my patients working hard, enjoying their rehab, and feeling accomplished!