INJURIES......That dreaded eight letter word that ultimately prevents us from reaching our goals. Injuries are a big part of sport in general, talk to any athlete in any sport and they will no doubt have a long list of injuries they have suffered throughout their career. While injuries are something most athletes are going to face throughout their sporting journey, be it Football, Soccer, Boxing, Cricket or CrossFit, there are certainly ways we can prevent them from becoming a major roadblock in our pursuit of achieving said goals.
I am now going to break it down in my top 7 tips to help prevent injuries.
This first point dates back to the old saying “prevention is the best cure”. If we can prevent the injuries before they happen by preparing the mind and the body adequately, this can go a long way in staying healthy. This point will be very different for each individual. We will touch on these further on.
2. Investing in the proper gear
Having the correct clothing, and no I do not mean the latest Lululemon shorts. More along the line of correct footwear for the task at hand, if your $20 trainers from K-Mart are causing you pain, then think about investing in a more suitable pair that suits your body type. If you are having a problem keeping your knees warm or back tight when squatting you may want to think about investing in a pair of knee sleeves or weightlifting belt. These small purchases can make a huge difference in keeping you consistent in your training.
3. Rest and Recovery
This is the most important point in the prevention of injuries in my opinion. Thinking back to your Motor Vehicle, in order for your car to perform at its best and ultimately last its longest for thousands of kilometers it is it important that we book it in for regular services, washes, etc. Our body is no different. In order for us to perform to our best, we must take precautions; here are some of my personal favorites:
Regular Massages from a professional Myotherapist, Hot and Cold Therapy (Ice Baths and Hot Showers/Baths)Mobility and Maintenance (Trigger point Rolling, Stretching, Mobility, Stability)Mental Preparation/Restoration (getting your head in order through meditation)Preventing Overtraining, SLEEP (Minimum 8 hours per night of continuous sleep)
4. Warm Up and Cool Down
This is something everyone hates and moans about on a daily basis. It is very frustrating to have a 30mins warm up for a 5-10min workout, don’t worry we know, but it is vitally important that we prepare the body for the punishment it is about to endure. Through the warm up the priorities are to move the joint, increase the core temperature(especially in these cold mornings) and get the body and mind ready for the specific task at hand, whether that be through the use of a barbell, cardio movements or any other equipment. Secondly the cool down is something that we see so many of you all miss, we understand you all have families to rush home to, dinner to cook, your too tired and the list goes on. That being said all it takes is a further 5-10 minutes of doing some of the above recovery methods after your workout and you will be feeling much better and more importantly much better prepared for tomorrow’s punishment. So make an effort to get to class on time and stay behind after for some stretching with a coach.
5. Seeking Advice
“If you don’t know.....ask”. This is a huge one, if you’re having some issues, something just doesn't feel right, you aren't sure what the problem is; make sure you ask one of the Coaches. Although we may not be able to diagnose the root of the problem, we can certainly monitor your movement patterns, suggest possible stretches and advise you on the best profession to see.
6. Nutrition and Hydration
This is something that is underestimated and most often overlooked. Preparing the body well through nutrition and hydration will first of all make sure we have sufficient fuel and energy in order to perform the task at hand safety and efficiently. If not then the machine that is our body will not be able to perform to the best of its ability and that’s where things get sloppy and we can get hurt. Our second purpose of a solid Nutrition base comes down to consuming the foods that prevent inflammation and have many anti-inflammatory ingredients, not unlike our Paleolithic Lifestyle. Some of these anti-inflammatory foods include Green Vegetables, Turmeric, Ginger, Garlic and Blueberries. Now for some Inflammatory inducing foods we want to limit/avoid are Dairy, Sugar, Alcohol and Refined Grains.
7. Listening to your Body
Finally finishing with the easiest point, yet it’s something we all find so difficult. Listening to your body, you know your body better than any Physiotherapist, Chiropractor or Osteopath out there, if something doesn't feel right then rest it, get it looked at, rest or work around it. Don’t fall into that trap of “but I love Pull Ups so I have to do them today because that is what the workout says, even with my shoulder not feeling right”. As you become more experienced in CrossFit you will learn more about your body and what it can and ultimately cannot handle, learning when the right time to pass on that movement is, how much training you can handle each week. The biggest problem of CrossFit athletes is their longevity in the sport, for me personally I want to be continually doing CrossFit until I am old and frail. What we do now will affect us in our later life!
Well there you have it folks, hopefully there’s some pointers in there to help you stay injury free and ultimately enjoy your CrossFit journey to the fullest, if you have any questions about any of the above pointers or any concerns you have with your training please don’t hesitate to seek advice.
ASK THE COACHES!!!!
Written by Coach Scotty