So you do crossfit.. Awesome! It’s one of the best forms of exercises you can do!
However a lot of crossfitters end their career early because they suffered an injury that put them out of commission.
I’ve treated many patients who came in with a sport injury that they’ve never gotten taken care of correctly and it’s affecting their daily life.
This article is not to discourage your from doing crossfit, it’s more so how to prolong your crossfit career.
Crossfit is one of the best forms of exercises out there because it’s extremely functional and uses all parts of your body.
What I’d like to help you with is what you need to do to prevent injuries and maintain your body so it won’t deteriorate as quickly so you can enjoy doing crossfit for a long time.
Just like any elite athlete who played in their sport for a long time, they require strict diet, tons of hours of exercises and maintenance.
These athletes have professionals with them every single day with a routine to do by the hour. This gets them physically ready for competition at the highest level.
You’re probably thinking… “because they’re rich and they can afford to do all those things. They can hire a medical staff, trainers, and chefs to do all this for them.”
Well the good news is you don’t need to be rich to take care of your body like the elite athletes do, you just need to know what to do and them implement it yourself.
So what are the 4 simple steps to preventing crossfit injury?
1. When starting any exercise.. WARM UP!
We hear about warming up in sports and working out, but what does warming up really do!? What’s the idea behind it that everyone preaches before doing a work out?
So the quick answer is that when we are at rest, our blood flow to our muscles is about 15-20%. Blood is required to flow to your muscles in order to perform better. This is a reason why people take pre-workout supplement. Gets their blood flowing to their muscles so they can perform better and longer.
When you’re warming up, you’re getting the body ready for physical activity by increasing heart rate slowly and increasing blood flow. Once warmed up about 70-80% of blood will now flow to your muscles thus releasing more oxygen, higher temperature, and increase nervous system response. With this increase, your body is more “prepared” to do a physical activity.
With a warm up, you’re slowly getting your body from resting, to strenuous activity. If you go straight into high intensity work out without a warm-up, you’re more likely to have a poorer performance and possibly injury!
So warm up properly crossfitters.. if you want to do better and avoid injuries.
2) The second thing that will help you prolong your crossfit careers is performing the exercises PROPERLY.
We all know doing exercises improperly can cause injuries.. so listen to your coach!
Hopefully your coach is fully qualified to show you the exercise and know about the body mechanics.
Be aware.. there are coaches out there that can get a little competitive and want you to do better, faster and have some “alternative” techniques that might not necessarily be better for you and do you more harm than good.
Also, be you! Don’t compare yourself to a veteran who has been doing crossfit for 10+ years.
They’re going to do better!
Focus on performing the exercise properly and you will make more gains faster in the long run by preventing injury.
Consistency of practice is key.
Some go too hard at first causing them injury and having to sit out then getting back into it a few weeks later and repeating the cycle.
Don’t be that person.
3) Recovery.. most important of all! You’ve gone through an intense work out which essentially is “injuring” your body by breaking down muscles and bones.
The body will eventually build back up and build back stronger. These are the “gains” we refer to.
The science behind these gains is simply the body’s response to stress. Because the body was not able to handle the physical stress with the previous muscle structure, it was broken and when it rebuilds, it rebuilds bigger and stronger to prepare you in case you experience that type of physical stress again. You’d be prepared.
So this is the reason why you increase weights, reps, etc in order to make more gains. Each time your body builds back up, it just build bigger and stronger to prevent being broken down.
When your body is broken down, you want to build it back up and having the right nutrients in your body allows for a better and faster rebuild.
We can sit there and discuss about supplements and diet forever and there won’t be an end….!
What I’m going to tell you are the basics fundamentals of what you’d need to recover optimally.
a) Protein is the building block of muscles so you’ll want to eat protein based diet. This includes eggs, almonds, nuts, fish, and meat.
b) Carbs is needed to to restore glycogen in your muscles for energy. Eat quality carbs such as brown rice, vegetables, fruits.
c) Supplements such as vitamins and minerals. A multivitamin usually works very well to replenish all the vitamins you’ll need.
d) Drink lots of water as you’re probably pouring sweat through the work out. Avoid Gatorade or sports drinks as they have too much bad sugar.
Taking care of your muscles by stretching, foam rolling and icing. These activities will help the muscles stay loose and avoid scar tissue build up. Icing will help with inflammation of the muscles.
If you can, get a deep tissue massage every 2 weeks if you’re an intense cross fitter. If you can’t go to a massage therapist, then definitely utilize the foam roller to break down scar tissue.
4) Lastly, get proper rest! Over training and inadequate amount of rest will get you injured very quickly. Your body needs time to replenish and heal.
If you adhere to these simple steps, you have a lower chance of injury than those that don’t.
So a quick recap of what you need to do to prevent injuries:
- Warm up
- Proper form, don’t compare yourself with others, you’re your own competition
- Recover with proper diet and supplements
Good luck on your training and kick butt!