Preventing CrossFit Injuries
By Hazel Luque, PTA //
5 Easy Steps To Safe Workouts
CrossFit is a lifestyle characterized by safe, effective exercise and sound nutrition. CrossFit can be used to accomplish any goal, from improved health to weight loss to better performance. The program works for everyone—people who are just starting out and people who have trained for years. CrossFit’s combination of weight training, aerobics, running, and gymnastics isn’t for the faint of heart. Training safely is key to achieving the best results whenever you hit the local box.
Here are our top five tips to prevent CrossFit injuries while you train:
1. Warming up and cooling down
One of the most important steps in CrossFit is warming up before a workout. Jumping into a strenuous workout while you’re still cold can hurt your muscles and joints. The same applies when you end a workout abruptly. Muscles, tendons, and joints need to ease in and out of intense physical activity gradually. Always take at least five to 10 minutes of warmup and cool down time to reduce your chances of muscle pulls, strains, sprains, and joint injuries.
2. Workout with a partner
It is a good idea tho have someone watch your form and spot you on heavier moves is also key to avoiding CrossFit injuries. Whether you’re working out alone or in a group setting, using the buddy system ensures you stay safe, especially since coaches may not be able to keep tabs on everyone.
3. Try first small consistent gains rather than big leaps
CrossFit is known for its success stories and personal breakthroughs. However, major gains don’t come with one workout. Go for gradual, incremental gains each week and keep building on them. Lifting too much or jumping too high can lead to injury, which can prevent you from working out altogether.
4. Listen to your body
CrossFit workouts are designed to test your limits. While it’s great to challenge yourself, never lose sight of what’s realistic for you. Your body will let you know when it’s had enough. Stay tuned to these signals, and you’ll lower your chances of getting injured during CrossFit. Otherwise, you may run the risk of setting yourself back with an injury for weeks, and even months.
5. Don’t fall victim to pressure
CrossFit is competitive, and many athletes are quick to post about their latest successes on social media. You’ll also see people in the box and want to beat them, or at least do as much as they’re doing. Competition is a great motivator, but it can also cause athletes to lift too much, run too fast or jump too high during the WOD. While it’s great to be inspired, stay focused on your personal goals.
“CrossFit can push you to be the best version of yourself, but preventing injuries is key to making progress,” says CrossFit Level 1 instructor, Hazel Luque, physical therapist assistant at Scerbo Physical Therapy & Sports Rehabilitation. These tips described above will help you train smart, enhance your performance and reduce your chances of getting CrossFit injuries.
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