CrossFit Safety Tips for a Healthier Workout
Physical Therapy, Sports Medicine, Workout Injuries
One fitness trend that has shown a surprising amount of lasting power is CrossFit. While CrossFit is a great way to stay fit, it can also lead to some serious injuries if you aren’t careful. Check out these safety tips for a healthy workout!
CrossFit is an intense workout. Combining weight training, aerobics, running, and even gymnastics, CrossFit has only grown in popularity over the years. The program emphasizes strength and endurance, with devotees doing several repetitions of intense activities in a short period of time during the workout of the day (WOD).
As CrossFit tends to push athletes to their limits, it may result in serious injuries if you’re not careful. Common injuries among CrossFitters include cartilage tears in the shoulder, Achilles tendonitis, and back pain from pinched nerves or herniated discs. These injuries can quickly turn very serious if not treated properly.
Fortunately, these injuries are also generally preventable. Whether you’re an experienced CrossFitter or just starting out, you should take precautions before, during, and after the workout so that you can stay safe and enjoy all the benefits of your training.
Tips for Preventing CrossFit Injuries
Avoiding injuries while doing a CrossFit program means following some important tips. Here are five that will ensure a safe and productive workout.
Newcomers often assume they can match the skills of more experienced CrossFitters. But it takes months and even years to reach that level. Even if you’re generally a very physically fit person, CrossFit will be a new and unique experience that you can’t simply jump into. Anyone starting CrossFit should progress at their own pace and then work up to harder exercises. Doing too much too soon only leads to injury.
Stretch Before and After Your Workout
At least 15 minutes prior to your workout, stretch the tendons and muscles in your back, upper legs, and buttocks. For example, stretching exercises focused on the calves, feet, and knees, can help protect the Achilles tendon — a frequent injury location for CrossFitters. Once the WOD is over, cool down with those same stretching and flexibility exercises to avoid any strains or muscle pulls.
Work with an Experienced Trainer
The popularity of CrossFit has spawned many gyms, or “boxes,” specializing in the sport. When deciding on a “box,” choose one with experienced, knowledgeable trainers who can observe your form and recommend changes to your approach. Adhering to proper lifting and jumping techniques can minimize the chance of injury.
If Something Hurts, Stop Right Away
While it’s typical to have sore muscles after a workout, intense pain should never be ignored. It could be a sign of serious trauma like a torn ligament or tendon. Many CrossFit injuries are due to overuse, so powering through will only make them worse. If your pain is significant or persistent, it’s time to stop, rest, and possibly visit an orthopedist for a diagnosis before heading to physical therapy if necessary.
Know Your Fitness Level
CrossFitters tend to be competitive and want to “beat” other participants. Ultimately, though, the objective for any CrossFitter is a personal journey to improve their cardiovascular health and muscle strength. Rather than focusing on what others are doing, set your own fitness goals and strive toward that target at your own pace without competition.
Treating Your CrossFit Injuries
If you think you may have a sports injury from CrossFit or another activity, the physical therapists at All Sports Physical Therapy can work with you to develop a recovery plan that suits your exercise goals and gets you back to peak performance condition. We can also recommend ways to avoid injury while you enjoy your favorite workouts.
Contact us today to get started on the road to recovery!