Let’s talk about injuries. It’s a topic we often ignore because it’s not fun or glamorous. But let’s face it, if you have any level of experience in fitness or athletics chances are you’ve had some sort of injury along the way. Whether it’s something minor as nagging elbow pain or major as a torn ACL, it’s not fun. Right when you feel like you’ve hit a stride in your training process, you get sidelined from an injury that often times can be prevented. Sound familiar? Lets great into this a bit more.
There is nothing inherently dangerous in CrossFit training anymore than there is playing a pickup game of Soccer. Anytime you are training, whether it be with a barbell overhead or a ball in your hand, you run the risk of injury. Athletes at any level can attest to this. Oftentimes injuries happen outside of the gym as much as they do inside. However, since we are a CrossFit gym, let’s highlight the most common injuries we see inside the gym and more importantly how to prevent them.
First, lower back pain. We do tons of bending, jumping, and plyometric work that can put extra stress on the lower back. Did someone say touch and go deadlifts at 225lbs for 75 reps with a hunched over back? That’s just one of many examples of how injuries happen. How can we prevent this one? Stretching and warming up sufficiently before your workout is essential. You also need to remember to stretch out the surrounding muscles, not just your back. Muscles like your upper back, glutes, hamstrings, and calves will help relieve your back muscles while working out.
Second, shoulder pain Ever feel a nagging sharp pain in your shoulders when doing snatches or kipping pullups? No, this is not a normal sensation. The rotator cuff plays a huge role in healthy shoulders. As it’s a ball and socket joint, strengthing your muscles around that including your deltoids will help prevent injuries. Don’t forget about mobility work, particularly with bands, to lessen the strain on your muscles while lifting.
Third, elbow and wrist pain. Overhead squats, handstand pushups, cleans and pullups are examples of exercises we do that can lead to these injuries. It’s super important to stretch daily inside and out of the gym to prevent tight wrists and forearms. Remember to ice to reduce inflammation post workouts.
Fourth, knee and achilles pain. Jump rope, running, squatting and lunges are a few examples on this one. When lifting. If you are suffering knee pain, you should avoid high impact exercises that put a lot of pressure on your knees. If you’re suffering from slight pain or discomfort, you should ice your knees, lower physical impact, and stretch.
While this is by no means a comprehensive list, its a few of the most common we see with our members at Boulder CrossFit. The 2 biggest reasons for these injuries are the following.
1: Improper form and not listening to coach’s cues. Is it really worth it to shave off 15 secs on your metcon time by bouncing the barbell off the ground with a rounded back in your power cleans? We try to reiterate this phrase, “form before speed” in anything you do. Pushing yourself does lead to growth but doing so with inefficient technique will leads to injuries.
2: Overtraining and going too hard! This is probably the biggest reason for most injuries. Doing CrossFit everyday and going 100% in every single workout is mentally and physically exhausting. Unless you are competing at a high level, none of us should ever be doing 2 workouts a day. Working on skill work for 10 minutes during open gym is much different than doing a 20 min AMRAP and then coming back into the gym for a night class that same day. Trust the process and be patient with your training. Rome wasn’t built in a day and nor will 100 consecutive double- unders come after a few weeks of practice. Train at your own pace and dont worry about anyone or anything else!
Heres to a healthy, injury free rest of 2021!