Injuries Don’t Have To Happen

If there is one criticism of CrossFit it’s the seemingly high rate of injuries.  Any athletic endeavor can be fraught with injuries.  Here is how you can avoid injury.

1. Learn proper technique. There is an earlier blog post you can scroll down to that expands on this point. Practice proper technique before adding weight. If your squats are crappy without weight imagine how much worse they’ll be when you add a 45 pound bar. Repeat after me: “Technique before load, technique before load….”

2. Just because your buddy can lift 200 pounds doesn’t mean you can too. Even if your technique is perfect it doesn’t mean you are ready to lift large loads. You need to progressively build toward the big numbers. So what if Joe can bench 200 pounds. Lift what you can safely.

3. Consider what you are doing outside the gym and how that will influence your workout. Your workout is not a stand alone event in your daily routine. It is impacted by your sleep, job, hobbies and habits. A lot of injuries are the result of repetitive strain. Spending four hours scraping paint off your windows and then working your shoulders at the gym is not a wise idea. Time at the gym is supposed to complement your life.

4. Know your limits. Yes CrossFit is all about pushing past your limits. What is a limit today may not be in a few months. If you just had knee surgery you need to take time to strengthen your muscles. Obviously box jumps are not an option – yet. Strengthen your legs with squats, deadlifts and lunges and then slowly build on the box jumps. Start with a small box and gradually work your way up. Limits are always a variable that needs to be respected.

5. Incorporate rest and recovery. Stretch, use the foam roller and take a day or two off.  This is as essential part of your fitness plan. Again there is a post regarding this issue. When you plan ample recovery between hard workouts you reduce the risk of injury.

If you work out long enough or play sports you will suffer an injury eventually. Take care immediately with rest, ice and medical attention if necessary. Build back to your pre-injury self slowly and you’ll be stronger than ever.

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