The last thing you want at any stage on your crossfit journey is an injury. A serious injury will, at best, halt your progress while you undergo rest and rehabilitation for that injury while the worst case scenario could mean a permanent end to your training or an ongoing hindrance that stays with you forever. Luckily, most injuries encountered in crossfit training are easily managed provided the individual exercises common sense and gets the right advice from professional trainers and medical practitioners in the at the time of injury and throughout the recovery process.
Obviously the best strategy in managing injury is prevention. Unfortunately, this is also where the most scope for improvement lies amongst most participants. We asked one of the most well-respected crossfit trainers in Sydney his view on injury prevention and management. This was his advice:
Know Your Body.
Once you begin any kind of physical training, you get a good idea of what your body is and isn’t capable of. Listen to what your body is telling you and become familiar with the signals your body sends you, especially when the training is rigorous. Sometimes your body will just be telling you that it is under stress, which is the whole point of physical exercise, other times it will be telling you that there is something very wrong. Learn to tell the difference between the signals your body is sending you. It might sound obvious, but almost all crossfit related injuries could be prevented if people were able to do this more effectively. The only person who can listen to your body is you.
Warm Up and Cool Down Properly.
It is easy for trainees to begin to ignore these important phases as their physical condition starts to improve. People feel like it is less important as their bodies have become more capable and they are also keen to get into the real workout of the day that they see is the real purpose for being there. Any professional sports person will tell you that warm up and cool down is an important factor in injury prevention and they have been drilled by their staff to ensure it is always done properly. This is no less important for anyone who is doing any kind of physical training. Stay hydrated.
Flexibility Is Important.
The biggest weapon you have against any kind of muscle-related injury in crossfit is this. The most at risk sports persons (Football Codes / Professional Fighters) spend hours during their training weeks improving their flexibility and they do it daily. Seek professional advice if you are unsure of the stretching techniques to use. Take a look at sports that have a strong focus on flexibility training such as gymnastics or martial arts. A good flexibility routine outside of your normal crossfit activities will not only drastically improve your performance and strength, but will go a long way to insuring your progress against the setback caused by injury.
Manage Your Intensity.
It is normal to want to increase your intensity and improve. It is also necessary for crossfit athletes who want to get the most from their training to increase the stress they place their bodies under. Increases should be introduced gradually and training should be consistent when they are introduced. If you are coming back to training after any significant time off, your first workouts should be managed carefully to consider the condition your body is in NOW, not when you las trained. You can always increase the level of training if you are in better condition than you thought. Don’t risk your training with stupidity.
Technique Is Important.
When beginning your training, you learn just how important technique is for progress. Without good technique you cannot excel or improve and you may as well not train. It becomes more important for serious practitioners to practise good technique (especially for any strength related training) to prevent injury. A significant number of serious preventable crossfit injuries are caused due to abandonment of good technique when new physical stresses are introduced in the workout.