By Helen Conroy
Whether you are new to Crossfit, an elite athlete, or a seasoned regular enjoying Crossfit for general fitness and badassery there is no doubt that at some stage of your athletic endeavours you have suffered from an injury, niggle, pulled muscle or restriction from your training.
It is our job as Crossfit Coaches to help prevent injuries from happening by ensuring good coaching, proper technique instruction and feedback between athlete and coach. Let’s face it though, we’ve all felt that little niggle or pesky sore muscle that hangs around longer than we’d like.
Some of us come into the sport of Crossfit with pre-existing injuries, we might hurt ourselves at work or play or by pushing that bit too hard and our form suffers, it may be acute or sustained over time. We need to manage or scale work outs but how do we know when to rest, when to push through or when to come back from serious injury, illness or surgery?
Most of us don’t even realise we have things going on with our body in the hustle and bustle of our lives. That achey back or sore knee has just been accepted as part of your life, or maybe you just didn’t even know it was there.
When injuries happen it can be devastating for anyone who takes their training seriously, but with proper care you can come back stronger, and continue to train around it.
WHAT YOU NEED TO DO
My advice first and foremost is to definitely mention any pain or unusual movement patterns to the Coach on the floor, we can sub movements, reps etc if it is a new injury listen to your body, seek the appropriate professional advice to identify the specific nature of the injury e.g. Physio, Chiro or whoever your body guru is and get a proper diagnosis moving forward so that you know what your restrictions are and any treatment/rest that may be recommended. No matter what age you are you should always plan to protect your body for the future, no body wants to spend years dealing with an issue only to realise they could have helped to prevent deterioration if they’d listened to their body earlier.
The main aim should be to have a healthy functioning body so that you can swim, run, bike ride, skateboard, surf or whatever it is you like doing out in the fresh air to live your lives and be the best version of yourselves.
Never be embarrassed to mention to a Coach what’s going on, we all truly do care about your well being and there is no shame in subbing movements and or reps/weight. We want an injury friendly environment.
LISTEN TO YOUR BODY
If you are injured you really must leave your EGO at the door, scale movements, realise that weight and rep schedules are not important, build up fitness levels steadily as you recover and don’t jump that gun as soon as you start feeling better. Crossfitters as a rule pride themselves on ‘pushing through’, being in the pain cave and feeling the burn, but make sure you know the difference between ‘good’ pain and bad pain.
Speaking from my own recent experience on returning from hip surgery, there have been times when i feel great and other times where i have pushed through for too many reps or too much load and have paid for it over the following days, it’s felt like 2 steps forward and 1 step back but the key has been patience for a better long term outcome.
When coming back or working through an injury build your strength – not by training muscles but by training movements. Good body mechanics first, gradually increase the load and or speed and take things slowly and be kind to yourself.
For general health and wellness don’t forget to:
- cool down after workouts
- mobilise (never underestimate the importance of this one!)
- take active recovery rest days
- supplement with fish oil and magnesium
- good nutrition and sleep and keep your body well.
Our body is our vessel to rock our talents and roles in life – treat it wisely.