CrossFit injuries like back strain or a torn muscle can happen for a variety of reasons, but being proactive about prevention will help decrease the likelihood of suffering from injuries caused by overuse or improper form. If you have started down the CrossFit path and are excited about transforming your body, follow these four tips for preventing injuries so that you can stay on track without inconvenient setbacks:
1. Always Warm Up Before Working Out
Although this tip seems like an obvious one, too many athletes don’t take the time to properly warm up before working out. CrossFit training is designed to engage and build all of your major muscle groups, which means you need to do a whole-body warm-up before diving in. Warming up the muscles with gentle stretches prepares them for the work ahead and helps prevent painful muscle strains or other CrossFit injuries that could limit your ability to train for weeks at a time.
2. Do Regular Mobility Training
Focusing on weightlifting and building strength is an excellent CrossFit goal. However, this work must be counteracted with flexibility and mobility training. Flexibility training such as stretching exercises and yoga help elongate muscles. Mobility training helps improve range of motion in the joints. Both types of training together help prevent injury by loosening up tight muscles and keeping your body limber so that you can continue to push it to the limits you have already achieved.
3. Understand and Respect Your Limits
Speaking of limits, it’s important to know what yours are and to be careful not to go beyond them. While it is true that CrossFit training can help you overcome physical training challenges and make improvements over time, the key phrase is over time. Building muscle mass is a gradual process, and while it’s important to work hard and push your body, if you take it too far, you might end up with an injury that will set you back.
4. Apply Therapeutic Cold Post-Workout
When you feel sore after a CrossFit workout, it is your body responding to the physical stresses with inflammation. Lifting weights with the goal of building muscle mass results in tiny tears in the muscle tissue. While this is a normal part of weight training, it can be painful during the recovery phase. You can help reduce the pain and swelling associated with inflammation in the muscles and joints by applying cold therapy. You can do this with a traditional ice pack, or you can get even better results with a cold therapy system that also incorporates active compression
Just a few simple steps can go a long way toward injury prevention, allowing you to stay on track to meet your fitness goals. If you do end up being injured, allow sufficient time to fully recover before returning to CrossFit training. Applying therapeutic cold and active compression can help relieve any associated pain and swelling in addition to accelerating the healing process. Ask your doctor or trainer about Game Ready to learn more about how a cold therapy system can help you prevent injuries and promote a faster recovery.