CrossFit exercises are strenuous, demanding, and you are almost always in constant motion. While this does help you burn calories and build endurance, it is also an easy way to injure yourself. There are two types of injuries athletes experience with CrossFit. Immediate injuries are normally not preventable and generally happen due to an accidental bump or fall.
In most cases the injury is either a cut or a bruise that is painful but not debilitating. Injuries caused from overworking your muscles are preventable, and we have included a few tips on how to prevent them from occurring during your CrossFit workouts.
Preventing Injuries During Your CrossFit Workouts
There are some injuries caused by overworking your muscles that are more common than others and can include the following:
The most common muscles that are strained during CrossFit workouts are those in the lower back, shoulder, hamstring, bicep, and pectoral muscles. This generally is caused by poor technique or trying to lift too much weight at one time.
In order to prevent these kinds of injuries, start small and work up to larger amounts of weight. You also need to ensure that you’re adequately warmed up before lifting heavy weights.
Knee and Shoulder Injuries
Squatting, jumps, and sprints can cause wear and tear on your knees while heavy lifting can cause serious injuries to your shoulders. In some cases it might require surgery to repair the torn muscle or ligament, which will also result in a long recovery period.
Again, make sure you work up to more reps with heavier weights. Warming up is also key!
This type of injury can occur in any of your tendons but is more common in the elbow or Achilles tendon. Hard landings from jumps and improper technique on the overhead bars can both contribute to this type of injury.
They can also result from overuse, so be sure to take a break from your workouts. Rest and recovery is key to achieving your maximum athletic performance.
Common CrossFit Injuries and How to Prevent Them
Some Tips for How to Prevent Injuries from CrossFit
Even though these injuries can cause you to take a break from your healthy lifestyle, there are ways that you can help prevent them.
- Take an occasional break from your CrossFit workouts. It is difficult for the avid CrossFit athlete to take a day or two off from their WODs, but giving your sore and tired muscles a chance to relax and recover can go a long way toward preventing injuries.
- Make sure to include some of the exercises that concentrate on mobility and flexibility in your workout schedule. While improving your endurance is a big part of CrossFit, you still need to be flexible enough to safely complete the gruelling workouts.
- Some CrossFit athletes are discovering the healing benefits of getting a massage after their workouts. This helps relax your muscles and keep any injuries from occurring later. Many CrossFit gyms are also starting to keep a massage therapist on staff for athletes to use.
- Reducing the intensity of your workouts can give your muscles a chance to rest can and help prevent painful strains and injuries. This is not saying that you should not push yourself during your daily WODs, only take an occasional break from the more intense and strenuous ones and choose a workout from a lower performance level.
- Getting enough sleep at night is important to promote muscle healing and will also benefit your general health. While you are sleeping your body uses the time to begin healing itself, which can also include any minor injuries that may have occurred during the day.
- The most important thing you can do to prevent any type of injury during your workouts is make sure you spend a few minutes warming up and cooling down. Warming your muscles up before starting your workout gets each one ready to perform. After your WOD, cooling hot and tired muscles back down helps them relax and will prevent injuries from occurring later in the day.
How to Avoid Knee Injuries During a CrossFit Workout
Good Coaching is Key
If you’re just starting out with CrossFit, or something like Olympic lifting, then coaching is certainly very important! You’ll need to learn the right technique for two reasons:
- To prevent injuries
- In order to achieve your maximum athletic performance
At minimum, you’ll want to ensure that your trainer has a CrossFit Level 1 certification. This is the minimum anyone should have in order to call themselves a CrossFit coach so be sure to ask about this when signing up for a gym.
Even better, is if they have CrossFit Level 2 and some of the specialities.
However, paper certifications don’t necessarily make someone a great trainer. They should also be able to adjust the workout to your level, coach you on form, and also emphasize this during a WOD. Of course, they should be approachable and encouraging of your progress.
Start with the Right Gear
As with almost any sport, the correct gear is important to help prevent injuries. After all, you wouldn’t play football, hockey or even go for a bicycle ride with a helmet that was cracked or missing a strap. Our feet are the same way.
Going for a road run with a pair of football cleats isn’t ideal. Or, lifting weights in running shoes. For CrossFit, you’ll want to consider the following:
Over time, you’ll probably accumulate more gear such as a workout bag, knee sleeve, CrossFit Shirt, jump rope, sweatband, etc. But, these things are kind of the basics.
You can check out some of our top picks for CrossFit shoes below:
How Can I Prepare for CrossFit?
If you’re currently a couch potato of sorts, you may wonder if you can just jump right into CrossFit, or if you should start with some other type of exercise first.
CrossFit is a high-intensity workout that can be a bit intimidating for someone who isn’t an athlete. That said, any good coach should be able to tailer the WOD to your level, along with give you some tips for how to prevent injuries. Look around until you find a trainer who is able to do this.
Or, you may want to ease into these kinds of workouts by doing some easier kinds of exercise first. Go for a short jog, or hike. Do some weight training at the gym, or play some sports. You may find that moving your body for a few months is the best way to ease into CrossFit.
It’s really up to you! You can learn more about this here: How to Prepare for CrossFit.
The Takeaway on Preventing Injuries During CrossFit
While it is almost impossible to not injury yourself occasionally during the high-intensity CrossFit workouts, it does not have to be serious enough to warrant surgery or for your to quit the exercise program.
By following a few simple steps, and using your common sense, you can prevent many of the common injuries associated with the CrossFit workout program.
Have your Say about Injury Prevention From CrossFit
Do you have any tips or tricks for how to prevent injuries from your workouts? Leave a comment below and let us know your thoughts.
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Last update on 2019-06-24 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API