CrossFit has been known to expose individuals to many and diverse forms of exercise. Loading these exercises with weight when one is not yet readily prepared may lead to injury. Some of these CrossFit injuries can, however, be prevented. Those who’ve been injured before for example, are at a much greater risk of experiencing the same kind of injury. Therefore, training without fully recovering is risky and should be avoided. The combination of heavy and technical lifts and time restraints is likely to "wake up" old injuries. The CrossFit gym has fastened our exposure to innovative bodyweight and Olympic style lifting techniques. The average consumer of fitness doesn't, however, know how best to "consume" the sources of fitness at their disposal. If an athlete does not have an adequate base of stability, mobility, and skill, the Olympic lifts with the straight bar can be potentially injurious. Most movements that involve heavy loading, increased bar speed, and higher skill levels are probably the most dangerous types of movements, they however also have the highest ceilings of any lifts out there. Most of the available data indicate that the number one risk factor for sustaining a future injury is having had a previous injury. Many athletes usually go back to training without having fully recovered from a previous injury, which may be partly the fault of the athlete and also the medical system. It’s difficult to say that one type of injury happens more often in CrossFit, but rather, the metabolic environment and heavy loading schemes under huge amounts of stress tend to revive old CrossFit injuries that have been mismanaged or ignored in the past by the athlete, rehab specialist, or coach. Lower backs, shoulders, and knees often take the most of the hit when talking about injury rates in CrossFit. However, with better stability, mobility, and technique, many of these common injuries can be avoided. Sessions such as the Work Out of the Day (WOD) also help to define an individual’s capabilities or a specific but all-inclusive workout across the board. People sometimes don't know their own limitations, which sometimes lands them into problems that increase the unnecessary risk of CrossFit injuries during training. Many people blindly shuffle into these challenging environments not really considering what they are physically capable of doing without getting hurt. This needs to be addressed to protect athletes and to offer some alternatives in programming to match their current functional ability. Coaches also play an integral part in protecting CrossFitters. This they do by making sure that every movement programmed into the Work Out of the Day (WOD) has workable modifications to accommodate CrossFit athletes that are not currently executing a high-level movement without having an increased risk of injury. This may require the coach to check off whether an athlete may proceed in a WOD on a daily basis, or needs to downgrade and simplify a move or two. It’s also important to know the moves that people struggle with that way they don't get into the highly challenging metabolic environment, with those faulty movement mechanics. The role of coaches is to expose individuals to new exercises and combinations, not necessarily force feeding numeric training packages that may not be appropriate for one’s skill set or conditioning level.
A bad knee is a disappointment to any athlete, but unfortunately, it happens to most people without preamble. Depending on its degree, it can be life-altering and prevent you from exercising. If you have knee pain, there are two possible paths you may take. The first one is that of a physician who may tell you to stop exercising and the second path is to ignore the warning signs of pain and continue pushing through until injuries stop you. There is something you can do to prevent knee pain from grounding you and thus continue with your normal CrossFit workouts. The following are the major causes of knee pain and ways of addressing them. Poor Foot Stability Most athletes who complain of knee pain coincidentally have a history of pains somewhere on their arch right on the same foot. The link between poor foot stability and arch pain is a dysfunctional foot. The job of the arch is to roll across the surface transferring the forces of impact to the rest of the body. A flat foot is the same as a car with bad breaks and as such can’t effectively slow down as it rolls inward. If the foot rolls to a greater degree, it will pull the knee with it. The result of this is stress on the ligaments which hold your knee together. Poor Ankle Mobility This is one of the leading postural deviation experienced by many CrossFit athletes. The limitations in ankle mobility are mostly caused by our choice of CrossFit training shoes or the types of CrossFit workouts we choose to do. This problem affects our workout generally because there are a lot of squatting exercises we must do that depend on ankle mobility. If you lack ankle dorsiflexion, you will experience problems when decelerating your body and therefore end up with your knee traveling to a bad position. Posterior Weakness While it is true that your knee is such a hard worker, it isn’t very smart. Its operation is influenced by the foot and the posterior muscles. The muscles generate force through the rubber band effect and because of this, glutes which can’t properly lengthen and accommodate the load during deceleration into a squat causes the knee to fall out of track and cave inwards. Your posterior connects to the leg and knee region through glute Maximus which attach through the IT band into the lower leg. Poor Core Stability Our body systems are organized as a series of alternating sections of stabile and mobile parts. Most of the CrossFit exercises comprise extension and flexion of the hips. To operationalize this, the spine works as the muscle anchor to flex and contract the hip by way of pulling the quadratus lumborum or femur to maintain pelvic stability as you transfer weight from one leg to the other. If this stability is lacking in your core, the origin and insertion points for your muscles change ultimately preventing you from maintaining proper control of your joints during motion. As a CrossFit enthusiast, you should not just stop because of pains and aches, but rather pursue alternatives to address the problem. You may want to regress to some other activity as you give your body a chance to recover and build stronger fitness levels.
If you have a friend doing CrossFit, chances are you have heard them mentioning terms such as WOD, PR, Angie, Fran, or Cindy. Anyone who has never stepped into a CrossFit gym or cared enough to learn the coded language of CrossFitters may be perplexed by this new vernacular. CrossFitters are easy to notice because of their body sculpture. If you are curious and would want to try out CrossFit, it is important first to know the things to put in place so that you can have the best experience in the box. Trainer Academy Understanding CrossFit Developed by Greg Glassman, the CrossFit program is aimed at improving general fitness levels. According to Glassman, fitness refers to an increased work capacity across broad time and modal domains. This simply means, as a CrossFit athlete, you can perform various activities at higher levels in both long and short durations. The workouts last about an hour and comprise lots of mobility and flexibility training. Finding the Right Gym Trainer Academy As a beginner in CrossFit, it is really important to find the right box. Remember the CrossFit organization is very strict, and anyone using the name CrossFit gym must truly be affiliated with the organization. This makes it easy for beginners because all you need to do is to visit the website to find an affiliate near you. Currently, there are over 10,000 affiliates the world over from the United States to Qatar. Since people advocate for the setting up of home gyms, CrossFit workouts can best be done in official gyms to benefit from professional training. Check-In for a Free Workout As a potential new member, you can easily get CrossFit boxes which offer you first free workouts. These initial sessions will give you the opportunity to meet the coach who will give you information about the gym, the program, as well as take you through the program details. Before you settle on any gym, do a quick survey by sampling a few boxes in your area by taking advantage of the free classes. Trainer Academy Register for an On-Ramp Program As a beginner, it is important for you to learn and fully understand the basic movements commonly done in CrossFit workouts. Moves such as the front squat, air squat, overhead squat, push jerk, push press, sumo deadlift, and medicine-ball clean are some of the workouts you should know. On-ramp programs consist of a series of classes which teach you some fundamental movements before you think of adding any weight or intensity. Get the Right Gear While it is important to always look your best, the first 30 days in the gym shouldn’t worry you about how you look. Simply, focus on getting comfortable exercise gear that gives you the freedom of movement. You can wear comfortable athletic shorts and for women, athletic leggings and a tee or tank. CrossFit Shoes are arguably the most important part of your workout outfit because they give you stability and flexibility during exercise. On top of the above, take the initiative to learn the lingo, scale your workouts and get involved in the community. Devoting your time to doing warmups, mobility and flexibility exercises will benefit you by lessening injury cases.
Mirror muscles which include the back, arms and the core are more noticeable than the rest. For this reason, they tend to be worked out more than the others. Many CrossFit athletes focus on training above the belt and don’t spend as much time training the lower body. You may not know, but the lower body has some of the biggest muscles in your body system. Focusing your CrossFit workout on your bottom half will see you rewarded with athletic quads, strong glutes, toned calves, and healthy hammies. If you are still not convinced, below are more reasons why training your lower body matters. Reduction in the Risk of Injury Training your lower body helps in preventing frequent injuries which means you will stay longer in the game. When you perform functional exercises such as squats and lunges, you promote knee stability which goes a long way in preventing an Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL) tear. Strengthening the posterior chain has been associated with cartilage injury recoveries and muscle balances. CrossFit workout burning of More Calories Whether you are targeting at weight loss or not, if you want to get the most from your CrossFit gym, you should focus on the legs. Multi-joint exercises such as deadlifts, squats, and lunges require higher levels of metabolism and more work from the brain and heart because they engage bigger muscles. For you to successfully challenge these muscles, you need to put in more energy which translates into burning more calories. Ability to Run Faster and Longer There is no secret; strength training makes you a much better runner. Movements such as deadlifts and squats are strength based and play a key role in developing your hips. Research further reveals that strength training allows your body to develop endurance and this gives you an edge during competitions. Enhancement of Your Range of Motion Olympic weightlifters, pro-level athletes, and elite athletes need mobility in their joints for them to max their power output. You don’t have to be a top competitor for you to benefit from correct movement patterns. Deadlifts, lunges, and squats will enhance your range of motion which further help you in safely tackling more weight and increasing your gains. Improvement in Your Balance A stronger lower body can help you in avoiding a wipeout. Workouts such as deadlifts and lunges develop your proprioception, enhance your stability, and readies you for anything. It doesn’t matter whether you are a weekend warrior type or an adrenaline sports junkie, maintaining balance is essential for total body control. To add to the above, incorporating a leg day to your CrossFit training schedule, will speed up your metabolism. Lifting weights helps athletes build muscle mass and maintain their form. When your body has more muscle, your entire engine will run faster, and this keeps your metabolism level up.
The warm summer weather may be good for holidaymakers, but in the CrossFit gym, it brings about the discussion on hydration and how it impacts on workouts. Experts in hydration, thermal regulation, and electrolyte replacement have been at the forefront in explaining to athletes what constitutes hydration and how to assess its severity in the body system. There has been a lot of myths and general misunderstanding about hydration, and it is important we separate fact from fiction. The Color of Urine Depicts the Extent of Dehydration According to experts from CrossFit gym, striving for clear urine is a mistaken hydration goal. This is because urine color tends to be a delayed response and as an athlete who is constantly sweating, exercises, and drinking fluids to hydrate, your body system is in constant flux which means you can’t use the color of urine as a metric in those scenarios. In addition, substances such as vitamins which you ingest can change the urine color. The bottom line, therefore, is that anytime you see your urine almost clear, chances are high you are overhydrated. By the Time You are Thirsty, Your Body is Dangerously Dehydrated This is not true. The reason is, the moment you feel thirsty, your body is still normally hydrated. In the same manner, some people may lose touch with hunger pangs; most people ignore their thirst which means they don’t understand how it feels like. If you are the type of a person who walks with a bottle of water always, the first sensation of thirst doesn’t mean you are dehydrated. According to CrossFit gym, you should stop drinking fluids when you are not thirsty. The body system is equipped to let you know when it needs fluids.  To Replace Electrolytes, You Need a Sports Drink Quite a number of sports drinks such as Powerade and Gatorade have small amounts of carbohydrates and sodium. However, these are not designed to replenish sodium, but rather to help the drinks be palatable. The problem with sports drinks is that they create a notion amongst athletes that they are putting in enough electrolytes. The reality is, these sports drinks do not put enough electrolytes to cover the losses in sweat and other means. If you are truly concerned about the loss of sodium during exercise, experts advise that you take your CrossFit diet with water after you are through working out. This will replace the sodium without running into the risk of overhydration. Irrespective of the Level, Dehydration Adversely Affects Performance If you are hydrated well, it is normal that over time you will experience dehydration. Simply put, dehydration is just a process of losing fluids, but not an illness. Dehydration and its impact on athletic performance largely depend on the hydration level of the athlete before the competition or exercise begun. If you begin the exercise and you are well hydrated, you may lose up to 4% of your total body weight through dehydration and still remain competitive.Pay attention to your body signals and only drink when you are thirsty. Flooding your body with fluids irrespective of their kind may lead to exercise-associated hyponatremia(EAH). If you have always believed that you can’t drink excess water, now you know that you can and the dangers of doing so.
Box jumps are one of the favorite exercises of CrossFit athletes. This is because they are efficient, will get you gasping for breath and sweaty within a short time in addition to their flexibility in scaling for different fitness levels. Doing box jump CrossFit exercise is easy because all you need is a plyometric box or simply a sturdy-raised surface onto which you can jump and land with both feet then straighten your legs at the top position. After that, jump back down and immediately spring back the fastest you can. If you have knee problems or feel a bit uncomfortable, you can step back down from the box instead of jumping down. The height of the box will be determined by your current level of fitness. However, a majority of women prefer to start with a box height ranging from 14 to 18 inches while men tend to start at the height of 20 to 24 inches. You can begin with 3 or 4 sets of about 10 to 20 box jumps 4 times a week. Alternatively, you can add them to your high-intensity impact CrossFit training workouts. Here are 5 reasons why box jumps are simply loveable. Strengthen Your Calves Jumping up and down the box enhances your muscle tone and strength as well as build your lower and upper body strength. Doing box jumps means your body is forced to jump high enough while at the same time using every single muscle in your legs to lift you up atop the box. Calorie Burning and Fat Blasting Jumping at a fast pace causes your body to burn approximately 800 to 1000 calories every single hour. This will compare to the calories you burn (200 to 300) per hour while walking. High-intensity jumping stimulates mitochondrial changes causing your body to prioritize fat burning before carbohydrates. This is great news for anyone wanting to lose weight. Balance and Coordination in Old Age None of us wants to be a weakling in life, but rather healthy and active all the way to our senior years. To achieve this, you should continuously be active and enhance your strength, coordination, and balance. Box jumps aid in balance and protects you from injury as you age. Additionally, they keep your bones strong and healthy for a solid life. They Don’t Need Equipment The excuse of not having CrossFit exercise equipment should not surface in box jumps because you can still do them, even with a high bench or stairs. Just ensure the surface is steady so that it doesn’t move while you are jumping which may result in injuries. They Enhance Your Athletic Abilities Box jump CrossFit exercise enhance your vertical jump, endurance, and speed. These are fitness attributes that fit into any sport including surf, skateboard, and basketball. The level of coordination you build while working out will give you a front edge in any other activity. If you see no reason at all to do box jumps, think about the fun that comes with realizing that you can actually jump high. This will certainly bring out your inner kid!
Serious CrossFit athletes will tell you that recovering from a CrossFit workout is as crucial as the effort they have put into the workout. That said, hydration, one of the fundamental ways to boost post-workout recoveries has often been overlooked. Many people understand and appreciate the role played by hydration during exercise, but have a vague idea of its power in post-workout recovery. This affects optimal performance. Water, in general, plays a key role in the recovery process from the repair of damaged muscles during CrossFit exercise all the way to help in the digestion of vital nutrients. Scientific studies have revealed that muscles are 75% water. Below are some of the top ways water can help in your recovery and improvement of your next workout. Muscle Repair  Exercises cause muscles to strengthen by first breaking them down and after that rebuilding them through the process of protein synthesis. However, for this to happen, your muscles must be well hydrated. If following a workout, you are dehydrated, the protein synthesis process will be drastically slowed down, and this will further delay your post-workout recovery. Digestion  Following an intense workout, it is important to refuel to replenish the depleted glycogen stores and boost recovery. However, for proper digestion to take place, you need adequate water. Saliva which is the major constituent of food breakdown in the mouth is composed of primary water and plays an important role in enhancing the absorption of the nutrients broken down. Therefore, rehydrating well after a CrossFit gym session ensures efficiency of the digestive process and recovery. Reduction in Fatigue  Fatigue is one of the most visible signs of dehydration. When the body is dehydrated, the blood volume reduces and this makes the heart to work extra hard to pump blood to all parts of the body which require nutrients and oxygen. By its very nature, fatigue hinders post-workout recovery and reduces motivation for the next workout. Heartrate Recovery A study done in 2012 brought out the role of hydration in athletic performance. It found out that hydration impacted heavily on recovery. The athletes under examination did a 90-minute run on a treadmill and subjected to two different conditions; one where the athletes took a sports drink during the CrossFit exercise and after and the second condition where they did not hydrate at all. According to the experiment, individuals who hydrated adequately showed a very significant heart rate recovery after the workout which meant their bodies quickly picked up after the stress of exercise. Rehydration following a workout has a huge impact on recovery especially in the buildup to hot summer weather. Therefore, it is important that you develop a hydration protocol after your CrossFit exercise to replenish the fluids, electrolytes, and sodium lost in the course of the workout.
Top performing athletes understand pretty well that nutrition is important if they are to gain a competitive edge over their peers. Through proper and well-planned nutrition, athletes can meet their goals whatever they are. In the 80/20 diet rule, it’s said that body fitness and optimal health is 80% what you eat and 20% exercise. This rubber stamps the importance of diet not only in sports performance but also in our lives as a whole. That said, there are certain foods you should as an athlete. This is because they derail your CrossFit workout performance and set you back. Among these foods include: Diet Soda Diet soda contains artificial sweeteners which have no health benefits to the body. A study was done by Purdue University revealed that consuming artificial sweeteners through drinks such as diet soda can expose your body to health risks and weight gain. Also, these sweeteners are more or less like tricksters to the body because they trick it into thinking that you have taken lots of food thus making it produce insulin for fat storage. Canned Soup The convenience that comes with canned soup makes it a favorite of most people including athletes. However, the bad news is these soups are highly processed and loaded with sodium which takes a toll on your health. Even though the body needs sodium to function well, excessive intake of this mineral through canned soups can have a severe effect on your blood pressure levels. You can opt for homemade soups instead. Rice Cakes Despite the long-held belief that rice cakes are good for snacking, nutritionally speaking, they are empty. These little crunchy snacks will severely affect your blood pressure, and their low-calorie count doesn’t even help in giving you the much-needed energy to fuel your workouts. The glycemic index of rice cakes is 91 which is closer to that of pure glucose which is 100. Foods that are high in glycemic index put your body at risk of developing insulin resistance type 2 diabetes and elevated sugar levels. Sugary Cereals Athletes may be active, but that doesn’t give them the leeway to consume sugary foods including sugary cereals. This is because including these foods in your CrossFit diet spikes insulin levels which in turn prime your body to store more fat. This stresses the body and lowers your overall performance. Intake of sugary cereals raises your blood sugar levels which fall afterward making your body yearn for more sugary foods thereby snowballing your health into a much bigger and unmanageable crisis. White Bread White bread may be popular, but its nutritional content is wanting. This is because the white flour used in making the bread is stripped off its nutrients including fiber, essential Vitamin B, and wheat germ. This leaves behind a processed food product which raises insulin levels when consumed. This is dangerous for an athlete because the dips in energy and the weight gain contributed by white bread can severely affect your CrossFit training schedule. Other foods athletes should put on their must-avoid list include microwave popcorn, granola, alcohol, nutrition bars, pasta, bottled salad dressing, packed deli meat, and pretzels. Instead of craving for these foods, they should look for their healthy alternatives.