How to Avoid Common CrossFit Injuries Once and for All

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Exercising regularly is an important factor to staying healthy. Many health and fitness gurus are switching from personal gym routines to scheduled classes in CrossFit gyms. Since its debut in 1995, CrossFit gyms have increased to almost 1,700 in 2010 and are still growing today. Like any type of sport, injuries are partial to those who participate in CrossFit classes. Here are four of the most common injuries that CrossFitters experience during their training, how to prevent them, and how to treat them if they’ve already happened.

1. Lower Back
If you’re experiencing any lower back pain, it’s possible that you have a lumbar injury that may require you to be sidelined for months. Get a second opinion from your doctor if your back doesn’t start feeling better.

A common way for lower back injuries to occur is when you increase the amount of weight you’re lifting too quickly.

How Can You Prevent It?
It’s important for you to be prepared for each CrossFit class. If you’ve been stationary all day and suddenly get up to do a workout, there’s a greater chance for back injuries. Your muscles haven’t been used throughout the day and suddenly you’re doing an entire workout without a proper warm-up.

Don’t let your ego get the best of you. Take your time increasing the weight on the bar and use common sense when it comes to the amount you can lift.

Make sure to build up your core muscles. The core has to be strong because it supports the lower back. You can’t have a strong back without having a strong core and vice versa. Crunches and planks are a great way to build your core muscles.

How Can You Treat It?
Aquatic therapy is a great way to improve back pain. The temperature and pressure of the water helps reduce the pain while you exercise. You can do things such as squats, running, walking, leg raises and core exercises to strengthen your lower back. Ask a physical therapist how long you should participate in aquatic therapy based on the severity of your pain before jumping right back into your CrossFit classes.

2. Shoulder
avoid-crossfit-injuries-shouldersShoulder injuries have the potential to be serious. A torn labrum, for instance, would require surgery and result in a lengthy rehab. Other injuries, such as tendonitis, are a nuisance when trying to do overhead lifts.

How Can You Prevent It?
Whenever you’re in the middle of a session and have just worked your shoulder muscles, it’s important to stretch to keep the muscles loose and warmed up. You could even do flexibility drills or thoracic mobility and extension exercises to take care of your shoulders.

How Can You Treat It?
Just like with lower back injuries, a great way to treat shoulder injuries is through aquatic therapy. There are several exercises you can do in the water that will help your shoulder heal faster. There are multiple different exercises you can complete in the pool. Beyond that, take your time returning to activities that use your shoulder.

3. Knee
In CrossFit, you constantly do squats and jumps and various other exercises that will take a toll on your knees. This constant pressure wears them down and leads to extreme soreness. If your knees roll in as you squat or lunge, this could lead to patellofemoral joint dysfunction.

How Can You Prevent It?
Just like with your shoulders, you need to also take care of your knees. Strengthen your glutes because they help the pelvis stay aligned, which supports the knees.

How Can You Treat It?
Using a foam roller along your iliotibial band (IT band) could alleviate some pain. Patella femoral joint dysfunction can usually be treated by resting, ice, physical therapy, and/or ibuprofen. Depending on the severity, this type of injury may require surgery.

4. Tendonitis
Tendonitis can occur in several different parts of the body. For CrossFitters, it can be located in areas such as the bicep or elbow. One CrossFitter had tendonitis in his Achilles that he struggled with for nearly a year. Whatever the case, tendonitis can slow you down if not treated properly.

How Can You Prevent It?
avoid-crossfit-injuries-coreMake sure you warm up and cool down properly before and after each class. Strengthening the muscles around your tendon will also be beneficial to you and can help prevent pain.

How Can You Treat It?
You might have to complete therapy or strengthening to decrease the pain and get closer to putting forth 100% effort. That might mean taking some time off from CrossFit classes so you’re not constantly using the same part of your body where the tendonitis is located.

How to Avoid Other Injuries
Just because you haven’t experienced any of the first four injuries doesn’t mean you’re invincible. If you’re into CrossFit, you want your body to be strong but you also want to take care of it. Try these tips to avoid other common injuries:

  1. Give Yourself a Break
    Like any sport, it’s important for you to have breaks in your workouts. This will help your muscles recover from the strenuous classes you’ve been doing. A simple plan like 3 days on, 1 day off, 2 days on, 1 day off each week will give your body a break when it’s necessary.
  2. Listen To Your Body
    A lot of athletes like to ignore what their body is saying because they don’t want to stop doing what they love. However, if something isn’t right, your body will tell you and you’ll need to listen to help prevent further injury. If you don’t, you could be sidelined for months as opposed to one or two weeks.
  3. Calm The Intensity of Your Workouts
    Not every workout you complete has to be at 100% intensity. Even if you reduce it to 60-70%, you’ll see a difference on how fatigued your muscles are after a workout compared to what they normally would be after a week of going 100%. Easy days are crucial for helping your muscles recover while still getting in a necessary workout.
  4. Increase Your Flexibility
    Include stretching before and after your workouts. This will help improve your flexibility, which will correct your techniques during classes. This will also reduce your risk for injury.
  5. Sleep Well
    This is equally as important as every other tip. Lying stationary for 8-9 hours every night will help your body heal. It’s the only time where you aren’t moving around and causing the muscles in your body to work. Make sure you get a good night’s rest, and you’ll be feeling better in no time.

Prevent and Prevail
Despite its intense nature, CrossFit is great for health and fitness gurus who are looking to stay in shape and build up a variety of different muscles in their body. Make sure that you practice these tips to prevent injuries and have successful and healthy workouts.

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About Author

Adrienne Erin

I am a social media/design blogger who loves sharing ideas and making awesome stuff. I am passionate about healthy living, cooking, the French language, and travel. I kind of live on the Internet!

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