CrossFit combines gymnastics, weight lifting, running and rowing. All the movements are functional and are performed at a high intensity. It pushes even the fittest of athletes, but is equally suitable for complete beginners. All of the movements and exercises can be adjusted for each individual depending ability and fitness.
CrossFit is absolutely great for improving fitness but as with most other sports it's not without risk of injury. According to statistics 20% of crossfit-ers will sustain an injury at some point during their training the most common tend to be shoulder and spinal (Weisanthal et al, 2014) , both of which can be treated and managed with osteopathic treatment and careful rehabilitation.
The best cure, is prevention, there are a few steps you can take to prevent sustaining an injury whilst training;
1) Attend classes where you will be coached by experienced individuals so that they can ensure your form and technique is correct. Research has shown that coaches guiding the participants through a workout is correlated with a decrease in injury occurrence (Weisanthal et al, 2014).
2) Warm up thoroughly before a session, don’t turn up late and just join in halfway through.
The idea of a warm up is to increase the temperature, blood flow and delivery of oxygen to your muscles. It has also been shown to improve the efficiency of muscle contractions. (Neiva et al 2014). Therefore improving overall performance as well as decreasing the risk of injury.
3) Don’t push yourself beyond your capabilities. Don’t keep adding weight on just because everybody else is. Stick to what you can manage, you'll be much better off staying with a slightly lower weight and keeping your form!
4) Make sure you maintain your mobility. The more mobility you have, the less risk you have of pulling something. Although its not the most exciting aspect of training, its equally as important as everything else!
DON’T TRAIN THROUGH AN INJURY!
If you do happen to pull or tweak something, don't push through the pain. Get some ice on it as soon as possible and make sure you get some treatment. Acute injuries are much easier to manage if they are dealt with sooner rather than later. If you leave it and hope for the best, your body will start to compensate for the injury/weakness and you may develop other issues elsewhere!
Weisenthal BM, Beck CA, Maloney MD, DeHaven KE, Giordano BD(2014). 'Injury Rate and Patterns Among CrossFit Athletes' Orthop J Sports Med. 2014. Apr 25. 2 (4)
Hak PT, Hodzovic E, Hickey B. (2013). The nature and prevalence of injury during CrossFit training. J Strength Cond Res. 2013 Nov 22
Neiva HP, Marques MC, Barbosa TM, Izquierdo M, Marinho DA (2014) Warm-up and performance in competitive swimming. Sports Med. 2014 Mar;44(3)
Fradkin AJ, Zazryn TR, Smoliga JM. (2014) Effects of warming-up on physical performance: a systematic review with meta-analysis. J Strength Cond Res. 2010 Jan;24(1)
By Laura Hazell (Associate Osteopath)