Crossfit and other high intensity, functional based exercise are becoming increasingly popular worldwide. It is promoted as a physical philosophy and a competitive fitness sport. It combines aspects of High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT), Olympic weight lifting, plyometric, power lifting and gymnastics.
Primarily it should be noted that there are many benefits of competing in sports such as CrossFit.
These benefits include;
- Becoming physically active, reduce body weight
- Increasing physical strength
- Cardiovascular benefits, increased fitness and energy levels
- Psychological benefits
- Build social relationships
Injury risk at crossfit:
Risk of injury is increased for individuals who are new to the sport or just beginning. It is related to the high speed, high impact approach to this form of training.
Certain exercises which done in Crossfit or Functional Boot Camps, for example, Olympic lifting exercises, are ideally completed in moderation with sufficient rest between sets. However Crossfit encourages training to failure and pushing the body to maximum.
This increases risk of injury. Because beginner’s muscles don’t have the strength and endurance to maintain the intensity. Furthermore, there’s lack of knowledge about the difference between training to failure and causing damage.
TRAINING SAFELY IS THE KEY TO ACHIEVING THE BEST RESULTS
Tips to avoid injury with crossfit:
- Warm Up/ Cool Down: Always complete an effective warm up prior to commencing CrossFit sessions. This should be made up of 5-10 of light aerobic activity e.g. cycling or cross trainer. This will encourage blood supply to the muscles. You should also do work specific to the muscles which you’ll be using in the session. Stretching as a cool down following your session will drain the lactic acid from the muscles. Hence improving recovery and preventing injuries.
Always ask a trainer or coach for warm-up/cool down exercises.
- Don’t lift TOO HEAVY: If you cannot lift with the correct form the weight is too heavy!! Completing any exercises with weights using poor or incorrect form can cause injury. The heavier the weight the more difficult it is to maintain perfect form. Always maintain the lifting form throughout the exercise before attempting to add more weight. If you have not used weights before you should always get guidance of a coach or trainer.
- Ensure PERFECT FORM: This is vital in order to avoid injury. Keep the knees soft and absorb the landing through the feet and knees during plyometric (jumping) exercises e.g. jump squats, box jumps. If you are a beginner, you should always see a trainer or coach first. Alternatively, have a training partner who can give you feedback on technique. An Exercise Physiologist or Physiotherapist can also guide you on correct form. Crossfit.com is a website that has videos of some basic movements.
- Don’t feel pressured!!: Healthy competition between team mates and even self-competition can be beneficial for motivation. However, it aslo causes people to push themselves too far which. In turn leading to injury. Don’t try to compete with the person next to you. Take things at your own pace. If you are require a rest day due to sore muscles or joints, take it!