CrossFit is not for the fearful. Nor is it for those that fear pain.

And that’s not just marketing spin — the facts back it up. A study of CrossFit put the rate of injuries in the sport on par with contact sports (ex: hockey and football), distance running and gymnastics.

Injuries set CrossFit athletes back by weeks, sometimes months. And the explosive — the study referenced above used the word “ballistic” — nature of the sport demands a focus on safety and injury prevention.

Gyms also must realize that they have an ethical, if not legal, obligation to ensure that members remain safe and progress toward their goals.

Let’s run through some of the top injury prevention tips.

Ease In and Ease Out

This is the warm-up, cool-down talk. Before you eye-roll your way to the next point, consider this. Muscles that are already taxed from a previous workout will have a build-up of lactic acid, causing soreness and inflexibility.

This means the start of the workout will be spent working out the previous workout, not pushing toward new achievements. Further, diminished performance will make already achieved performance more difficult, inadvertently setting the athlete up for failure and injury.

Cooldowns send athletes home having worked out the soreness and stiffness enough to make the next warmup more effective.

Crossfit Athletes Do It Right

It’s simply part of the CrossFit ethos. Doing an exercise better than anyone else means doing it right. Cutting corners is not an option.

That means your coach is probably a fanatic for proper form. The dynamic exercises in CrossFit will increase strength and improve physiques. But if not done properly, they will break a body down.

Workout with a Partner

That fanatic coach can’t always hover over every gym member. Fellow members can help set the appropriate pace, push each other, check each other’s form and ensure all-around accountability.

Listen to Your Body

The fight is against weakness, fatigue, and your metabolism, not your back or your shoulders. If something is feeling off, not just tired but off, stop. Live to lift another day and try again tomorrow.

Don’t Be Afraid to Take a Day

Maximum results require maximum commitment. That means spending as much time in the gym as possible.

But if you’ve been at it several days in a row, consider taking a day to do less impactful exercise to ensure your body has enough of a chance to recharge, heal and otherwise recover. This prevents injury, burnout and helps set up the next couple days of back to back exercises.

Closing Thought: From Simple to Essential

Stretching falls somewhere between lacing up shoes and getting enough water when it comes to athletic education. But for those who optimize performance in all aspects of their life, professional stretching is vital. Top CrossFit athletes realize that every day, every moment is an opportunity. Unlock your next fitness opportunity by calling us at 206-441-4143 or hitting up our scheduling tool to experience it first hand.