In CrossFit, like any other sport, there is the possibility of injury. The key is to be smart, seems easy enough, right? This is why a good coach will take the time to teach you proper technique, give constructive criticism and remind you to listen to your body.
Unfortunately, there isn’t always going to be a coach to catch your mistakes and we’ve all seen enough CrossFit fail compilations on YouTube to understand that the lines between pushing yourself and utter stupidity leading to injury can become blurred real fast.
Any CrossFitter knows how easy it is to get caught up in the WOD and forget to evaluate their actions, which is why we wanted to take a moment to point out the 5 biggest mistakes that could be destroying your WOD and your bod!
1. LETTING A COMPETITIVE STREAK GET THE BEST OF YOU
It’s hard not to get caught up in the excitement and adrenaline that comes with a WOD. When you’re working against the clock and hoping to get as many rounds as possible or trying to complete a series of reps first, it’s easy to focus on the competitive aspect more than the technique.
It’s important for athletes (new and old alike!) to allow their body time to acclimate to the intensity of these sort of workouts. Remember, it’s always better to nail the technique than crush the time or worry about the RX being by your name because it’s not worth the potential injury.
2. YOU’RE A FAIR WEATHER BOX-GOER
Like most things, practice makes perfect. CrossFit® isn’t one of those sports where you can come and go and expect to see results; you must COMMIT to it.
Not sure if CrossFit® is right for you? Commit to it at least 2-3 times per week for 3 months. This will give you ample time to learn proper techniques, allow your body to adjust to a new type of workout and give you the chance to see progress. If you’re still not convinced after that, maybe it’s just not the sport for you.
3. YOU’RE OVER-TRAINING AND IGNORING RECOVERY
No one can deny the intensity of a good WOD. When strength, conditioning, and endurance all play an active role, it’s important that you give your body the rest and recovery it requires.
When you overtrain and under recover you can do a lot of harm. Your body needs time to repair muscle damage, replenish fluids and balance hormone levels before hitting it again.
The recommended schedule for a WOD athlete is 3 days ON and 1 day OFF to ensure an athlete is getting enough rest and listen to your body. If you still aren’t sure whether or not you’re getting enough recovery, then be sure to check out our blog: The 10 Rules of Recovery.
4. NOT ENOUGH FOCUS ON YOUR STRENGTH TRAINING
WODs are also known as metcons – metabolic conditioning. Simply put they are high-intensity circuit workouts that push your body to the limits by coupling fast-paced cardio with strength exercises.
Many of the most common high paced cardio movements are scaled versions of fundamental strength lifts. To be successful at the WOD you, therefore, have to focus on building your strength. Too often fit athletes fail due to their lack of strength rather than their lack of endurance. Moral of the story; get liftin’!
5. YOU NEGLECT WARM UPS AND COOL DOWNS
We all have busy lives, but there is no excuse for ignoring your warm up and cooldowns. Though not the most exciting part of the workout, you are flirting with potential injury if you ignore them.
A good warm-up preps your muscles for what’s to come, while the cooldown helps you release that lactic acid builds up, avoid cramps and reduce pesky muscle knots.
Unfortunately, some boxes don’t make warm up and cool down obligatory, so you’re left to fend on your own. If this is the case then one of the best things you can do for yourself is to grab a resistance band and go through a series of movements at home or in a corner before the WOD begins.
Resistant bands are incredibly versatile. To prep for lifts like back squats or deadlifts, use your band to perform a series of “good mornings. This will put some tension on your hamstrings and warm those babies up.
Getting ready for cleans or snatches? Hold your band horizontal to the ground and keeping your arms straight, pass the band over your head, behind your back and then repeat. Do a series of 10 pass-throughs or around-the-worlds and your shoulders will be ready for those dynamic Olympic lifts in no time.
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March is the founder of the Barbell Beauties. Her goal is simple… Empower every woman to grab a barbell and LIFT. She’s been an active CrossFitter for 7 years and credits that sport for turning her into a true athlete.