Knowing what to train for and understanding a few key principles might seem enough to quit reading and start training. But we still haven’t discussed the areas most commonly overlooked by athletes who are new to CrossFit. These are injury-preventing strategies, warm-up work, and mobility work.
Crossfit Exercise Routines Crossfit Ab Exercises Photo Gallery
Ignoring these topics will eventually result in a serious setback, most commonly in the form of mental exhaustion or injury. This not only will prevent you from getting better but can also undo the progress you have made so far.
I have met more athletes now mostly former athletes who have ignored these elements than I care to think about. Do not make the same mistake. Being able to keep on training over the long-term is the foundation for progress.
Crossfit Exercise Routines
All movement elevates risk of injury. On the opposite end, lack of movement elevates risk of disease. Both injury and disease endanger your health. But in the developed world, disease is a bigger problem than injuries by an order of magnitude.5 So although some people refrain from athletic activities because of injury risks, they ignore the fact that any increase in the risk of injury from training will be more than offset by a decrease in the risk of disease.
Although training is good for overall health, you should still strive to minimize your risk of injury. The best way to do this is to choose a sport that gives you large health benefits with few injury risks. This is one of the reasons I was attracted to CrossFit. Compared with other sports, the fitness improvement is high and the injury risk low.
Crossfit Exercise Routine
CrossFit is generally safer because it avoids the two most common sources of sports injury. First, there are no tackles or other types of impacts with other athletes. This is the leading cause of injury in popular sports such as basketball, football, and soccer. Second, movements are both varied and short in duration, reducing the risk of overuse injuries. These injuries are more common in sports such as long-distance running and track & field.
However, CrossFit is performed at a high intensity. This means that some injury risk is unavoidable. Fitness cannot be increased effectively without risking injury in the process. Fortunately, this risk can be managed. If you plan to do CrossFit for a long time, reducing injury risk should be one of your top priorities.
This goal of reducing injury risk is not only for health reasons but also for performance. Injury is not the end of the world. The human body has an amazing capability to heal. It can recover fully from serious injuries such as torn ligaments, broken bones, and ruptured discs. So most likely, any injury you might sustain during training will be reversible. However, recovery can take a long time and a lot of work. And it will undermine your progress in the meantime.
Marginal improvements in your fitness level matter little if you spend months reverting back to your base level while injured. For sustained progress, your priority should be to reduce the risk of long training-free periods. Only then should you think about improving faster between sessions.
There are some regulars in my box who have stopped improving and only want to maintain their current fitness level. I have asked these few athletes why they are not competing or aiming for more than showing up for WODs. Most of the time, the reason is some injury they sustained during training: “I tore my hamstring,” “I dislocated my shoulder,” “My Achilles’ snapped,” or “I think I fractured a disc in my back once.” Most of these regulars have recovered either partially or fully, but initially they couldn’t train for months. This caused them to lose much of the fitness they had built up over a long time.
Curiously, those I have spoken to all regret something about how they approached the workout when they injured themselves. The three most common regrets I hear are: 1) too heavy lifting at the cost of form, 2) a lack of proper warm-up, and 3) a lack of adequate mobility. All three issues can be prevented if you are smart about your training.
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