Habits New CrossFitters Should Adopt Right Away
When it comes to workouts, CrossFit is not just exercise. It is designed to push your limits and test your endurance. The high-intensity functional training uses your normal gymnastics elements, but leaves little or no time for recovery between sessions. For beginners, the intensity of the sessions and limited recovery time may even lead to CrossFit injuries.
Since CrossFit is meant to keep you fit as well as help you love every bit of your workout of the day, you may need a few tips on how to avoid getting hurt. Don’t let muscle pains dampen your determination as you start your new exercise habit!
To get the full benefit of a CrossFit program, participants go through high-intensity functional exercises that test and push their limits. In most cases, the exercise bouts are alternated with little or no time to rest. Like with any sport, a wrong approach or inadequate guidance may lead to injuries, especially for beginners. By adopting a few simple habits, though, you can keep yourself in the gym.
1. Keep Your Core in Good Shape
CrossFit is a functional exercise that engages core muscles. In general, the exercises improve cardiovascular/respiratory endurance, stamina, flexibility, power, coordination, speed, agility, accuracy, and balance. However, the hip flexor muscle group is one of the most important in the entire body. The hip flexor muscles are responsible for lower body movements as well as keeping the middle of your body stable. If you live a sedentary life, you may experience tight hip flexors which greatly impact your life. To keep yourself active and improve your endurance, you require both strengthening the hip flexors and stretching the hip flexors.
2. Take a Day Off
You may be enthusiastic about your new CrossFit routine, and you may feel great after every workout. Pressure from your peers may also push you to overwork your muscles. Overworking your muscles makes you tired and prone to injuries. In addition, muscles are at their peak when they have time to recover. Allowing your muscles time to recover reduces the risk of injuries, as well as helps improve their effectiveness during your next session. In general, don't train more than three days in a row without taking a day off.
3. Release Tight Muscles
Tight muscles are common after physical exercise. The intensity of CrossFit exercises may increase the risk of developing stiff muscles, especially for beginners. Muscle stiffness may be intense if you are starting CrossFit out of shape. You may experience tight muscles after long hours of inactivity, such as in the morning after waking up or in the evening after work. However, the stiff muscles should not derail your CrossFit goals, since there are tools dedicated to managing stiff muscles.
Everybody's heard of stretching, rubbing, and massaging tight and sore muscles. Many people even know about using lacrosse balls and similar tools to put pressure on angry muscles. These can bring about some temporary benefits, but to really release tight muscles, you need deep, precise, sustained, and correctly-angled pressure, not just any old lacrosse ball. It's the kind of thing you require a specialized tool to do, such as a Hip Hook or Nuckle.
The Hip Hook helps to release the psoas & iliacus muscles (your hip flexors), while the Nuckle is designed to release tightness in the neck, pec, shoulder, and upper trap muscles. All of these are very common areas that are over-worked and become tight in CrossFitters.
4. Know Your Muscles
CrossFit is intense and dynamic. It involves muscles you may not have heard of, even if you're no stranger to the gym. Knowing what these muscles can and can't do, as well as understanding how they work together to help you move, can transform the way you think about exercise. Examples: Do you know what your iliopsoas does, or that it can cause pain from your toes to your back? Which muscles help you squat correctly? Once you understand the muscles involved in each functional movement, you will correctly position yourself to reduce the risk of injuries.
Aletha is committed to providing you with the tools and education to get rid of muscle tension and improve pain. Through our Learning Lab blog posts, product How To hubs, YouTube videos, as well as our upcoming courses and certification programs, learn how to live Untight. Please reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.