CROSSFIT AND CHIROPRACTIC CARE. YOUR BODY WILL THANK YOU.
The CrossFit workout and fitness regime founded by Greg Glassman and later Lauren Jenai has become one of the world’s leading platforms for health, happiness, and performance.
With thousands of registered CrossFit gyms around the world and even more CrossFit home-gyms, a CrossFit workout has become a way of life for millions of people.
And it’s no surprise: CrossFit is based on functional movements from Olympic sports, weightlifting and high-intensity gymnastic movements. CrossFit exercises are supported by gyms, trainers, the annual “CrossFit” games, and even Netflix documentaries.
Millions of CrossFitters and CrossFit Athletes challenge themselves to the CrossFit “Workout Of the Day” or (WOD), which is released on their official website and includes combinations of workouts for consistent CrossFit training.
This all makes it easy for anyone around the world to partake in a CrossFit workout, even from the comfort of their own home.
Although CrossFit is physically challenging, it can also be very rewarding and you can push your body to peak functional fitness levels. Whether you choose to “go it alone” or join a CrossFit community, you can pace yourself to reach the levels of fitness and weight goals that are appropriate for your age and physical condition. The benefits of CrossFit exercises have proven to be an effective workout:
- for burning calories and losing weight,
- for building muscle strength,
- for improving your agility,
- for improving your overall flexibility, and
- for improving your aerobic fitness
So, is CrossFit good for you?
To start with, you need to understand the physical demands placed on the human body by CrossFit Exercise. CrossFit is not a sprint, but rather a marathon. And like with any race, and especially the longer races, you need to step up to the plate and train to handle that distance. Preparation and proper conditioning is therefore key to your enjoyment and long-term comfort.
If your body is conditioned to the functional movements, has the flexibility and mobility to handle the range of motion required, and your technique is spot-on, then in moderation CrossFit can be great for you.
But, CrossFit is also a HIGH-RISK activity. If your body is unprepared for a CrossFit exercise, you may suffer from multiple injuries, including the breakdown of muscle from extreme physical exertion (Exertional Rhabdomyolysis).
This is a world of high-intensity training using a combination of muscles, tendons, joints and body positions you didn’t even know you had. It’s an everyday set of Burpees, Box Jumps, Squats, Pull-ups, Presses and Runs, and if your body is showing any symptoms of back pain, lower back pain, neck pain, muscle, joint, or soft-tissue pain, you may greatly benefit from chiropractic care.
Dr Matt le Roux is a professional Chiropractor and as an athlete himself, is a keen supporter of a healthy lifestyle that combines nutrition and exercise. Matt advises that, before you start off with CrossFit, you should know your own limits. If you are unsure of your physical readiness to dive into a new sport, have yourself checked out first. Matt can assist you with professional chiropractic care, advice, and a comprehensive guide to help you on your CrossFit journey from the get-go.
What are my RISKS?
The scary thing about CrossFit is that, within one year of beginning, as many as 56% (that’s over half) of all CrossFit athletes suffer from some or other injury because of it.
In the context of Chiropractic care, Matt lists the 5 most frequent injuries associated with CrossFit, and provides Pre- and Post- workout suggestions.
- NECK INJURY:
PRE: Always use appropriate equipment when doing weighted exercises. Start with lighter weights and only increase weight in line with the increase in your fitness and muscle strength. Excessive weight loads can lead to cervical spine injury that may result in extreme pain.
POST: Always perform a cool-down and stretching routine after your exercises to ensure that you are comfortable with your posture and body. If you have any signs of discomfort, make an appointment with Matt to assess your condition.
- TENNIS ELBOW
PRE: It’s essential to stretch and warm-up your upper and lower arms, shoulder and neck.
POST: When cooling down afterwards, stretch again. To avoid or alleviate any inflammation, especially after intense workouts, you should also apply ice to your elbows.
- ACHILLES TENDONITIS
PRE: The correct shoes are critical for running and exercise. Stretch and rotate your calf and ankle to warm up the muscles and tendons.
POST: Ensure adequate stretching during the cool down period. A proactive and risk-averse strategy is to consider booking a regular Sports Chiropractic session with Matt.
- LOWER BACK STRAIN
PRE: Always use the correct safety equipment, especially if doing weightlifting. Warm up by stretching your lower back and all the surrounding muscles. Expand this to include your upper back, glutes, hamstrings, and calves. Always stretch according to the professional guide or coach’s instructions.
POST: Practice proper stretching and relaxation through deep breathing until you have cooled down.
- SHOULDER ROTATOR CUFF TEAR
PRE: Proper rotational and flexing warmups are essential. You need to strengthen the muscles that support the rotator cuff through lighter weightlifting and higher repetitions.
POST: Perform a careful, slow, and effective flex and stretch of the arm and shoulder during the cool down period after every workout. It’s also a good idea to add icepack to the shoulder after intense workouts.
In closing, Matt suggests you approach any physical activity with 2 Golden Rules in mind for when you may feel any discomfort or pain:
DURING: Stop the exercise. Don’t “push through the pain”. You can do yourself much greater injury.
AFTER: If the injury is self-manageable, good. If not, make an appointment to see Matt asap.
All in all, EXERCISE, not only CrossFit, is a question of balance. Take your age, fitness and heath into consideration BEFORE attempting any physically demanding exercise or sport. If you are unsure, the best advice is to book an appointment with Matt. He will set up an assessment for you so that he can give you professional advice and a program to support your wellness lifestyle.
- CrossFit. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/CrossFit
- WODIFY. https://blog.wodify.com/post/the-15-best-crossfit-wod-for-beginners
- RHABDOMYOLYSIS. https://nypost.com/2017/04/07/deadly-condition-linked-to-CrossFit-on-the-rise/
- PREVENTING INJURY. https://www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au/health/HealthyLiving/resistance-training-preventing-injury
- HOW TOUGH IS MY SPORT? https://news.yahoo.com/3-hardest-olympics-sports-according-193729075.html and https://www.irishtimes.com/news/science/the-five-toughest-sports-at-the-olympics-1.2751633
- WHAT ARE MY RISKS? https://ironbullstrength.com/blogs/learn/10-most-common-crossfit-injuries-and-how-to-prevent-them