Tips on Avoiding Injury
Written by Bryan Miller
Regardless of your training methods, injuries happen. Injury can set you back weeks, months, or years – in the most severe cases, some injuries stay with us the rest of our life. I have been fortunate to avoid any major injuries, but I have been pretty banged up and have tweaked this or that more than a few times. Below are some things I’ve learned to help avoid injuries and keep progressing.
1. Know YOUR mobility weaknesses.
Kelly Starrett talks about knowing what YOU need to work on to make yourself a better athlete and mover. Ask your coach to watch you move in order to pick out what you should focus on when you stretch. If you are not stretching for a purpose, you could be leaving a lot on the table.
2. When you feel like something is wrong … it probably is.
Whenever you feel a tweak, sharp pain or are uncomfortable when certain movements are in a workout (NOT because you don’t like doing them or aren’t proficient at the skill, but because you know your wrist/shoulder/knee/back is going to hurt tomorrow), take some time off to fix it.
For example, if it hurts your wrists to front squat, ask your coach for a substitute and explain why. In this case, think about substituting the front squat for goblet squats and work on wrist mobility until it feels better.
Sounds simple but I am shocked by how many people work through pain and think things will get better; rest and work around your injuries – not through them.
3. Commit to 2 minutes every day is more useful than 20 minutes once a week, or 2 hours once a year.
As with most things in our busy lives, if you do not make what is important to you a priority, it will fall by the wayside. If you value your mobility, health and freedom, then you should stretch. The only thing keeping you out of a nursing home is your ability to get off a toilet! Consistency is king! Commit at least 5 minutes a day to your maintenance and think of it as a daily oil change for your body.
4. Use tools!
If a little stretching is good, then foam rollers, lacrosse balls, bands are awesome! 90% of the CrossFit gyms out there have a corner dedicated to these guys – FIND IT AND USE IT.
Make these a priority in order to help avoid injury; nothing is safe in life but get out there and push, pull, run, throw, climb, lift, jump, and move!