No matter if you’re new to CrossFit, a weekend warrior or a professional, injuries can happen to anyone.
After an injury, it’s important to focus on how you return to training. With this in mind, here are some ways to overcome the initial hurdles of an injury, stay motivated and ease your way back into your training.
The biggest battle is in the mind
After coaching athletes for the past 10 years I can say with authority the hardest part of having an injury is overcoming your own mindset. Just know this, with the exception of the rarest serious injuries, you WILL recover. You WILL be able to return to all aspects of training. It will most likely take time and corrective work but if you don’t start with a belief that you will overcome it will be hard to even get started.
Get the go-ahead from a medical professional
Rushing back into training without the go-ahead of a medical professional, is the easiest way to reinjure yourself or do additional damage. We have developed great relationships with competent Physical Therapists, Massage Therapists, Chiropractors and Medical Doctors. Working hand in hand with one of these professionals will ensure you have a smooth transition back to training. Even when the person overseeing your treatment has cleared you to work out, make sure you get their advice on returning to training. Come prepared with a rundown of limitations or concerns to give your coach. Making them aware of any restrictions will help you both during your next workout.
Coming back to training
With the right program and professional oversight, you can still train the areas that aren’t affected by your injury. Get a good coach who can adjust your training to suit your needs. Additionally, take this time to gain new strength and range of motion so you minimize the risk of injury in the future
Whether you want to regain strength from an injury or maintain your fitness while you overcome it, effective progressions that are overseen by a coach are the best way to keep your training safe and prevent further setbacks.
Make modifications your friend
Challenging yourself is one of the most rewarding things about CrossFit. Instead of seeing an injury as a restriction, consider it a challenge to work around. Over the years we have developed some pretty unique ways to train around an injury. Perhaps the most creative was using a skateboard, on a rowing machine, for an athlete who had a broken leg. (this was not an injury that happened in the gym!)
With the help of your coach, modify your training and set ambitious but achievable and realistic goals for yourself. Get creative with the areas you can work. Hurt your wrist? Perfect opportunity to build your core strength. Impinged shoulder? More time for lunges and squats. Using your recovery time as a way to focus on other goals is a great way to keep your strength, fitness and motivation up.
Listen to your body
When you’re in the middle of your workout, you’re focused on the signals that your body is sending you. You take rests, you reset, or you stop if you need to. When you’re recovering from an injury, these same principles apply. The old adage of “No Pain No Gain” is just not true. If you have acute pain in joint you need to stop and ask your coach for help.
Listening to your body is always important, but it’s critical when you’re coming back from an injury. While we all embrace the competitiveness of WODs, when you have an injury you need to respect your own limitations even more so during training. Pay particular attention to the affected area. If you start to feel it ache, it’s probably your body’s way of telling you to stop.
Rest and recovery
Rest and recovery are a regular part of CrossFit training and are vital when you have sustained an injury. Instead of rushing back into your usual pace of training and fighting off the pain, focus instead on recognizing when you need to rest.
You should also be devoting extra attention to your recovery period. Be it taking extra cool down time, using ice on sore spots or seeing a specialist, look after yourself. Respecting and giving further rest to your body will pay off in the long run.
With any injury, there is a lesson to be learned and a challenge to overcome. Setting yourself achievable goals and focusing on your well-being is the most beneficial way to keep up your training after an injury. Remember to listen to the professionals, such as your medical professional and coach, as they guide you through your recovery. They are there to help you keep up your training going as well as ensure you look after your health in the long-term.
Ready to start your journey towards better health? The first step is to book yourself in for a FREE No Sweat Intro. All you need to do is CLICK HERE and complete the form.