High intensity exercise, like CrossFit, is an ideal way to up your fitness level and get in shape. However, as we age, we often encounter a new set of challenges–decreased flexibility, old injuries, and if we haven’t been exercising regularly, deconditioning. How can someone ease into a high-intensity program successfully and gain strength and muscle without suffering the microtrauma and overuse injuries common to all workout programs?
Work With Your Coach
Take advantage of the knowledge of your CrossFit certified coaches. That means really listening–whether they are demonstrating a movement before the workout starts, correcting your form, or advising you on recommended weights or modifications. Don’t be afraid to ask questions.
Stay Within Your Ability
Understand where you are physically and try to stay within your means. Ego often gets in the way of common sense. Resist the urge to compare yourself with others, try to keep up with the guy next to you, or focus on the “Rx” weights on the board. Listen to your body and make good decisions with each WOD. There is no shame in starting slow and letting yourself develop physically before maxing out weight or reps.
Warm-up Before the Workout/Stretch After
Try to get as much as you can out of the programmed warm-up before your workout, by consciously focusing on the muscles you are warming up. Preparing your body before the WOD and taking care of your body after will help you avoid injury and speed up recovery. Let your coach know if you have any special issues–an achy shoulder, a tight low back–he or she will be glad to work with you one-on-one after the WOD to address these. Follow the advice of the coaches for peak performance, no matter your current physical ability.
The high-intensity exercise program found in CrossFit is an ideal way to boost your fitness level and get in shape. Most injuries that occur with any new exercise program can be easily avoided with good common sense and a few guidelines. Follow the three tips in this article to enjoy your new CrossFit routine injury free.