How to Improve Your Workouts and Get the Most Out of CrossFit
CrossFit workouts (which include such exercises as box jumps, kettlebell movements, burpees, squats, deadlifts, clean-and-jerk lifts, and handstand pushups) provide one of the best ways to get into shape. Over time, CrossFit regimens prove to be highly effective in increasing strength, improving cardiovascular stamina, and achieving a greater level of flexibility. CrossFit participants also report feeling healthier overall and experience a newfound confidence. While the biggest key to CrossFit success is consistently showing up to the gym, there are certain things you can do to ensure you get the most out of each workout. Here are some of the top CrossFit training tips.
Incorporate Bilateral Movement Exercises to Enhance Symmetry
In order to be successful at CrossFit, you need to be able to use both sides of your body at the same time. Since no one has a totally symmetrical body, this is something you need to work at and improve on. Otherwise, you run the risk of developing compensation patterns, which can lead to increased muscle imbalance and possible pain or injury. There are several strength-based exercises that help keep the body in balance and as symmetrical as possible in terms of movement patterns: one-arm dumbbell rows, front rack one-leg Bulgarian split squats, one-arm overhead presses, barbell one-leg deadlifts, and barbell one-leg bench hip thrusters.
Focus on Flexibility
Did you know that by increasing your overall body flexibility you can achieve greater gain in your CrossFit training? This is also a great way to avoid injury. You can work to increase your body mobility by doing deep stretching, twisting, bending, and foam rolling before a CrossFit workout. This will protect your body from injury and also help you make strength gains on your lifts.
Mentally Prepare for Your Workouts
In order to achieve top performances in CrossFit, you need to work your mental muscles as well as your physical stamina and strength. While there are several ways improve your mental outlook at the CrossFit gym, one of the most effective ways is by setting performance goals on a daily basis, challenging yourself to beat earlier times, weights, and other milestones. Just remember not to set your goals so high that you experience anxiety, as too much anxiety can cause your body to work against you. Another highly effective technique is to use positive self-talk to motivate yourself through each exercise.
Stay Relaxed in the Gym and Breathe
While you will experience a certain level of adrenaline in the CrossFit gym that will undoubtedly propel your performance, too much adrenaline will throw you off your game. If you find yourself overly anxious prior to a WOD, focus on taking some big belly breaths, which will ease you out of fight or flight mode and into a place of focus and determination. It’s also effective to incorporate breathing into certain movements, which can help your body to perform better overall.
The level of intensity involved in CrossFit is what makes it so effective, and thus so rewarding. By complementing your CrossFit training with supportive exercises and practices, you can really take your workouts to the next level.