Top 5 CrossFit Safety Tips
As with any form of physical exercise, CrossFit is safe, but safer for those who know what they are doing. If you want to try CrossFit, it’s important that you learn the proper mechanics and forms under the guidance of a certified CrossFit trainer. CrossFit is not the type of exercising that can be done on your own, as this can quickly lead to injury. However, CrossFit, under the guidance of a certified trainer, is not only safe but is one of the best and most complete forms of physical fitness on the planet! Here are some tips for keeping yourself safe in the gym:
1. Learn the Proper Mechanics
One of your biggest priorities when you do CrossFit is to learn and commit to memory the proper mechanics of the core exercises. While intensity is always the goal in CrossFit, it should only be introduced after you are able to demonstrate consistent proper mechanics. This will build a foundation for greater performance down the road and lower your risk of injury overall.
2. Develop Intensity Gradually
While you may see seasoned veterans in the gym performing impressive feats of strength and athleticism, don’t assume that you will be able to achieve those same milestones right away. The key to effectiveness is pushing and working hard, but what’s defined as “hard” should relate directly to an individual’s particular ability level. Thus, at the beginning, weight should be minimal and exercises should be performed slowly, with a focus on good mechanics and precision of movement. Heavier weights and a faster pace can come later, when you have achieved strong fundamentals and have built your body up to the point where it can handle the greater intensity without injury.
3. Ask Questions
Whenever you don’t understand a particular instruction or technique, be sure to speak up before you try it. In the CrossFit gym, it’s critical that you be your own advocate by asking any and all questions that you might have. For instance, if you are learning to press loads of weight over your heady, for safety purposes it is critical that you don’t do so until you know exactly what you are doing.
4. Take Good Care of Your Body
Particularly in the beginning stages of training, one of the most important things you can do is get adequate rest and recovery between workouts. While it may be your inclination to show up every day, it’s important to give your body time to digest the high potency training that CrossFit delivers. Remember that it is the recovery period that actually enables you to benefit from the exercise, where your muscles get stronger and ready for an even more intense CrossFit workout at the gym.
5. Communicate with Your Coach or Trainer
If a particular exercise or even an entire workout sequence seems to be too much, speak up and talk to your coach or trainer. Otherwise you are putting yourself at risk for possible injury. For instance, if you know your mechanics for a particular exercise (like a pull-up) aren’t great and you still push yourself to failure in the workout, you run a much greater risk of pulling a muscle or tearing your hands then if your body was prepared. Always pay attention to how your body feels throughout your workout and let your coach know if there’s anything going on.
While any method of training involves an element of risk, you can significantly decrease your chance for injury by following the above tips. Remember, when it doubt, communicate with your trainer or coach, as in the end, pushing yourself to the point of injury will only result in a setback in the gym.