Posts tagged with ‘injury’

  • Knowledge Blog

    IMPROVING FITNESS THROUGH INJURY

    - by Imtiaz

    Health and fitness requires a lot of hard work and sacrifice. For those committed to improving themselves daily – like the people we see in our gyms – there’s some risk involved too. You could cut your shin on a box jump, twist your ankle while running, or sprain a shoulder muscle while practising some gymnastics.

    You could also get hit by a bus while crossing the road, or by a buck while cycling through the bush. Those are all educated risks.

    You can either sit back to become overweight and unhealthy to avoid the short-term risk of a niggle from training, or you can overlook that small short-term risk for massive long-term benefits. Just as you can stay indoors to avoid the world, or you can go on with living your life.

    There are some educated risks to leading an active and healthy lifestyle. Every now and then you’re going to pick up a niggle or an injury. So how should you approach training while you are nursing an injury? I see two approaches: the pigheaded approach and the smart approach. Let’s talk about the smart approach because that pigheadedness (that is a word) is what gets you injured.

    Tip #1: Pain Free RoM

    The most common symptom of an injury is pain. While there are varying pain sensations, pain is inevitable and is a sign of damage. You should never move through pain. This might mean reducing the range of motion (RoM) about a joint for particular movements and in more severe cases it means not moving that joint at all.

    At the end stage of the recovery and rehab process you typically have no pain through the full RoM, but as soon as you add load there is pain. RoM is significantly more important than load. Therefore, reduce or remove load to ensure full RoM with no pain.

    Tip #2: Seek Treatment & Guidance

    If you have picked up a musculoskeletal injury then you really should have already seen a physiotherapist for diagnosis and treatment. If you haven’t then you’re veering towards the pigheaded route. A physio can determine which structure is injured and treat it accordingly. This manual therapy aids the recovery process.

    The physio and your coaches will then be able to guide you on what to do in training to ensure that you continue improving fitness while the injured area recovers (as long as you listen). You can’t do this alone or with Dr. Google, neither of you have the relevant skills, education or mindset. Even physios need physios.

    Tip #3: Make Strict Bodyweight Movements a Priority

    Injuries generally prevent you from moving external loads. Fitness isn’t just defined by how much load you can move, and gymnastics comes before weightlifting in your development as an athlete. So RE-focus your time and efforts on strict bodyweight movements. That means no kipping.

    This has the huge benefit of better strength with no downsides. And even though you aren’t doing them, when you do get back to more dynamic movements you’ll be MORE proficient at them thanks to your bigger base level of strength. Yeah, you should be doing that from the very beginning, but one can only lead the horse to the water, yeah?

    Tip #4: Prioritise Your Nutrition

    Nutrition is the most important aspect of your health and fitness. You need to eat enough to support your activity levels but not body fat. When you’re nursing and injury your activity levels generally drop. If they do drop, you should be eating less. “My nutrition is better when I’m training properly” is just an excuse to stuff your face because you’re feeling sorry for yourself.

    Less exercise = less need for calories. More importantly, what you eat directly influences your body’s ability to recover from any form of trauma.

    Tip #5: Have a Game Plan

    You’ll need to follow Tip #2 in order to have an effective and realistic game plan in place. That’s because the most common behaviour with athletes and injury is returning to their pre-injury levels of intensity as soon as they’re feeling “good.”

    You might be completely pain free, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that the injured structures are fully recovered. Soft tissue takes a long time to recover, and you also need to recognise that you aren’t just recovering from the injury itself – you need to recover from the inactivity too 😉

    Part of the game plan is continuing to train. One of the most important aspects of rehabilitation is ensuring that other parts of the body and other areas of fitness continue to improve while the injured area recovers. And that is totally doable. Take a look at the Instagram video below of Kevin Ogar. Kevin was a Regional level CrossFit athlete who was injured in a freak accident. He is now bound to a wheelchair, but his fitness has continued to improve – so much so that he is now able to sit in a squat!

    Tip #6: Be Smart, Not Pigheaded

  • Knowledge Blog

    TRAINING THROUGH INJURY

    - by Imtiaz

    Health and fitness requires a lot of hard work and sacrifice. For those committed to improving themselves daily – like the people we see in our gyms – there’s some risk involved too. You could cut your shin on a box jump, twist your ankle while running, or sprain a shoulder muscle while practising some gymnastics. You could also get hit by a taxi while crossing the road. Those are all educated risks. You can either sit back to become overweight and unhealthy to avoid the short-term risk of a niggle from training, or you can overlook that short-term risk for massive long-term benefits. Just as you can stay indoors to avoid what could hurt you, or you can go on with living your life.

    There are some educated risks to leading an active and healthy lifestyle. Every now and then you’re going to pick up a niggle or an injury. So how should you approach training while you are nursing an injury? I see two approaches: the pigheaded approach and the smart approach. Let’s talk about the smart approach because that will highlight pigheadedness. Yes, that’s a word. I just made it up.

    Tip #1: Pain Free RoM

    The most common symptom of an injury is pain. While there are varying pain sensations, pain is inevitable and is a sign of damage. You should never move through pain. This might mean reducing the range of motion (RoM) about a joint for particular movements and in more severe cases it means not moving that joint at all.
    At the end stage of the recovery and rehab process you typically have no pain through the full RoM, but as soon as you add load there is pain. RoM is significantly more important than load. Therefore, reduce or remove load to ensure full RoM with no pain.

    Tip #2: Seek Treatment & Guidance

    If you have picked up a musculoskeletal injury then you really should have already seen a physiotherapist for diagnosis and treatment. If you haven’t then you’re veering towards the pigheaded route. A physio can determine which structure is injured and treat it accordingly. This manual therapy aids the recovery process.
    The physio and your coaches will then be able to guide you on what to do in training to ensure that you continue improving fitness while the injured area recovers (as long as you listen). You can’t do this alone or with Dr. Google, neither of you have the relevant skills, education or mindset.

    Tip #3: Make Strict Bodyweight Movements a Priority

    Injuries generally prevent you from moving external loads. Fitness isn’t just defined by how much load you can move, and gymnastics comes before weightlifting in your development as an athlete. So REfocus on your time and efforts on strict bodyweight movements. That means no kipping. This has the huge benefit of better strength with no downsides. And even though you aren’t doing them, when you do get back to more dynamic movements you’ll be MORE proficient at them thanks to your bigger base level of strength. Yeah, you should be doing that from the very beginning, but one can only lead the horse to the water.

    Tip #4: Prioritise Your Nutrition

    Nutrition is the most important aspect of your health and fitness. You need to eat enough to support your activity levels but not body fat. When you’re nursing and injury your activity levels generally drop. If they do drop, you should be eating less. “My nutrition is better when I’m training properly” is just an excuse to stuff your face because you’re feeling sorry for yourself. Less exercise = less need for calories.
    More importantly, what you eat directly influences your body’s ability to recover from any form of trauma.

    Tip #5: Have a Game Plan

    You’ll need to follow Tip #2 in order to have an effective and realistic game plan in place. That’s because the most common behaviour with athletes and injury is returning to their pre-injury levels of intensity as soon as they’re feeling “good.” You might be completely pain free, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that the injured structures are fully recovered. Soft tissue takes a long time to recover, and you also need to recognise that you aren’t just recovering from the injury itself – you need to recover from the inactivity too 😉

    Tip #6: Be Smart, Not Pigheaded

     

  • Knowledge Blog

    WHAT TO DO ON RECOVERY DAYS?

    - by Imtiaz

    So you know that recovery is important for progress and to avoid injury. You also know that active recovery is as important as complete rest days and have an idea of how to schedule your training week. You’d also like to do some form of activity on a daily basis, but want to ensure that what you do doesn’t hinder your overall progress. But what is best to do on those rest and recovery days?

    Firstly, always adopt the “do no harm” approach. If you’re thinking about things to do on your off days, think about activities that are different to what you might be exposed to in the gym but will keep you fresh for the next day in the gym (and for what life may throw at you!)

    Here are some groups of activities you could be looking at for those training days.

    • Steady State Aerobic Activity
      Also known as “cardio,” but I’d rather not use that term 😉 This is low intensity, monostructural activity like running, rowing, swimming, cycling. Duration is athlete and activity dependent but can range from 10 to 40 minutes. It should be of an ‘easy’ pace throughout.
      While we prefer to spend most of our time in training doing interval training and anaerobic conditioning (because it’s better at developing aerobic conditioning too), steady state aerobic activity has it’s place too!
    • Myofascial Release / Trigger Point Therapy
      This is where you apply local pressure to areas of muscle and connective tissue that have been exposed to trauma. For example, your glutes after Open workout 16.1! It helps to eliminate pain and restore range of motion.
      You can either do this to yourself using tools such as foam rollers, massage balls, and drills that involve barbells and kettlebells. We teach you many of these drills in class, but other great resources are Mobility WOD and ROM WOD.
      Or, get to a physio, chiro or sports masseuse. I generally find these latter options better because they have a detailed understanding of anatomy, and are more likely to apply the right types of pressure.
    • General Stretching
      These are the static stretches you are most familiar with. Mobility WOD and ROM WOD will again be some of the best resources above what we show you in class.
    • Work a Weakness
      To be specific, work a gymnastics weakness. This should be low volume (low sets and reps), low intensity and efforts should be separated by long rest periods. Pick just one weakness for a day. It could be holding a handstand, developing your ring support, or working on your kip swing. It should always be progressions to a movement as opposed to the full movement.
      You should avoid working on a weightlifting weakness. There is more risk of injury there, and a larger chance of developing poor movement habits that will take longer to remove than instilling good habits. Keep it to bodyweight.
    • Sports!
      Sports are where you express the fitness you develop – the application of fitness. Sports are also where you have the ability to develop skills that can only developed in that environment.

    With regards to the weakness and flexibility work, it can often be confusing what to work on. Schedule a private session with a coach to set some objective and tangible goals and to learn about how the UpSkill program can get you there.

    Keep moving!

  • Knowledge Blog

    FLEXIBILITY, DYSFUNCTION & INJURIES

    - by Imtiaz

    Flexibility is the ability to maximise the range of motion (ROM) at a given joint. Each joint has “normal” limits for ROM. If your range is lesser than those limits you have a lack of flexibility, whereas if your range is beyond those limits you are hyper-mobile. Both a lack of flexibility and hyper-mobility come with injury concerns, but I’m going to talk about the former. Because most people are flexibility challenged nowadays!

    Flexibility is one of the 10 recognised physical traits that fall under CrossFit’s first model of fitness. Inflexibility therefore means less fitness and that means diminished health. You don’t really notice a lack of flexibility when you’re sedentary, unless you remain sedentary until you’re older and basic daily tasks such as reaching for a cupboard or bending to pick something up become a challenge. You also won’t notice inflexibility if you’re following an exercise program that uses anything other than functional movements (in fact, you’re probably increasing your inflexibility). If you’re following a program like CrossFit that employs multi-joint movements through the joints full ROM, a lack of flexibility is exposed immediately.

    You realise that every time you squat (i.e sit down) your ankles roll in and your butt tucks under the torso. Whenever you move a load overhead your spine hyperextends to enable the arms to pass overhead. Your heels pop off the ground when you set up for a deadlift (i.e. picking stuff up off the ground). This all happens even though it feels like you’re doing it correctly. That’s what we call dysfunctional movement – even though you understand and can visualise what you should be doing, and it feels like you are doing it, the movement is still abhorrent.

    Inflexibility is already a problem. It’s a chink in your fitness and therefore health. But greater problems arise when you add strength and capacity to dysfunction. You keep loading up the back squat despite the poor ankle and hip mechanics. You keep pressing overhead despite the hyperextended spine. That abhorrent movement pattern is eventually registered in the brain as normal. Until something breaks.

    When you add strength to a dysfunctional movement pattern you are essentially creating an injury. It will happen.

    So what do you do? The obvious answers would be, don’t add strength to dysfunctional movements and work on your flexibility. But there is no such thing as common sense, yeah? So here are some simple guidelines:

    • Where safe, reduce the ROM of a movement to within your limits of flexibility.
    • Stretch daily, and spend most time stretching at the points of stickiness.
    • Substitute alternate movements in for those where reducing ROM is unsafe. For example, reducing ROM on an overhead press is unsafe, so swap it out for something else.
    • Stretch daily.
    • Only begin to GRADUALLY and PROGRESSIVELY add load to a movement pattern when your mechanics are sound and ROM is optimal.
    • Don’t be so pig-headed. A few weeks or months away from doing particular movements is far better than weeks away from any training at all due the injuries YOU created.

    We add flexibility drills to both warm-ups and cool-downs everyday because flexibility improves through training.  Just like strength and endurance, physiological changes must take place in the body in order for improvements to occur, and that takes time. But flexibility is also like nutrition – it’s on you to do it.

    If you’re not sure what to do or are finding yourself socialising more than mobilising, sign up for the UpSkill plan for a few months. You’ll get a flexibility program tailored to your needs, and the progress will be measurable. For some, up skilling means getting more flexible 😉

     

  • WOD Blog | Workout of the day

    TUESDAY 25-11-14: Setbacks and Mind Games during Injury Recovery

    - by carl

    IMG_9846

    Setbacks and Mind Games during Injury Recovery

    By: Brandon Hofer

    About a month or so after my surgery to repair my fully ruptured Achilles tendon, I had a dream that sums up all the paranoid thoughts I’ve encountered on the road to recovery:

    I’m driving my car up a hill in suburban Beaverton, Oregon with my right foot, the injured side, on the gas pedal. Without warning, my repaired Achilles tendon decides to detach and fall apart. Not a tear, snap, or rip – it just lets go of itself and I immediately lose control of my ability to press the gas pedal or brake. But of course, instead of gradually slowing down, my little Mazda3 decides to accelerate up the hill, proceed over the crest, and speed right into the building on the side of the road.

    Recovering from an injury is already challenging enough on its own, but when you toss in all the psychological games our minds trip us out with, it’s that much worse. Although nothing this catastrophic has happened in real life, I’m still left with five thoughts that burrow themselves into my psyche on a weekly basis.

     The Top 5 Paranoid Thoughts You Will Have During Recovery

    5. You can’t do daily tasks ever again without risking injury.

    Walking down stairs is still a challenge, and I anticipate that even after I’m physically ready to do so, I’ll still have to mental block of thinking this activity will destroy my Achilles with even the slightest misstep.

    4. You’ll never be back to 100%.

    Although it may be true that my repaired tendon won’t perform the same way as if it were never ruptured, it’s way too tempting to wallow in self-defeat and accept my injury as a permanent and unassailable obstacle, rather than the opportunity to adjust myself and my training.

    3. You just broke it again!

    At one point not long after surgery I was utterly convinced I had ruptured my tendon again while I was beginning to walk on it. How do you handle the intense and seemingly uncontrollable flood of dark emotion that comes along with that dread deep in your gut when you are convinced that your best attempts at recovery have only made your condition worse?

    2.  All the worst things ever in the world will happen now all at once.

    You are going to lose your job, fall into deep depression, be miserable, and life will suck from now on forever. Believing this one doesn’t last very long, but it keeps popping up here and there. Just often enough to get you down if you let it.

    1. Your injury will recur without warning and without reason

    In theory, I know my tendon won’t simply detach itself for no reason, but that doesn’t stop me from thinking, “Uh oh, I’ve been sitting here eating dinner for ten minutes and haven’t felt any tweaks or twinges. It must have ripped apart again on its own!”

    I don’t really have any wise counsel or advice for those of you dealing with injury at the moment.

    I’m hoping that knowing you’re not alone will be therapeutic enough for now until you can jump back in the game again.


    HAPPY BIRTHDAY, JASON BUNNING!

    WORKOUT

    LEVEL 1

    Five rounds for time of:
    50 Wallball shots, 7/5kg to 3m
    Run 400 meters

    *28 minute cap

    LEVEL 2 & 3

    Five rounds for time of:
    50 Wallball shots, 10/7kg to 3m
    Run 400 meters

    *28 minute cap