Posts tagged with ‘rehab’

  • 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

    LIMITATIONS, FITNESS & LIFE

    - by Imtiaz

    Our approach to fitness has always been a long term one – to continue developing and maintaining fitness through life. There’s no point to beating yourself up in the gym daily because you can, only to be left unable to sit and stand without support as you age. The point of training is in fact to ensure that you can do much more than just sit and stand without support as you age. Part of leading such a physically active life, however, is dealing with bumps and detours in the form of niggles and injuries. It’s one of the (relatively low) risks you take for the big benefit of increased fitness through life.

    Now, those niggles and injuries shouldn’t be overuse type injuries. If that’s happening, check your programming, mechanics and coaching. Niggles and injuries are expected to come from past injuries or trauma, and from mishaps that happen when you’re testing the limits of your fitness. It’s you hitting the dirt on a mountain bike trail, twisting an ankle playing footy, or landing awkwardly when attempting a handstand. For others, there are mechanical limitations such as being born without one pectoral muscle (I know, rare!), pins where you had a bad fracture, arthritis, or even longstanding injuries that you need to live with.

    For example, a few years back I developed a knee niggle that eventually required a visit to the orthopaedic surgeon and the MRI machine. The MRI revealed an abnormality that simply had an insidious onset – there was no trauma or injury to the knee ever, it just started hurting. Surgery was an option, but it wasn’t a guaranteed success. So we chose against it, rehabilitated the lower limb, and worked on finding out what aggravates the pain most. I learnt that a running volume of more than 2-3km in any format of workout causes the pain, and that’s the only thing that does. So I’ve had to accept that I’m unable to do workouts or runs that accumulate more than 2-3km. I’ve substituted that with longer distance rowing, more skipping, the ski-erg, and now the wonderful airdyne. It keeps me pain free and able to lead a physically active life.

    Whether it’s a lifelong limitation like mine, or shorter term limitations, you can’t let your ego get in the way. You have to accept that it’s a limitation, but more importantly, you have to remember the big picture – lifelong health and fitness. It’s either a short term detour (NOT a setback, a detour), or long term modifications to your training and types of activity. When you come round to that acceptance and keep the big picture in mind you don’t do more damage by ignoring the limitation. That results in less forced time off and therefore increased fitness through life, despite the limitation!

    It can be challenging and confusing figuring out what to do when you have such limitations. Fortunately, at the CFJ facilities we have an amazing physiotherapist, a team of coaches who have the experience of modifying hundreds of workouts for all sorts of limitations, and me with an MSc in Exercise Rehab! Whether it’s physio treatment, an individually tailored prehab/rehab program, or simply daily workout modifications, you just need to ask. Chat to any of the coaching team or an ambassador.

     

  • Knowledge Blog

    MEMBER PROFILE: JACO VAN ZYL

    - by carl

    WHAT DO YOU DO FOR A JOB?

    I’m a Software Developer at BBD.

    HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN TRAINING AT CFJ EAST?

    Around four months.

    HOW DID YOU FIRST HEAR ABOUT CrossFit?

    Can’t really say. Have heard about it a very long time ago, but only started looking into it properly just before we started.

    WHAT IS THE COOLEST THING THAT YOU HAVE ACHIEVED AT CFJ EAST?

    Pretty much all the Olympic lifts. After the Chiro said I shouldn’t/can’t ever squat again, every day is an achievement for me!

    WHAT CHANGES IN YOUR HEALTH HAVE YOU NOTICED SINCE STARTING CrossFit?

    I used to have back and neck pain 80% of the time because of my scoliosis. Since I started CrossFit that has gone away completely. I used to also have extreme back pain in the past when I tried to squat, which is gone now also. No more skipping leg day!

    FAVOURITE EXERCISE?

    I’ve got a big love/hate relationship going with pull-ups. Ring dips is also awesome. Basically most of the gymnastics stuff.

    WHAT IS YOUR BIGGEST CHALLENGE IN CrossFit?

    Anything legs related and back/shoulder mobility. My legs are far behind, but now I can finally train them again thanks to CrossFit and some great coaching!

    LIST SOME OF YOUR GOALS.

    –        Muscle ups

    –        Skipping

    –        Handstands

    –        Doubling my current squat weight J

    WHAT IS YOUR NUTRITION FIT? (Paleo, Zone, anything and everything, etc.)

    Sugar free as far as possible, and some loose calorie counting.

     

  • WOD Blog | Workout of the day

    THURSDAY 11-09-14: Managing Back Pain

    - by Imtiaz

    Physio Blog: Managing Back Pain

    Acute or chronic back pain is a reality in our demanding lifestyles. The question to ask is, what can we do to prevent or manage it?

    Here are some important tips regarding back care:

    • When moving heavy objects, it is better to push than pull, bracing your core before applying a force to move a load. Remember core to extremity
    • NEVER sleep on your stomach. Your spine needs to be as neutral as possible at night as it is generally in one position for long periods. If you’re on your stomach, you need to rotate your neck to breathe which takes your spine out of neutral. Also, your back can tend to lie in hyper extension if you sleep on your stomach hugging your pillow – not good. So, the best option is sleeping on your side with a pillow between your legs or on your back with a pillow behind your head and under your knees if need be
    • Are you using the correct pillow? Memory foam pillows are generally a great option as they take the weight of your head and support your neck really well in the neutral position. They can take some getting used to, but 95% of people sleep so much better with them! Often just changing a pillow can change chronic patterns of back and neck pain.
    • Too much sitting is bad for your back whether you’re active or not. Make sure you move your body frequently throughout the day. Aim to get up from your chair four times every hour, or every 15 minutes. When busy or distracted, it’s very difficult to remember to do, so try to stand up when talking on the phone or walk to a colleagues’ desk to speak in person rather than sending an email.
    • Remember good posture – like bracing for a heavy press – same rules apply – chin neutral, squeeze shoulder blades back and down, ribs down, butt tight, squeeze tight muscles, neutral spine.
    • When lifting any object, deadlift it! Same rules apply!
    • Never lift a heavy object and rotate at the same time – recipe for disaster
    • Something I have noticed in the gym is that we are all so aware of our form when performing a lift or movement in a workout, but when handling light weights, form goes out the window. Remember the principles of lifting an object , even when not doing a workout, most injuries actually happen during normal daily movements when we are least aware of our form.
    • Don’t train through pain. It’s really not worth worsening an injury or turning a niggle into a full blown injury. Be wise regarding pain.
    • Mobility, mobility, mobility! Spend some time working on hip, knee, ankle, back, neck and shoulder mobility 10 minutes before or after class.

    Remember to always move well and safely. Your back is worth looking after 🙂

    Isn’t it awesome how CrossFit is so functional and crosses over to activities of daily living? Imtiaz has said a number of times, and I totally agree with him, that CrossFit is the perfect rehabilitation tool, if applied correctly.

    Let’s take full advantage of this brilliant tool we have the privilege to have access to.

    – Tamarr Schroeder Physiotherapy


    CrossFit

    LEVEL 1

    For time:
    30 wall balls (7/5, 3m)
    50 lateral box step-ups or 30 pistols
    1km run
    30 wall balls
    50 lateral box step-ups or 30 pistols

    LEVEL 2

    For time:
    50 wall balls (10/7, 3.2)
    50 alt. pistols
    1km run
    50 wall balls
    50 alt. pistols

    LEVEL 3

    For time:
    35 wall balls (15/10, 3m)
    50 alt. pistols
    1km run
    35 wall balls
    50 alt. pistols

     

    You can partition the wall balls and pistols up anyhow. But you must complete 50 each before starting the run


    Endurance

    Classroom
    Mobility checklist
    Ankles, anterior/posterior hip, t-spine
    Why test/retest?
    Running as a skill

    Warm-up
    Technique drills for foot strike, stride length & upper body

    Workout
    6 x 200m with 2 min rest