Without a doubt, foam rolling works. Really well, actually.
But, it may not work in the way you’ve been told. We now know that the benefits of foam rolling are a culmination of things.
Here they are in a nutshell.
We (from Physiotherapists to Personal Trainers) cannot prevent injuries. It’s simply impossible to address the plethora of variables that cause injuries. When I say ‘prevent’ I mean a 100% guarantee that you won’t get injured.
If we cant prevent injuries, what can we do? Reduce your risk of injury. Here are my five commandments to avoid injury.
As a CrossFitter, one of the most important things you can do to decrease your risk of injury is focus more on your recovery.
It doesn’t matter if you train once a week, four times a week or 14 times per week. Training is stressful on the body. If you’re not recovering from the stress you’re putting on your body, eventually, it’s going to start breaking down.
With Crossfit, many injuries are due to overuse or improper technique.
I hear this all of the time “my chest feels tight, I feel like I need to stretch” or “my hammies are tight, I should stretch”. Maybe you’ve said something along those lines. It’s a natural response. When something feels tight, you stretch it.
Unfortunately, stretching may be the last thing you should do, here’s why.
Having a strong and stable front rack position is vital if you want to perform well in CrossFit. So many exercises require that, well, your front rack doesn’t suck.
How do you know if your front rack position is lacking?
These are all signs that your front rack position needs some work. They show that either you lack the mobility to get into the right position, or the stability to be strong in that position.
Here’s what you need to do to fix it.
As a Physiotherapist that works with CrossFitters, I see a lot of people who suffer from shoulder pain. Some a periodic niggle, others muscle and tendon tears. This makes sense, almost 30% of CrossFit injuries are shoulder-related.
30% That’s a bit much, don’t ya think?
Or are you skipping a warm-up altogether?
The second you step foot in the gym, a clock starts. No, I don’t mean the clock on the wall telling you how many minutes of burpees you have left. I mean your training clock.
There’s only so much your body can tolerate/energy you can give in a single session. Everything you do including your warm-up, training session and cooldown count towards your training clock.
Even the time you spend talking counts. Or laying on a foam roller (but not actually foam rolling). You know who you are.
Exercise isn't bad for you
I'm sure you’ve heard this before: “squats are bad for your knees”. Maybe you’ve heard that “deadlifts are bad for your back” or that “pressing is bad for your shoulders”. It’s time to set the record straight. Exercise isn’t bad for your joints. Better yet, movement isn’t bad for your joints.
What is bad for your joints? Things like muscle imbalances and weaknesses, poor range of motion and simply, a lack of movement. That’s what is bad for your joints.
Do you struggle with pain during certain movements like walking down the stairs, overhead pressing a barbell, or even just bending your knee? Oftentimes there isn't an easily identifiable cause of your pain, and you might be told: “there’s nothing wrong with your knee”. What this statement fails to address is how important the brain is in allowing you to move. That's right, your brain allows you to move when the conditions are right. But, your brain can take away the movement when it doesn’t feel safe, stable, or secure.
White people love saying ‘bone on bone’. Seriously, if I had a dollar for every time I’ve heard someone say “my knee is bone on bone” or “I can't do that because my hip is bone on bone”, I’d be as wealthy as some orthopedic surgeons