With its constantly varied programming and full-body compound movements, CrossFit can feel tricky to navigate when you’re nursing a niggle. BUT – its scalable, adaptable and customisable nature (that makes it such a fantastic form of fitness for all ages, experiences and abilities!) is exactly what makes it possible to not only work around an injury, but ensure you’re still getting a great workout.
The first thing we often experience when we pick up a niggle is a wave of negativity, and a loss of motivation. This is completely normal – it can be disheartening to hit a road block when fitness is this fun! The first rule of managing an injury is to stay positive. There are solutions, and we are here to help.
Get the Right Advice
The golden rule of working around a niggle is to seek the right advice. We are fortunate at SCFIT to house Arca: an in-house Physiotherapy and Sports Massage Clinic, run by a professional team who not only have the skills and experience to help you overcome injuries, but who train themselves, and understand just how important it is to be able to continue with your exercise routine. If you think you’ve picked up an injury, speak first to a physiotherapist to gain a proper assessment. They will be able to provide advice on:
- the nature of the injury
- what to do to help overcome it
- what to avoid or adapt to assist with the healing process.
(Perceived) Programming Problems
All too often we hear someone say that they skipped on class because they saw the programming, and know they “couldn’t do X Y or Z”. If you’re already a member at SCFIT, you’ll know better than anyone that the class programming is purely a starting point, and every workout is adapted, scaled and adjusted to suit each individual in that class. Sometimes that might simply look like adjusted weights on the barbell, but it could also mean entirely different movements to ensure the the correct stimulus is achieved, and that individual’s needs are met.
It’s our job as Coaches!
You’re not being a nuisance, and yes, it really is our job to help! And what’s more – we are doing it all the time… you might just not have noticed! The coaches at SCFIT are only too eager to help, and genuinely enjoy looking for creative ways to challenge individuals whilst working around any niggles or needs. Injured shoulder, and seeing handstand walking in class? Here are two contrasting examples of possible alternatives, and the reasoning behind them:
- GHD sit ups, Hollow Rocks, V-Ups
Mastering handstand walking requires a strong core, so honing in on core strengthening will edge closer to the HSW skill whilst looking after than shoulder!
- Pistol Squat Drills
Handstand walking is a high-skill movement, so perhaps if the shoulder needs a break, we could work on a different high skill movement! The possibilities are endless.
No matter how impossible adapting might be, it’s important to keep turning up: keep up that habit, and stay involved in the community!
We heard from Rory, who shared his experiences of attending classes with a niggle:
“Training around an injury isn’t easy, and the truth was it did start to impact my motivation. Knowing I can show up, to my regular timed classes and have true coach ‘take over’ allowed me to continue to train, get sweaty, and ultimately enjoy being at the gym still.”
For more serious injuries, it could mean taking a break from certain movement patterns for a little while, but… as one door closes, another opens.
Adele shared her experiences of managing a shoulder injury:
“When it first happens, you feel like EVERYTHING you want to do involves that body-part or muscle. All I could think about was my gymnastics goals and how I’d have to put them on hold. But, after taking some time to think about all of the goals I was working towards, I remembered that I’d wanting to improve my running (something I’d be saying for months!). So, I seized the opportunity, and every time a class workout called for rowing or skiing, I’d run instead. My running improved enormously – it was a huge silver lining, and it was pretty cool coming out the other side of the should injury having significantly improved in another area.”
Let’s reflect on our key take-aways:
1. Stay positive!
2. Seek professional guidance
3. Keep turning up, and lean on the coaches for advice
4. Embrace the opportunity to develop other goals
Still not convinced?
Reach out to us and book in for a free member check in! A member of the team will be delighted to sit down with you and make a plan, chatting through your goals and ways we can help. Knowing your options and talking through next steps will no doubt put your mind at rest, and help you stay on track with your CrossFit routine!
Not yet a member? We’d love to meet you! Reach out to book your free No Sweat Intro now.