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How To Be a Better CrossFit Athlete

CrossFit is an intense form of functional training where athletes are often pushing their bodies to the absolute limit. On a daily basis, I consult many CrossFit athletes who have either 1) injured themselves or 2) are interested in preventatively avoiding injury in the first place. These are two completely different types of "CrossFitters" and I'll let you decide which one makes the most sense. In my opinion, one type is "reactive" and the other is "proactive."

As a Chiropractor with extensive training in human biomechanics, I make it a point to educate the people of Greater Moncton on the importance of maintaining a healthy musculoskeletal system. If you don't use it properly - you'll most likely lose it at some stage, and maybe quicker than you'd like. CrossFit athletes are extremely dedicated to rigorous training regimes and often make many sacrifices in the name of elevated performance. They are willing to forego that bag of Doritos to pump out 10 extra Clean/Press reps and will get out of bed at 4am just to condition their body that bit more. However, CrossFit athletes face a dilemma.

As more "everyday" people join the functional training world of CrossFit, many of them don't always exhibit that bodybuilding perfect physique, and they don't need to. However, just like professional CrossFit athletes, these dedicated newbies need to recognise the importance on maintaining healthy muscle and joint systems. Otherwise, injury will occur. Muscles need to stretch properly and joints need to move appropriately - with every lift. Form needs to be perfect, and not everyone's anatomy will allow them to perform every exercise safely. Therefore, it is absolutely crucial that CrossFitters seek out a musculoskeletal practitioner with education to not only assess their body for muscle and joint restrictions, but to also provide preventative treatment to avoid injury from occurring in the first place.

The human body is very good at compensating - which means it will load tissues inappropriately just to perform that one extra rep. It's not worth it. For example, tight pecs cause the shoulder to roll forward, leading to deactivation of the scapula and overloading of rotator cuff tendons and neck muscles. If you start with this and have to smash out 30 reps, you're going to run into a problem when pain begins or something snaps. It doesn't need to be this way.

CrossFit athletes need to take care of their body and being assessed preventatively will surely assist in avoiding injury. Chiropractors can identify shortcomings and turn CrossFitters into better athletes. Getting that muscle loosened or joint mobilised could be the difference between a winning a competition or blowing a lumbar disc.

Of course, I am always happy to provide care to injured CrossFit athletes, but in my opinion, the common missing link in their training regime is preventative treatment to avoid injury in the first place. As such, I encourage all CrossFitters to not only seek out treatment when injured, but to also embrace the idea of giving their body "tune-ups" every now and again before pain begins. Like I said, Proactive versus Reactive - the two types of CrossFit athletes.


Dr Ryan Coster is a chiropractor providing exceptional muscle and joint treatment to the people of Greater Moncton. He offers pain relief, performance enhancement, and exercise prescription to maximise care. Call (506) 852-3900 for an Appointment.

29 Mountain Road, Moncton NB

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