Are You Struggling With Training Pain or Discomfort In The Chatham, NJ Area?
A Message From Specialist PT, Dr. Tejal Ramaiya, PT, DPT, CSCS
Are you frustrated by painful Olympic lifts and gymnastics? Are you having to skip out on your WODs because of your pain?
As a CrossFit athlete myself, I know how frustrating it can be to find a healthcare professional that understands CrossFit. When I sustained an injury in 2017, I was told by doctors and even physical therapists that I shouldn’t be doing CrossFit. I was told to keep my squats above parallel and my weights light…forever. I knew that was not an option for me, and it isn’t the answer for you.
For the last few years, I have been helping CrossFit and Barbell Athletes who have been told they need to stop doing what they love to get back in the gym.
There’s been a common story shared by most of the athletes I’ve worked with. They started having pain and it kept getting worse during their WODs. They weren’t able to squat, do pull ups, or do their Olympic lifts (or sometimes all 3!) without pain. Looking for help, they would go to their doctor who told them to stop doing CrossFit, rest, take medicine or have an injection. Although this might have helped in the short term, when they got back to training, their pain would come back. These athletes wanted a long term solution so they could keep getting better and chasing PRs, but they weren’t sure what to do. It is my mission to educate athletes to manage symptoms so they can keep doing their WODs (even when they’re still having pain!), build strength and mobility, and reduce the risk of future injuries.
You don’t have to keep skipping out on workouts over problems that can be fixed. That’s why we’re providing this free guide for you.
CrossFitters and Olympic Lifters with pain in Chatham ask us a lot of the same questions:
- Why is my elbow hurting during pull ups?
- Why does my hip hurt every time I squat?
- Am I ever going to be able to do the Olympic lifts?
- I spend 30 minutes a day doing “mobility” drills….why am I still having pain?
Sometimes, there’s more to the issue than just mobility. With a sport as demanding and multi-faceted as CrossFit, it can be hard to navigate an injury.
And we can help.
Don’t waste any more time just hoping that your pain will get better.
Put your health in your own hands and take action.
At Body Moksha Physical Therapy we’ve created a 5 Tips to get back to CrossFit Pain Free
Tip 1: Move more throughout the day
You know how it goes… You get up, take the kids to school, go to work to sit at your desk for 8+ hours, then rush over to the gym where you jump right into Fran. CrossFit athletes are really good at giving 110% during their hour at the gym, but more often than not they spend the other 23 hours of the day mostly sedentary.
When we go extended periods of time without moving, our muscles become stiff and tight and our joints become compressed and irritated. Not a great combination when you’re trying to catch a barbell over head in a deep squat.
By adding more movement throughout the day and breaking up the amount of time you spend sitting, you can help keep your body ready for what you’re going to throw at it in the gym.
Try changing your position every 20-30 minutes. Change from sitting, to standing to more weight on left leg, to back to sitting, to standing with more weight on left leg, sitting…..the possibilities are endless! Be creative! Even just standing up for 30 seconds and doing a quick stretch can make a big difference.
It can be helpful to set a timer or a notification to help you remember to change your position.
Tip 2: Recovery Check
How is your sleep? How are your stress levels? How is your nutrition? How many rest days are you taking each week? Recovery from exercise is vital for health, injury risk reduction, continued progress and performance. This is especially true for a sport like CrossFit that is constantly pushing your limits. Some signs that you might be over training and/or under recovering include:
- Increased muscle soreness
- Difficulty Sleeping
- Personality Changes
- Increased injury
- Decreased motivation
- Loss of concentration
- Altered resting heart rate
- Frequent illness
- Halted progress|
Managing your training volume and intensity with proper recovery is essential for
longevity in CrossFit.
Tip 3: Warm – up
Don’t short change your warmup sets! Warming up before a workout has been shown to improve performance and decrease the risk of injury. For the most part, CrossFit classes begin with a good general warmup to get your tissues moving. But I’m not talking about that. I’m talking about when the coach says, “warm up to your working weight” and we are left to our own devices. It’s easy to do one or two warm up sets at some weight slightly less than what we’re going to use…but that’s not enough!
This is called the “specific warm up,” and it will be slightly different depending on the lift you are performing that day. The warm up should progressively get your body ready to lift your working weight without being overly fatiguing. A good rule of thumb for specific warmup is to perform the following:
- Empty Barbell x 2 sets x 5 reps
- 45% of working weight x 1 set x 5 reps
- 65% of working weight x 1 set x 3 reps
- 85% of working weight x 1 set x 2-3 reps
Tip 4: Get Back to Basics
It’s easy to get wrapped up in chasing a PR or being able to do the workouts Rx. I get it! It’s fun to bust out a bunch of kipping pull ups. It feels awesome to do a heavy back squat. But I often see athletes leaving their introductory classes and neglecting the basics. Now, I’m not saying that you need to be 100% perfect at all the basics before you can increase your weight or movement complexity, but I am saying that you have to keep working on them! By the time you’ve been doing CrossFit for a few months, your air squat should look excellent. Even if you’re doing kipping pull ups, you should still be working on your strict strength. Even if you can power clean a lot of weight, you should still be working on getting the form down. Spend a few minutes before each class working on one basic skill that you still find challenging.
Tip 5: Don’t Guess, Assess
It’s so easy to get caught up in doing “mobility” work. Banded hip stretches, foam rolling, lacrosse ball, hanging from the bar, sitting in stretches for 2 minutes at a time…I used to spend 30-45 minutes before CrossFit doing random mobility exercises before I knew better. CrossFit is an extremely demanding sport and requires athletes to go into end ranges of motion and be able to control those movements. Chances are, you’re working on the wrong things and spending all that extra time in vain. Take the time to find a good coach or physical therapist to watch you move, test your range of motion and help you figure out how to best spend your time.
You don’t have to sacrifice the activities you love over problems that can be fixed.