Recovery

Let’s say that you have one of the following goals – to get strong, to be faster, to have more endurance, feel good or to look good. It is generally agreed upon that sitting on the couch is probably not the easiest path to reach any of these goals. Instead you find a good program, and work your butt off. Example: you want to get stronger, you lift progressively heavier weights (with a smart program and good form) and you see change. It even feels like you are getting stronger while you are lifting, but are you? All of this is critical to reaching that goal, but there is a piece that often is missing from the process that has the potential to maximize your performance and help you reach your goals quicker without burning out. This piece is being intentional about your recovery. Again, using strength as an example, many of the physiological changes that occur to make you stronger (like adding contractile proteins) happen during recovery, not during the exercise itself. The exercise is the stimulus that causes your body to adapt and optimizing that adaptation means optimizing recovery. This is a three part series that explores different aspects of recovery so that you can feel and perform your best. We will look at every day recovery, the de-load and injury recovery.

When your day to day recovery is good, you get the hormonal, neurological and muscle changes you are looking for and you feel good. When your recovery is not as good, you will still see change, but often it is slower change and you may feel more […]

3 Steps to Prevent Injury When CrossFit Training – Part 1

CrossFit is an excellent way to get in fantastic physical shape. That’s one of the reasons why this boot camp style of conditioning is trending in fitness these days, and has been for a while now. Sadly, many people are under the impression that the only way to get really fit is to go beyond the body’s natural limitations during every workout. We’ve all either seen or heard of people getting hurt doing Cross-fit –getting injured is almost a badge of honor these days – in fact, you hear people bragging about it. Hurting yourself is not the true path to fitness.

In this three-part series, I will explain some very basic principles that will help aid you in your quest for a sexier, healthier body, and lessen your chances of getting injured.

To start, let me explain a little bit about Ox Box and our approach to fitness. Ox Box ® was designed by massage therapists who enjoy high intensity training. We developed the Oxbox regimen from the ground up, based on our desire to help people learn more about their bodies while providing safe ways to implement CrossFit and other fitness programs.

Here’s the first of three steps to help you prevent injury when Cross Fit training, whether you’re at Ox Box ® or another fitness facility:
1. Form is everything!
It’s the finer details of form that people sometimes miss. Proper instruction is essential when learning a new movement, but breaking a learned bad habit can be more of a challenge—and it can be very frustrating.

Let’s take a basic air squat (body weight) for our example. First, just because a person can squat all the way down and get back up many times in a row […]

3 Steps to Prevent Injury When CrossFit Training – Part 2

The next step to preventing injury when CrossFit training involves understanding how your body works, and how to avoid injury by getting a ‘feel’ for what’s going on.

So, for our second installment of the 3 steps to prevent injury while training get in touch with your body! Massage therapy is a big part of injury prevention, but few people practice it as a crucial part of their fitness regimen.

When an injury occurs, many people believe that everything in their body was great until they “all of a sudden” get injured. From my experience this just isn’t so. An injury may be in the works for weeks—maybe months—before you become aware of the actual pain signals that are repeatedly sent to your brain begging for a stop to the movements associated with that pain.

This is crucial: if you are in touch with your body, you can save yourself weeks and months of time and frustration having to recover from injuries.

Let’s use a common shoulder injury for our example—a bicep tendon attachment. When the bicep tendon is injured, you will typically feel pain in the front of your shoulder, though sometimes it radiates to the back or side of the shoulder and sometimes all of those areas will feel pain.

The bicep tendon can become injured from overuse or sudden explosive movement of the body when it isn’t fully warmed up. You will be more susceptible to injury if this tendon has already been overworked, or if there are muscle imbalances in the shoulder that cause the tendon not to function properly and adds more stress.

So, you may ask, how does this information help me? Well, let’s say you were in the habit of checking in with […]

3 Steps to Prevent Injury When CrossFit Training – Part 3

We believe that it’s critical to “check in with your body” on a regular basis during and post workout – knowing when to slow down or stop, and when to incorporate self-massage or other therapies to avoid getting injured.

In this third and final post for the three steps to prevent injury while doing Cross fit, you should learn to listen to your body. The time you allocate for exercise should be dedicated inner focus time, or “you” time. So take it slowly. When you do your workouts, listen to your body. Learn the difference between muscles working hard and muscles that are strained by what you’re doing. If you slow down and pay attention, your body will most likely tell you what’s going on, and where to be more careful. If you’re not sure, get proper instruction. Over time you’ll learn your body’s cues for yourself.

Also, make sure to take frequent breaks and don’t do CrossFit seven days a week! If you are new to Cross-fit, I would suggest training 2-3 times per week. Build in a planned step-back week every 3-6 weeks, depending on your level of intensity, to allow your body to recover without causing injury.

And it’s okay to just stop working out for a bit every now and again. Recover on a cellular level, get fully re-energized and you will come back stronger than ever.

Remember, if you do get injured, you’ll be significantly limited, or even prevented from enjoying CrossFit for up to six weeks or more while you recover. But if you practice listening to your body, you may just catch it in time, and preemptively avoid injury altogether.>

Stay safe and healthy as you pursue your fitness goals with CrossFit! […]