3…2…1… Exhale – Yoga @ CFD
With preparation for competition season well under way now in Crossfit Dublin, every week we are pushing our bodies past our comfort zone and sometimes into an unknown place where we test ourselves to the limit both physically and mentally. It’s in this unknown place sometimes where we find new strength, clarity and feel a buzz like no other. That exhilarating feeling that we are all chasing at the peak of a wod, and that adrenaline buzz we feel right afterwards keeps us coming back for more. When we feel good, we feel really good, invincible sometimes. This feeling from my own experience can drive you to achieve new PBs on weights and better times in your daily WODs, but then we sometimes get carried away and ignore warning signs that can lead to injury and stop your training and your gains in its tracks.
Crossfitters worst nightmare… injury!
Whilst general muscle tweaks and strains are naturally going to happen when your body is adapting to new movements and building strength and you are testing the limits in the unknown. It’s good practice as a crossfitter to try to tune into your body and go with how it’s feeling on a daily basis. Listen to the small warning signs that you are tired and in need of a rest day or need to do some foam rolling and mobility or get a sports massage to help a particularly tight area. Spend your time in class really working on the techniques for movements that the coaches are all drilling into you every day.
Listen to all the cues they tell you and really try to perform the movement with total body awareness. Just because you can jump on a box, doesn’t mean you are doing it in an efficient and safe way for your body to grow and progress to the next level. Sometimes it’s hard for us to see or feel for ourselves that something is off about how we are moving. If a coach is telling you to keep your knees out in a squat its generally because your knees are buckling in. This can lead to injury and a possible long road of rehab and relearning technique to teach your body how to perform the movement correctly.
Be a movement nerd, it will benefit you in the long run, get your technique right from the start by being as body aware as you can. Are your knees knocking together when you do box jumps, is your lower back arching when you do shoulder to overhead? These movements may not be hurting you right now, but repeating incorrect technique over and over every week, can eventually lead to a weak part of your body giving out and telling you it’s had enough of you not listening to it and boom, injury!
If you are unfortunate enough to get an injury, try not to stop training completely unless you are advised to. Depending on the injury you can use the time to work on some weaknesses. First off, go to see Albert, the man is a genius and will help you figure out what’s caused the injury and guide you through healing it and fixing the cause. Contact 087 9682474 for appointment with Albert.
Secondly, if you have injured your lower body, you can still train your upper body and vice versa. Maybe a lack of mobility and too much tension is the cause, if you keep tightening up those muscles by doing WOD after WOD without adequate stretching and Mobility work, you will get tighter and tighter until something gives up and snaps… all avoidable with some simple mobility work every week. If you are training 3-6times a week you really need to fit in some mobility. In order to be a well rounded athlete you need to find a balance in your training. Too much focus on strength and not enough on mobility will lead to movement restrictions and possibly injury, and too much mobility can lead to weakness in the joints and instability injuries. The Yin and Yang (female and male) energies are at play in all of us, we need to balance these to stay in top condition and keep the progression wheel turning.
Yoga gives you an all over body stretch, leaving no area unattended. It’s a service for your body, keeping things moving freely. Practicing yoga also gives you more body awareness. When doing yoga, you begin to pay more attention to body imbalances, does one side feel tighter than the other? Does one hip pinch more than the other in a certain posture? What’s your breathing like? Is it helping you move or making things more difficult? Are you holding your breath when you should be moving that energy to help you perform a movement? Body awareness will come in very useful when you are doing high skilled movements like Olympic lifts in class… you need to be body aware to perform these lifts properly. You need to feel every aspect of the movement and work on it until it is fluid. For example if your squat isn’t hitting full depth or your shoulders are not mobile enough to perform an OHS, it needs to be addressed before you can make any progress with adding weights. Do you notice you lean on one leg more than the other in a squat? Are you leaning more in your toes than your heels or vice versa? Do you feel any restrictions or clicking when you perform certain movements? Do your knees knock together or turn inwards before you perform a lift or a jump? Any imbalances in the body can be corrected with the right actions, and it can happen quicker than you might think with a bit of work and focus.
As a yoga teacher I see big improvements quickly with crossfitters who come regularly to my class. It’s amazing what a few stretches and focus on mobility can do for your overall training programme and progression.
Yoga is now back on in CFD city in Lime street studio (behind the main gym) on a new day and time, Mondays at 6:30pm. Its 30 euro for a month of classes or you can drop-in for 10 euro per class (preference will be given to those who sign up for a month. So if you want to secure your spot make sure to book the month in advance and get the discount). I will be tailoring the yoga classes to the main movements that are on each week in the WODS. So, if one week has a lot of pull ups for example, I will focus on shoulder and neck mobility and do stretches to compliment the key movements involved. This will ensure you get the most from your mobility session and give you awareness for the week of the muscles you need to be mindful of during the WODS and give some extra attention to them.
Looking forward to seeing you all in class!
Yoga Alliance certified yoga teacher