If there is one thing that the CrossFit haters enjoy, it’s laughing at the accidents, injuries and other mishaps that take place involving CrossFit trainers. Internet video galleries are packed with “CrossFit Fail” videos, and there is some merit to the argument that CrossFit can be dangerous – when not completed safely. Let’s examine a few ways you can avoid CrossFit Fails in the gym.
Be aware of your surroundings
Very often, the damage incurred from CrossFit won’t occur during a movement. It will occur in the seconds AFTER a movement is complete. Often, a celebratory toss of the weight will result in a dumbbell breaking a foot or a barbell rolling into a full-length mirror. Remember that just because YOU are able to temporarily violate some laws of physics with your strength, stamina, balance and control, the weights are still just as dumb as ever, and intent on rolling, bouncing, and reacting to drops any way they choose. Lower the weight carefully to a complete stop, and THEN do your celebrating.
Much of what we are able to achieve while lifting heavy weights isn’t achieved with the use of our muscles. Rather, it is the joints and tendons of our body that perform the work required to move the weight past muscular capability. This is a standard part of lifting. However, when the “Body English” becomes the only way the weight can be moved, the bulk of the work is moved from the targeted muscle groups to other parts of the body. This is where injuries to knees, shoulders and back can occur. This is also when kettlebells or heavy barbells decide to adhere to the laws of physics and fall straight down, pulling the body with it. Move the weight in a controlled yet explosive manner, and you’ll have great lifting results. Swing the weight using your back and legs, and you’re looking for trouble. And remember, no personal record PR counts if you had to cheat to reach it!
Properly Secure Equipment
In many instances, injuries which occur are not the fault of the person doing the CrossFit training. Rather, it is a chin bar or hanging rings breaking away from the brace on thewall or ceiling that causes the fall, collapse, and injury. “Muscle ups” suddenly become “man down!” Train at a reputable CrossFitCenter. If the box doesn’t look right, it’s probably not. Trust your instincts. Test equipment. Ask a trainer to try it first. Often, putting weight on shoddy equipment won’t dislodge it from the wall or ceiling. Rather, it is the tugging with full body weight during a movement that leads to the damage.
Reassessing, halfway through
If at any point, in the middle of a repetition, you discover it is likely you will be unable to complete the repetition in a safe manner, you should immediately stop, reset, and begin again. Too many injuries are entirely preventable, and occur because a lifter will attempt to break through a sticking point with a foreign, unusual and dangerous movement to break through. This can lead to injury as the muscle gives way or more often, the weight falls with great force.
Keep your eye on the ball
What comes up must come down. Throwing the ball into the air, completing a movement, and then returning to catch the ball can be a great way to develop explosive force. However, that ball is heavy and arrives back at your head at 9.80 ms^2. That’s a lot of force if you threw the ball several feet into the sky. Move up the weight slowly, practice, and be alert. Remember that the more tired you are, particularly during MetCon, the less altitude that ball will gain, making it land that much sooner.
Remember to look down
Before you engage in any altitude jumping, assess what it is you will be landing upon, should you fail to land properly on the stack of plates. If you’re looking at concrete, you should spend a moment imagining what color cast you would like on that broken arm. Move that weight stack to some mats, ensuring you’ll at last land a bit more softly. Measure carefully, recording your last and best jumps so you know a safe starting point. Never just “go for it” based on pump and adrenaline. Giving it your all often helps you reach the top, but if often means you have little in the tank as far as balance and control should you narrowly miss the top, become tripped up, and return to the ground in an awkward fashion.