Mobility is arguably the most important and least appreciated aspect of CrossFit. Our whole purpose of training is to maximize our fitness and avoid decrepitude later in life. But what good is working hard and getting PRs when it results in achy joints, tendonitis, strains, etc. These injuries are preventable. Most of us are good at focusing on form, not over-training, or not pushing our limits too far; these are the easy ways to prevent injuries. But stretching, foam rolling, and other unsexy, potentially boring methods of recovery are just as vital to our fitness and well being.
However, with our busy schedules, finding an hour each day to stretch and roll is a near impossibility. Maybe you need to leave as soon as the morning class ends to get to work, or you just want to have dinner and go to bed right after an evening class. The trick is to steal a few moments out of each day for mobility exercises. Here are a few tips from CFNP members and coaches:
Lucy, a long-time CFNP member, has worked in the field of physical therapy as well as having once been an athletic trainer for USC! She recommends the following office yoga poses, all things you can do at your desk:
Coach Veronica recommends checking out Bedtime Yoga on YouTube. There are plenty of options that range from 7-10 minutes. Not only has she found this helpful in opening up the hips with different stretches, but it helps her sleep as well.
Coach Corina offers some more general advice: when she's in the gym she's there for a purpose. Sure, we all like to wind down by trolling social media or playing games on our phones, but why not multi-task by rolling out at the same time? If you only have a little time before or after class, make the most of it!
Coach Erik is a big fan of Tabatas in school or the office. A few times throughout the workday, try to do a Tabata (20 seconds of work, then 10 seconds of rest for 8 rounds) of a simple movement. No need to be strenuous--perform a squat or Superman hold, or lightly jog in place. Not only will this loosen up stiff joints and muscles in under 4 minutes, it will also reinvigorate you in the middle of the day. You can even get your coworkers involved: make everyone do a Tabata in the middle of a long meeting. They’ll feel refreshed and more alert as a result.
Soreness is a near constant for CrossFit athletes, but we only want our muscles to be sore because they’re getting stronger. Incorporating mobility exercises, stretches, and rolling whenever you can spare a few minutes is essential to keeping those aches away from our joints and tendons. If you find yourself stumped on exactly what to do, ask your coach for a few suggestions!