Crossfit can be great for your body and your health – you’re getting stronger, moving more, and improving yourself in all kinds of other ways. However, when your joints start to hurt during, after, or even before your workout of the day, you should be taking steps to protect those joints.
One such ailment can be pain in the knees, which can lead to decreased performance, discomfort, and even pain in other areas of the legs or body. Take these steps to protect your knees and keep the mobility you need to keep doing crossfit.
1. Stretch your muscles
When your knees start to ache, it’s often due to another muscle in the leg pulling on the tendons. Keep all these muscles loose by stretching well and often. Try doing five sun salutations every morning when you wake up and every evening before you go to bed.
2. Foam rolling
Rolling out those muscles both before and after your workout can be another way to ensure they stay loose and able to function. Make sure you hit all the major groups: IT band, calves, glutes, and especially your tight quads and hamstrings.
3. Warm up properly
In addition to foam rolling before your workout, you want to make sure you warm up the right way. Get moving so that your muscles and joints can get ready to do the harder work in your WOD. You’ll be less likely to get injured and more likely to get a better workout.
4. Use knee sleeves
Your knees and the surrounding muscles need to stay warm, and that can be difficult if your workout isn’t too upbeat. Invest in some knee sleeves to help with that, and to compress the area to perform better. Some options can be found here and here.
5. Be aware of your form
Squats are a big part of crossfit and are the exercise that can do the most damage to your knees. Because of this, you should take extra care to have good form. Keep your heels on the ground and make sure your knees are tracking over or outside the feet, and definitely not hanging out farther than your toes.
6. Practice squatting to a box
If you need to work on your form, this can be a great way to do it. Find a box or bench that would be the ideal height for sitting, and practice squatting down to a full seat on the box. Make sure you keep your heels on the ground as you do this and pay attention to how your body feels before trying to copy this in a real squat.
7. Adjust your workout to fit your body
A lot of crossfitters struggle with the desire to do a workout exactly as prescribed, whether or not it hurts or pushes them too far. If you’re experiencing knee pain, modify your WOD to match what you can do. It doesn’t mean you’re not challenging yourself, but it does mean you’re being smart about what your body needs.
8. Ice after your workout
If you’re experiencing a lot of discomfort, it might be worth it to ice the affected area after your workout. It will stop inflammation and nurse the muscles back to normal. Even if you’re not showing signs of pain, icing after big workout days is never a bad idea.
9. Fish oil
Fish oil has been proven to have several benefits, which include preventing heart disease and decreasing the occurrence of dry eyes. It can also help with your knee pain by increasing joint mobility. Supplements are available over the counter at most pharmacies, but make sure you tell your doctor about it if you start taking fish oil.
Another option to help you deal with your knee pain is an electrotherapy system. If you are suffering from a more serious injury like osteoarthritis or patella tendinitis, a product like AcuKnee can significantly reduce the pain.
Don’t stop doing Crossfit. Keep making an effort to have better health, strengthen your body, and improve. Just make sure that when you do it, you put some of these tips into action so you can stay on top of your game. If you’re interested in finding out more about the AcuKnee system, visit our website and see if it could be right for you.