The two myths surrounding CrossFit are: 1: it’s too hard and 2: everyone gets hurt. I am living proof that the second is a myth. I have been doing CrossFit for 8 years and have never injured myself in a workout or while lifting weights. It is true that you can’t live an accident free life, anything can happen. However, if done properly CrossFit should help rehab your injuries (if you had one) and make you stronger in your everyday life.
It seems like the most commonly talked about injury is the shoulder. The shoulder can be such an easy target. It is a joint comprised of much smaller muscles groups surrounding it, comparatively. In CrossFit we do many exercises that are demanding of this joint. There are many factors that go into bulletproofing your shoulders.
Here are my top three:
Warm up - Your shoulders need a good solid warm-up for whatever you are doing. You should feel ready to go when the workout begins.
STRICT movement first - This is the worst, and I say this as someone who struggles with strict movements. When we do “gymnastic” movements in CrossFit, we should always master the strict version first. This goes for pull-ups, muscle-ups, and handstand push ups. If your shoulders can’t pull you up, but you are now kipping, that is a lot to ask of them when we lack some fundamental strength.
Volume - I believe this one is so important, especially as we age. Our bodies and joints can’t handle 100’s of reps day after day. Your program should be able help you work smarter AND harder without piling on the reps. It seems contradictory, but a good coach knows the difference.
There are many factors that go into your shoulders health. These are just a few of them. I have also added my very favorite shoulder warm up that I like to do before I begin my workout. If you don’t have a TheraBand, you can find an inexpensive one on Amazon. It’s definitely worth it!