Our muscles are incredible. They allow us to complete the toughest of WODs, push ourselves to the limit and challenge our physical and mental abilities whenever we train or compete. This is all thanks to their amazing ability to recover, adapt and grow.
CrossFit is a sport that constantly challenges our bodies through the varying intensity of workouts, different movements, and skills that we strive to perfect. A mix of gymnastic moves, Olympic lifting, and burpees keeps us guessing what workout will be on the whiteboard each day, and this, along with the long 40 minute EMOMs, and the more intense AMRAPs, means that both our fast and slow twitch muscle fibres are being stimulated each time we workout leading to greater adaptability, strength and endurance.
Pushing our muscles beyond their limits does promote strength and growth, but too much can also cause them to adapt and compensate to avoid damage. This compensation may lead to altered movement patterns to overcome strength imbalances which can then lead to injury or strain on other areas of the body.
So, what are we doing to help our muscles and our bodies cope with all this demand?
We’ve all had that familiar “niggle” which can lead to a workout being scaled while it eases off, but what if you actually dealt with the issue head on and got those tight areas released through sports massage? If you did, it would be very likely you’d be back to doing your favourite moves much more quickly than if you simply just waited.
Sports massage has many benefits for our recovery and therefore for our ongoing ability to train at the intensity which CrossFit demands. It targets specific areas of tension and adhesions in the soft tissue and fascia, calms our central nervous system to reduce the pain response, increases joint range of movement, relieves muscle spasms, speeds up recovery from DOMS, and can also reduce the risk of further, more serious injury. And if already injured, sports massage can help speed up the process of recovery!
We need to look at the whole picture if we want to make real strength and performance gains. Yes, we could keep training day in day out, but then we are likely to be forced to rest or scale through injury. Getting adequate sleep, looking forward to rest days, keeping hydrated, prioritising nutrition and mobility, and booking in regular massage are essential to keep you moving forward toward your goals.
You don’t have to leave it until you have a problem to book a sports massage. It is a great way to keep a check on things before they become an issue. Many clients book in for maintenance massages on a 4-6 weekly basis to keep their muscles in great condition and ready to perform.