The first phase of the CrossFit Games, a multi-platform competition designed to identify the fittest athletes in the world, started recently and will be continuing on for the next few weeks. This bold new form of competitive fitness has only been around since 2007 but has grown rapidly in popularity since then, with more than 10,000 people worldwide expected to participate this year.
Athletes in the Games are challenged in a series of events and workouts in which they perform a broad range of functional movements each meant to test a certain component of strength or endurance. In the first of three phases, the “World Wide Open,” athletes complete five timed, videotaped workouts that are then submitted to a council for scoring and judging. The top men, women and teams from phase 1 move on to phase 2, “Regionals,” and then eventually on to the actual CrossFit Games (phase 3) if they score high enough, where they will compete for top honors.
Dynamic Sports Physical Therapy in New York City helps a number of patients train for the CrossFit Games and we’ve noticed that assymetries not tended to properly can eventually lead to problems. Maintaining good body symmetry ensures athletes are utilizing all their muscles and joints to the maximum potential and reducing chances of an injury, and certain asymmetries put them at risk.
Some of the more common asymmetries are shoulder rotation, hip alignment, arch height and mid-back rotation, and often numerous repetitions of bilateral movements—which use both sides of the body at the same time—are to blame. Fortunately, CrossFit training itself will help point out some of these asymmetries, and there are some changes you can make to improve these faults:
- Get a coach, trainer of physical therapist to help guide you in your training process and closely follow their professional advice
- Listen to your body, being perceptive of any possible assymetries, and tend to them by stretching and massaging regularly when detected
- Perfect your technique before increasing your load
- Don’t train through any problems you experience; instead, seek professional assistance and work out your issues before resuming training
- Under the guidance of a professional, engage in symmetry exercises that work on a single side of the body at a time to reduce bilateral movements
If you’re in the midst of training for the CrossFit Games yourself and you’d like our professional advice and how to work on asymmetries to avoid injury and improve performance, visit us at Dynamic Sports Physical Therapy in New York City, where we’ll be happy to you train safely and to the best of your abilities. Call 212-317-8303 to schedule an appointment.