Prevent neck and shoulder pain post CrossFit

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Crossfit is getting really popular for the past 10 years and as the interest from many people grows, there are many crossfit gyms that are opening in every corner. If you have never done it or not sure what it is, here is a little summary.

What is CrossFit? Crossfit combines many movement patterns together into one. For example: if you lift the bar to shoulder level and hold it by your collar bones then squat, it is called a front squat. You pick up the bar, lift it overhead then perform a squat then you just performed an overhead squat. these are two of the many different CrossFit moves.

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There are different classes offered in the gyms throughout the day, and each session is about 45-60 minutes. Word out of the day (WOD) is written on the board by the coach and you start the workout with everyone else attending that session. The coach that will come around and may correct your technique, show you how to perform the specific work out or basically there if you have any questions or needs. You do not necessarily have to use the weights prescribed on the board. For example; you are new to CrossFit and WOD prescribes 135# overhead squats for 8 reps, and you can only do 100# at the time, you do 100#. The point is to get you achieving your personal best. As you keep getting stronger, what you can lift will also increase so you will achieve your best personal record or as cross- fitters say you will PR.

The point in anything you do is achieving your personal best, however, so many of us miss the point when we are in a room with others performing the same task. Honestly, as part of our very humane nature, we all get competitive and want to do better than everyone else. During WODs, doing better than everyone else usually translates to lifting the most weight. If your muscles are not ready to pick that much weight up, then you end up sacrificing your form and compensate whichever way possible. Again your goal is to pick that weight up regardless if it looks pretty or not.

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Everyone can see that at least half of the CrossFit movements, require you to go overhead with the bar. Guess what?! When you do not have adequate mobility in your shoulder combined with a lack of strength and faulty posture, you end up snapping your elbows straight locked, lifting the bar overhead and protruding your neck forward to “complete the movement” so it counts as one repetition. The rules only say your shoulders need to pass your ears, so many athletes push their neck forward so in relativity their shoulders are behind their ears.

Your body will forgive you if its a one or two-time mistake. However, if faulty movement pattern is a bad habit of yours, then you will end up with aches and pain in somewhere your upper quadrant. You showing off to our teammates is important but when you go home, also you should not cry yourself to sleep because your shoulders and your neck are hot plates. The longer you go on like this, you increase the chronicity of the problem which makes it harder to get rid of.

Keep it simple, mobilize, improve your posture, be aware of how your body moves.

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