Yes! This is truly a "pot calling the kettle black" post here folks!
How many times have you gotten out of your car, rolled into the gym and jumped right into a WOD. No stretching, no warm up and no preparation!? I admit, I am a little guilty of this. As a coach I feel like a hypocrite when I tell my athletes that they need to follow a proper warm up before just hopping into a WOD. Unfortunately, we don’t often follow the advice of our coaches, or even ourselves and the turning point is usually post injury or when we have identified decreased performance.
I have two friends who are currently rehabilitating or dealing with meniscus tears in their knees. I have had countless athletes and friends tell me about nagging injuries that seem to never get better or go away. The reality with these injuries is that they are not getting better because we refuse to let ourselves heal. Another thing I am guilty of. We must take care of our bodies or they will fail us! As one of my coaches at CrossFit Reston states, “We come in and put all of our effort into the WODs. We post pictures of our nutritious and outstanding food we make and eat. We work extra time on skills. But, how many of us work on stretching and mobility?”
Warming up is essential to proper performance. One warm up I generally prescribe when I am coaching at CrossFit Walter Reed is:
3 Rounds of Cindy
For stretching, I generally try to focus on the core activities we will be performing in the WOD that day. I prescribe the 400m and Cindy reps to get everyone in the mindset of working out. This let's the athlete reset their mind and focus on the task at hand instead of what they just completed at the office or whatever they think they might want to do after work that evening.
At CrossFit Rubicon, we have a rather extensive warm up procedure that when followed, leaves you nice and warmed up, limber and slightly, if not extensively, sweaty! I find that when I do this warm up, not only am I less sore than if I don't but I also perform so much better during the WOD!
So, why don't I always warm up? Honestly, there is no set reason. Sometimes I come in and start socializing before the "oh shit" moment when the WOD is about to start. Sometimes there is a time constraint. Sometimes I half ass warm up and then just think I am good to go for the punishment I am about to inflict on myself! Bottom line is proper preparation reduces injury and increases performance. It's like putting together a jigsaw puzzle. You have a WOD, nutrition and hydration which forms a nice picture of cute puppies playing. The box with the picture of the completed puzzle is your mobility and preparation. Now how easy is it to put that puzzle together if you just have the pieces in a clear Ziploc bag with no reference!?
Mobility WODs FTMFW!!!
I have three rules I like to live by:
1. Eat real food.
2. Exercise 5 days a week
3. Drink beer....because it's fucking awesome!
Let's pay attention to rule number two here. Exercise does not necessarily mean working out everyday or taking the day off of the gym to run or ruckmarch. Exercising also means mobility work. Mobilitywod.com http://www.mobilitywod.com/ is a wealth of knowledge about working on mobility and taking care of some of those nagging injuries or tweaks you may have. Your coaches at your local box should be able to steer you in the right direction as well. I do have some other suggestions for you as well.
Be self sufficient! Learn what you need to do from your coach then put a little cash in the kitty and buy some mobility supplements for your home! You don't have to make a trip to the gym just to do mobility work. Again Faster Equipment and Rogue Fitness have tons of Mobility equipment for sale and if you "like" their Facebook pages, they usually will post mobility packages which carry pretty good discounts. You can also just go to your local sporting goods store and purchase everything you need.
The possibilities are endless for buying what you need for cheap but it's up to you to put as much time in to mobility work as you do your nutrition and WOD performance.