Many of us are getting off the treadmill and elliptical machines and finding the value in strength training and more functional exercises. Hence the boom of the Cross fit community.
If you are struggling with your WOD (workout of the day for the non cross fitters) or feeling limited in the gym, there are a few things to consider before throwing in the towel. It's also important to address these issues if you are feeling any aches, pains, or stiffness and NOT just persevere with the attitude "No Pain No Gain".
Here Are 7 Reasons Why You May Be Struggling and What You Can Do About It:
1. Tight Shoulders
Do you feel a pinch when lifting overhead? Are pull-ups painful for your shoulders?
In these cases, you likely have tightness in your shoulder muscles that needs to be resolved with consistent stretching.
2. Upper Back Stiffness
Do you find it difficult to get your arms overhead properly for overhead squats or snatches? Are you unable to get your head through properly with jerks or presses?
This may be due to stiffness in your thoracic spine (upper back). This part of your back is naturally flexed and we make it worse sitting bent over most of the day. If we can not move into extension, it will be very difficult to get in the right position to support your arms overhead.
3. Poor Hip Mobility
Do you feel a pinch when getting into a full squat? Are you unable to hit full extension during the pull of the clean or extension of a dead lift?
Hip mobility affects how deep you can get into your squat and how accurately and effectively you can perform your lifts. Use these techniques to improve your hip mobility and you will find your lifts improve as well.
4. Knee Aches and Pain
Do you avoid squatting due to anterior knee pain? Are you unable to get into full depth with lunges?
Knee pain is frequently caused by tightness in your thigh, calf muscles, or both. Loosen up the muscles and you will find your movement and performance improve.
5. Ankle Joint Stiffness
Do you find your trunk leaning forward more than it should with squats? Do you have trouble keeping your feet flat on the ground during lifts?
Ankle mobility significantly affects the depth of your squat and if you don't have enough movement, you will never be able to perform a squat with good technique.
6. Give Your Body Some Rest
The gains you make from working out actually occur during this rest time NOT at the time you are in the gym. On these rest days you shouldn't be sitting around all day. Walk, move, go for a leisurely bike ride and work on your mobility and stretching.
Your body does much of it's recovery and repair when you are sleeping. If you are not getting 7-8 hours of sleep on a regular basis, your body cannot fully recover. You will notice a huge improvement in how your body feels and responds on your training days if you give it proper recovery time.
7. Proper Nutrition and Hydration
Proper nutrition and hydration are integral to life and workout performance. Processed foods, sugary drinks, and preservatives leave junk in your body that it has to deal with instead of being able to give 100% to your workouts.
In addition, make sure you are getting 8-10 cups of water a day. If you need additional help with hydration or electrolyte support more during the summer months and intense training my go to product is AdvoCare Rehydrate, but there are many others out there. Just be sure to find one with a low sugar content and without corn syrups that will negatively effect your energy and metabolism.
Do you find you have tried all the above ideas and still struggling with pain or reaching top performance?
Have you considered seeing a Physical Therapist?
As movement specialists, we are trained to evaluate posture, movement patterns, joint restrictions, and soft tissues that are causing or contributing to your problem. We are skilled to treat the areas through different manual therapy techniques and corrective exercises to allow you to return to your prior level of function, pain free, without pain medication. Request a Free Discovery Session to discuss your concerns and have your movement evaluated.
Call us at 901-316-5456 or click HERE to FINALLY reach your GOALS!