Other than eating well, gaining the right amount of sleep, and routinely hitting the gym, the single most important thing any of us can do to maximize our CrossFit performance is to stretch. Stretch (and roll!) everything…with bands and foam rollers and a lacrosse ball if you have one…every day.
Ah. Easier said than done.
Our experience is our members have less of a problem taking on an actual WOD then they do with the concept – or reality — of stretching. People simply hate to do it. This makes sense: we don’t like to stretch because it hurts. It hurts because we lack mobility. We lack mobility because we don’t stretch. What a vicious — I’d even say dangerous — circle.
Before and after every WOD, you are provided with the necessary equipment, space and time to warm up and cool down. We don’t mean sitting on a foam roller gabbing with your fellow CrossFitters (there’s time for that, too). We mean the real deal. If you are not taking advantage of this, what can we do to help? If you are not stretching, what is holding you back?
What about outside the gym? Do you stretch at home? A few minutes stretching your back, calves and hamstring right when you awake can set up your day. At the office, try getting out of your chair and standing (sitting = horrible for us). Watching a movie in your living room? Why not try the couch stretch? The movie may prove a great distraction.
Dr. Kelly Starrett is a name well known throughout the CrossFit community. His blog/website, MobilityWOD.com is a tremendous resource on the topic of, well, mobility. If you haven’t checked it out, do give it a try. We also have his book Becoming a Supple Leopard in the back stretching/mobility area of the box. At nearly 400 pages, it’s loaded with a plethora of easy-to-follow information on how to “resolve pain, prevent injury, and optimize athletic performance.”
By building stretching into our daily lives, we have the opportunity to minimize injury, to move more efficiently, to improve our athletic ability and overall fitness. Just as everything in CrossFit, however, it only works if we DO it.
Here’s the fun part! A photo contest!
In typical CrossFit fashion, we will be turning this idea into a contest. Submit us a photo of your best “mashing face” and we will post it on our Facebook page. Now, here is where the contest part comes in. Whoever manages to get the most “likes” at the end of the contest wins:
First place: 50% discount off monthly membership + 1 personal training session with Ryan
Second place: 1 personal training session with Ryan
- You must submit photo to firstname.lastname@example.org
- You must be mashing/stretching in the photo
- You must be a current CrossFit 727 member
- Only one photo per member
- Contest dates: 10/1 – 10/31