Safety First

shutterstock_108603362We are all lucky enough to be around for this explosion of all things related to health and fitness—and the amount of various types of workouts available today means that there is something for everyone. But two high impact fitness trends has been garnering a lot of attention lately: HIIT and CrossFit.

CrossFit, or HIIT involves short, intense periods of exercise, followed by short rest periods. The workout was designed to help you see maximum muscle tone and weight loss in the shortest amount of time. CrossFit aims to improve endurance, stamina, strength, flexibility, power, speed, coordination, agility, balance and accuracy through a variety of conditioning and strength exercises, including battle ropes, kettlebells and plyometrics (exercises designed to improve strength and power by having muscles exert a maximum amount of force in short amount of time). And like HIIT, CrossFit can help devotees see muscle definition in a short amount of time.

While these extreme workouts can deliver results, there is also a high risk for injury. In fact, a study that was published in the journal Conditioning Research found that Crossfitters had higher rates of shoulder injuries than Olympic weightlifters. In order to get the most out of your workout while staying injury-free, consider these tips:

  1. Make yourself known: If you are new to a class, let your instructor know. That way he/she will know to keep an eye on shutterstock_278359454you to make sure that your form is correct.
  2. Know your limits: Listen to your body and go at your own pace. Rome wasn’t built in a day, and most likely it will take you a few classes to get used to the program. Further, if there are any moves that you can’t fully do, talk to your instructor about modifying the movement until you can build up the strength to do it full-out.
  3. Master the Equipment: If your workout involves gym equipment that you haven’t used before or you aren’t proficient at utilizing, schedule a one-on-one training/education session so you can learn the basics. (Most gyms offer this service to their clients).
  4. Stretch: Stretching is incredibly important before any workout, but especially before an intense workout like HIIT or CrossFit.
  5. Stay Hydrated: With these intense workouts, it is incredibly important to have a large bottle of water handy to avoid dehydration. Making sure that you eat something at least 30 minutes prior to tackling a high impact workout is also key.

And remember—There is always a chance for injury, no matter what type of exercise that you do. But if you do injure yourself (and are cleared by your doctor to keep exercising in some capacity) try a lower impact workout like swimming or yoga until you are healed.

What are some of your tips to get the most out of your workout, while staying injury-free? Connect with us on Facebook and Twitter and let us know.

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