Getting the most of your CrossFit and Hyrox training

Posted 2 Jul

Getting the most of your CrossFit and Hyrox training

Are you in the midst of the CrossFit or Hyrox craze? We love it when fitness becomes a passion and love helping patients who are pushing their bodies to find out what they are capable of.

As podiatrists, we understand the unique demands that high-intensity workouts place on your body, especially your feet and ankles. CrossFit and Hyrox are popular and rigorous forms of functional fitness training that challenge your strength, endurance, and agility.

Whether you’re a seasoned athlete or new to the scene, understanding how to prevent and treat common foot and ankle injuries can help you stay in the game and achieve your fitness goals.

Common Injuries in CrossFit and Hyrox

Both CrossFit and Hyrox combine various elements of weightlifting, running, rowing, and body-weight exercises. This intense mix can sometimes lead to overuse injuries or acute injuries. Here are a few common foot and ankle injuries seen in these disciplines:

  1. Plantar Fasciitis: Your plantar fascia is a thick band of tissue that connects your heel to your toes which runs across the bottom of your foot. It is one of the strongest structures in your body and takes a lot of the impact from your daily activities. Things under the most strain are the most annoying when something goes wrong. 
  2. Achilles Tendonitis: The Achilles tendon is one of the thickest, strongest tendons in the human body. Tendons are thick, fibrous cords of connective tissue that connect muscles to bones, facilitating movement. The function of the Achilles tendon is crucial for knee flexion and ankle plantarflexion, enabling actions such as running, climbing, and jumping. Tendinopathy is a thickening, change or pain within the Achilles tendon which usually develops due to repetitive stress.
  3. Stress fractures: Stress fractures are usually overuse injuries. They happen when physical activity puts too much pressure on a bone, often the toes; and it doesn’t have enough time to recover.
  4. Ankle sprains: Rapid changes in direction or missteps can easily lead to ankle sprains, which involve stretching or tearing the ligaments around the ankle. There are levels of ankle sprains, from minor to major sprains that require a lot of attention.
  5. Patella tendonitis: The source of most cases of anterior knee pain characterised by a dull aching sensation at the beginning and towards the end of a workout. Storing and releasing energy in the quadriceps and patella tendon at an increased weight overloads the tendon leading to inflammation and pain. Your patella tendon is at an increased risk while training for hyrox due to exercises combining explosive weights and cardio.

Prevention Strategies

Prevention is always better than cure, and there are several strategies you can employ to minimise your risk of injury:

  1. A training plan for longevity: aiming for long term improvement slows the progressive overload phase needed to increase strength and stamina for Hyrox. Rather than rushing thorough to improve your running ability and overloading those strength sessions, a gradual increase allows your body to slowly adapt for the competitions to come.
  2. Proper footwear: Invest in high-quality shoes designed for CrossFit or Hyrox. These shoes provide the necessary support, stability, and cushioning to handle various movements and surfaces.
  3. Warm-up and cool down: Incorporate dynamic stretching and mobility exercises into your warm-up routine to prepare your muscles and joints. Post-workout, engage in static stretching to aid recovery.
  4. Listen to your body: Pay attention to any signs of pain or discomfort. Early intervention can prevent minor issues from becoming major injuries.
  5. Professional care: Book an appointment with a relevant healthcare professional to keep your body at peak performance.

Treatment Options

If you do experience a foot or ankle injury, prompt and appropriate treatment is crucial for a swift recovery. Here are some common treatments we recommend:

  1. Heat and Ice: For many acute injuries, applying ice to the effected area will help to reduce acute inflammation and stagnant swelling. Ice that is followed by heat allows the body to dilate the blood vessels again, increasing circulation and your own body’s natural healing again.
  2. Gentle movements: Tailored exercises and manual therapy can help restore strength, flexibility, and function to the injured area.
  3. Orthotics: Custom orthotics can provide additional support and correct biomechanical issues, reducing stress on the lower limb.
  4. Treatment: Techniques such as shockwave therapy and laser therapy can accelerate healing and reduce pain.

Surgery: In severe cases, surgical intervention may be necessary to repair damaged tissues or correct structural issues. This is generally considered only after conservative treatments have been exhausted.

Stay Strong, Stay Safe

As podiatrists we are passionate about helping athletes, our goal is to keep you on your feet and performing at your best. CrossFit and Hyrox are incredibly rewarding but demanding sports, and your feet play a critical role in your performance and overall health.

If you're experiencing any foot or ankle pain, or if you want to optimize your training with preventive strategies, don’t hesitate to reach out. Together, we can ensure that your feet remain strong, healthy, and ready to tackle every workout challenge that comes your way.

Stay strong, stay safe, and keep pushing your limits!

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