The joke about people who do CrossFit—the popular high-intensity strength-training and conditioning regimen—is that they can’t go more than a few minutes without mentioning it. What’s not so funny are the injuries that many of these athletes endure when they fail to use proper form or build core strength.
Dr. Adam Guiliano ’08, a Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) grad, knows this well. He’s the founder and owner of InMotion Fitness & Physical Therapy in Bonita Springs, Florida, and head clinician at a CrossFit gym. “The most common injuries I see are lumbar strains, disc herniation, and patella tendinitis,” he says. “They are primarily due to incorrect form, which stems from weak stabilizing muscles.”
These details don’t just matter for tough-as- nails CrossFitters. Everyone can benefit—and avoid frustrating and debilitating injuries—by strengthening these muscles. Guiliano shares how:
|1: Hip Abduction Walk: Put a rubber exercise band under your feet and hold the other end with your hands near your waist. Keeping you stomach tight and your knees straight, take a step to the side with your heels down, then return to your starting position and switch sides.||2: Hip Hike: Stand with one foot on top of a weight plate or other two-inch, firm platform. Place your other foot on the floor. Keeping your stomach tight and your legs and back straight, lift the lower leg so that it first hovers next to the other foot, then lift your hip to raise the foot to ankle height.|
3: Transverse Abdominals: Lie on your back with your knees bent and feet flat on the floor. Pull your belly button into the floor with a straight, not curved, back to contract your transverse abdominals.
4: Bird Dog: Stand on your hands and knees. Extend one arm straight out and the opposite leg behind while keeping your stomach tight and back straight. Switch sides.
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