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Old 06-21-2013, 06:55 AM   #1
Patrick Marshall
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Sore Back

Hey everyone. I am new to CrossFit within the past month, and I wanted to know the best way to stretch out my back. For the past week I have had a pretty stiff / sore back, and I think it might be just from doing exercises. and working muscles I haven't in a while. Is a foam roller the way to go, or just making sure I do good stretching before and after WODs?

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Old 06-21-2013, 07:40 AM   #2
Mark E. Wallace
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Re: Sore Back

Originally Posted by Patrick Marshall View Post
Is a foam roller the way to go, or just making sure I do good stretching before and after WODs?
There's no "the way" to go.

Foam rolling and stretching are both effective and recommended.

- Mark
"Ima champ Still pushin Strong, Remember You only get what you train FOR>"
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Old 06-21-2013, 07:41 AM   #3
Kainoa Bostock
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Re: Sore Back

The Sampson stretch usually gets my back pretty good.
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Old 06-21-2013, 08:09 AM   #4
Blair Robert Lowe
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Re: Sore Back

Hang, swing legs side to side or back and forward at the hips (pike/arch).

Hang upside down from knees on bar or rings. Move around.

Inversion table.

Scorpion stretch on floor

Windshield wipers in tuck or pike on floor or just lay there with legs to one side for time.
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Old 06-21-2013, 11:50 AM   #5
John H Curtis
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Re: Sore Back

All comments so far are good.

Clarifying question:

1) Whole back or a specific area (or areas)? I ask because my first time using kettlebells (well before I got into CF) I had terrible form and ended up having severe soreness/strain in my lower back. If you are having severe soreness in specific areas, might be a form issue and you should get with a coach on it.

Consider ice packs too for 15 or so minutes on the sorest areas right after the workout - cold is generally good for helping speed recovery.

Make sure you get a good warmup in before the workout too. A lot of coaches suggest "active stretching" and moving around (like Samson stretch, high knees, butt-kickers, etc) rather than static stretching in a warmup, as static stretching is supposed to be not very good for cold workout, static stretching should be fine since you'll be warm. Worth talking to your coach about for suggestions on good warmups for whatever the WOD is if a warm-up isn't programmed into what your affiliate does.

Foam rollers are awesome

I don't know much about "Flossing" muscles yet, and so I'll hold comment on that till I read up on it more, but it is supposed to be beneficial as well for maintenance.

Last edited by John H Curtis : 06-21-2013 at 11:58 AM. Reason: Had more to add to original post.
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Old 07-02-2013, 11:10 AM   #6
Daniel Pope
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Re: Sore Back

Hey John!

I get this question pretty often so i thought I'd give this a whirl.

If you notice your back gets excessively sore and painful it might not be a "back" problem at all. When beginning crossfit and weightlifting at all for that matter, one of the absolute most important things to master is keeping a neutral spine (flat back) and moving from your hips. Here's a link explaining WFS.

If you aren't accomplishing this (it happens very often, especially after fatigue starts setting in) you're definitely going to have excessive lower back soreness.

The funny thing is, the reason why your back is sore in the first place is because it was moving too much! The last thing you'd want to do is really stretch the low back. It will just need some time for the soreness to diminish. In the meanwhile its going to be very helpful to stretch the joints above and below the lower back so that you can learn to move from those joints while keeping a strong and stable neutral spine position. Here are some stretches to get you started. WFS

Hope it helps, keep us updated!
Physical Therapist, Coach, Athlete - My website: Injury Prevention Info so you can continue to enjoy crossfit pain free
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