View Full Version : Constant injuries

Emil Berengut
05-11-2004, 02:18 PM
ok, partially I am posting out of frustration and partially for advice. in the past two years i've gone from a complete couch potato to a decent athlete with good progress in martial arts and other sports. however it seems that everytime i feel like i am progressing, something breaks or injures. my knees in particularly have given me the most trouble. finally i started to work on hamstrings-worked like magic. little pain, full ROM etc... that was until yesterday. i was doing powercleans-trying to work on my form, when i heard the pop under the knee cap. i taped up, taught martial arts classes that night, iced it and ibo. well today the thing is tender to touch with mild discomfort(not really pain) on bending. needless to say i am staying off exercises and made an appt with the doc.
so, the question is-what do you all think it might be?
the second question is-how do you all deal with frustration of constant injuries?

Thanks and I look forward to your responses.

Ryan Atkins
05-12-2004, 06:12 AM
Hi Emil,

I'll try to address your second question.

From my experience, the exercises used in the WOD, when performed properly, have by far done more to develop and heal than to harm. Before my (knee) surgery, I feel they helped to stabilize the joint. After surgery, they have been the driving force behind my rehab efforts. Others have commented on how certain power/o-lifts have provided relief from certain injuries (particularly back/spinal issues, if I remember right).

IMO, an injury, especially one incurred while engaged in S&C activity, is a wake up call. It's telling you that you need to address certain technical issues before continuing. Once you determine the cause (knees drifting to far over toes, knees not aligned with toes, weight not towards heels or whatever) and heal up, it's time to insist on no less than perfect form. If this means going back to broomstick work, so be it.

On a different note, sometimes being injured is an oppurtunity for the body to develop/benefit in another area. Having a leg injury that prevents lifting can be looked at as an oppurtunity to devote more time and energy towards HSPUs, pull-ups and ring dips, for example.

Injuries also put things into perspective. They make you appreciate more the times that you're not injured and, in most cases, should make people realize how lucky they are (I think in the majority of sports injuries, one CAN and DOES recover fully - the same can't be said for someone who's lost a limb, for example).

Hope this helps,


Emil Berengut
05-12-2004, 06:48 AM
Thanks Ryan, I guess my follow up relates to fighting. I know you have a fighting background, correct? Majority of my injuries come from sparring and practicing. I just got over torn ligaments in my toe from rnd kick. You're right, losing the use of one limb forces me to work on other things-punching in this example. When you were recovering from the knee injury, how did you deal with not being able to spar etc? I feel like every day I am out, I lose some skill.

Ryan Atkins
05-12-2004, 04:22 PM
Majority of my injuries come from sparring and practicing.

That's how I got a lot of injuries myself, including the torn ACLs, fractured rib and other more minor injuries. The ultimately competitive nature of NHB fighting makes finding training partners who are willing to go at an egoless, slow-motion speed, even infrequently, a rare and invaluable occasion. I think a lot of technical skill can be picked up this way while almost totally eliminating the chance of injury.

I've dealt with not sparring by shifting my priorities. When I first started Crossfit over 2 years ago I considered myself a fighter 1st and a Crossfitter 2nd. I find myself more and more liking the mental and physical challenges that Crossfit has to offer. Also, Crossfit promotes injury-free health a lot more than NHB does, IMO (I've never injured myself during a WOD). Now that I have a growing family, this is a more important priority for me. Because of these reasons I'm beginning to shift my enthusiasm and energy more towards the Crossfit part of my life and further away from the fighter activities.

Does this mean I've lost some skill? Most likely. I will tussle with my kids once in a while so I do remain familiar with the various grappling/striking opportunities available in each position, not that I'm applying them in this case.

If I were in your shoes (i.e. injured and looking to get back into heavy sparring/practice) I would use the time you'd normally spend sparring watching others practice/compete. Instructional videos may prove usefull here. Also shadow striking/grappling within your limitations will help, IMO. Although nothing can replace consistent practice, I believe these activities will go a long way towards grooming your nervous system for your eventual return.

Also with regards to the roundhouse kick - are your instructors telling you to kick with the ball of the foot or the instep? I've been exposed to a variety of kicking techniques (several years karate, exposure to tae kwon do, ninjitsu and muay thai). I didn't stop periodically injuring my foot on the heavy bag until I picked up the MT roundhouse and dropped almost every other kick in my arsenal. If you could only learn one kick in your entire life (with the exception of knees), make sure it's the MT roundhouse. Getting off the soap box now.

Hope this helps and I hope you recover quickly,


Emil Berengut
05-13-2004, 08:53 AM
Man! Great Post. Just what I need to hear. Thank you so much for taking the time. I feeling a little better now, than I did a few days ago, both mentally and physically. Just got my MRI. Don't the results yet though

Emil Berengut
05-13-2004, 08:55 AM
PS. It was MT kick-I misjudged the range and hit the guys thigh full force with the big toe. It used to be my favorite kick, now I've had to really work on the LRK and footjabs.

Ryan Atkins
05-13-2004, 11:14 AM
Yeah, now that you mention it, I guess that's one of the drawbacks of the MT roundhouse - sometimes it can just as dangerous for the person throwing it as it is for the person on the receiving end. At least it was just your toe. Have you seen the video clip where the attacker breaks his shin bone on the defender's knee?

Glad to hear your feeling better,