Extreme workouts can cripple if you push too hard too soon
by: Edgar D’Souza AS SUMMER approaches, many Aussies go into overdrive to shape up for the warmer weather. With this in mind, sports podiatrist Karl Lockett is warning beginners of some extreme but popular exercise programs such as bootcamp, crossfit and obstacle-race-style workouts about potential injuries. A member of Sports Medicine Australia and the Australian Academy of Podiatric Sports Medicine, Mr Lockett says extreme exercises can put beginners at risk of overuse injuries if they let the culture of “no pain, no gain” overshadow the basic principles of conducting a safe workout. Mr Lockett says he has seen an increasing number of patients with injuries caused by intense workouts with a too hard-too-soon approach on bodies that are at a “beginner level”. “Some have crippling pain from ailments such as advanced plantar fasciitis (jogger’s heel) and torn ligaments that take a long time to heal, to less serious soft-tissue pain that keeps them out of action for weeks,” he said. Mr Lockett believes extreme workouts aren’t a good choice for those who don’t already do regular exercise, and there are more suitable programs that are safer ways to get fit. He advises those who still want to join an extreme exercise program to find a trusted trainer who can build an exercise regimen froma beginner’s level, not just drive hard from day one. It’s also important not to let competitive behaviour push one over the limits. “Beginners should be sure to incorporate lots of stretching before and after their workout and listen to their body,” he said. Finally, recognise that your regular running shoes may not be suitable for such programs. A visit to a podiatrist can help you find the right shoes for your workout and match it to your foot type.
WHEN IT ALL GOES HORRIBLY WRONG
SPORTS podiatrist Karl Lockett lists some injuries caused by intense workouts with a too-hard-too-soon approach on bodies at a beginner level of exercise:
Torn tendons and ligaments – crossfit-style sets of heavyweight dead lifts, kettle bell swings and kipping pull-ups pose a high risk of torn tendons and ligaments to beginners.
Stress fractures –Weight-bearing exercises also put participants in danger of stress fractures, especially to the metatarsal foot bones. Small stress fractures often become bigger if not recognised, as participants try to push through the pain barrier.
Heel pain – One of the most common injuries in bootcampers or crossfitters – high intensity activities like sudden bursts of running combined with exercises like repeated box jumps puts unfamiliar strain on feet and calves.
Soft-tissue pain – Overuse soft tissue injuries such as around knees can keep you out of action for weeks.
Swimming is a great lowimpact activity that builds strength gradually, is an allover body workout and it can be done all year round
Skipping is good – in short sessions there is little danger of injury and it gets the heart rate going with little impact. Just be sure to stretch calves sufficiently as skipping can make them tight
Yoga and pilates for beginners will give muscles a workout while ensuring they get warmed up and stretched.