Stretching and Recovery


By Jocelyn


Many of us are guilty of it.  We cruise in excited for what today’s CrossFit class will bring, happy to see the friendly CF West faces.  We warm up, do our strength moves, get our metcon on, collapse on the floor for a few moments.  And then we grab our bag and head out.  But we forgot one very important thing- post workout stretching and recovery.   It isn’t convenient, I know.  And it doesn’t always feel like it’s the thing making us stronger or fitter.  But it is an absolute essential part of our fitness regimen, one that can play a key role in your fitness goals.  

Pre-Workout Stretching
One of the first things you might have wondered about when you came for your first class at CFWSC is, “why we don’t stretch?”  The answer- WE DO!  We do something called a dynamic warm up which is a process in which we heat the muscles with a mono-structural exercise (running, rowing, etc) to get them pliable enough to stretch.  Then we move our bodies through specific ranges of motion, recruiting the muscles that we will be using during our workout while mobilizing joints. 

Post-Workout Stretching
This is when it is most appropriate to static stretch (holding stretches for 30 seconds or so) and/or PNF stretch (proprioceptive neuromuscular facilitation).  PNF is a type of stretching in which you hold an isometric contraction for 3-5 seconds, followed by a 10-15 second stretch.  It is repeated for a number of rounds (usually 6-8 rounds).  If you would like to see how it’s done check out this Kelly Starrett video.  Keep in mind you must subscribe the CrossFit journal.

Although class time does not allow for group stretching, we encourage you to stay for a post workout stretching to help increase your flexibility (very important for positions required in our movements) and decrease your chance of injury.  Post WOD it is also a great time to utilize our foam roller and other stretching and recovery knick knacks.

Note: Always feel free to ask your trainer to show you a good post workout stretching routine, how to do PNF, and how to use the roller!

This is very important!  Always drink tons of water.  You need about half your bodyweight in ounces (or more) depending on your activity levels.  Not only will it increase your performance and recovery, it will reduce soreness and chance for injury drastically.

Ice, ice, ice!  If you’re feeling aches and pains in joints or muscles be sure to ice.  And I’m not talking a bag of peas!  I’m talking a good old fashion ice cup.  We have them available right here at CFWSC in our freezer.  Simply tear the cup away and use the ice to get right to the spot for at least 5 minutes. 

You don’t actually get stronger during your workouts.   You get stronger when you rest.  I t is incredibly important that you take rest days and get plenty of sleep (shoot for at least 8 hours).  If you aren’t sleeping, no amount of training or diet will get you to the fitness level you desire (check out the book Lights Out by T.S. Wiley).  As for training days, the typical prescription for CrossFitters is 3 days on, 1 day off.  It is always important, however, that you listen to your body. 

Although post workout stretching and recovery are not specifically included as part of our group classes it is essential to your fitness.  As a CF West client we highly recommend you stay after class for post workout stretching, foam rolling, and ice.   Remember, you’ve got goals to reach, and they depend on it.



Back Squat


5 rounds

5 OH Squat (155/108)

10 Burpees