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There are few things worse than cramps, side stitches, or spasms popping up just as you’re getting into your workout groove. These muscle cramps can appear at any point during your workout and even up to six hours after you finish (hello midnight charley horse!). This sudden tightness can affect various muscles including, but not limited to, calves, hamstrings, quads, arms, and abs.
While it may be hard to pinpoint the direct cause of your cramps, there are steps you can take to prevent them.
- Hydrate! Dehydration is one of the most common causes of muscle cramps. Make sure you drink plenty of water throughout the day both before and after you exercise.
- Load up on electrolytes! When your sodium and potassium levels drop, you’re more susceptible to muscle spasms. Most sports drinks, like Gatorade and Powerade, have increased levels of electrolytes, or you can take the natural approach and just grab a banana.
- Warm up first! Before every workout, make sure to do some dynamic, not static, stretches to get your body temperature up and your muscles and tendons loose and ready to work. By getting your blood flowing before you jump into your workout, you’re less likely to cramp and less likely to injure yourself.
- Cool down last! Even if you’re exhausted, make a point to cool down at the end of your workout. Static stretches not only help your muscles recover, but they help prevent DOMS (delayed onset muscle soreness) too. Using recovery tools like the foam roller or lacrosse ball also help release tension to prevent injuries and muscle cramps.
If a limited range of motion or nagging pains have been keeping you from your favorite activities, contact Airrosti today to start your road to a pain-free life.
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