the 48 injuries I got not doing crossfit

Misrepresenting Crossfit injuries is simple click theft!

Obese reporters, lazy bloggers out to “steal clicks”, and those seeking to curry favour with critics  throw their hands up in horror at the thought that any sporting activity could result in any type of injury.

“Surely”, they ooze, “If we could rid ourselves of rugby, MMA, boxing, indeed all martial arts (except that nice Tai Chi, that’s ok) and Crossfit, no one would be injured again.”

I reflected on this and thought about my Crossfit injuries, then I thought about my pre-Crossfit injuries as a “fit” person, then I thought about my injuries as a normal member of the public.

I’m proving nothing, other than saying injury, biffs, cuts and stuff are probably part of life unless you are very unfit and sedentary. In which case, it’s just the bed sores.

An overview of my injuries

As a sedentary 100 day a smoker who avoided physical activity till I was 37.

  • I got run over by a car.
  • I fell of a ladder while painting,
  • I burnt my chest in a garden fire.
  • I had back pain from slouching.
  • I had back pain from moving stuff badly.
  • I had numerous hangovers from drinking too much.
  • A disastrous smokers’ cough with the associated high blood pressure.
  • I skipped down a low corridor and bounced so high that I smashed my head on the ceiling and landed on my elbow.
  • I stood up too fast while filing and smashed my head against the bottom of a draw that was pulled out above me.
  • I cut my lip by trying to lick the top of a soup tin, which I had opened with an opener .
  • I  nearly mandolin-ed the top of my finger off.
  • I’ve caught my fingers in the car door,
  • I’ve banged my fingers with hammers, sliced my skin open with knives so many times that I should have therapy for self harming.
  • I’ve electrocuted my self, twice.
  • I’ve burned myself on the iron, on the oven, and by seeing what would happen if I poked a straw into the 2 bar fire in the lounge.
  • Cigarette burns galore.
  • I’ve walked into too many doors.
  • Tripped down stairs, and slipped on slippery things .
  • I have left shoulder pain as I sleep on it… (for 54 years!!)
  • I got several bouts of carpet burn knees after having sex on the floor
  • I’ve caught my foreskin in my zip, unbelievably, 3 times.
  • I fell off a wall while having a cigarette and dislocated my finger.
  • Why do I continue to stub my toe?

As a child learning to ride my bike, I scraped both knees, badly, and my mum screwed up the bandage so the scab meshed into the material, so that had to be ripped off. I often slammed the breaks on  and often went sailing over the handlebars.

Often.

 From when I started to get fit  at  age 37

  • I tumbled off the treadmill,
  • Dropped a dumbbell on my foot,
  • Caught my finger on the safety catch on the leg extension machine
  • At martial arts, 5 years of black eyes, numerous with kicks to my poor testicles.
  • Learning to swim at the age of 40 (God knows how much pool water I drank).
  • While wrestling, I caught my big toe between two mats and twisted it.
  •  As  a doorman and on security contracts, I got slashed with a bottle on my arm, then split a knuckle punching someone in the mouth. And I had someone try and scoop my eye out with their finger (I’m sure I got a knee in the groin too).
  • From running  I developed severe knee pain and shin splints, and Achillies tendonitis. I compounded my shoulder damage by dropping that bench press
  •  Since I started Crossfit: 
  • Callus tears
  • 4 bouts of deadlift- induced bad back pain (1 during a wod, the other 3 during strength sessions)
  • A nasty psoas injury, which I got demonstrating an unweighted split jerk.
  • My Achilles and shoulder continue to bother me.
  • I got a nasty dose of  plantar fasciitis
  • My wrists don’t like high rep bar push presses.

There are injuries in Crossfit, but bearing in mind it taught me sooo much, I think, on balance, for me, it was safer than normal living. Certainly I’ve not zipped up my foreskin since I became a bit more co-ordinated.

Get me to the safety of 30 power snatches for time.

The Stemler Bag

Self defence is a misunderstood subject.

 Self defence is a bundle of activities that you may on rare occasions be forced to use if you are unlawfully attacked or threatened . it’s not nice, it’s certainly not pretty

Self defence is not a sport, a martial art or a spiritual pursuit. It is not a pleasant restraint that you can use against an angry customer, a hysterical child or for that matter a slightly over amorous date.

It’s what you will do to someone who wants to rob,  beat,  rape and kill you.

Self defence begins with a thorough understanding of the law of self defence and a thorough appreciation of the human rights of others .

Self defence  also begins way before  any physical attack occurs. It relies on an effective scanning and awareness system. Most effective attacks take the victim by surprise. The attacker ” suddenly turned  nasty”  or “jumped out of no where”

There are a few courses that teach awareness : however, they lack the “Stemler bag” concept. It’s simply a sobering security visualisation.If you “Stemler Bag” properly, you will probably never have any type of physical confrontation

Imagine a see through bag stuffed full of cash. A lot of cash . Its yours. You can keep it, but you still have to do your normal week and carry it around with you, so its visible.

How would It change  your behaviour ? Would you take it to dark strange places where you are not familiar . Would you get drunk and take a snooze in a park. Would you willingly chat to strangers who wanted to ask where you alone? Did you have any martial arts experience ? Was the money bag a joke and where you being filmed.? Or, would you be a bit suspicious of absolute strangers approaching you and being weirdly friendly ? Would you listen out and notice if someone was following you  or would you listen to your i-pod instead? Would you  fumble for your keys while you put your bag down at your front door or would you have your keys ready to go. Maybe you would plan your journey, maybe you’d have a back up plan ?

I think it was James Coburn who said, ‘avoid arseholes and big egos, avoid places where arseholes and big egos hang out’. A good friend of mine, Geoff Thompson added ‘don’t be an arsehole and don’t have a big ego yourself’. It helps”

If you breach this Rule: you have screwed up: everything from here on is making the best out of the poor situation that you created!

If you are approached and a dialogue starts ( known as the interview), take up a small inconspicuous 45° stance place your lead hand in that all-important space between you and your antagonist to maintain a safe gap. This is called The fence. It gives you a degree of control without  alerting your  potential aggressor

Don’t let a potential attacker touch you at any time, The more weirdly friendly, the more deadly and dangerous

You will get scared. Its ok to be scared. The shaking leg, the swirling  tummy is your body gearing up for a fight. You may need that extra energy buzz

Try and talk your way out  If talking fails , it can you could try posturing.

Create a gap between you and your attacker by shoving the attacker hard on the chest. Once the gap has been secured “go crazy; shout, salivate, spread your arms, bulge your eyes and drop into single syllables” ( Geoff Thompson) This triggers the opponent’s flight response and often scares him into capitulation.

If that fails, one of 2 things happen: the language and the look of the attacker changes: their speech will become more and more limited, you’ll notice them scanning the area to see who could help you or be a witness , they will try and get super close the moment they close the gap, you are getting hit OR the attacker steams back in . Either way, after the shove, if they touch your fence for a second time, knock them out.

If that fails ( and you have really screwed up, we will teach  you an eye gouge, groin strike, so at least, on the way down, you do some damage).

Im always slipping the Bulgarian split squat in

Its impossible to run an effective programme without some consideration of  the work of  Mike Boyle and , for this article, the way he has popularised the Bulgarian Split (see here for his view point).

All it offers is better, stronger  bigger legs, but without back stress,  balance ,  hip flexibility, and a high level of safe training discomfort.

Marvellous

This will be making a regular , structured feature in most of my programmes Start practicing at home now  if you haven’t seen it before . It often features in our Metcon classes , but I know most of  our coaches sneak this into their training, so grab a PT session to get up to speed.

You’ll be grateful for  all that walking lunge practice you’ve had.  Pillow on the floor as a comfy knee target,   top of the rear foot on the sofa  and go!  Start off  with a lower rear surface if it helps, and “split”. If you need to revise for exams, while practicing, so be it. Do keep your torso upright if possible. Obviously an appropriate abdominal brace.

Get to 20 each side, 30 seconds rest between each leg, 2 minutes rest  then 2 more sets. Once you have  learned  this, we will be looking to load this .

The Bulgarian Lunge: apart from the fact that it isn’t a lunge and didn’t come from Bulgaria, its great.

Exercise-related transient abdominal pain” Opps, I’ve got a running stitch”

For those of you who enjoy a bit of science while suffering should read  MORTON, D. P., and R. CALLISTER. Characteristics and Etiology of exercise-related transient abdominal pain. Med. Sci. Sports Exerc., Vol. 32, No. 2, pp. 432-438. Is as good a place as any to begin to get up to date with what causes the stitch. Obviously you need to clarify what you are talking about . Its that sharp abdominal pain that some people get while being active. Not an aspect of needle work. (BTW ETP=  exercise-related transient abdominal pain)

This study issued a questionnaire to different types of sports people and asked them about the stitch ETAP appears to be most prevalent in activities that involve repetitive torso movement, whether ” vertical translation or longitudinal rotation”. Its normally  a local pain  mostly experienced in lumbar regions of the abdomen. Some  unlikely people also also experience “shoulder tip pain” (STP) too, famously known as the  diaphragmatic-referral  site, suggesting a miffed diaphragm

Note. No one has actually done anything in this report. They havent got runers, held them down and cut them open, or ultra sounded them, or poked them with sharp sticks. All they did was to ask some people if they have had it.  Thats not being a scientist, that being a pollster and a gossip

Conclusions:   This gives “perspective” to suggested etiologies of ETAP, which include diaphragmatic ischemia and stress on the visceral ligaments, and suggest we should be looking at other causes  such as cramp of the “musculature and irritation of the parietal peritoneum” ( who knew)

Interesting to note that the condition that is mostly associated with runners, is suffered through all sports. Its merely that runners whine more.

And the cure, after all this science?…. “factors that provoke and techniques that relieve ETAP, are not well understood” ( All that money, all those surveys, for this. Fu@%ers)

Several causes “theories”  make the rounds in gyms ;ischemia of the diaphragm and   stress on the visceral ligaments  have gained the most credibility. Im surprised my theory about irritated pixies hasn’t got more coverage. “Further examination of the characteristics of ETAP and the stimuli that provoke it may be beneficial for evaluating the integrity of these and other theories”. Oh, and guess what, more studies, funded by the tax payer is some secret roundabout sort of way, is needed. Oh yeh!

With my Therapist and Crossfit hat on, it was interesting to note that rotational movement through the torso played a part.  A lot of what we try and achieve  at Crossfit is to maintain a solid “core” which acts as an anchor for the limb to swirl about. We train you to use your legs to Deadlift, while keeping your  torso “locked down” Clinically we have noticed a tendency among aerobic athletes, when they come to us, to be unable to initiate a leg movement without a body movement. ( If they swing a leg it begins from the lower back, not the hip. load is lifted from the back, not the hip) in short, if every time you move you have to wiggle your core.

Thats a lot of additional movement for a biological box with lots of other stuff to do

Immoral Shoulders: too forward for their own good?

 

There seems to be a  developing debate between ‘shoulders shrugged’ and ‘shoulders down with external arm rotation’ when overhead squatting, or hanging from a bar. As happens, too often. a therapist decides that their simplistic view of the world is “king” and attempts to foist it on others. The explanations they give often seem credible as they have quite good anatomical knowledge .

Here are some ideas and observations: I dont claim to be right. I do claim to be inspired by Greg Glassman and all those who teach the level 1 certification. The  Crossfit gift is  it’s encouragement  to think.

At first glance the debate seems to be about the elevation of the shoulder; and that,  by implication is wrong and bad (sorry, I have  a very childlike view of the world; wrong and bad, nice and good!
)So when I heard the advice ‘shoulders down’, I panicked (I do this  a lot; I’m 50 and already practising to be a bewildered OAP)In a real world, a pull up from the ground begins with shoulders elevated (especially if you are small and the bar/branch is high). We train the pull up because it is functional. It lifts us up from unfriendly places towards, hopefully, friendlier places; out of rivers onto the bank, from the ground into trees. The hang is a totally natural move and part of our physiology. An elevated shoulder girdle is, surely, part of the reaching-up process.

The shrug has also been part of physical training for many years. Paul Kelso produces an excellent book (Kelso’s Shrug book) which details (too) many types of shrugs.

But Jeff Martone  said in his Kettlebell Certification, “Pull your shoulder down when Turkish get-upping”, er, people” (he does that a lot). This didn’t make sense to me. If something is bearing down on me, I naturally push back (this is probably a psychological thing that  few years in therapy could sort out.  Its also the basis of an anti- welsh sheep joke)

I though about Olympic lifting, and as a result of an hour watching You Tube (and bearing in mind different camera angles and musculature) I’d subjectively say 80% had ‘active shoulders’ while attempting to shove their shoulders up.

However, on the cover of Kono’s book,” Weightlifting, Olympic style (a world champion)”, Kono’s shoulders appear to be down and packed. However the text states he ‘uses traps violently in his pulls’ and suggests you ‘should be fighting against the compressive force that the arms and body are subjected to by exerting a counter force to stretch as tall as possible and at the same time, pushing the bar as high as possible’.

Greg Everett was in his book  olympic weightlifting, is anti packing ( see page 61, 62), so well and truely on the side of the shruggers.

Then I saw an article by Craig Liebenson “ Y exercise for correcting the most common faulty movement pattern of the shoulder/neck region” (J body work 2011 15, 391-394)

“in the upper back . shoulder girdle  or neck area  the key faulty movement is an abnormal  scapulohumeral rhythm. this causes the shoulder girdle to shrug up towards the ears and results in increased neck/shoulder muscle tension, rounded shoulders and forward head posture. these are the hall marks of dysfunction which predispose to either pain or loss of athletic performance”

His  key solution is to learn how to “pack the shoulder”:

Then I started thinking. Up to now my thinking (above) had been  that of a  tearful 4 year old, “he said, then  she said  then he said…sob”

If you have been taught   how to squat properly its the same shoulder position as for the deadlift and the front squat: Shoulders back and  down ( not pinched!) There’s a natural place for them which make  you look as if you have  a noble posture and are worth procreating with ( probably what the therapists mean by packed)

Noble, shoulders down..good breeding stock…

If  from this position you shrug, or overhead squat, when you shrug your shoulders, they elevate nicely, they dont roll over. and here  I think is the main cause of the confusion.

unless the set up is correct, and especially if the trainee has rounded shoulders( and a forward head posture)

dont stoop.. and dont carry this into your physical training

The upward driving shrug becomes  a functionally misconceived  and misdirected forward roll of the scaplua,  no doubt lured by a tight and cheeky  pec minor( along with its tight chest cronies, the pec major, the subclavicular, and tight intercostals  under some  locked down fascia) thus changing the direction of the glenoid fossa into  in a sub optimal position could probably result in injury.

the immoral shoulder.. shoulder too forward

In short, there is nothing wrong with the core crossfit cue  of “try to get your shoulders into your ears”  Firstly Remember cues are quick  “fun” summaries. After all “hips, hips hips”  or the often heard “iipsipsipsips” doesn’t really summarized hip extension, so shoulders in ears isnt  the whole story.

i wonder if the better advise is to set the shoulders back and down, and then, as long as the movement is in that plan, its ok to shrug?

At Crossfit London we have always been lucky, We have always had the coaching point “kittens” to guide our training and shrugging: You want to bounce the (2)  sleeping kittems (the ones on your shoulder) straight up and off, not off to the front. For the overhead squat, raise those kittens as high as possible gets properly set shoulders to  engage and brace against the weight to come in the overhead squat and snatch: Up is, by the way, up there, not towards me… good job!

Feedback much appreciated.

Some Extra Research Observations

While researching this, I came across some interesting articles and observations

1) Median nerve and Overactive traps

There is much concern about the constant elevated positioning of the shoulder girdle., this can be due to the  preconditioning  of the median  nerve . the upper trap becomes over active to reduce tension in the median nerve, by elevating the shoulder girdle.

2) Perhaps Depression Not so Good

According to “Influence of scapular position on the pressure pain threshold of the upper trapezius muscle region “ 2008 (European journal of pain)  a position of scapula depression ( could that be scapula packing) will maintain the upper trapezius muscle region in a lengthened position, causing excessive strain. Hmm, Put that in your theraputic pipe, but don’t smoke , it as it will ruin your karma..

3) Single arms

interestingly, many commentators on  shoulder function, were  based on open chain activity, tennis, swimming, dumbbell where the movement has instability,,, unlike a pull up, bar, which is locked…..Im not sure if this means anything, but thought i mention it.

.
4) The Upper tarpezius Does not elevate the shoulder !!!
check out  “Anatomy and Actions of the Trapezius Muscle,” by Johnson and Bogduk, et al., nicely reviewed by Warren hammer. The Upper Traps, dont elevate.

Who Knew

 

Crossfit injury rates

At any time, somewhere in the world, an inadequate sport scientist or deluded therapist is about to initiate another defective study on injury and injury rates in CrossFit.

Let’s face it; if they didn’t tag their post as “CrossFit Injuries ” no one would care, no one would look at it. It would go as un-noticed as it actually deserved.

As CrossFitters, we are fascinated by injury rates but appalled by poor and shoddy sports science and therapy babble. The major problem is this: in CrossFit, as in life, unless there is a fall or an accident, most injuries are simply  “the straw that broke the camel’s back”.

Normally, clients tweak their back because they misuse their back all the time.  To push this proposition into the light, and to be a  bit silly,  if a client leaves a sports session, goes to hospital and is diagnosed with cancer, no one seriously suggests that the sport session gave them cancer.

Often, injury reviews make no attempt to correctly trace the aetiology of injury. Often, bad form is a result of constant poor posture, not of failure under fatigue. According to McGill, injury is often the result of a long term misuse and reduction in capacity. The actual activity that brings on a bad back is something as innocuous as brushing your teeth.

But there are lots of issues in studying CrossFit and injuries: what does CrossFit mean?  Often, in what passes as the literature, the implication is that injury is a result of high rep induced fatigue.  However at CrossFit London, for example, we have gymnastics, periodised strength sessions and Olympic weightlifting sessions, many of which are carried out at ” normal ” speeds.

If I tweak a knee in a back flick landing, at CrossFit London, is that a CrossFit injury?

Let’s explore an injury. One of my recent ones!

I’ve tweaked my right wrist and it hurts. It started the day after I missed a snatch. Is CrossFit to blame?  I was training on my own, at a very lazy pace. Was that injury caused by the poor snatch or the fact that my right upper limb always tries to compensate for my left side?  Why? Because I’m deaf in my right ear, meaning that I sleep with my left ear on the pillow, which means that for 55 years I’ve slept on my left arm, every night, which has weakened it.

So, was it those factors or the fact that I decided to solidly practice handstand walking for 9 days in a row?  Can any of this be laid at CrossFit’s door, apart from the fact that it was CrossFit which inspired me to improve myself?

Hak et al (2013) found that 73.5% of  CrossFitters had sustained an injury that prevented them from training (based on an injury rate of 3.1 per 1000 hours trained, just like gymnastics and weightlifting). Weisenthal et al (2014) reported that shoulder, low back and knee injuries were most common. Low backs were commonly injured during power- lifting movements.

Frankly, I’d ask if these people sat at desks or hunched. I see more seating injuriesthan I do deadlift ones.

But, lets follow the line of thought. CrossFitters, allegedly,  injure themselves during fatiguing workouts. Doing a lot of work with an eye on the clock is, therefore, wrong.

CrossFitters, at their core, view their workout movements as work. The aim of all work is to relate the work done, with time. How long did it take?

This  holds true in academic exams, running, rugby and life. Winning performances consist of doing good work, in a faster time

I’m not so sure about sex.

As we have discovered from life, activity can fatigue. The more emails you write, the more chance of a poor phrase slipping in. Morgan et al, 2009 (not really a report, more an article) Nachemson (1965) and Dreischarf et al. (2016) all observe the possible consequences of lifting with a flexed lumbar spine. I’m surprised sitting hunched at work hadn’t given them a clue. However, GOOD NEWS . There IS money in stating the bleeding obvious.

Overhead arm movements are problematic. Impingement of the rotator cuff muscles can occur if the space between the coracoacromial arch and the humeral head is reduced (Morgan et al 2010). Defective scapular positioning could be to blame (Kibler 1998). The scapulae should retract and tilt posteriorly in order to maintain the subacromial space during an overhead arm movement.

That scapula retraction is affected by the mobility of the thoracic spine and rib cage is once again stating the bleeding obvious, but well done Strunce et al (2009) for writing it up. Years of hunching, texting, peering at computer screens mean that our overhead positions need work.

Therefore, it can be suggested that without good mobility of the thoracic spine no one should risk putting their hands over their head.

No one should stock the upper shelves of your kitchen, no curtain hanging, no singing along to rock groups or holding up your lighter at a Prog Rock gig.

There is a line of thought that demands perfection in movement, without for one second conceding that the pathway to learning good movement is poor movement.

I get to watch, weekly, people swim, play football, walk and sit. 98% do so appallingly. The better athlete starts with poor movement and develops. The poor athlete is happy with more poor movement.

I don’t mind sport science hysteria, but the dangerous sports are contact ones; Rugby, boxing, jumping of cliffs with bits of cloth tied around some sticks. See this BBC Article.  I should say that I boxed and loved it: I personally don’t like sports that make me focus on a ball then encourage someone to pull my legs away or high tackle me.

Maybe I’m a coward.

I suspect if we really analysed injury, it would correlate with long term poor form. What identifies it is the health drive of the sub group. Casual pub footballers, probably won’t spend the money to see a  therapist. The average CrossFitter, passionate about their sport, will see a therapist to get back to fitness asap.

So what is the applicable morality here? If someone moves badly, should we ban them? If you walk poorly, taking 10,000 steps surely has a higher risk factor than lifting a bar 45 times. Sitting for 8 to 12 hours is, surely, more dangerous that a kipping pull up. Running to get a ball and crashing into a team member, or falling off skis, has a real risk of death. Maybe you can tweak a shoulder if you miss a muscle up.

According to my good friend Dale Saran: “You have to accept a risk of injury as a reality of playing a sport, or just living a life. A 100-percent safe exercise has a zero percent chance of getting you fit. It’s you sitting on the couch with a helmet and kneepads on.” I sort of agree, but I’d say “sitting on the couch with a helmet and kneepads on” is the most dangerous thing you can do. Sitting is  basically suicide for those who like to do things slowly (and watch TV in the process).

I suspect that  mental attitude has a role in all this. Frequently, aggressive people injure themselves. This is from a blog post: “Determined to perform well, he doubled down on his training, working out twice a day, upping his max dead lift to 375 pounds and doing 53 pull-ups at a time. The tough regimen took its toll – tennis elbow, golfer’s elbow, shoulder woes, knee pain, a persistent trick in his neck”

I think aggressive people have always injured themselves.

~So what are we to do? As Crossfit London, the UK’s 1st ever Crossfit affiliate we have a duty to lead the way in this research as,f rankly, those sport scientists that have  looked at injury rate in crossfit  are not up to the task. Im sure there are great  sports scientists out there btw. We intend to carefully record all of our injuries over the next year and  review the back ground and nail the aetiology. We will, where possible interview the  injured client, the coach and any witnesses.

So if you injure yourself, don’t be surprised if you get a very inquisitive email from me or one  the Crossfit London sports injury team.

Just sayin

 

References

“Consortium for Health and Military Performance and American College of Sports Medicine Consensus Paper on Extreme Conditioning Programs in Military Personnel”   Bergeron et al.

http://library.crossfit.com/free/pdf/CFJ_111200_Bergeron_Champ.pdf

Injury Rates and Profiles of Elite Competitive Weightlifters
Gregg Calhoon J Athl Train. 1999 Jul-Sep; 34(3): 232–238

Dreischarf M, Aboulfazl SA, Arjmand N, Rohlmann A, Schmidt H. Estimation of loads on human lumbar spine: a review of in vivo and computational model studies. J Biomech. 2016;49(6):833-45.

Gross ML, Brenner SL, Esformes I, Sonzogni JJ. Anterior shoulder instability in weight lifters. Am J Sports Med.1993;21(4):599-603.

Hak P, Hodzovic E, Hickey B. The nature and prevalence of injury during crossfit training. J Strength Cond Res. 2013; DOI:10.1519/JSC.0000000000000318. [Published ahead of print]

Kibler BW. The role of the scapula in athletic shoulder function. Am J Sports Med.1998;26(2):325-337.

Morgan WE, Feil C. Cross-Fitness injury prevention: Protecting the lumbar disc in squatting motions [online]. California; Dynamic Chiropractic; 2009 [last updated Oct 2009; cited 2016 March 23]. URL: http://www.dynamicchiropractic.com/mpacms/dc/article.php?id=54148

Morgan WE, Feil C. The Importance of the Thoracic Spine in Shoulder Mechanics [online]. California; Dynamic Chiropractic; 2010 [last updated May 2010; cited 2016 March 23]. URL: http://www.dynamicchiropractic.com/mpacms/dc/article.php?id=54622

Nachemson AL. In vivo discometry in lumbar discs with irregular nucleograms. Acta Orthop Scand. 1965;36(4):426

Neviaser TJ. Weight lifting: risks and injuries to the shoulder. Clinical Sports Medicine.1991;10:615-621.

Strunce JB, Walker MJ, Boyles RE, Young BA. The immediate effects of thoracic spine and rib manipulation on subjects with primary complaints of shoulder pain. J Man Manip Ther. 2009;17(4):230- 236.

Weisenthal BM, Beck CA, Maloney MD, DeHaven KE, Giordano BD. Injury rate and patterns among crossfit athletes. Orthop J Sports Med. 2014;2(4): 2325967114531177

http://ojs.sagepub.com/content/2/4/2325967114531177.full

 

The Buteyko control Pause breathing test

Dr. Buteyko developed a test to measure depth of breathing and consequent retention of carbon dioxide, resultant oxygenation and health. He named it the ‘Control Pause‘ breathing test. Get yourself a clock or stop-watch & try for yourself:

  1. Sitting down, close your mouth and breathe normally through the nose for  30 seconds
  2. Take a normal breath in through your nose
  3. Allow a normal breath out through your nose
  4. Gently close your nose with thumb & forefinger and start to count the seconds on the clock
  5. When you first feel the need to breathe, release the nose and take a breath through the nose
  6. Remember to keep your mouth closed throughout

The number of seconds that elapsed is your Control Pause. Less than 10 seconds, and you have health problems. Less than 25, your health needs attention. 30-40 seconds is satisfactory, while 60+ seconds is excellent.

Here are some more  tests based on breathing out, then timing (thanks to conscious breathing.com for the summary)


Exercise 2 – hold your breath while walking

 

    • Step 1 Sit down in an upright position, with your back straight, and relax for a few minutes.
    • Step 2 Stand up and take a small breath in and a small breath out in a calm way through your nose (approx. 2-3 seconds on inhalation and approx. 2-3 seconds on exhalation).
    • Step 3 Pinch your nose after the exhalation is finished and hold your breath and start walking while counting the number of steps you take.
    • Step 4 When you are not able to hold your breath any longer, let go of your nose, inhale and exhale calmly through your nose and note how many steps you took. Try to wind down by breathing calmly as soon as possible.

 

Health status Hold breath sitting Hold breath walking
No symptoms, optimum health 60 seconds 120+ steps
Very good health, most symptoms are completely gone 40 seconds 80-100 steps
Good health, symptoms present when exposed to a trigger 30 seconds 60-80 steps
Symptoms are often present 20 seconds 40-60 steps
Many different symptoms always present 10 seconds 20-40 steps
Medications, diseases, very heavy breathing 3-5 seconds 10-20 steps
Dead 0 seconds 0 steps

I chat  more about breathing and CO2 here