As summer approaches more and more people are revving up to get their bodies into “beach shape.” That usually following a healthy diet and exercising—both of which are good for you. But there is a time when exercises, and exercise classes in particular can be too much. Two particular high energy hybrid type classes include Zumba—a Latin dance inspired workout and Crossfit, a total body boxing fitness regime.
Taking small steps (literally) to be careful will help limit the number of injuries you receive in class, warns Dr. Gross, a highly regarded orthopedic surgeon who specializes in knees and shoulders.
Both Zumba and Crossfit are fast-paced, intensive workouts—which is great for your cardiovascular system but if your feet can’t keep up with the quick and complex moves it may not be great for your knees, hips, elbows, shoulders or ankles. One twist when you should turn and you could seriously get inured.
Dr. Gross gives some easy tips to help keep you out of his office and in the gym:
Consult your doctor: It may seem like a trivial warning in the beginning of exercise classes but it is there for a reason. You may think you’re doing your body a favor but your doctor may advise against this particular brand of exercise for any number of reasons. In this case it’s better to be safe than sorry.
Have the correct shoes: Many people think exercise and run out and buy a pair of sneakers. Usually, thick soled running type shoes. For Crossfit a light but supportive sneaker will do the trick; but for Zumba a thinly soled shoe is your best bet. Thick tread gets in the way of the fast side-to-side movements of Zumba. You’re asking for an injury.
Ask Questions: Before starting any class, be sure to ask the instructor how long they’ve been teaching and what kind of class they teach—a high energy fast paced class, or a beginner’s version. Are there modifications you can do? Also, let the instructor know ahead of time if you have any injuries. A Cross-fitter with a recent knee injury will need to modify kicks and jumps. A Zumba dancer with a hip or shoulder injury will want to limit their range of motion until they are comfortable and familiar with the moves.
There is no doubt that these classes have benefits but they are also categorized as high risk. And whether you’re new to the sport or an old pro there’s always the chance you can be injured. By staying alert and paying attention you can minimize your risk for injury.
About Dr. Gross
Dr. Michael Gross is a highly respected orthopedic surgeon practicing in New Jersey. Board certified in orthopedic surgery, Dr. Gross also holds a subspecialty certificate in Sports Medicine.
Dr. Gross received his medical degree from New York University School of Medicine in 1983, followed by an internship in general surgery and residency in Orthopedic Surgery at Montefiore Medical Center, Albert Einstein College of Medicine. Completing advanced fellowship training in Sports Medicine at UCLA Medical Center, Dr. Gross served on the medical staff of the UCLA Bruins.
Practicing at Active Orthopaedics & Sports Medicine, Dr. Gross can be reached at (201) 358-0707 in Westwood, (201) 343-2277 in Hackensack or atwww.activeorthopedic.com