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CrossFit is a popular workout, but whether you’re a seasoned vet or brand new, you probably have questions… especially when it comes to injury prevention. Jillian McLellan, an occupational therapist with OrthoCarolina Winston and avid CrossFitter, answered CrossFit-related questions during a live Twitter chat. If you missed the chat online, you can read the full recap here.

Jillian McLellan is an occupational therapist with OrthoCarolina Winston. April is also National Occupational Therapy Month.

Hi everyone! We are sitting here with Jillian, an occupational therapist at our OC Winston office. She's also into #CrossFit. Jillian will answer all your #CrossFit questions today. It's also #OTMonth, so we want to thank all our occupational therapists! Between 2-2:30 today Jillian will answer your #CrossFit questions, so ask us @OrthoCarolina. Jillian has been an OT for 4.5 years.

Q1 is from @lauradubbeld. Do specific athletes benefit more from #CrossFit training? Like soccer players or running?

Q1 Answer: No, #CrossFit is designed to increase fitness in general so it can benefit everyone regardless of age or ability.


Q2 is also from @lauradubbeld: #CrossFit Any tips to avoid getting hurt?

Q2 Answer: Don't overestimate your abilities. When starting CF, start light and SLOWLY increase weights and repetitions.


Q3 is from @charlotteagenda: Jillian, what's the most common injury you see from those new to CrossFit? #OTMonth

Q3 Answer: We see repetitive overuse injuries in CrossFit the most frequently; for example, tendinitis.


Q4 is from @angwilliams I have heard doing #CrossFit can cause injury in general. True? Or not?

Q4 Answer: Any daily activity including walking to your mailbox carries a risk of activity -- running, swimming, weights etc.

Q4 Answer cont'd: There is inherent risk in any physical activity, you just have to perform it at your level and in a safe environment.


Jillian tells us that she goes to @CFDistrict5 in Clemmons, NC. That is her 'box', as #CrossFit gyms are called. #OTMonth


Q5 is from @mackidrebecca: Jillian how does a newbie get started in #CrossFit

Q5 Answer: Most boxes (gyms) offer an introductory class that will teach you the basics. I always recommend you try that first.


Q6: how can people trying CF protect their knees? #OTMonth #CrossFit

Q6 Answer: A lot of people wear knee sleeves that give compression to help support the knee joint when loading it with weights. #CrossFit


Jillian wants you to know that if you have history of knee problems, get clearance from your doc before trying #CrossFit. #goodpoint

Jillian also says that with CF, people think of weight lifting. It actually covers, power, speed, agility, balance, cardiovascular, stamina, strength, flexibility, coordination, accuracy and more. These are the ten principles of fitness. #CrossFit


Q7 from @mackidrebecca: Jillian I’m 45- am I too old to start #CrossFit

Q7 Answer: Absolutely not, I CrossFit with someone in their 60s. A good coach will be able to scale to your abilities and help you improve


Q8: Some WODs are short, is that enough exercise #CrossFit

Q8 Answer: Yes. Not all WODs are sprint workouts. WODs are set up so you work diff muscles on a diff day to give you max benefit

Q8 Answer cont'd: As you get more comfortable with #CrossFit you will naturally want to go more


Q9 from @activecharlotte: should people have a fitness background before trying crossfit

Q9: No. I am skinny genetically but I was not in shape. Purpose of #CrossFit is to get you where you want to be - in any direction


Q10 from @mackidrebecca: Jillian is #CrossFit safe for kids? #otmonth

Q10 Answer: Most boxes have a kids program that will ensure that the kids' joints are not overloaded. It's a good, easy intro for children.

Q10: #CrossFit incorporates a lot of gymnastics and the kids really excel at that part.


Q11 is from @charlotteagenda Jillian, should CrossFitters do extra stretching in between workouts on their own? #OTMonth

Q11 Answer: if you have tight areas, yes. #crossfit has a program called ROMWOB (range of motion workout of the day)

Q11 Answer cont'd: ROMWOB helps with flexibility and stretching at the end of workouts.


Q12 from @b_youngman what is best for injury prevention? Stretching before a WOD or after? #badstretcher

Q12 Answer: It's good to stretch before and after a WOD. We do both dynamic and static stretching -- (cont'd)

Q12 Answer cont'd: you just need to make sure the muscles are warmed up


Q13 is from @mackidrebecca Jillian- what do you love about #CrossFit #otmonth

Q13 Answer: The health benefits! My blood pressure is great. The health benefits carry into my daily life. I ski, rock climb much better now


Q14: I hate burpees

Q14: You must learn to love burpees! Haha. I hated them at first too but now they are how I catch my breath after workouts.


Q15: What kind of shoes do you wear for #CrossFit?

Q15: I wear regular tennis shoes. They make shoes you just for #CrossFit but you can get the workout done without them.


As we wrap this up, Jillian says that  is an excellent resource if you are new to #CrossFit.

Jillian says you can also email her your #CrossFit questions at Jillian.McLellan(at) . (Happy #OTMonth, Jillian!)

She also says best way to start is to do just that -- just START! Look up a local box, go visit and try the introductory workout. #CrossFit

Most boxes have free 'community workouts' on Sats. that involve no equipment and are bodyweight exercises. Great way to start #CrossFit.

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