5 Gifts for the CrossFit Athlete
If someone on your shopping list has recently started talking about burpees, muscle ups, and workouts with names like Fran and Jackie, chances are they’ve gotten into CrossFit. The popularity of this strength and conditioning program and extreme fitness challenges like Tough Mudder and GoRuck have exploded this year. It’s okay if you just don’t get all the crazy workouts your favorite Cross Fit athlete is doing. It certainly isn’t for everyone but that doesn’t mean you can’t get them a gift or two to show them that you support their new workout habit.
Your CrossFit Athlete will get sweaty. They are doing high intensity lifts and movements after all. Before they get into the meat of their workout they need to warm up and long sleeves are a great way to get the upper body muscles ready for an intense workout. As a thrower in college, my coach wanted me to warm-up with long sleeves on even if it was sunny and 90 degrees. I would hate feeling so wet, but fabrics have changed a lot since then. Now you have FlashDry from The North Face and PowerDry from Eastern Mountain Sports that keep you feeling drier. This is very important if your CrossFit athlete has to do part of their workout outside. Not all boxes (the term for CrossFit gyms) are large enough for all activities to take place inside. Assuming you are using proper form, the warmer the muscles, ligaments, and tendons are the less susceptible you are to injury.
Another way to get warm and stay warm is to wear compression gear. Exercises like box jumps and burpees demand your legs to be warm and muscles to be firing quickly. Compression sleeves or socks keep your calf, Achilles, and shins warm. They also help promote blood flow to these areas. If you aren’t getting good blood flow, the muscles will not work to their maximum. An added benefit to compression gear is that is tight fitting. While this is needed for the better blood flow it also can make doing exercises easier as there isn’t any clothing restricting movement or getting in the way. The last thing you want to do is trip on your warm-up pants while doing box jumps and land smack down with your face on the box.
Many CrossFit WODs (work out of the day) are timed. If your CrossFit athlete can’t get to the box to do their workout they may be able to do it at home. Pushups, burpees, and non-weighted squats are just a few things that can be done anywhere. To really do the WOD your athlete will want to time themselves. Having a good, reliable watch with a timing function can help with this. If they are really into being in tune with their body while working out your athlete may appreciate a watch that has a heart rate monitor. The HRM can be used during CrossFit workouts to see just how hard they are working out. This is good especially if they are doing their WOD at home. Some people have trouble motivating themselves when there aren’t others around. If they know what their heart hate is during workouts at the box then they have a goal to shoot for at home.
Intense workouts mean sweat and sweat means electrolyte loss. One the easiest ways to replace those electrolytes is to drink them. Some people like to have their electrolytes while working out while others prefer to have it after. If your athlete likes to hydrate during their WOD you could get them Nuun Hydration Tabs. Nuun Tabs give you electrolytes without the added complex sugars that traditional sports drinks have. These round tabs are easy to drop into a water bottle and you don’t have to worry about powders going everywhere. For the athlete that prefers their water during exercise but wants something afterward there is GU Brew Recovery Drink Mix. GU Brew Recovery includes protein for muscle recovery, amino acids for your immune system, carbohydrates, and antioxidants.
Your CrossFit athlete will be sore, especially if they’re new to the program. The stretching and massages tools mentioned in 5 Gifts for the Hiker Who Falls Down A Lot all can be useful for the CrossFit athlete. Two other tools that I didn’t mention in that post, but I find myself using quite often are the Thera Cane and the Backnobber II. Both of these allow the user to work on their own back. The upper back has a lot of little muscles that can knot up from things like pull-ups, cleans, and presses. The Thera Cane and Backnobber can really get in and work those knots between your shoulder blades that no matter how hard you try you can’t reach on your own. Not having knots will make the next workout feel much better.
Any CrossFit Athletes out there that have a favorite item from EMS? Comment below and let us know.
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