The Most Effective Ways to Recover From a Crossfit Injury

I’ve been doing Crossfit for almost 10 years now and I’ve definitely had a few bumps along the way. A strained lat, shoulder tendonitis, and a couple of calf tweaks to name a few.

My most recent and devastating injury to date has been a left patellar tendon rupture!

Not fun.

The pain. The swelling. The scar tissue. The extreme muscle atrophy.

I don’t wish this upon anyone.

This is not your typical muscle strain or tendonitis that is so common in the Crossfit world.

It’s a severe injury that required surgery and will take approximately 1 year to fully recover. The good news is, like any other injury, if I play by the rules it will heal and I can get back to doing what I do best – JACK WEIGHTS!

Unfortunately, if you push your body to it’s limits or anywhere close, there’s always a chance of injury. The good news is, if you follow a few simple rules you can have a great recovery and possibly come back better than ever.

Through my years of experience, here’s what I’ve found to be some of the most effective ways to recover from a Crossfit injury:

Be patient – The biggest mistake you can make with any injury is to try to come back too soon.  Every injury has an approximate timeline for recovery and you need to respect that.  For example, my patellar tendon rupture has a 1 year recovery period so I would be out of my mind to try to come back in 6 months.

Now, if you are really disciplined and have good genetics, you can shave 5-10% off your recovery time but that’s about it.

I know you want to get back to doing what you love but you have to think of your injury as a small speed bump in the long road of fitness. You want to be doing this fitness thing for the rest of your life so a few weeks or months in the grand scheme of things is nothing.

Stay positive – Your mindset will play a pivotal role in your recovery.  Time will seem to pass much quicker and the recovery process will be less daunting if you can maintain a positive outlook.

It’s too easy to get depressed, angry, and bitter about your injury.

Your injury is now a test of your will and character.

Can you remain optimistic despite the pain and discomfort?

If you can, you’ll be that much stronger physically, mentally, and emotionally because of it.

To keep my mind in the right place, I like to watch movies, read a good book, or listen to a podcast. This provides entertainment as well as personal development which is also an important part of the recovery process.

Stay consistent with your rehab – Rehab can be boring and tedious but it’s very necessary if you want to come back at a level anywhere near where you were before your injury.  Slow, steady, and gradual increases in both volume and intensity are required for optimal recovery.

Doing something almost daily is highly recommend. Just enough to stimulate healing but not too much to cause further stress or damage.

Don’t feel bad if you can’t hit as many WODs as you used to.

Focus on what’s most important and what’s going to bring you closer to a full recovery.

Strength, stability, and range of motion should be the primary focus of rehabbing any injury.


Save the high impact/high velocity stuff for the final phase of recovery or after you’ve regained most of your strength.

Change your perspective – It’s too easy to see an injury as a setback or loss.  If you can change your perspective and see your injury as an OPPORTUNITY to rebuild both physically and mentally, you’ll be amazed at what you can achieve.

For example, since my knee injury, I’ve shifted my focus to improving my gymnastics. I’ve even learned how to handstand walk over the last couple months!


I know that when I’m fully recovered, all the barbell stuff will be like riding a bike so I don’t even stress about it.

I also view my injury as a challenge.  It’s tests my creativity and ability to design effective workouts that will both rehabilitate me and maintain my fitness.

Time is going to pass regardless so I might as well be as productive as I can in the meantime.

Injuries are an unfortunate part of being physically active.  They don’t have to derail you completely if your are smart about it.  It can be a shitty process but many lessons can be learned and you’ll discover a lot about yourself along the way.

Here’s to a healthier, stronger future!

Isaac Payne

P.S. Interested in some effective workouts that require minimal time and equipment??

Check out the Pure Payne Strength Club below:

1 Comment

  1. Hi Isaac it’s Lewis have been you buddy for a long time
    Respect you doing good and your recording of events can change lives.Pls cover as much stuff as you can like Controll and dangerous issues like freak injuries shoulders hips etc.
    All you’re doing is good and well put forward thanks a lot.

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