This week The Pelvic Rehab Report sat down with new faculty member Sarah Haran. Sarah instructs the new Weightlifting and Functional Fitness Athletes remote course scheduled for October 16, 2021.
Who are you? Describe your clinical practice.
My name is Sarah Haran and I have been a PT in Seattle, WA since 2007. I graduated from the University of Washington and have been working in outpatient orthopedics ever since. I opened my private, cash practice, Arrow Physical Therapy in 2016 and we specialize in CrossFit athletes, weightlifters, dancers, and patients with hip impingement. I also teach courses on practice development and coach physical therapist entrepreneurs alongside Dr. Kate Blankshain through our business consulting company, Full Draw Consulting.
What made you want to create this course?
My course, Weightlifting and Functional Fitness Athletes, will begin to fill a hole in the training we have as PTs. I was unaware of how to help higher-level athletes until I became a CrossFit athlete myself. In my practice, I have learned that not only are there not enough PTs who understand weightlifting and the "sport of fitness" as CrossFit is called but that there is even some negativity around the sports. The truth is that these activities are not going anywhere and if anything are gaining popularity. We must figure out how to serve these patients and keep them just as healthy as any other patient. I am not a pelvic therapist but I do have a great interest in hip impingement which means that I refer out to pelvic floor PTs quite commonly. It is a privilege to be able to work with these therapists in this course and I look forward to learning from the students too!!
What are some pelvic health concerns with Crossfit, and what is the role of the practitioner?
Pelvic health concerns in Crossfit athletes include urinary function, hip impingement, pelvic pain, prolapse and pressure control aspects, diastasis, and pregnant/postpartum athletes. Urinary function and diastasis are especially not understood by coaches and tend to either be not addressed or referred out. The practitioner's role for these athletes is to be understanding of the language and to be respectful of the athletes. Practitioners can support the athletes by understanding the sport and the movements involved, by helping the athlete modify versus stopping the movements/exercises. This can help the athlete maximize their sports performance while demonstrating that physical therapy is appropriate for their needs.
What does it mean when people say Crossfit is the sport of fitness?
Different types of athletes belong in different categories and it is really hard to compare those categories. With Crossfit, we say we need to include all of these components, and the person that best executes all of these things is the fittest. Crossfit is essentially the sport of fitness. The 10 components of physical exercise that are included in Crossfit are coordination, strength, stamina, flexibility, power, speed, accuracy, agility, balance, and endurance (cardiovascular/respiratory).
Is Crossfit an inclusive sport?
Yes. Crossfit is considered very inclusive. While intensity is the name of the game with Crossfit. Crossfit is also a brand, a workout, and a lifestyle. Nutrition and exercise are prioritized in this community and can be scaled across the lifespan and all ability levels. When looking at Crossfit, fitness is defined as constantly varied functional movements executed at high intensity across broad time and modal domains. In this same vein, health is defined as work capacity across broad time, modal, and age domains. Essentially health is fitness measured across your lifetimE. Crossfit is very inclusive in that it is all ages, all abilities, and is supportive of LGBTQA+ positive. Competitions are inclusive with adaptive categories, And the movement is also involved in Black Lives Matter and with Veterans.
To learn more about working with this population join H&W and Sarah Haran at Weightlifting and Functional Fitness Athletes remote course scheduled for October 16, 2021.