If you have been around the fitness scene very long you have no doubt heard about Crossfit. Crossfit is growing at a rapid rate all across the world and its producing some mind blowing athletes! If you watch the Crossfit Games at any level you have no choice but to be amazed at the superior endurance and strength these athletes possess. It is incredible what the human body can endure with the right focus, motivation and proper training.
If you have heard of Crossfit, you have more than likely also heard others claim that, "a lot of people get hurt doing Crossfit". While Crossfit does have some very different movements within its program, it seems more reasonable to believe that people get hurt doing anything that involves activity and anything you do improperly can result in injury. Yes, some "Crossfit" movements are very different than simply weight lifting, however, you can get hurt by simply bench pressing improperly or even stretching if you are not properly warmed up.
I got a chance to catch up with 2009 and 2010 Crossfit Games competitor Michelle Benedict Skidmore of Crossfit Fort Bragg located in Spring Lake, NC and I was able to ask her why she thought Crossfit gets a bad wrap for athlete injury.
Here are some very valid points Michelle discussed.
1. Pre existing Injury:
All to common a factor is that any additional injury is often the result of a pre-existing injury. This is so easy to avoid yet many people ignore what their body is saying to them. If you have an injured lower back like a herniated disk, don't jump on a movement like dead lifts or power snatching.
2. Improper Warm / Not Warming Up:
Warming up is something I have always been taught to do. Warming up and stretching go hand in hand. When I was young, I could get away with doing little to no warm up just running around the playground. But as an adult doing any type of exercise, warming up and stretching is essential! Mobility should be a main focus in ANY workout!
3. Improper Technique / Improper Instruction:
I have seen this so many times in so many gyms. While YouTube is an awesome place to get ideas and learn information on a particular subject, you may want to consider your sources of information. I am a results type of guy. If you are telling me the path on how to get to the Crossfit Games, and you haven't actually participated in it... I think that explains it self! Make sure your technique is right! Ask your coach/trainer, because if something doesn't feel right, most often it's not.
I am in my mid 30's. I have done things from Crossfit, to gym style weightlifting, to lots of different sports, and even including physical training everyday during my 5 year tenure in the US Army. While I'm no doctor in the field of physical fitness, I can tell you my experience as someone who has done many different things, and luckily avoided any major tears or strains. First and foremost, as you will see below, you have to consider your age, and your capabilities.
Alpha Male & She Beast Syndrome:
Anyone who works out has some Alpha or She Beast in them. This is the drive to be better, stronger, fitter, faster, or dominate an obstacle in your way. But you have to take into account one important factor... Age... The day I got back into Crossfit I was 32. The first real WOD (Workout Of The Day) I did was the filthy 50. I think I was on the first station of 50 box jumps, with only 30 box jumps in, when I realized the 20 and 21 year olds I was working out with were already on the 2nd and third stations. While the alpha in me wanted to ramp it up and drive hard, I knew from experience there was a greater risk of injury by letting the beast out. LOL… So I kept my pace and approached each task with precision and consistency versus all out war. What I am saying is, you have to be smart. You have to know your body and your ability. While you need to push yourself, you don't have to hurt yourself, and showing off rarely results in any great achievements. It will ultimately cost you something!
Warm Up and Stretch... These are the basics in any activity and something that should be drilled into everyone at a young age. Start small with little movements to warm up, and follow with stretching each muscle group. Don't rush through it. Stretch before and after each workout!
Excuses Due To Laziness:
A typical human trait (I’m guilty too) to something we don't want to do because we are lazy is make excuses for why we shouldn't do it. Or, make it look like the big bad thing in the dark rather than face it. Being fit doesn't come easy. Being the “Fittest on Earth” (Crossfit Games Moto), is that much harder! It's not a title that comes easy, and being better tomorrow than you were today takes serious dedication!
Feel Free to contact us if you have any questions and as always, any filming needs around your crossfit box!