Why Form Is So Important In CrossFit
Technique is always a hot topic in any sport or fitness program. Moving well and with purpose sets us up for success by producing desirable results and better performance in our given sport or activity.
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On the flip side, moving poorly and without technique often times contributes to injury, muscular imbalances and poor results.
In no other sport or fitness program has the topic of technique been so hotly debated as it has been with CrossFit. The Internet is plagued with articles ruling CrossFit to be the most dangerous sport, lacking in its teaching techniques and knowledge from its coaches. But how dangerous is this ever-growing fitness program, especially when it continues to convince everyone from new moms and life-long couch potatoes to seasoned athletes to get fit in one of the most accessible and scalable environments possible?
Founded by Greg Glassman in California more than a decade ago as a fitness program for both military recruits and everyday Joes, CrossFit has grown into a multimillion-dollar regimen. Its fitness program now boasts more than 10,000 privately owned and operated CrossFit affiliates worldwide.
CrossFit takes aspects from several classic sports and brings them together to form a well-rounded fitness program, defined as “constantly varied, functional movement done at high intensity over broad domains.”
In short, it’s an all encompassing workout program that changes every day using full-body movements.
Classes are typically led by a CrossFit sanctioned coach from start to finish. Coaches will provide instruction, feedback and encouragement to all participants throughout the class to ensure good technique. Shopping around for a CrossFit gym is similar to looking for the right yoga studio. Each one is independently owned, so do your research, attend trial classes to see how you like the style of coaching and whether or not they reinforce good movement patterns.
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Technique in itself, is also a relative term and will vary from person to person. The beauty of CrossFit is that it is scalable to athletes of all fitness levels, and a good coach will always have an option for you to do in order to progress towards the full movement (i.e teaching push ups on an incline using a bench to eventually move to push ups from the ground). Offering these scaling options keeps participants safe and builds the proper foundation in order to move into the next progression.
So why is good technique essential to CrossFit in particular? Read on.
Get Better Results
When you move with proper technique during your workouts, you can maximize your results. CrossFit workouts are designed to be well rounded, all inclusive and scalable across all fitness levels. Using the proper form helps you reap the most benefits out of your workout, without accidentally working muscles or performing movements that you don’t want to be focusing on.
Additionally, using the correct muscles will produce better results — ie. fat loss, muscle gain, and increased cardio capacity — because it’ll help keep you and your body safe from wear and tear and injury.
The body is designed to move in certain ways, and moving in those ways regularly can help keep you training harder for longer.
Move Well In And Out Of The Gym
CrossFit uses functional movements (full-body exercises) that transfers over to everyday life. Many people fear picking up heavy weights and throwing them up over their heads, which is common in CrossFit — but replace bumper plates with groceries, luggage and small children, and it’s easy to see how these movement help you in your every day life. Properly learning how to pick up weights from the ground will translate over to being able to carry your own groceries, picking up your children, or being able to move your own furniture.
Good form will allow you to function better in daily activities with less strain on your body. Put luggage into overhead compartments with ease, haul those groceries in one trip or simply conquer the world doing whatever you want to do, because you can confidently move your body safely and effectively in and out of the gym.
Injury Prevention And Longevity
One of the biggest reasons why technique matters in CrossFit is to prevent injury. Most of the movements are very dynamic, requires a combination of strength and coordination so learning good technique and repeating it over and over again will help your body remember the movement and become stronger when performing the movements.
We want you to keep coming back and keep training so many coaches will stress that moving well means less chances for injury. Less chances for injury means being able to stay active and pain free for many years to come.
CrossFit, when practiced with good technique and under the guidance of a certified Coach, can be one of the best ways to get fit.