CrossFit overview

CrossFit™ is a kind of training characterized by a variety of high-intensity functional movements. It is especially effective for increasing cardiovascular and muscle capacity.

In recent years, a high rate of injuries caused by overuse or overtraining has given it a bad reputation. However, current published studies show that CrossFit™ is no more dangerous than sports like weightlifting, gymnastics and running. As in any other sport, training must be done properly (technique) and gradually in a safe manner with regard to intensity, volume and athlete tolerance to minimize the risk of injury.

Safe CrossFit™ training

In the fifth volume of the journal Physiotherapy Practice from the Canadian Physiotherapy Association, the authors outline a few recommendations for safe CrossFit™ training. First, it is important to distinguish between crossfit-inspired training methods and CrossFit™. In order to refer to their workout as CrossFit™, trainers must have at least earned their level 1 certification.

Next, it is crucial to know how to properly perform an exercise at low intensity before doing it at high intensity. Many injuries happen to newcomers because they want to do too much. Most trainers focus more on good technique than on load or intensity. Furthermore, you should differentiate training from competition. For the most part, maximum effort sessions should be reserved for competition. For example, you don’t have to grunt through “one more rep” or decrease your rest time at every workout.

Along the same lines, your trainer will know how to adapt the workout to your anatomy and mobility. Some people are not able to perform the exercises to the standards established by competitions, but that does not mean they have to rule out CrossFit™ training.

Finally, it is very important to develop the muscle strength needed to lift a load before beginning intensity training. You must lower the weight to be lifted (and set pride aside!) to less than what the person wants to use until their strength has improved considerably.

In sum, CrossFit™ is growing in popularity and, contrary to its reputation, its fans are at no greater risk of injury than those who practice other sports of equal intensity, provided the workout and progression are handled properly.

We encourage you to consult with one of our physical therapists if you suffer a sports-related injury.