I know you’ve heard this one. You may have even said it a few times. But is it really true? Does it hold up to scrutiny?
People are always injured during CrossFit
…or something similar. The issue with myths is that there is always a bit of truth in them, and this example is no different. Let’s look at the stem of this myth.
Anytime you move your body, you put yourself at risk for getting hurt. Walking across the street, wrestling with your child, carrying groceries, and simply picking something up off the ground all carry risk for injury. The reason we still do these things is because life requires it. But we can do things to reduce the risks associated with those movements.
People can and do get hurt doing CrossFit. There are many reasons why this happens, but let’s look at ways we, and many other CrossFit boxes (CrossFit slang for ‘gyms’) do to reduce these risks.
- Hiring certified training staff – all CrossFit boxes should have a certified (CF-Level 1) coach facilitating each class. The coaches have been trained and are continuously being trained on proper movement patterns.
- Modifying movements – all workouts can and will be modified for each person based on skill level, flexibility, mobility, strength, and many other factors.
- Providing initial fitness assessments – Each new member should go through some type of assessment to determine their current level of fitness to determine any modifications needed.
Now that we have reviewed a few things CrossFit box owners and coaches do to reduce risks, here are a few things you as an athlete can do to help your coach reduce your risk even further.
- Listen to your coach – The hardest thing for many people is that they see John/Jane Doe doing something and they say, “yeah, I should be able to do that, let me try”. Nooooo!!! Take it slow, swallow your ego and listen to your coach!
- Form must always come before intensity – Intensity is a tricky word. Intensity can mean lifting heavy weight, but it can also mean lifting light weight quickly. In both instances ‘intensity’ should not be performed until your form is perfect! Again, listen to your coach. Your goal is to PERFECT your form first. That is much easier said than done.
- Don’t “fight through pain” – You will soon learn the difference between discomfort and pain. Discomfort caused by using new muscles or pushing your body in different ways can be ok. Pain is your body saying something is wrong. Talk to your coach about what you are feeling. Your body can be sore and you should be somewhat uncomfortable during the workout, but pain is an indicator to stop before it gets worse.
Finally, people get injured all the time. I have heard of people tearing their ACL or MCL playing basketball, softball, running, skiing, and even playing horseshoes. I have been around CrossFit for 4 years and in my experience have never heard of an knee ligament injury caused by CrossFit. Could it happen? Yes. But every time I hear a coach get on someone about proper knee position in a squat, I know that person is less likely to get an ACL/MCL injury in life.
CrossFit and its core principles are about injury prevention and functional movement.
Tomorrow, we’ll tackle #3!