Is CrossFit Safe?

With its focus on intense interval training and varied workouts, CrossFit has soared in popularity since it was introduced almost 20 years ago.

CrossFit gyms, or “boxes,” are located in 142 countries across seven continents. With the increasing numbers of athletes turning to CrossFit, more injuries are likely to occur, prompting the question, “Is CrossFit safe?”

In short, it’s absolutely safe. However, that depends on the quality of the instructors, commitment of the athlete to stick to proper form and existing and underlying conditions, among other factors.

What is CrossFit?

CrossFit combines aspects of aerobics, calisthenics, weightlifting, gymnastics and other activities, all performed at high-intensity levels. The overall goal is to complete the given workout in the shortest time possible or complete as many reps of the assigned workout within a specific time limit to optimize competence in each of 10 fitness “domains.”

– Accuracy
– Agility
– Balance
– Cardiovascular and respiratory endurance
– Coordination
– Flexibility
– Power
– Speed
– Stamina
– Strength

How Can I Ensure CrossFit Is Safe?

  • Warm up: CrossFit is a high-intensity training program that involves many joints and muscle groups. Without a warm-up, the body isn’t prepared for the increased load and strain that’s about to be placed on it. CrossFit has an “official” warm-up, but trainers are able to vary it to prepare for a specific workout of the day (WOD).
  • Pick Well-Trained Instructors: Work out at a reputable CrossFit box. Do not work out on your own and avoid gyms that do not have a CrossFit-trained staff. CrossFit certifies trainers at different levels, but even the basic level requires a solid knowledge of movement mechanics and the ability to adjust instruction for the experience level of the athlete. When selecting a CrossFit box, it’s just as important to check out the experience and skill levels of the trainers as it is to look at the facility and equipment.
  • Use Proper Technique and Form: When performing high-intensity workouts, it’s tempting to get sloppy with form. When that happens CrossFitters increase their risk of injuries. It’s better to do fewer reps with the correct form than more reps using an unstable form. CrossFit athletes should take the time to memorize movements and form – making sure they use proper mechanics during every step of every routine. Don’t let pride get in the way of asking a trainer for tips on how to improve technique.
  • Know Your Limits: Depending on a CrossFitter’s level of experience and previous injuries, an athlete may need to modify movements and scale weight. Trainers can help CrossFitters adapt exercises, but athletes also need to recognize when their body is tapped out and needs to slow down.

    Being mindful of these factors will pave the way for a successful and invigorating CrossFit experience.
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Sources:

Beyond eBook:
– CrossFit site: https://www.crossfit.com/cf/faq 

The Box, CrossFit Magazine: http://www.theboxmag.com/article/becoming-certified-crossfit-trainer-11354