Wait…Isn’t CrossFit scary and dangerous?
In the early days of CrossFit, a lot of us (myself included), were just sort of figuring out how to do and coach this new way of training. To be honest, the methodology seemed crazy. “Today’s workout… 100 Pull-Ups for time? Well, ok, let’s go!” And you know, we all had shoulder injuries soon after. And it didn’t take long for CrossFit to get a bad reputation and we all know how well a bad reputation is hard to clear. Add to those early days the fact that there was so much energy, competition, and passion surrounding the sport that many sacrificed good form for speed in order to WIN and of course this lead to some injuries. Additionally, the founder of CrossFit, Greg Glassman, apparently had shoulders made of iron and did not realize that most people do not. So shoulder injuries were a common problem in the early days of CrossFit Programming. Today’s CrossFit emphasizes health and safety above all else and, learning to do pull-ups the right way, and as it turns out, we really should be moving on from the CrossFit is scary reputation.
Moreover, it turns out that CrossFit actually PREVENTS injuries.
CrossFit has actually been quite safe for a number of years now. A study in 2016 from the Journal of Sports Medicine and Physical Fitness found that CrossFit was not associated with an increased risk of injury compared to other forms of exercise. In fact, the study found that CrossFit participants had a LOWER risk of injury compared to participants in other forms of exercise. A more recent study published in the Journal of Sports Medicine and Physical Fitness in 2021, found that CrossFit participants had a lower injury rate than traditional strength training and bodybuilding participants.
One of the main reasons for this is that CrossFit emphasizes proper form and technique. CrossFit HQ has spent several years educating their coaches on technique and injury preventions. I’ve taken over five CrossFit courses and I can attest that the CrossFit we coach now is nothing like the “old days” where injuries were frequent. At CrossFit Harrisonburg and most CrossFit gyms across the country, each exercise is taught and performed with a focus on proper movement patterns, which can help reduce the risk of injury. Additionally, CrossFit coaches are trained to spot and correct any form errors that may put a person at risk for injury. We will stop you if we think you’re doing something that could cause an injury.
Another reason CrossFit may prevent injuries is that it incorporates a variety of different exercises and movements. This diversity can help prevent overuse injuries, which often occur when a person engages in the same repetitive motions over and over again. By constantly switching up the exercises, CrossFit can help reduce the risk of overuse injuries.
CrossFit also places a heavy emphasis on mobility and flexibility, which can also help prevent injuries. By regularly incorporating exercises that target mobility and flexibility, CrossFit practitioners can improve their range of motion and reduce the risk of injury. We spend a big chunk of time on warm-ups at CFH, and just ask any member – you don’t start your workout ’til your body is ready.
Additionally, the way the CrossFit workouts are structured – a focus on high-intensity interval training – they can help improve overall fitness and cardiovascular health, which also can help prevent injuries. We strength train to make our bodies stronger, balanced, and more resilient. We cardio train to improve our health, speed, and endurance. And we mobilize to reduce the risk of injury so that we can come back stronger and do it again the next day.
CrossFit is indeed SAFE. And at CrossFit Harrisonburg we have the best coaches in the Valley and the best programming in the Country. This is the place to come if you want to meet your goals in a safe, positive, and happy environment!