If you are the type of person who enjoys physical fitness, then you’ve no doubt tried several different types of exercise, from basics like jogging, cycling, and swimming, to instructional classes in yoga, Pilates, and step aerobics, to workout DVDs for P90X or Insanity. But if you’re looking for an up-and-coming exercise regimen that is going to continue to challenge you for a while, then perhaps Crossfit should be on your radar.
The only real caveat with this intense form of exercise is that it is all too easy to injure yourself if you’re not careful. Since you are pushing yourself to your physical limits with timed circuits that require you to fit as many reps into the allotted time as possible, you’ll find that you tire long before you’re through. So it’s not only important to know your limits, but also to observe proper form in every exercise. Here’s why.
Priority #1 Should be to Use Proper Form
When you fail to use proper form a couple of things can happen. The first is that you can seriously injure yourself. Suppose, for example, that you’re doing box jumps. If you don’t take the time to set up your move you might not jump high enough, in which case you’ll end up with some pretty ugly bruises and scraped shins. But if you’re fatigued and you’re trying to move too fast, you might also trip, in which case you could put yourself in the hospital with broken bones or a concussion.
The same goes for any type of Crossfit exercise. Although your trainers will urge you to push yourself and move faster when possible, they want you to practice safety first, which means taking the time to ensure that you’re doing each exercise correctly, as well as knowing when you absolutely have to stop or at least take a short break.
In addition to injuring yourself, you might also injure other people when you fail to use proper form. If you happen to trip or fall during a group activity in a crowded Crossfit gym, you could fall into another person, or into their path, causing them to be involved in your accident. Or if you’re lifting weights improperly or you drop them in the wrong way, you might end up hurting your spotter by dropping the weight on him, or you could accidentally hit an innocent bystander.
If you’re lucky, nobody will be injured because of your lack of form, but there could be one other unfortunate side effects. It is possible that you won’t get the intended results of your workout. Like any form of exercise, Crossfit will only help you reach your particular fitness goals if you perform the movements as instructed. So when you get lazy or go off program in some way, you can’t reasonably expect to see the outcome you’re anticipating.
Once you train your neurological pathways to perform an exercise with incorrect form, that is all your body will know. Basically, the longer you use poor form, the harder it will be to retrain yourself to use correct form. This can lead to bio-mechanical imbalance, injury, asymmetry, and you’ll just basically look like a fool.
Of course, your trainer should let you know when you’re doing it wrong and give you suggestions on how to correct your movements. But it’s always a good idea to monitor your own form and to listen to the cues your body is giving you. Whether you take classes at Crossfit Burwood, Boston, or Beverly Hills, you stand to get in the best shape of your life, but only if you observe proper for so that you don’t hurt yourself (or others) in the process.