Article By Kellen Battles
Here is the transparent truth about CrossFit: it’s hard. It challenges you mentally, and physically. It is not exactly as it’s seen on TV. The fact of CrossFit, in my experience, is that it will challenge your body’s relative ability to move and perform and will help build a stronger you. The key word is “relative.” We all have starting points of movement and strength. Now, tied to those starting points are our goals. Not everyone necessarily goes to the gym and thinks, “I want to move better and be stronger.” Rather, our goals might be to look and feel better, lose weight and so on. There are many dimensions to what motivates us to workout. Well, CrossFit is exactly the same in the sense that it will cater to your starting point, i.e. your “dimension.”
The elements of CrossFit start at a base level that can introduce you to a new, fun and exciting way to workout, targeting your body’s ability to move and express movements that allow you to get the full benefits of exercise. What do I mean? Well, as a strength and conditioning coach and a mobility Coach, I know that when you can express full range of motion, or a full stretch of your muscles and joints, your body responds with maximum input and output. Therefore, you will utilize more or your body’s muscles in training, while receiving the benefits of flexibility, and mobility. I have always told my clients, movement matters. If we enable our joints and muscles to stretch to their full range of motion, we are training our body with complete efficiency.
Movement with CrossFit teaches you just that: to train your body with efficiency, learn how to move the way you were meant to and have fun doing it. There are some basic everyday movements that challenge our body’s ability to move with efficiency; pushing, pulling, pressing, squatting and rotating. Think about all the times when you have bent over to pick something up rather than squatting. Maybe it’s too many times to count? Well, we know that squatting is probably the best way, or, at the least, a more efficient way to do it. Maybe we have tweaked our back because we turned awkwardly, or injured our shoulders, or neck because we were pulling or trying to push something. So what happens after the tweak? Maybe it becomes chronic. That acute back injury is now something you have to live with, or the knee injury is something you have to live with.
When an injury occurs, the body’s natural response is to compensate, avoiding the specific movement that exacerbates or triggers the injury. For example, if I injured my back bending over to pick up my child, doing any activity that requires bending over is a “no-fly zone,” so to speak, and you will move every other which way, just not ever bending over. Well, that’s our body’s nervous system telling us, “I don’t think so, choose another route because we’ve gotten injured in this position before.” This can damage any thought of trying to work on our goals. So how can we prevent something like this from occurring? In order to do so, we must understand how to move with efficiency; this will make getting to our goal significantly easier, and develops a kind of inner inspiration and motivation and, for lack of a better word, makes us unbreakable, making it possible to break through the various barriers of our dimensions.
So when we are analyzing our goals for our body and overall health we should start with, “How am I moving? Do I have any injuries? How is my flexibility and mobility?” We only have one body and it takes care of us when we are sick or injured. In my opinion, CrossFit can safely challenge our everyday movements in a way that improves our function and will get you to your goal, while building extreme confidence, body awareness, and an inner motivation that will keep you going well beyond your goal!
Kellen is a world traveler, teaching, learning, growing, and helping people to achieve their goals! His travels have landed him on 3 continents and in several countries, where he has learned a great deal about people, especially when it comes to health and fitness. He’s happy to share his knowledge and experience with the masses!