Injury and Imbalance: Part 1

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I’ll open with a somewhat jarring statement:

You may get hurt while doing CrossFit.

What we do is high intensity and high impact. Despite the fact that every single workout and movement can be scaled to be pain free and injury proof, we are competitive beasts at heart. Sooner or later you may find yourself backed into a corner in your brain where your two choices are: quit, or push past your limit. Inevitably, we will all choose that second option at least once. When we do, we’ve chosen to test our mind at the expense of the body. Sometimes, when we make that choice, the body comes out a little worse for wear.

Now, that being said, the above statement says: “while doing CrossFit,” not necessarily: “because of CrossFit”. People get hurt in every sport. Dancing, Football, Swimming, Golf. The human body is built to function a certain way. We’re designed to move and eat and sleep and that’s about it at the core. When you add daily repetitive movements it creates imbalance as the body adapts to perform the task it “needs” the most. The body is both incredibly smart and very simple at the same time: Throw a ball as hard as possible 100 times a day and the body will assume it is a necessary motion for survival. It will adapt accordingly. It will not however, take in to account the need to scratch your head, or do up a dress in the back. Without repetition the body leaves certain movements behind.

So if and when we get hurt while doing CrossFit, barring some freak accident, most often the culprit is not the bar we pressed overhead or how low we squatted. Most often the guilty party is how we spent the other 23 hours of our day. How we eat, how we sit, how we sleep and how we stand. For most of us these activities have been the primary determinants of our movement and our imbalance for the many years we’ve been alive.

Its almost amusing to think that we hurt ourselves squatting (a movement that should be dominated by the hips, butt and leg muscles) when we sit nine hours a day, every day, rain or shine not using those exact parts of us. Forgive the body for being a little confused when we slap on hundreds of pounds and ask it to work for once.

Take Away from Part 1: We are what we do the most. If you sit 9 hours a day, sleep 7, eat for two and workout for one, how would you describe yourself?

Silver Lining: There’s a part 2 where we’ll talk about how all the above isn’t a condemnation of exercise and why you should keep at it.

To be continued…

-Jesse Kirkeby
CrossFit Newmarket Central & CrossFit Aurora Central

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