A common theme we hear all the time. The answer is…it depends. The likelihood of being injured doing CrossFit is not any more likely than being injured running, skiing, yoga’ing it up, or in a boot camp class.
First, let’s define what we want to call an “injury” in this article: hurt, pain, impairment, disablement. In my experience what we would describe as an “injury” CrossFit comes from two places: 1) inactivity —> to activity and 2) poor coaching (pushing movements/weight the body is not ready for).
#1 is BY FAR what we see most often, but the least recognized by people coming in. A person going from very little or no activity is going to experience sore and tight muscles. Those tight muscles if not addressed will continue to tighten over time and eventually lead to a place where a person is now in constant pain (now associated with something torn). This is where the misconception is. 98% of the time when we prescribe rolling, stretching, massage, fascial stretch therapy, AND the person follows the prescription. We see the pain dissipate within days or weeks. If the prescription is ignored the pain will not go away, it will limit the range of motion or ability to work out, and ultimately that pain will be associated with an injury. And now the association of doing CrossFit and getting injured is real.
#2 poor coaching and pushing movements and weights onto people who are not capable at that time OR someone goes against advice and is uncoachable. Technical ability is always first. Slowing down is not sexy, lifting baby weights over and over is not IG worthy, but it is what keeps you safe and able to do it over and over.
True injuries don’t happen very often in CrossFit. Less than what I can count on one hand in 10 years.
A true injury in CrossFit typically come from poor coaching or poor choices.
If you want to be successful long term find yourself quality coaching.
If you are in pain ask a coach for a prescription of stretches/rolling or a referral to a professional massage therapist/bodyworker. Then DO IT.
CrossFit is a methodology that combines weight lifting, bodyweight movements, gymnastics, and conditioning (cardio). With that combination done all together, it is the best in the world at creating someone who is fit and can live a high-quality healthy life outside the gym.