“Mechanics Before Intensity”
For those that may not know, RX in the CrossFit world means “as prescribed.” But what does this really mean? During my training that was required for judging the open, I received hours of video training on what was considered RX’d for the Open Workouts. I observed movements that were performed with perfection and I saw others performed “as RX’d” but with less than optimal mechanics. Does this mean we should all strive to perform subpar movements just to get the RX next to our same. The answer is no.
CrossFit consists of highly functional movements performed at extremely high intensities. These highly functional movements come with the need for very technical skill acquisition. When workouts are done to exhaustion, good mechanics become hard to learn and difficult to maintain throughout the WOD. When performing exercises that require a high level of skill at high intensities you will make critical errors in technique. Fatigue will set in, muscles will burn, and mistakes will be made. Making mistakes too often durings WODs create bad habits. The body actually thinks these poor movement patterns are correct and you do not even realize this is happening, nor have control over it. We see all kinds of undesirable movement patterns that exist in Crossfit from our quest for the RX at all costs;
- Early arm pull in the olympic weightlifting movements.
- Coming up on toes in the squat variations.
- Losing the lumbar and thoracic “arch” during overhead and squat variations.
- Excessive forward trunk lean during kettlebell swings.
These incorrect patterns will emerge every workout and increase your risk of injury. Most of CrossFit’s bad reputation for injuries stems from this very problem. Furthermore, your movements become less efficient making the exercise seem harder than meant to be.
Imagine the possibilities if you took the time to learn proper mechanics and were not so worried about the RX. You would finish workouts with more ease and decrease your risk of injury. With injury comes time off from training and I can assure you that this will not help you progress. Take a look at our elite level CrossFitters, they move with grace and put out some very incredible performances. Have you seen somebody with terrible form do well?
Slow down, practice more, use lighter weights, worry less about an RX and more about proper mechanics. Listening to this advice will assure continued injury free progress.
If you have any questions on what you should be working on, please address this with your coaches so we can help you.