Starting Crossfit: Busting common myths and finding your Crossfit gym

How can you practice Crossfit safely? Learn to maximize your safety, progress and fun with Audrey-Laurence Farmer, an orthopedic and pelvic floor physiotherapist as well as a Crossfit L1 coach.

woman doing chin ups with weighted vest

Recently, Crossfit has gained popularity across a wide range of exercise enthusiasts: from beginners to the expert athletes. The workouts target 10 major domains of fitness, making it an ideal workout for people who want to build muscle as well as good cardiovascular endurance and stamina. It is highly adaptable: everyone can do Crossfit.

However, some people have voiced valid concerns over the sport coming at the price of multiple injuries. Does Crossfit truly deserve its reputation as a high-risk sport? How can you practice Crossfit safely?

Audrey-Laurence Farmer, an orthopedic and pelvic floor physiotherapist as well as a Crossfit L1 coach, helps us answer these questions.

man lifting weights in a gym

What is Crossfit?

Created in 2000 by Greg Glassman and Lauren Jenai, Crossfit stands out from other fitness programs. This high-intensity functional training regimen consists of workouts that include a wide array of movements. Most exercises are compound movements, meaning they require you to use more than one muscle group at a time. The exercises are inspired by a variety of disciplines such as gymnastics and olympic weightlifting. The workouts are varied and can always be adapted to a person’s fitness level.

woman doing push-up with elastic band
woman jumping on box

The myth: is Crossfit dangerous? 

At its onset, Crossfit was considered by some to be a dangerous sport. Why? As with other types of training, such as gymnastics or football, moving quickly at high intensity may increasingly expose the body to injury. Critics were concerned about the outcome of performing heavy lifts in a state of fatigue, which could lead to injury.

However, Crossfit is not inherently dangerous when practiced under the right circumstances:

woman jumping on box
two people squatting back to back

The top 3 things you should consider when picking your Crossfit gym 

You want to maximize your safety, progress and fun. Here’s what to look for...

two people squatting back to back

As is the case with any intense sport, Crossfit may exacerbate an existing injury or could even create a new one. The key to minimizing injuries is to be mindful of your limitations and to do your homework when choosing a gym. Start slowly, listen to your body and increase the difficulty one step at a time as your body gets stronger. The benefits of Crossfit abound: increased strength, agility and flexibility, improved balance, stamina, and of course, the opportunity to make new friends!

Audrey-Laurence Farmer

Audrey-Laurence Farmer

M. Sc Physiotherapy

Audrey is a Crossfit, strength training and running enthusiast with a masters degree in physiotherapy. She practices orthopedic and pelvic floor physiotherapy and is also a certified Crossfit L1 coach. Audrey is also very interested in horseback riding and has been a rider herself for over 20 years. She is a co-founder and owner at Symbiosis.

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