Is CrossFit Hard on Joints?

Lots of people worry that doing a form of exercise as intense as Crossfit might cause them to injure themselves. Perhaps you’re worried that you might hurt yourself. Pushing yourself sounds like a challenge, but you also want to care for your joints and whole body. So is it ok or better to just play it safe?

Well the good thing is that CrossFit workouts can be  endlessly adapted. So there’s a program just right for you no matter what your age is and no matter your fitness level. After all, the goal is to get fit which is why you’re trying the workouts (not actually start out fit before getting into the program).

Is CrossFit hard on joints?

No pain, no gain. Perhaps you’ve already heard that “pain is weakness leaving your body.” There’s some truth in that because we only get stronger only if our strength is tested and pushed. This causes tissue adaptation. However, injury can defeat progress because the pain and injury can severely limit your mobility and prevent you from exercising as you would like to (although with most injuries you can continue to exercise with guidance while your body heals).

What should you do then? Doing CrossFit is similar to most exercises where you have to start slow and make the progress nice and gradual. After all, it takes time for our bodies to adjust to new activities and workloads (and also for muscle tissues to heal). Progressing too quickly can cause injury or even slow us down on our development. It’s like taking one huge step forward but taking two steps back. Our bodies will surely compensate and catch up for whatever we’re rushing on.

How do you know if you’re rushing it? Well, it’s crucial to have a good coach who is able to program intelligently and modify as appropriate for your fitness and skill level to keep workouts safe while still being challenging.

As physiotherapists we work with both Crossfitters (and potential Crossfitters) and their coaches to modify programs to keep people training when injured, but also to assess potential problems and address them before an injury occurs.

A qualified physiotherapist can start with a thorough physical examination to know current issues and potential problems. If there is indeed a problem, you would get a progressive exercise prescription which will help with pain relief and mobility improvement. The exercise program would then help you safely transition to doing CrossFit workouts.