Six Ways CrossFit Can Benefit Runners

Photo: Chris Bischow

Learn How To Strength Train Correctly

My first exposure to weight training was through football during junior high and high school. Since then I’ve had numerous memberships to numerous gyms. One thing that happened because of attending CrossFit classes was this: for the first time I was taught how to do basic weight training exercises correctly. The emphasis on proper movement patterns when you do anything from a pushup to a back squat to jumping rope is on the obsessive side. The benefit of doing the exercises right is that you’re much less likely to get injured and you gain the full measure of the exercises. At a good CrossFit gym the newbie will be get a thorough education in how to do the basic functional movement exercises consistently well before intensity is added into the mix. This is the doctrine of “Virtuosity” as it is prescribed by the founder of CrossFit, Greg Glassman. I didn’t know how much I had learned and absorbed from going to CrossFit Elysium and attending a Level 1 CrossFit certification program until I stepped back into a commercial gym this past summer when on a road trip. It was a Gold’s Gym and I was shocked at all the bending of backs and caving in of knees that were going on with both free weights and exercise machines. I was seeing typical exercisers in a whole new light. And I’m sure it was exactly the sort of thing I was doing on my own pre-CrossFit, especially with an exercise like the squat. I had been butchering that one for a good 30 years. The point: runners wanting to add strength/power/core work to enhance and support their running can benefit from the coaching at a CrossFit gym. You’ll learn how to do the do the movements right, getting more value from the work with a lower chance of hurting yourself. And I can say this, too: I was 47 when I first joined CrossFit Elysium. The improvements in strength and mobility came within weeks. It was stunning to me.

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