no images were foundOne of the hardest parts about doing a CrossFit workout is maintaining good technique throughout. Some might even say it’s impossible, but don’t let that keep you from trying. Good technique makes whatever you’re doing safer, more efficient, and more effective, and should be more important to you as going as fast as you can. Let’s look at that statement for a moment.
Technique keeps you safe by putting your body into the best possible posture to perform that movement. When your technique is good then your body is locked into a good position: your weight (and the load you’re lifting) is perfectly balanced and there is a solid foundation underneath the barbell (or wallball, or whatever). When you start to get tired and you let your technique falter (in other words, you get lazy), your solid, balanced oak tree now more closely resembles a sapling swaying in the wind. Which one sounds like the safer alternative for your body?
Technique also gives you the most efficient way to accomplish the task. The movements we do in CrossFit are hard enough on their own without us going out of our way to make them harder. I frequently see people fighting against wallballs, for example, by letting their elbows fall all the way behind their bodies when they catch the ball (becoming unbalanced), leaning way forward to accommodate that (which sacrifices spinal stability), and now that they’ve been knocked way off balance they try to “granny” throw the ball back up to the target. Sometimes they even hit the target, but it’s ugly and took WAY more energy than a wallball has to.
Using that same wallball scenario, you can also see that allowing yourself to use poor technique simply doesn’t have the same effect as using good technique. You may fall into that horrible hunched over position when you catch the ball, and then stand up and throw the ball as hard as you possibly can using WAY more energy than you ever have on a single wallball, and it may only go halfway up the wall. Ever have that happen? Frustrating doesn’t begin to describe the experience, especially if you still have 100 left to do.
The moral of the story is that technique is one of the hardest things to maintain during a workout, yet arguably the most important. Good technique is hard to achieve, but it’s worth it in the end. Fight like hell to learn good technique. Then, fight like hell to teach your BODY good technique (through constant practice). Then, the easy part is done. Now comes the workout, and you test yourself to see if you can keep that good technique when you have no strength left. Don’t just let technique go down the toilet because you’re tired, because that’s when you need it the most.
Here we see Jeff about 100 reps into “Karen” the other day (using the new 25lb. ball). Good position? Yes. Is he going to have a good rep? Yes. Is it as easy to do all that when he’s this tired? No.