If you've been training at our gym (or have a personal trainer or coach who watches you lift), I am sure you have heard that we care about your "technique" but what does that mean and why is it important?
The way I would describe "good technique" as something that meets all of these criteria:
- The movement pattern minimizes the risk of injury. Nothing requiring movement can have a 0% injury rate but we want to reduce the risk to as close to 0% as we can.
- The movement pattern moves through the complete ROM (range of motion). At times we need to decrease the range of motion for certain clients because they do not have the mobility/strength to go through a full range of motion for a specific exercise but we are always trying to make progress to get there.
- The movement is pattern is "efficient". There is minimal wasted movement and the weight of the bar/weight and lifter is in the best place to complete the movement.
While that is somewhat vague, essentially we want to keep you safe, have you move through the areas you should be moving through, and be able to control the weight in a manner that allows you to move the heaviest weight the fastest you can.
OK, so why do we care about those 3 points?
The first one should be obvious. We don't want anyone to needlessly get injured. Being injured is no fun. Also when you are injured, you can't make as much progress towards your goals (and you must have goals or else why would you be working so hard?!?).
Number two is a little more nuanced but still is somewhat "common sense". We want you to be able to move through a maximal (safe) ROM so that you can do movements that require that ROM. This matters more and more as you age. If you can get into a good overhead position now and have full ROM, as you age and lose some of that ROM, you will still be able to accomplish putting things up on a shelf or throwing your grandchild up into the air when you are playing in the pool. Squatting below parallel now means getting out of the car, off the couch, or off the toilet seat will be easier in the future.
The third point is more theoretical. We want you to learn to move as efficiently as possible. This helps you learn new skills. This allows you to take a vacation to Vail and hit the slopes even if you have never skied before because you are still "learning how to learn" new movement patterns. CrossFit has always been about taking your fitness outside of the gym and learning new things or learning more efficient movement patterns helps you take that to the beach when you want to learn to surf, to the trampoline when you are trying to show your kids you still have it, or to the driving range as you try to dial in your swing.
Here's a 5 minute video from a guy I really respect explaining why he thinks technique is important and how to know if you have good technique. Some of his points will be similar but he also has a few other points that really help illuminate this topic.
Have a great rest of your Wednesday!