Should You Be Doing Crossfit?

By Dr. Philip Cordova

April 2, 2013

After hearing from multiple patients that I should check out Crossfit, I finally decided to give it a try.

I was a bit concerned for my shoulders and knees, since I wasn’t sure what was involved in the workouts — but decided I could at least try it out once.

I happened across Crossfit Central Houston at South Braeswood and Stella Link and signed up online for a free trial class. The workouts are not what I was expecting, but just what I needed.

With many workouts or activities that patients begin, the programs are all one-sided or not helpful to counteract their daily activities. Since 99% of our patients are sitting at computers hunched over all day, followed by hunching over the dinner table and hunching over the steering wheel on the way home – bad posture is sure to follow. Running doesn’t help with your posture. Taking a spin class or cycling is just one more hunching activity that may be the final straw in creating chronic back pain.

Variety in your daily life and in your workouts will keep you healthy and injury free. I keep an eye on active older patients and what they’re doing right (and wrong). Those that do activities with a variety of movements (swimming, yoga, crossfit) do better than those that do less balanced activities (golf, cycling). Before starting the Crossfit class, I was determined to get more variety out of my workouts. I figured I would do some weights, run a little, and do some yoga to help improve my range of motion. Crossfit has all the same benefits that I was trying to incorporate over multiple activities – and then some.

Crossfit is about technique first and all workouts can be scaled to your ability level (thankfully). I spoke with a crossfitter before a recent class – he said, “When you start Crossfit, you just have to check your ego at the door. The first year is all about getting better range of motion, then you can work on strength.” From my experience, I couldn’t agree more. Some of the activities involve squatting down. My hips don’t currently want to move that way, but I’ve noticed an improvement already in just a few weeks.

They have recommended weights to use during the workouts, but I quickly learned that I had to do even less weight than I was expecting in order to complete the workouts. I trained for and ran a marathon in 2012 and I do some activity on a regular basis, but I’m no workout warrior. Overall, I thought I was in decent shape compared to the general population. Turns out, no, I’m not in good shape at all. This has been a wake up call as well as a motivator in keeping me consistent with the workouts.

The gym is run by a terrific husband and wife team, Phil and Teresa Trojanowski. They’re enthusiastic and run a tight ship while promoting proper technique and encouraging everyone to complete the workouts. I love that they want you to know everyone’s name and that there’s a sense of community that develops at the gym. We’re all in it together and I think everyone knows that they’re not just working out. They’re pushing themselves and making themselves better. They’re doing workouts that most people would see being performed and pass on.

So… should you be doing Crossfit?

  • If you’re currently exercising but not seeing results
  • If you’re doing an imbalanced or one-sided workout and noticing your posture is taking a hit
  • If you’re not just concerned about weight, but want to improve range of motion and strength
  • If you’re not excited about any workout classes you’ve done in the past

…then yes, you should check out Crossfit.

I can’t speak for all Crossfit gyms, this has just been my experience with Crossfit Central Houston. I’m excited about the workouts – and frankly, get a little scared before I go. We’ve not done the same workout twice, so you just never know what to expect. You will get a good variety of movement, and it will be challenging – that you know for sure. Try out a free class and see if it’s the right fit for you.

For more information, check out their website:

Dr. Philip Cordova

About the author

Dr. Philip Cordova is a chiropractor in Houston, Texas. He grew up in Phoenix, Arizona and decided to become a chiropractor after hurting his back as a teenager and getting help from chiropractic care. He is speaker on health & posture. Click Here To Read His Full Bio

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