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Should Firefighters Do Crossfit?

With the holidays fast approaching, here are good health reads and tips for firefighters and friends.

 

Should Firefighters Do Crossfit?

by Dr. Karlie Moore. This article was originally published on www.fitfordutyconsulting.com

Crossfit has become very popular, and many of the firefighters have asked me what I think about it in terms of safety and effectiveness. So here’s my opinion: Crossfit is a great full-body workout and one that I think could be beneficial for firefighters since it is high intensity, it improves all the components of fitness, and it burns a lot of calories. However, I encourage people to use caution when doing Crossfit, or any extremely challenging exercise for that matter, since the potential for injury is obviously increased. Research illustrates that fatigue significantly compromises good technique, so that is concerning when the goal is to perform as many repetitions as possible in a given amount of time.

Crossfit encourages a very large range of motion for most joints in the body. This can be really helpful for some who need to improve their flexibility, but detrimental for others who don’t have (and never will have) the ligamentous support to keep their joints in a safe position when performing these moves. So, when performing this type of exercise, it becomes extremely important to listen to your body and back off if you feel any overuse injuries coming on.

The training to become a Crossfit instructor is not, in my opinion, too rigorous. So although I often hear that Crossfit instructors enforce that their clients start out slow and make sure they are doing things “right,” I wonder to myself “well do they know what right really is?” So make sure your Crossfit instructor has a strong background in strength and conditioning and a real appreciation for injury avoidance. A good site to follow if you want to be sure you’re getting correct information is http://www.mobilitywod.com/. Kelly Starrett, DPT, is a fellow doctor and a proponent of Crossfit.

Ultimately, I’m ecstatic that so many people have found a love of exercise through Crossfit. But I don’t think it’s right for everyone. Ultimately, there is no ONE right way to exercise for everyone; it depends on your body type/build and your strong and weak areas.

Find lots more FREE health tips for firefighters at www.fitfordutyconsulting.com

Author bio:

Dr. Karlie Moore holds a PhD in Exercise Science and Nutrition from Oregon State University. She has dedicated her research and work to helping firefighters improve their health so they can live long, happy lives. Dr. Moore conducts comprehensive fitness assessments for several fire departments in Oregon and speaks on all topics related to firefighter health. She is also a part-time professor at Oregon State University. More information about Dr. Moore’s services, along with free health tips for firefighters, can be found at www.fitfordutyconsulting.com