I wanted to take three blog sessions and talk specifically about injury in the world of Crossfit and weightlifting. I am of the opinion that there are 3 MAJOR causes for injury in the fitness world. The three major causes I want to focus on in this blog series are: coaching, programming, and body awareness.
Today I want to specifically talk about coaching as a cause for injury. I have always believed that the number one reason lifters or Crossfitters find themselves in front of an orthopedic doctor is a result of poor coaching.
It is the coach’s responsibility to teach movements properly to their athletes and to restrict their athletes when a movement is injurious. Often I hear so many critics of Crossfit and Olympic weightlifting run their mouth that the movements performed are too dangerous to be trained so often.
“You can’t snatch everyday that’s just too much work overhead.”
“You can’t squat that low that’s too much loading on your knees and low back”
Every time I hear comments like that I immediately grimace. Ignorance makes me grimace. The movements don’t create injury. A lack of knowledge of HOW to complete the movement does! Repeated repetitions performed improperly creates injury. If you are a coach and your athlete doesn’t understand the movement he or she is performing, then it is your responsibility to teach them! If you are a coach and YOU don’t understand the movement you are teaching THEN STOP PRETENDING. The old adage, “fake it till you make it” create more people in slings and on crutches than anything else. Coaches do your job and be an expert at what you are teaching! Otherwise you are destined to hurt your clients.
Athletes, if you find yourself under a coach who clearly doesn’t know what they are talking about or who coaches a movement in such a way that it allows for injury, do yourself a favor and find a new gym. You wouldn’t learn to drive a motorcycle from a guy who doesn’t know anything about motorcycles would you? Why be coached by a guy who doesn’t understand the movements?
The number one reason injury happens is because coaches don’t know how to drop their ego and learn from somebody else OR admit they might not know everything they claim to. These type of coaches get by on using coined language to impress their clients without knowing really what they are teaching. Regardless of your program or your physical fitness, if you are being told to do something wrong over and over again then eventually that movement is going to hurt you. Good Olympic lifters aren’t hurt by putting weight over their head everyday if they are doing it properly. This is why you don’t see the MDUSA team all in slings. Furthermore, good Crossfitters are not injured because they do a lot of squatting or running. They’re injured because they squat wrong or run wrong and don’t have a coach knowledgeable enough to teach them the proper way OR they have a coach whose primary interest is their checkbook and not their health.
Proper coaching is proactive against injury. Bad coaching creates injury.