Have you ever heard Phil or I tell you to go lower in your squat during a WOD? Or how about, “Open your hips” when you’re doing a burpee? “Hit the target” when you’re doing wall balls? Or “Stand tall” to finish a box jump? Why are we shouting this at you mid-WOD when it's the last thing you want to hear!? Because CrossFit is all about Full Range of Motion and Movement Standards.
What is Full Range of Motion?
Humans are complex, intricate and incredible pieces of work, with joints designed to flex and extend or rotate. Imagine if your knees were only made to bend to 90 degrees…. Want to sit down on the floor to play with your kids? Good luck with that! What if your elbows were limited in range as well, bending to 90 degrees max…. Fancy a bite to eat? Have fun getting that fork to your mouth!
Our bodies are made to function through a wide range of motion, so in CrossFit, we want you to work through that entire range. Just like if you were to only open a door halfway (or never at all!), over time, the hinges on that door would get rusty, if you don’t exercise your joints through their full range of motion, your body will “get rusty” and will be limited in its capabilities. Working in this limited range of motion makes us more likely to get injured, blunts our performance and results and also means we’re not getting the most out of the tools we have at our disposal!
To ensure that our athletes achieve full range of motion, CrossFit has standards for each and every movement we do. For example, when you squat, your hip crease must be below the crease of your knees at the bottom. To finish the squat, your hips and knees must be fully extended. When you do a push up, your chest and thighs must touch the ground at the bottom and your elbows must be fully locked at the top. For your reps to count in your workout, your responsibility as an athlete is to ensure that you hit the standards for the movement you are performing. Likewise, it is your responsibility to add another rep to your set if you know you didn’t make the movement standards (or if you hear Phil and I tell you “No rep!”).
What do you do if, no matter how hard you try, you can’t hit the standards required for a movement? You scale it! If you don’t yet have the strength, flexibility, or skill to hit a movement standard, you will get much more benefit from adjusting the movement to make sure that you can get through the full range of motion, than you would do from only doing half of the movement. Ask your coach for advice if you're not sure how to scale.
In summary... do all your reps, and do them to the movement standards that we show you before the WOD starts. Simples!
So in today’s WOD (and every WOD you tackle from this point on), let’s make it count!