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CrossFit Explained. The Workout People Love to Hate.

OrthoCarolina Sports Medicine’s Physician Assistant, Aaron Hewitt, helps to answer some of your CrossFit questions.

What exactly is CrossFit? Aaron (@AaronJHewitt) explains.

The best way to describe CrossFit is constantly varied, high-intensity workouts that help us improve our functional movements. One day you may be rowing on a rowing machine and doing burpees, and another day you may be doing windsprints, pull-ups or kettlebell swings.

Why is CrossFit growing in popularity in Charlotte? Responses from several Charlotte CrossFit leaders.

Lance Breeden, Ultimate CrossFit (@UltCrossfit) – “It has amazing results when it is done well, with the right coaches and because it is fun. You don't need to think about your workout, just show up and work hard. If you do, results will come.”

Stu Brauer, CrossFit SouthEnd (@escfitness) – “Because it works. We offer what the conventional gyms do not: community, proper coaching and fitness that improves your life both in and out of the gym. If you're willing to have an open mind and work hard, we will change your life. Simply put; CrossFit makes people better!”

Matt Nunnally, Metro Fitness Club (@metrofitnessclt) – “CrossFit does more for physical fitness in 1 hour than most other forms of fitness accomplish in a week. CrossFit uses endurance, stamina, strength, flexibility, power, speed, coordination, agility, balance, and accuracy in as many creative ways as the imagination will allow. All of this is done in a community of like minded individuals who work hard and sweat hard.”

Brian Strump, CrossFit Steele Creek – “CrossFit is popular because it's a fun, alternative way to get in shape versus what people are used to in the traditional gym setting. It's no longer a boring 1-2 hours in a gym, being unfamiliar with weights, and uncomfortable. Having a trainer, and like minded people exercising together are a big benefit.”

Thinking about CrossFit? 4 Tips from OrthoCarolina’s Aaron Hewitt.

(1) Look for quality coaches and trainers. Many fitness locations offer the first class free, so check out a few and pay attention to the instructors. A coach should be willing to work with you individually and help you with better form, or even an individualized plan.

(2) Ask about scalability. Any quality CrossFit or interval training program offers a scalability option. Athletes have varying strength abilities, so classes should offer modifications.

(3) Start slow. You will probably be sore after your first session, so go easier in the beginning and progress slowly as you adapt to the routines. High-intensity doesn’t need to mean high-impact. If box jumps or burpees aren’t for you, a quality gym will have an alternative.

(4) Listen to your body. Anything done in excess has an inherent risk of injury, so stop if something hurts or bothers you. If you do have aches and pains, stick to the RICE treatment (rest, ice, compression, elevation), and seek medical treatment, such as a sports medicine provider, if it hasn’t improved in two days.

*Please consult your physician before attempting any exercise that could cause harm.

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