As you get into functional fitness, like with CrossFit, you’re exposed to a whole new world of movement – often learning new things and understanding how to properly move in old things. As you progress, you start learning more complex movements in gymnastics and bodyweight activities, Olympic weightlifting, powerlifting, and even start understanding how to run and row properly.
However, for most of us, our competitive nature and the potential lack of focus on virtuosity means that we focus a lot more on how we perform in workouts rather than how well we move during workouts. The truth is that you need to focus on moving well, not on performance if you want to get better and perform better.
What is actually a mark of a good athlete is not just their performance and results, but also how well they move. In fact, for most of us, moving well is far more a test of true achievement than the result of that performance in terms of weight, time or reps achieved. Whether you come first or last, if you moved badly, people take notice.
The best athletes are without a doubt the athletes who move the best. They master the basics, get really good at them and then move onto more complex movements and gradually progress from strength to strength there too. They maintain good movement as they progress so that they can attain those weights, times and performance levels we see as phenomenal.
A mark of an athlete who moves well is someone who not only performs well in a workout, but also someone who moves incredibly well all the time and as a result suffers less injuries and sees gains on a regular basis. Moving badly can only get you so far, even for the most natural athlete. You can attain decent performance levels moving badly, but you’ll soon plateau and eventually you’ll get injured pushing through bad movements to try gain better results.
It takes a combination of natural talent and very hard work to get to the top, and that’s only for the best athletes, of course. For the rest of us who are not looking to be the best, but rather just want to achieve our maximum personal athletic potential, moving well and working hard at it is just as important as it is for the best athletes in the world. Moving well not only helps you achieve maximum athletic potential in any given sport in the world, but it helps you stay healthier, avoid injury, and ultimately benefit from what your training is aimed at.
In order to see the best results in functional fitness, you need to push your level of intensity – pushing hard during workouts and ensuring you’re giving it your best shot every time. However, this is normally also where the line gets blurred and where technique and moving well gets thrown out of the window and where people get sloppy, move badly, get injured and achieve false results.
What is important to know is that if you focus on moving well all the time, getting in the full range of movement, gradually perfecting your technique, then your results will improve too – that’s a certainty. That goes for anything, from snatching to running and everything in-between. It might seem like a longer road to achieve your goals, because we just want to get good now, but it is without a doubt the route which will see you achieving your goals in the long run and you’re less likely to hit speed-bumps along the way, like plateauing, injury, etc.
Take the time to focus on technique, master the basics and be fine with small gains which will accumulate in the long term. If you want to achieve your maximum potential, then move well all the time and you will get there and in the best condition ever…