CrossFit is an excellent way to get in fantastic physical shape. That’s one of the reasons why this boot camp style of conditioning is trending in fitness these days, and has been for a while now. Sadly, many people are under the impression that the only way to get really fit is to go beyond the body’s natural limitations during every workout. We’ve all either seen or heard of people getting hurt doing Cross-fit –getting injured is almost a badge of honor these days – in fact, you hear people bragging about it. Hurting yourself is not the true path to fitness.

In this three-part series, I will explain some very basic principles that will help aid you in your quest for a sexier, healthier body, and lessen your chances of getting injured.

To start, let me explain a little bit about Ox Box and our approach to fitness. Ox Box ® was designed by massage therapists who enjoy high intensity training. We developed the Oxbox regimen from the ground up, based on our desire to help people learn more about their bodies while providing safe ways to implement CrossFit and other fitness programs.

Here’s the first of three steps to help you prevent injury when Cross Fit training, whether you’re at Ox Box ® or another fitness facility:

1. Form is everything!

It’s the finer details of form that people sometimes miss. Proper instruction is essential when learning a new movement, but breaking a learned bad habit can be more of a challenge—and it can be very frustrating.

Let’s take a basic air squat (body weight) for our example. First, just because a person can squat all the way down and get back up many times in a row without breaking a sweat, doesn’t mean the movement was executed with proper form.

When a squat is done properly, you will use almost every muscle in your body, so it’s important to build a foundation of proper muscle recruitment when learning to squat. To do otherwise may leave out important muscle groups altogether, or over-involve others – limiting your effectiveness, and potentially leading to muscle imbalances and potential injuries when intensity is applied. Moreover, a basic squat is the foundation of many other complex CrossFit movements, like box jumps, thrusters, leaping, lunging, wall balls, kettle bell swings and more.

If your foundational movements are solid, then all other movements will be better off—and I think you’ll find that if you do this properly, you will have a much better chance of staying healthy while you pour on the intensity.

Check back soon for part two of our 3 steps to prevent injury!