Is crossfit safe for firefighters?

Crossfit for Firefighters?


Crossfit for Firefighters


What is Crossfit?


According to the Crossfit website, the program is the principal strength and conditioning program for many police academies, fire academies, special operations and many other professions worldwide.


Is Crossfit the best workout for firefighters?


We at Firefighter Furnace say it depends on the physical ability and mobility of the firefighter. It has many pros and cons. For example, it can be the best option for an athletic firefighter looking for a challenge but the worst option for someone who has mobility issues they are unaware of.


Crossfit focuses on movements that the body should be able to perform on a daily basis. For example, sitting in a squat position for an extended period of time with no pain. If you have no mobility issues or muscular imbalances you should be able to do this no problem. However, if you are just thrown into the crossfit mix and are unaware of the abnormalities of your mobility, then you might have a hard time. Crossfit is a good way to figure out these mobility issues but the risk is high for becoming injured.


If you have a good coach, they will be able to pinpoint problems you may have when it come to form and fix it before you add a load/weight. However, if you have a bad coach, they will not see bad form and let you perform the more complicated movements without slowly being introduced to them.


Different points of view of Crossfit:


Firefighter Bob – “ I started crossfit last year and I went through a beginners course and the coach let me participate in the WOD the very next day. I have never done a pistol squat before and when I dropped down for my second rep I heard a pop and to make a long story short, I tore my meniscus. I found out that I had flat feet and it caused my knee to cave in. Crossfit is a very dangerous workout program.”



Firefighter Tom – “ I started doing Crossfit over a year ago. When I walked through the door the coach put me through a beginners routine and found out I had flat feet. He told me it could be a problem and strongly advised me to go see a professional to see what I could do to fix the problem. A physical therapist showed me different exercises to help strengthen the arches in my feet. Now a year later I am competing in local competitions and hope to make it to the Crossfit games. Crossfit is the best this that has ever happened to me.”


The difference in the two experiences was coaching.


What about all the dangerous movements I see?


Crossfit likes to utilize olympic lifting regularly in their programming to focus on explosive strength. If you ask a professional weightlifter, they will tell you that it takes about a year to master the squat snatch. This is true in many cases but some try to master the lift in a shorter amount of time and become injured.


Is there a safe alternate to Crossfit?


Yes, the individual workout program designed by Firefighter Furnace uses the same concept but replaced the more dangerous exercises with ones that are more simple but just as effective. For example, we replaced the snatch with the lightweight one arm dumbbell snatch. It is safer and is easier on your shoulders.


So if you are a firefighter and interested in Crossfit, do your research, ask the right questions, make sure your coach cares about your well being and take it slow.


If you are interested in a Crossfit style workout program designed for firefighters with a smaller risk of injury, check us out! Firefighter Furnace Workout Program


Good luck out there and be safe.


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