Mechanics and Technique

 In CrossFit, News & Events



What is all this talk about “with good mechanics?”   You hear us say it, you see it written on the board, we preach it every day. We want you / we want all of us to move with good mechanics and technique. Let me explain this with a little more detail.


Technique refers to the movements we use to accomplish a given task. In our case we’re talking about a WOD or a specific movement. It is how we complete the task. Mechanics refers to your technique. It is your ability to move properly through our core, functional movements. At Four Barrel this means moving yourself and then external objects in the most safe, efficient and effective manner possible.


Technique, mechanics and even form and style are related and are not nor should they ever be at odds with intensity. They are all essential in maximizing power and your overall fitness. “Proper technique is the mechanism by which potential human energy and strength are translated into real work capacity.” ~ Greg Glassman.  One of our main jobs as coaches is finding the balance between technique and intensity. It is paramount to getting optimal results from your CrossFit program.


According to Greg Glassman, founder of CrossFit, “control” is just another thing that can be stressed to produce favorable adaptations. With better technique and mechanics we can achieve greater control. The ability to maintain greater control at higher speeds must be trained. As you develop better technique and control at high speeds, your power output will increase and so will your total fitness.


Ok, now that I have explained what mechanics and technique mean literally, how do we relate that to movement? There are common movement “themes” displayed in all foundational movements. These themes are midline stabilization, core-to-extremity movement, balance about the frontal plane, posterior-chain engagement, sound hip function, active shoulders, full rang of motion about a joint and effective stance and grip. All of these themes, relative to the movement being performed, will increase performance and minimize risk of injury. These are the core themes or mechanics that we are looking for when you are moving. If there is not a more pressing safety issue that needs to be fixed first we will always preserve full range of motion above much else.  


Mastering the common mechanics of all movement will maximize your safety and performance in the gym. Unless there are obvious gains in performance or decreased risk to injury there should be little to no change in your movement mechanics. Master the fundamentals of mechanics.


Keep moving well. Have an awesome week!


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