Ya Gotta Have Standards

Maintaining movement standards means you maintain full range of motion which means you are more functional, safer and generally more useful.

Maintaining movement standards means you maintain full range of motion which means you are more functional, safer and generally more useful.

It’s important to have standards.

For your business dealings, your dating choices and, yes, your movement.

We are big believers in movement standards. What constitutes a squat, press, handstand, pushup? Without standards, there really is no movement. 

Is a squat just a slight knee bend? Or to parallel? Below parallel? Ass to ankles? Well, the short answer is yes. All of those things are squats. But when it comes to developing full physical capacity, i.e. being functional, athletic and sturdy, we need to meet a minimum range of motion and strive to extend that range of motion with good mechanics and the ability to support ourselves in that position. 

What does that mean?

It means that your ability to achieve a functional range of motion informs your ability to perform athletically and, more importantly, to maintain your mobility throughout life. 

We enforce movement standards (e.g. hip crease below the top of the knee on the squat, level chin over the bar on a pull up) for that reason. If you consistently shorten your range of motion, you lose that range of motion and when you lose range of motion you can no longer do what you need to do. 

You’ll hear a lot about movement standards and enforcing those standards as the CrossFit Open kicks off tonight. It’s a competition so there have to be standards in order to even the playing field and allow athletes worldwide to compare their performances.

But please know that those standards are neither random or indiscriminate. 

So, we will ask you to go deeper in your squat or make sure you lock the press out overhead. It is not because we want to make the movements harder. Actually, we want to make the movements safer and more effective. 

We all get caught up in the moment during workouts. We want to go fast or just a bit heavier. That’s great. We love that enthusiasm. But you still have to hit the standard. Not because the movement doesn’t “count” if you don’t (although, c’mon) but because if you aren’t hitting that range of motion you aren’t progressing your fitness, i.e. your physical capacity. And we won’t stand for that. So, yes, we might tell you over & over to go deeper, lock out fully, or stand up all the way, and you might get angry at us but, just like a loving parent, we are doing it for your own good. 

We know you can and that you want to. We know you, too, have standards.