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Fitness Theory and Practice. CrossFit's rationale & foundations. Who is fit? What is fitness?

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Old 03-24-2008, 07:28 AM   #1
Vikram Swamy
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Crossfit and improved proprioception/reflexes

Hi all -

Since starting Crossfit, I have noticed improvement in my reflexes/reaction time and general kinesthetic sense. This often manifests itself in simple ways - I'll catch something that fell off a table when normally I would have failed to do so, etc.

I've seen this discussed a little, but not much, on the boards. I'm wondering if other people have had experiences with this and whether this is something that can be attributed to Crossfit, or is it a result of something that is inherent in all physical training and from just using your body more?

Are there specific elements of Crossfit that could hone kinesthetic sense further?
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Old 03-24-2008, 08:34 AM   #2
Steven Low
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Re: Crossfit and improved proprioception/reflexes

Depends on the training and your previous abilities.

Gymnastics for proprioception obviously.

For being light on your feet/agile/whatever plyometrics and agility work are near the same. There's a lot of movements that mimic some of these in CF like box jumps although not optimally at the reps we're doing them at.
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Old 03-24-2008, 09:12 AM   #3
Steve Vanderbok
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Re: Crossfit and improved proprioception/reflexes

I've noticed this in myself as well.

I'm guessing that it's not any specific exercise that's causing the improved reflex action. My supposition is that it may be due to a synergistic effect of developing and coordinating yourself across the ten dimensions of fitness.
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Old 03-24-2008, 09:19 AM   #4
Roger Harrell
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Re: Crossfit and improved proprioception/reflexes

Strength is also a huge factor in this. Let's assume there were no neurological changes (which is unlikely, but just for the sake of discussion) then you have still improved strength, flexibility and motor patterns, so in an event where a quick reaction is necessary you have more power to apply to movement which will allow for more accurate movement, this will result in dramatic improvement in reactionary activity.
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Old 03-24-2008, 09:39 AM   #5
Sean Kane
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Re: Crossfit and improved proprioception/reflexes

I was about to post my own thread on this subject. I caught a big tupperware of jello salad last night that fell out of the fridge. I caught it with my hand underneath it and balanced it before it could fall. I impressed myself
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Old 03-24-2008, 09:56 AM   #6
Tate Rivera
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Re: Crossfit and improved proprioception/reflexes

I can attest to this as well. Lately, although I can't remember any specific examples, things have fallen and before they would have hit the ground. Now, though, it seems like I can catch them or at least slow their fall before they hit the ground. It seems like before I would have seen things falling and not be able to get there in time. It is kinda strange, but it definitely feels pretty cool.
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Old 03-25-2008, 05:24 AM   #7
Dave Re
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Re: Crossfit and improved proprioception/reflexes

I've been pondering this myself, lately, actually. In fact, I wrote an article about it on my shooting blog - (w/f safe).

I wrote that article after doing a ton of research in the CF library and on this forum, in addition to talking a bunch to various CF folks, and I still feel like I glossed over a bunch of it - but, basically, prioperception and reaction times, speed of movement (fine movements and gross movements) all develop as part of developing the general 10. From a shooting standpoint, I think the Oly lifting is actually some of the most useful stuff, but basically everything we do is teaching the body something about where its different parts are (ie, developing prioperception).
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Old 03-25-2008, 08:40 PM   #8
Andrew H. Meador
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Re: Crossfit and improved proprioception/reflexes

Roger's article on drillsandskills about the benefits of gymnastics to the general population applies here:

[these two paragraphs are quoted from the article]

Gymnastics as Foundational Fitness
Gymnastics training is tremendously effective as a foundational fitness program for any physical activity. This specific training develops strength, flexibility, body awareness and agility. These benefits cross over extremely well to other physical activities as well. The degree of control and body awareness that is developed through gymnastics training is unrivaled. It develops functional movements that are otherwise neglected, but none the less are useful in every day activities. The kids on any school yard that consistently better their peers in fitness tests (frequently by large margins) are usually gymnasts.

Perception of Gymnastics in the U.S.
There is a perception in the U.S. that gymnastics is a sport for children, specifically little girls. This is an unfortunate result of media coverage of competitive gymnastics. As stated earlier, coverage of gymnastics events in the U.S. is weighted on the side of women, exhibiting the average female elite as a 5 foot tall, 100 pound, 16 to 20 year old. While it is true that gymnastics is a sport in which small size conveys a tremendous advantage in competition, large body size does not preclude individuals from gaining immense benefits from gymnastics training. On the contrary, it is more critical for larger individuals to have substantial body awareness and strength-to-weight ratio.
I pay no attention whatever to anybody's praise or blame. I simply follow my own feelings. -W. Mozart
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Old 03-26-2008, 09:03 PM   #9
Brian Reckdenwald
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Re: Crossfit and improved proprioception/reflexes

I've noticed a similar jump in my reflexes. I have been chalking it up to the O-lifting. I think that there's a lot of neurological development that takes place when doing olympic lifts and that it manifests itself in everyday life.

I love it.
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Old 03-26-2008, 11:15 PM   #10
Derek Maffett
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Re: Crossfit and improved proprioception/reflexes

Something fell out of the fridge one time and I actually dropped into a squat to catch it. I was very happy with that because it shows my body is finally accepting good movement patterns into my reflexive reactions.
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