6 Movements to Add to your Training

July 21, 2018


As a Sports Orthopedic Physical Therapist, I see tons of injuries to active people. Something that seems to be a recent trend is the criticism of the sport of fitness because "it causes too many injuries." I've even heard ridiculous statements by other Physios indicating that "CrossFit® is good for job security".

I personally could not disagree more with that sentiment. There may be more people coming in for injuries from CrossFit® than in the past, but that's only because it's "newer" than running or cycling. CrossFit® is a fantastic way to maintain fitness and fight chronic disease, it's also a totally acceptable pastime for former team sports athletes or anyone looking for some type of competitive activity.

The one thing that I do see when CrossFitters come in for rehab is something that I often see in other fitness athletes. That is a general awkwardness due to unfamiliarity in the transverse and frontal planes. When your sport is also your training modality you run the risk of overtraining the same movement patterns. Most CrossFit® WODs take place in the sagittal plane as does running or cycling.

CrossFit thrives on constantly varied, high-intensity functional movements that target improvement in these 10 skills:
  • Cardiovascular/ Respiratory Endurance
  • Stamina
  • Strength
  • Flexibility
  • Power
  • Speed
  • Coordination
  • Agility
  • Balance Accuracy
While building off these 9 fundamental movements:
  • Squat
  • Front Squat
  • Overhead Squat
  • Press,
  • Push Press
  • Push Jerk
  • Deadlift
  • Sumo Deadlift High Pull
  • Med Ball Clean.

CrossFit® incorporates hundreds of other movements, however many of them tend to be bilateral and in the sagittal plane working vertically. By tweaking some of the 9 fundamental movements you can get your athletes into the unfamiliar planes of motion, build even more competency across the 10 skills and fight off diminishing returns that often come from overtraining weaknesses.

Here are just a few suggestions to help CrossFit programmers add more plane variance into their workouts. These movements are similar to some standard CF favorites such as KB swings, and wall balls.

  • KB/DB golf squat
  • KB/DB chop
  • DB traveling lunge & throw
  • Med Ball hip throw
  • Med Ball split alternating shot
  • Med Ball single leg shot

While the ROM may be a little more difficult to standardize, these movements can still sub into any training met-con WOD or be used in a warm-up set. By adding the transverse and frontal plane challenges along with split and single leg stances your athletes with become more athletic and even more ready for anything!

This is a guest post from Chris Butler, MPT, CSCS. Chris is the Director of Sports Medicine at CATZ Physical Therapy & Sports Performance in Pasadena CA. Chris has been helping athletes rehab since 2007. For more info visit 
ChrisButlerSportsPT.com, @cbutlersportspt on Instagram or Chris Butler Sports PT on Facebook.