So the title might offend some of you, but hear me out, I might be onto something.
What is the same?! Well, I’m talking about their structure dimensionality.
These are two of the most popular fitness systems today and actually they’re quite similar in an important way: they focus too narrowly on what they’re good for.
I think it’s easy to argue that CrossFit is all about explosiveness/plyometric power. It’s also about engine capacity: your body’s cardiovascular capacity to keep your muscles oxygenated.
Now, many would argue at this point, that CrossFit is cross training in many different disciplines (Olympic lifting and gymnastics comes to mind) and I’m not disputing that (in this article anyway).
The point here is that the execution of movement is almost always explosive and programming is aimed at pushing you to your limits, most of the time.
This can also perhaps be attributed to the fact that CrossFit is a fitness sport after all. Sports by their very nature are competitive and competition drives people to sometimes do stupid things.
The problem might not actually be with CrossFit (as per its definition) either, but perhaps in the execution/interpretation of its philosophy.
Yoga in total contrast, is about flexibility and isometric (holding positions or poses) strength and endurance.
It is also limited in other ways, for example: in Yoga you never pull, but only push. Think about functional use of your abilities in daily life for a moment; how much pushing vs. pulling do you do? How much explosive vs. isometric strength do you require?
So what’s the consequences?
CrossFit is more often than not, a sure path to injury. A physio therapist I spoke to said that CrossFit has surpassed rugby as the cause of most of their patient’s injuries! Think about that for a second…
Mobility, agility and importantly, longevity, is also not something to expect from CrossFit in general.
Interestingly I’ve seen CrossFit move in a different direction lately, with some more focus on calisthenics and mobility. We’ll see where this takes the sport in the next few years.
Yoga is great at increasing flexibly and joint health. The isometric holds are a fantastic way to injury proof your body, which is why it’s even popular amongst professional athletes.
Unfortunately, isometric strength is very limited in functional applications in daily life and even something as simple as jumping becomes a challenge for someone that does only Yoga, as the fast twitch muscles and plyometric power is completely lacking.
So am I saying doing CrossFit and Yoga would be a good balance, yes, sure. At least then you’ll find a better balance (that is if you replaced some of your CrossFit sessions with Yoga, not if you simply add Yoga to your full CrossFit schedule).
Then again, you could just join us at EvoFit and get the benefits of both and then some!