Coach Tip Tuesday: There's No Such Thing as Bad Movement

Posted On:
Wednesday, May 9, 2018
Updated On:
Tuesday, July 18, 2023
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Seven days have come and gone, so now it’s time for Coach Tip Tuesday again!!

Have you ever heard “You shouldn’t do that; it’s bad for you??”  How about “running is bad for your knees” or “CrossFit is the devil and will get you injured”??  Well today, I want to bust some of these myths and tell you all that I don’t believe that there is such a thing a bad movement, but that I do think that there’s such a thing as a movement done badly.

When people say that running is bad for the knees, they’re certainly saying this because they’ve heard of runners getting injuries related to the knee, such as Runner’s Knee or IT Band Syndrome.  In my time as an athlete and coach, I’ve found that athletes who sustain these injuries do so not because running is bad, but because their movement patterns are bad.  As I’ve said before: the human body will find a way to do almost every single action you ask of it, and it will do so by finding the path of least resistance.  Why??  For the same reason that you do many things in your life: it’s cheap and easy.  So this means that the body will do this, even if it means using a muscle for a different purpose than it was intended.  When the proper muscles are cued and utilized repetitively over time, overuse injuries happen.

CrossFit tends to get a bad rap in the athletic community, with many people saying that it’s inherently dangerous and that athletes are more likely to get injured if they do it.  That is absolutely untrue.  What is true, however, is this: like any sport, your injury risk increases if you don’t take the time to learn the fundamentals before you increase your training load.  CrossFit has a competitive element to it, so when you add in a population of competitive individuals, you have a recipe where many athletes will push their boundaries before they’re truly ready to, and as a then they get injured.  Focusing on fundamentals, foundational movements, and form and perfecting those before increasing load greatly reduces the injury risk.  How so??  Because then the athlete is working on making sure that the movement is sound before additional load is introduced.  In other words: they’re ensuring that they are not executing their movements poorly.

Today’s takeaway??  There’s something out there for everybody; for you, it might be running, and for your friend it might be CrossFit.  As far as I’m concerned, there isn’t a bad sport out there and I don’t care what people are doing as long as they’re staying safe as they’re staying active.  Remember: there isn’t such a thing as a bad movement.  But there definitely is such a thing as a movement done badly.  Focus on doing your movements well in your sport of choice so that you can become as strong as possible, and ultimately remain as injury-free as possible.


Coach Laura Henry

Laura Henry is a Syracuse, NY-based coach who is a USA Triathlon Level II Long Course and Level II Paratriathlon Certified Coach, USA Cycling Level 2 Certified Coach, VFS Certified Bike Fitter, and has successfully completed NASM's Certified Personal Trainer course. Coach Laura is passionate about helping athletes of all ability levels reach their goals and has coached many athletes to success.

She can be reached at

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