Session: connection failed

Ready State and Injury by Kelly Starrett - CrossFit Journal

Ready State and Injury

By Kelly Starrett

In ExPhysiology, Reference, Videos

September 22, 2009

Video Article

In CrossFit, performance is king.

Capacity in all 10 fitness domains will result in high performance and health, which Kelly Starrett refers to as an “ideal ready state.”

Speaking at a special seminar held at CrossFit Santa Cruz on March 14, 2009, Starrett maintains that any deviation from the ready state because of injuries and chronic conditions results in a decrease in performance. Therefore, dysfunction simply represents undeveloped capacity and an opportunity to improve.

To reach the ready state, you have to address your weaknesses systematically, whether they include a lack of strength, poor endurance, chronic back pain or a severe knee injury. CrossFit is the perfect way to deal with any deficiency because it’s all about eliminating weaknesses. By forcing yourself to break down barriers to performance, CrossFit will move you closer to the ready state and the elite fitness that comes with it.

Starrett is a Doctor of Physical Therapy and the owner of San Francisco CrossFit.

6min 44sec

Additional reading: Working Wounded by Greg Glassman, published May 1, 2005.

Free Download


11 Comments on “Ready State and Injury”


Cody Limbaugh wrote …

iPhone format, please come back! I love you! I promise not to take you for granted ever again! Just tell me what I need to change and I will! Please! I just don't think I can live without you! I can't believe I was such a fool! Please come back to me!
pxt Cody


wrote …

Kelly--Nicely stated as always, and in a framework that is more than easy to have fit a person's individual situation, and how to attack and improve that situation. Giving us the tools, showing the way to actively change/improve the conditions moving closer to achieving the ideal that everyone is chasing.


Jesse Gray wrote …

The issue of Crossfit and injury is of great interest to me and I was very excited to see this video come up. After watching it I'm a bit disappointed however. As a Crossfitter who is currently dealing with a spate of injuries which limit my range of motion (3 full knee reconstruction, fractured lumbar vertebrae, both shoulders in dire need of sugery ((one has dislocated 10 times in the last year)) a recently broken wrist, et al...) from a lifetime of being a serious athlete I was really hoping there would be some more specific info on how to rehab injuries other than just "focus on it during your warm up". If I focus on shoulder exercises I just get painful shoulder inflamation and a distinct possibility my shoulder will pop out while performing a 12oz curl later that night. If I run much, squat heavy, DL etc my knee looks like it's smuggling tennis balls. I'm still only 29 and I worry that Crossfit may actually be reducing my athletic longevity.


replied to comment from Jesse Gray

Jesse-- Take a look at Kelly's videos that are dedicated to shoulder impingement and solving knees problems each have a couple of installments. The links are posted at the top of the page when you go to leave a comment. They are full of outstanding information on working with these areas and improving the current situation to improve performance and regain the "best fit" principle. This is a short part of the entire day seminar.


Thanks Kaitlin, I'm heading for the archives right now. Hopefully this will shed some light on what I can do better. My current PT believes that Crossfit is the Devil in the flesh and I'm really hoping that's not the case.


Rob Barrese wrote …

Good call Kaitlin, Jesse I think you will find plenty of material in those journal video's. I too had some shoulder issues this past year and they helped pull me out. In fact, OHS and get-ups were the staple of my rehab once swelling and immediate pain subsided. Best of luck with the injuries I understand it is annoying. Especially when you have one right after another.... right after another!

Kelly, as always thanks for the outstanding video!


wrote …


Good video. Really appreciate it. But I do have one question. Every time I see one of your lectures you have a shirt mullet. What gives?

Business in the front, party in the back?


wrote …

Kelly's videos are fantastic. The knee stuff has helped me and my patients. Another shoulder rehab resource I was directed to a couple of months back on the CF fourms was (WFS) Right side of the page about 1/2 way down "How to Shoulder Rehab." Includes video of the movements and a 7 day program. Very thorough and well constructed program.


wrote …


Just attended your Seminar at CrossFit LA this past weekend, and let me just say that you round out CrossFit so well, in that by empowering us with the tools to assist our athletes towards both enhanced performance and recovery, we are accelerating the dial on the fitness continuum.

Had an athlete come in today that was complaining of your typical CrossFit general malaise, "I'm tight,", "achy braky here", "my knee..." and I was able to put her through an assessment, score her, do a light warmup, then PNF stretch her, apply some of the downstream/upstream protocols that you taught, had her do some myofascial release, and she had an Eureka moment. Reassessed her and she scored 4/4. Needless to say, my stock went up in her eyes.

Your seminars should be required curriculum for CrossFit Trainers--they're that good.

Folks, go to one--quick.

CrossFit San Elijo


replied to comment from Jesse Gray

I am in the same boat. Long basketball career, herniated disc and slow degeneration at l5-s1. xfit got me back on my feet and stronger than ever, but now I am suffering from a number of symptoms related to the back. The intensity of the training has more than likely contributed to amplifying the injury. Addiction to the competitive nature of crossfit probably isn't the healthiest thing for me. Haven't worked out in a month, waiting for mri results and see what the next step is.


wrote …

I second the recommendation on the Diesel Crew shoulder rehab. That and their 2-minute warmup did wonders for me in conjunction with Active Release Therapy.

Leave a comment

Comments (You may use HTML tags for style)