Workout of the Day

The Most Dangerous Exercise


If I asked you what recreational/fitness activity you thought was most dangerous, what would your top answers be? Soccer? Martial arts? Basketball? Weightlifting? Gymnastics?
What if I told you it running was more dangerous than all of these?

Though American football tends to top the danger charts in most statistics that look at competitive sports, running generally wins out as the most dangerous recreational/fitness activity. Yes, with annual moderate to severe injury rates upwards of 70% in endurance runners, running is more dangerous than other “scary” activities like weightlifting and martial arts and tumbling. Weird, right?

So what’s the point of this? Am I trying to deter you from running? I’m sure many of you would love it if I told you that running is bad and dangerous and you shouldn’t do it, but I don’t think that’s true at all. Yes, I did say above that running is the most dangerous, but the reason isn’t because the activity itself is dangerous. The issue is how it’s approached. With incredibly low barriers of entry (i.e., no necessary equipment or [ostensibly] instruction) and a public perception of being safe, approachable, and healthy, running attracts more participants every year than any other fitness activity. Google has over half a million results for “couch to marathon” programs to take you from zero running to completing a 26.2 mile race.

I participated in a race about a year ago and was in complete shock at the nearly universal poor movement I saw. If there was a powerlifting competition in which participants had equivalently poor movement as you see at the average 10k race, you can guarantee that video would immediately be up on YouTube and drawing the ire of the masses. There would be talk of serious risk, terrible coaching, dangerous competitive standards, and irresponsible event organizers. So why do we let running get by with such low standards?

It comes down, largely, to the fact that most don’t consider running a skill. If you move yourself a little faster than walking speed and get yourself from point A to point B, then it’s running, and it must be good enough. The reality, though, is that accomplishing the task doesn’t mean it’s been accomplished well or safely. We all know this about heavy snatches, but we forget that it’s the same for running. As a fundamental and essential human movement, as well as the most popular and one of the most volume-heavy forms of exercise, the least we can do is recognize that running is a skill that deserves practice and attention. Movement as a whole is a skill, and we’re all about finding ways to do it better.

- Preston Sprimont


  • Spend 12 minutes working on bar muscle-up skills

  • 4 rounds for reps:

  • :40 on, :20 off

    • Ring dips

    • Toes to bar

    • Box jumps

*record total reps