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Modifying vs. Cheating

We did an Intro the other day with a person that wanted to sample our training.

During the Intro process we describe the Crossfit training philosophy, answer questions regarding the training and allow the person to go through a brief workout. During the workout we explain and demonstrate how we modify certain exercises. Every exercise performed had the ability to be modified. On the push ups, I explained that a proper modification is to have knees on the ground while maintaining proper range of motion and a secure mid-line. She jokingly said “cheating”.

Modifying exercises is a way to allow people of different strengths and abilities to train safely and effectively. There is a difference between short changing the range of motion requirements and scaling an exercise properly.


Modifying Push Ups: knees on the ground maintaining mid-line stability. down position is with elbows at a position higher than shoulder joint coming up to a locked out position at top.

Cheating Push Ups: toes on ground, reaching down with forehead with insufficient arm bend or not locking out.

We teach people how to properly modify exercises in order to continue reaching for a greater range of motion while and gradually getting stronger to reduce the amount of modifications necessary.