Why Annie Thorisdottir makes functional training her way of life

CrossFit® has become a way of life, and I can’t imagine my life without it. We all got different things that make us smile, make us get up in the morning. For me, this is it.”

Annie Thorisdottir is a two-time CrossFit Games® Champion and a fitness role model around the world. When we meet with her just outside Reykjavík, in her home-county of Iceland, we find ourselves surrounded by snow-covered mountains and vast landscapes. Annie is smiling that iconic smile of hers when she greets us.

I smile when I train, I’m happy. I’m just fortunate to find something that makes me really happy. I’m still growing as an athlete and as a person. It’s knowing that I’m not stopping yet, I’m not done yet. I still know that I have more space to grow, and I want to see how good I can become.”

Annie grew up in a very active family. As a child, she spent a lot of time outside. Every summer, the family headed off to a new adventure; be it hiking or water skiing.

My dad made sure I was not the one who chickened out. I loved the adrenaline rush also as a child. I would be the only kid that would jump down the waterfall. It always made the experience so much better. By having my parents take us outside and being open-minded, it helped me broaden my horizons and not be afraid to try new things. I try to live like that.”


As a sport, functional training is growing internationally. Annie is one of the athletes that has been competing in the sport the longest, and has gained a lot of followers and fans around the world.

CrossFit® is constantly challenging yourself in different ways. It’s the same feeling I get when I’m trying for a new personal record in a snatch or a clean or something. So much of it is in your head. Do you dare to throw yourself under that weight? I think that mindset definitely transfers into my training as well.”

As a professional functional training athlete, Annie puts a lot of time into staying fit, constantly building her strength and overall fitness. What motivates her is always wanting to become better. Annie trains six times a week, four to five hours per day. Even though she loves the Icelandic nature and clean air, she still prefers the warm, comforting feeling of training indoors.

Everyone that’s done a really hard intensive workout they know that feeling that you get afterwards. The endorphins are so high at that point.”


Annie explains that functional training is almost like a sport for grown-ups. When you are done playing your sport, nothing comes after it except going to the gym and trying to stay in shape.

CrossFit® gives you that sport feeling aspect again, where it’s easy to set goals and try new things. People that start doing CrossFit®, they become excited about fitness. How cool is that? Now the general public is getting excited about training. They’re excited about getting into better shape, and they are excited about changing their diet. It’s a whole lifestyle instead of just going to the gym.”

Functional training is often celebrated for its strong sense of community – the feeling of showing up at a box and sharing the same experience with the people that are there.

Going into a CrossFit® box is a different feeling than any other gym that I’ve ever been to because it doesn’t feel like just the gym, it feels like so much more. And I think that goes into the whole CrossFit® community and the CrossFit® mentality.”


Annie looks confident when she tells us that she has upped her overall game, working a lot on improving her past weaknesses.

It used to only be power movements, so power cleans, power snatches. As heavy as possible, a lot of reps. That’s still definitely my strength, but that was mostly because I had knee issues so I didn’t squat very often.”

Annie has felt her knees finally starting to get better since she began using Rehband knee sleeves. Having tried a couple of different brands earlier, her physic told her that her knee cap wasn’t tracking correctly because the knee sleeves she was wearing were either too tight or too thick. The anatomic fit of Rehband fit her perfectly, she tells us, allowing her to move correctly while also providing the support she needs.

I’m excited when I see a lot of squatting in a workout because I’ve felt myself getting so much better, and then it’s so much more fun to do because I’m constantly seeing the progress in those workouts.

Muscle ups is another exercise Annie has had a love-hate relationship with, and an exercise that she felt cost her winning the CrossFit Games® a few times. She tells us that she used to get emotional when they showed up in a program, almost afraid.

But now when I see them in workouts I’m excited because I feel like I’ve gotten so much better. I’m pretty excited for this season. I’m going to show you guys that this is not a weakness anymore.”



Annie felt strong during the Open back in February and March, and is now getting ready for the Regionals. She is excited for the season, and feels like she has started out strong.

“As an athlete, I would describe myself as competitive. I love competing. That’s why I’m usually smiling when I’m competing. I love going out to the floor and feeling that I’m ready. And I enjoy being there.”

She looks at us, and without blinking says:

My goal for this year’s CrossFit® Games season is to win. I know it’s going to be really hard, there’s definitely going to be strong competition. I’m doing everything that I can to get to the top of the podium again.”

If you find something that you love doing, you are going to become successful at it because you are going to be willing to spend the time and effort. I’m going to be physically active and doing CrossFit® for the rest of my life for sure.”


The Rehband team wishes Annie Thorisdottir the best of luck in the CrossFit® Regionals in Madrid June 2-4!


Celebrate your fitness and get the Rehband CrossFit® Games Editions knee sleeves today.

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