Posts Tagged ‘CrossFit WOD Tips’

This week I decided to combine my Weekly Throwdown and Tip of the Week posts. Here’s why:

Most of the time, I think when people start a working out, they put their brain on cruise control and don’t really think. The difference between muddling through a workout and moving with purpose can be powerful, however.

As I demonstrate in the video, crashing down into every air squat versus being deliberate about core tension, breath control, and foot placement, can lead to vastly different results over time.

As they say:

Practice doesn’t make perfect. Practice makes progress.

I think we should do our best to get the most out of all of the time we spend in the gym.

Check out the video below, and let me know what you think, please!

There is so much discussion and debate out in internet land about the proper way to do a kettlebell swing. Is Russian (eye level) the proper end range of motion for a rep, or should one go overhead (American) each time? Good news, I don’t care!

This episode is instead going to address my favorite way of setting up for the first rep of every set; regardless of the height you plan to take your kettlebell.

Take a look, let me know if you like this strategy, and have a great weekend!

In college I was a psychology major, so when it comes to the mind of an athlete, I think I’ve got a good ability to relate to people from all walks of life and with any kind of fitness goals. The part of this whole coaching thing that has been the area of the most growth for me, however, is my knowledge of human anatomy and physiology.

I constantly try to learn more about the body, how it works, and WHY certain things work to help myself and my athletes move more safely, and more efficiently. As the topic of shoulder mobility becomes more and more prevalent, I will try to share helpful resources with you all for your own help.

Today’s article is from the website and is called: “Why Do I Keep Jacking Up My Shoulder? A CrossFitter’s Dilemma

I shared this piece because in a pretty short post it gives a basic description of the musculature of the shoulder, lists some common injuries, and then some basic resources and ideas for shoulder rehab/prehab. What I like most about it, though, is that author Meghan Rovig briefly mentions several other scenarios and impacted areas of the body (such as thoracic spine mobility and the labrum) which potentially impact shoulder health.

By bringing awareness to these factors, athletes can become more aware of how to take care of their bodies, and instead of just pointing to one part of their body when something hurts, they could potentially self-diagnose more effectively and get better faster!

Anyways, check out this post, and let me know what you think, please!

If I had to pick, I’d say the Clean is my favorite lift. There’s something about trying to pick up a HEAVY weight off the ground, and somehow stand with it on your shoulders… that is really fun for me!

For a great video on how to learn to Clean CORRECTLY 🙂 check out Glenn Pendlay of California Strength breaking it down.


Anyways, back to me being a nerd for Cleans. At one of the Seminars I’ve attended to try and become a better competitive exerciser, I got to meet Spencer Arnold.

Spencer is an Olympic Weight lifter who lifts in the 69 kilo weight class. That means he weighs NO MORE THAN 152 pounds on the day of his competitions. 152 pounds. That said, here he is Cleaning 332.898 pounds at the American Open this year. I did not type that wrong. Almost 333 pounds. At a body weight of less than 152 pounds. Cool.


Ok, so now you know he can lift.

On his blog, he shared an article with a great exercise for stabilizing the standing portion of the Front Squat half of the Clean. It’s called the “Front Squat Recovery Exercise”. Basically, it helps to ensure that the core is strong at the bottom, and that the torso is vertical (stacked over the hips) in order to provide a stable column to stand with the bar. Read his description, and then check out the video at the bottom of the post.

Looking for supplemental drills to improve your Olympic Weightlifting? (I’m hope the answer to that is YES, by the way!) Well, there’s one.

Link to his post with the Front Squat Recovery Exercise

Keep tuned into Spencer’s blog, too. He posts tons of great content, and definitely knows his stuff.

Thoughts on the drill? Let me hear it, people!

Hello Friends! There is a pretty big CrossFit Competition in Denver this weekend known as the “Turkey Challenge“. Personally, I consider it the second biggest “local” event of the year, and the turn-out will be AWESOME! (If you live in the area, you should come to MBS CrossFit Saturday and/or Sunday to check it out.)

With the event coming up, I thought I would share two different posts I’ve come across recently that will not only apply to athletes participating this weekend, but to athletes (especially CrossFitters) everywhere! The first is a list of useful stretches that we should probably all do this weekend.

This post comes from the crew at CrossFit Done Right in Rockville, Maryland, and it’s called “9 Stretches You Should Know“. It features a TON of links to videos and articles from Kelly Starrett’s Mobility WOD web-site. That site, if not already, should be bookmarked on ALL of your browsers. Hundreds of hours of stretching and mobility techniques for every part of your body!

This post features a link to info on stretches to help warm up 9 areas of the body in particular. Yeah, 9, so you can pick and choose what needs it the most!
1- Heal Cord & Calves
2- Front of Hips
3- Shoulders and Bands
4- High Groin/Hamstring
5- Hamstring
6- More Hips and Glutes
7- Feet
8- Shoulder Blade/Rib Cage
9- Neck and Traps

Please check out the page and learn at least one new stretch!

The second post is about SQUATTING. Yes. Squatting. There are a lot of people out there who argue and claim to know what is and isn’t the safe and appropriate depth to squat as an athlete. Before I share the link, let me share my own personal take. While this is highly influenced by my last 4 years following CrossFit, let me state that much of this stance has to do with my own personal experience with the movement. I feel that when performed safely and correctly, that the full depth squat (crease of the hip below the top of the knee) is one of the most effective strength and conditioning exercises known to humans.

So this post, which is called “3 Squatting Myths That Refuse To Die“, talks about…. three myths:
– Myth #1: Squatting below parallel is bad for your knees
– Myth #2: Your knees should never go past your toes
– Myth #3: Squats are bad for your back

My favorite part of the post, is that it HAPPENS to feature a picture of my good friend, Zach Krych (who had yet another INCREDIBLE video made about him and his story)!

So, do me a favor please, friends.

Check out the post above about mobility, and then read the post about squatting, and please share your thoughts with me on the two topics. I always welcome discussions about what you all think about those things, those two areas in particular.

Thank you in advance for checking out the post, the blog, and for your comments!

Miranda Oldroyd, of CrossFit HQ, shares some super helpful tips on how to more efficiently complete the Clean.

She also utilizes my buddy, Zach Forrest (Owner of CrossFit Max Effort in Vegas), to show how it’s done right!

What do you think of this video? Any additional thoughts or questions?

Today, we rarely see Handstand Walks in CrossFit Programming these days. That movement requires (at the very least) balance, coordination, and strength. The good news, however, is that even if freestanding handstands, or handstand walks, are out of your ability level for now (which I’d say they are for most people), some of the drills discussed below are still very relevant and helpful for a variety of the other movements we’re regularly asked to do in CrossFit.

Take a few minutes and watch some tips to improving overall balance and spatial awareness. If nothing else, this will teach you ways to safely “eject” from a Handstand-Gone-Bad! (I know I’ve been there on several dozen occasion…)

Thanks to Jon Gilson, and the Again Faster crew, for another great resource!

Almost all of us who have been doing CrossFit for a while have had the moment (or moments) come where you’re in the middle of a workout, and then all of a sudden… RRRRIIIIIIPPPP. There goes a hand tear, and sometimes, your ability to continue working out. The tear itself might hurt, the care for it (washing and cleaning it) definitely hurts, but the worst pain of all is not being able to keep training because your hands are too messed up to grab the bar, or anything else! Not. Good.

The post I’m sharing today is one of the best resources I’ve come across in order to show effective methods on how to take care of your hands to try and prevent tears. The video below features legendary strength coach Mark Rippetoe on one method; how to grab the bar properly. I was lucky enough to take a seminar with him a few years ago, and have been using this method myself since he taught it to me. *knock on wood* but I’ve had a lot of success with not shredding up my hands over the years, and attribute a lot of that success to proper care.

I think one of my friends, Megan, said it best.
“In general i believe in tearing wrapping paper, not hands.”

I hope you guys like the link and the article (called CrossFit Hand Care from the website and the video!

CrossFit Hand Care

CrossFit claims to be a “Functional Fitness” program. That statement leads to a lot of people asking, “What does functional mean?” Today, we’ll talk about ONE of those movements, and why it’s functional. Today’s movement is squatting. To me, squatting is one of the most fundamental human movements!

Sit down. How do you get up the most efficiently? Squat. Pick anything up off of the ground, what’s the safest way to stand with it? Likely, some form of squat. In this short video from the CrossFitHQ YouTube channel, the squat is discussed at length, including how and why you should do the movement properly. I hope you guys find this as helpful as I did!

p.s.- Yes, the “Doublemint” is my favorite part of any CrossFit video… ever. Nicole and Annie are my sirens. 🙂

The folks at Again Faster constantly provide useful information to CrossFitters and athletes everywhere on their website. Today’s video that they reposted on RECOVERY and Foam Rolling is no exception.

Many of you have had a few lessons in the gym in regards to some helpful foam rolling techniques. This short video provides not only the HOW to do several exercises, but also some critical reasons as to WHY we want to spend time with this training tool. Check it out, and let me know if you have any additional questions.

Thanks for the great stuff, AF!