Posts Tagged ‘Mobility’

After a quick weekend trip to Vegas, the next Weekly Throwdown is here!

Last week stability work was designed to improve comfort level and stability on the rings. This week, we’ll focus on shoulder, hip, and mobility work with some dumbbells.

Complex:

Double-Arm Standing Dumbbell Shoulder Press

Double-Arm Standing Dumbbell Push Press

Double-Arm Dumbbell Sotts Press

Double-Arm Dumbbell Thruster (out of the bottom position)

Alternating-Arm Standing Dumbbell Shoulder Press

Alternating-Arm Standing Dumbbell Push Press

Alternating-Arm Dumbbell Sotts Press

Alternating-Arm Dumbbell Thruster (out of the bottom position)

 

All of that is ONE round!

I’m challenging you to complete 7-10 rounds of that entire complex. The focus is NOT on increasing weight each round, necessarily. In fact, many people will be limited by their mobility in the bottom position of the squat for the Sotts Press. So if you struggle to get that arm/those arms locked out overhead safely in that bottom position, keep the weight light and focus on controlling reps.

Things to think about:

  • Pause at the top of each rep
  • Be deliberate with your breathing, exhaling as you punch/drive up
  • Rest between the double-arm and alternating arm round if you need to
  • Only increase weight if form allows
  • This is for technique, not for speed
  • Try to complete 7-10 rounds of the complex

Have fun with this one!

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As time goes on, I am getting better at warming myself up before working out. If it’s a squat day, I’ll spend time working on hip and ankle mobility, try and get my glutes to fire effectively, and add in dynamic movements to prepare my core and hamstrings to do some work. On days with Olympic Weightlifting, I’ll devote a few extra minutes to position work with an empty bar to reinforce every phase of the lift. While my warming up is moving in the right direction, an area where I still need to improve is ensuring I cool down properly after a training session.

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I tell my athletes all the time how important a proper cool down it is to their recovery, but often will convince myself that I’m “too busy” to do it. In this post, I will provide a great resource that explains why cooling down matters, and then a share some resources where you can learn what you can do to take better care of your body.

Last fall, Box Life Magazine.com released a great article called 3 REASONS TO COOL-DOWN AFTER YOUR WOD. The brief summary lists those reasons as follows:

  1. Helps waste removal and decreases blood pooling
  2. Lessens the effects of DOMS (delayed onset muscle soreness)
  3. Increases flexibility

If you ask me, those are all pretty good reasons to want to spend a few extra minutes each day on self-care! But that’s not all! They also include their “Stages of an Effective Cool Down”:

  1. Gentle Exercise– One of my favorite cool downs for athletes after a workout is to have them hop on a rower or an assault bike while they’re still completely gassed, start moving right away, and get slower every sixty seconds or so. Maybe a male athlete would start by holding a 2:00 pace, and would only hop off after four or five minutes when their heart rate is back down. That could mean pulling a 3:45 pace, and that’s fine. This style of cool down also offers a great opportunity to practice proper rowing technique during their recovery, without the pressures of “beating the clock” during a workout.
  2. Stretching– When the workout of the day includes explosive movements, I’ll rarely spend a lot of time before the workout on long, slow, isometric movements. If our muscles are long and relaxed, it can be harder to produce fast-twitch responses, so typically I’ll want to have athletes move faster in their warm-ups. After the workout, however, muscles are typically going to be plenty warm. Focusing on longer holds during cool down can not only improve flexibility, but it can also help flush out toxins faster that may have built up through rigorous exercise!
  3. Re-Fuel– This can be as simple as drinking water to replenish fluids lost during the workout, or taking some sort of post-workout nutrition. I will usually encourage people to eat “real food” whenever possible, whether that’s sweet potato and chicken breast, or maybe a delicious glass of chocolate milk (if you’re into that sort of thing.) For most people, however, something like a protein shake will do just fine to help your body repair damaged muscles, recover faster, and help you come back stronger than before! I haven’t used protein powder in years, but I’m going to be trying a new product soon. The brand FNX offers a Cricket Protein blend called Restore, so I’ll let you know what I think.

Resources:

One of the first CrossFit celebrities who gained international notoriety for being awesome is Kelly Starrett. He started “Mobility WOD“, and through it released hundreds of hours of incredible videos helping people address range of motion limitations and improve their performance inside, and outside, of the gym. I STRONGLY encourage everyone to search YouTube for his videos located there, as well!

The “New Kid on the Block” for CrossFit stretching and mobility is the group at ROMWOD. Another great resource, athletes who stick to the plan with them, find significant improvement in their body awareness, and consistently increase their end ranges of motion.

If there is anything else I can do to help suggest resources, please let me know. When in doubt, though, YouTube can be an amazing place to learn how to take better care of your body and recover after training sessions.

My goal is to help my friends stay healthier, for longer, and I hope this post helps to do just that. Thanks for the great article, BoxLifeMagazine!

A few days ago on this blog I mentioned how I’ve seen athletes push through fatigue to the point of getting injured because they convinced themselves it’s better to be able to put the #NoRestDays hashtag at the end of their Instagram posts than it is to take care of themselves properly. I made that comment kind of in jest, but it’s also true. It happens more often than you might think, and people will often push too hard because they see others doing the same.

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To be honest, I don’t really have a problem with the #NoRestDays philosophy. What I do have a problem with, is people thinking that No Rest Days means that a person should lift heavy weights and push themselves to the max 7 days per week. I do not support that prescription. Instead, let me tell you what I do encourage. Doing things to promote recovery (such as self-guided stretching, mobility, and/or yoga), performing active rest (such as going for a slow jog, easy row, or casual ride on the Assault Bike, or body weight movements done at a low intensity just to keep the blood flowing, etc), easy skill work that doesn’t tax the nervous system too much, and self care (like massage, cupping, dry-needling) are always thing I support.

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If you’re a Type-A personality that’s convinced that you absolutely must do something every day, then it’s fine. But, when you wake up and can barely get out of bed, or when it’s hard to get off of the toilet at work even when you use the railing in the stall, and when you walk around with your shoes untied because it hurts to much to bend over to tie them… then maybe you should simply rethink what it is you can do to still be productive. For those athletes who push their bodies hard all the time, remember that your body needs time to recover. You’ll see more even more gainz when you give those muscles time to rebuild stronger than before.

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So next time your friends peer pressure you into doing “that one WOD I saw Rich Froning do four days ago” or when you decide to see if you can test all of the Wodapalooza workouts… in a single afternoon “just to see how you stack up,” ask yourself if the potential risk of getting hurt outweighs the ability to say “I would have placed third to last” to your friends. If your body is telling you that you should rest, usually you should listen. If you absolutely cannot take a “Rest Day,” then tell yourself that the 20 minute ROMWOD flow you picked out is your work for the day. When tomorrow comes, you can crush those weights all over again!

Stay safe. Keep your body as healthy as you can, since you only have one. Dedicate time to proper recovery. And as always, if there’s anything I can do to help, please let me know!

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!

It was a beautiful morning in Denver and I had few minutes to step outside and finally answer Ben’s question from last week, which was “What can you do to prevent being sore the day after a workout?”

I touched on 3 main topics:

  • Ice to reduce swelling
  • Proper nutrition to replenish broken muscles.  (Kevin Ogar, a friend of mine, said this, “Cramming some post workout carbs is a good idea: sweet potatoes, yams, squash, starchy veggies and tuber (besides white potatoes), grassfed meat and butter.  And large quantities of them”)
  • Active stretching and mobility to decrease likelihood of injury and increase range of motion (I would definitely recommend Kelly Starrett’s MobilityWOD)

What do you think, guys?