Categorized as: Mobility

So, how was Fran?

fran

If you are reading this after the 19th of June, well done. You completed Fran. Either it’s your 1st time, or you had a previous benchmark which hopefully you beat.

Either way, you have something far more valuable than a PB. You have information. Crucially you have information that will inform your future training. Let’s look at what you just did: 21/15/9 thrusters and pull ups.

Question 1) It was a test, did you take it seriously, or did you coast?

Question 2) What felt hard, what felt easy? There are 2, arguably  3 moves in this workout, the squat, the push press, Some would say the thruster is simply unique sick move, all of its own, others

There are 2, arguably  3 moves in this workout. Some would say the thruster is a unique sick move all of its own, others that it’s just a front squat and push press stuck together. Then there’s the pull-up? Which felt hard, which felt easy.

Which felt hard, which felt easy?

The reality is that your Fran time will get better by a bigger front squat and a stronger performance overhead or simply a better thruster.

You’ll notice that our program constantly targets the front squat, the back squat, the deadlift. We combine this regular stimulus with one-legged variation’s designed to make sure your legs and glutes are totally engaged. This will also transform your sad little ass into a booty! Basically having strong legs is one aspect of nailing Fran. Look at those regular days and get yourself booked in.

Overhead strength is a must, so make sure you hit ” no squat day” where we work your strict and dynamic arm strength.

As for your pull-ups, you’ll notice a constant drip of weighted pull ups and dips in the program. The stronger your arms, the better. Obviously, it’s unlikely (but not impossible) that you’ll get a world beating Fran time with strict pull ups, so the question is, do you need to learn how to kip? If so, watch out for the tap swing /kipping opportunities in the “all element day” warm up, check out the skill classes and see if there is a “1.9” scheduled soon. 

Take home message, learn how to kip. If there isn’t a skill class or a 1.9 you can get to, grab a trainer and book a PT session!

However, these elements are not in themselves guaranteed to work. They must be pulled together by an unstoppable metabolic engine, so work hard in the metabolic conditioning part of the Crossfit level 2 classes, and hit those Metcon classes.

Once again, a good metabolic engine isn’t quite enough! Eventually, you need to be able to cope with thrusters and pull ups in a metabolic context. Remember the Tabata thrusters and pull ups!!

Balance this by dealing with your mobility, food, and mental health issues!

Crossfit? What the fuss? Get super strong, super skilled and build an unstoppable metabolic engine and apply it to tasks.  Fix mobility problems, eat well, and be super, super happy!

 

 

You too can get the splits… by starting where you are

Side splits or box splits are something everyone wants, but seem impossible to get. But not anymore.

When looking at a far off goal it’s easy to get disheartened. We keep telling ourselves, I don’t have it, why don’t I have it, this sucks etc. I should have the splits by now!

The first step is to ask yourself, what level am I at now? And accept it, be OK with it. If you start where you are you can progress smoothly, safely. Trying to jump in at a level that you think you SHOULD be leads to pain, poor technique, bad habits and worse case injury. Makes sense?

OK, back to the box splits. So you’ve worked out your level. Now it comes to choosing the right progression.

 

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The Butterfly

Sit down with your legs loose in front, then pull your feet in, soles touching, knees out and as low to the floor as possible. All of these progressions employ the ‘squeeze release’ method – come along to a flexibility class to find out exactly what this is.

Your partner stands behind and applies pressure on the knees using the squeeze-release timing. By standing as above your partner is able to use bodyweight to apply more intensity with less effort. Because in flexibility we like to be lazy.

 

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The Butterfly

We’ve got a little menagerie going on here. If your knees are touching the floor in the butterfly, it’s time to move onto the next progression. The them for this one is 90 degrees. Kneel on your hands and knees with a 90 degree angle at your knees, hips, shoulders and elbows. Then start to move your knees apart, keeping alignment. Alignment is key in flexibility for reduced injury, pain and to save years correcting bad habits. Sounds good?

Your partner applies pressure at the lower back or top of the thighs in the squeeze release method. Your goal will be squeezing your knees against the floor while they keep you pinned down.

 

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Butterfly – Blocks

Increase intensity further on blocks. Same pointers apply as above.

 

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Inverted Box Split

Final progression. Sit up close to the wall so you are literally sitting on the wall and your legs go up vertical, back on the floor. Then open your legs out in a scissor motion, knees locked. Stay loose and relaxed. Your partner applies pressure either to the calves or thighs – if you get pain in the knees then thighs are better. Go easy with this one and speak up if your partner is going too far as it’s a very intense stretch. Make sure you come out of the stretch slow as well or you will be walking like John Wayne (which may happen anyway – hey, he was kind of cool.)

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Pretty much anyone can get a box split if they WANT it bad enough – yes you too. It’s all about doing the right things consistently.

If any of the above sounds confusing, book into a flexibility class and I’ll be happy to help out.

Felix

Mobility: Achilles Help

As our programming progresses, we will seek to support your fitness performance by enabling and empowering you to do mobility at home.  To be effective, mobility and therapy drills need to be constantly and relentlessly applied, not slipped in before a class.

Some of this mobility will be preventative, but much will be reactive.  It’s very difficult to perform shoulder drills if your shoulders are fine, likewise, most lack the will to do ” bad back therapy” if their backs are fine ( it’s actually a bit of a nightmare getting people to do them when they are in agony and the results are immediate and pain relieving!)

Week, by week, the mobility team: Me, Kate, Carolyn, Sui, Felix, and Jenny will be compiling videos, supported by blog posts, to help you deal with “issues”  and to advance your flexibility and your mobility. In class, our trainers will hound you for the best form you can manage. Today’s issue is Achilles Pain

Everybody can fall foul of Achilles pain. Some will call it Achilles Tendonitis, others Tendonosis.  Im thick and i  prefer more obvious terms like, ” my  F***ing Achilles hurts”.

I endorse my use of the word  “hurts:

It cuts to the chase.

You”ll get this condition by a mix of too much volume in both running and lifting. Excessive double under’s and box jumps won’t help. Experimenting with flat shoes, if you have spent the last 30 years with a heel lift, will also bring this on. In fact, there is an interesting study that warns against Crossfitting and wearing flat shoes

Being an evil person, in general, won’t help.

Speaking personally as  an asshole who trains through pain,  training through the pain will really really make it worse and hurt. But no one could have stopped me, so I won’t stop you. I do though suggest you review your training and bring in as many mobility drills as you can find. Here are my 3 favorites

Eccentric drops: one of the No1 drills to fix. Sort of an extreme stretch, but without having to go to yoga class to do it

The voodoo band: do this occasionally, don’t go too tight in the early stages

Rock Tape. Modern research is showing that there is a sneaky bit of magic occurring under the skin in the subcutaneous fat. Gently pulling the skin allows magic pixie and fairy fluids to circulate and do magical things. It needs 2 strips:
This one

Then this one

I should point out that all pain has a stress element. The more you can build good karma into your life, the better. Pain is sometimes the body’s way of slowing you down?