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flexibility - CrossFit London

Don’t dismiss the split

By Andrew Stemler
To be  the best Olympic weightlifter you can be, you need to understand one crucial thing.
What the rules  of Olympic lifting actually  are.

Not the rules made up by the coach or some internet commentator, but what the rules really are. Many  organisations and coaches, in  the search for  that new world champion,  simply want to impose a particular type of lifting style on anyone who walks in through the door. If you don’t have the natural attributes of their ideal lifter,  they ignore you.

In this imposition of a style, many coaches seek to exclude, rather than welcome people. No where is this clearer than in the snatch, often totally wrongly , defined as the squat snatch.
Rather than  encouraging pointless online debate  about the snatch performance, read the  actual rules that govern the performance of the snatch  according to  the IWF
“The barbell is placed horizontally in front of the lifter’s legs. It is gripped, palms downwards and pulled in a single movement from the platform to the full extent of both arms above the head, while either splitting or bending the legs. During this continuous movement, the barbell may slide along the thighs and the lap. No part of the body other than the feet may touch the platform during the execution of the lift. The weight, which has been lifted, must be maintained in the final motionless position, arms and legs extended, the feet on the same line, until the Referees give the signal to replace the barbell on the platform. The lifter may recover in his or her own time, either from a split or a squat position, and finish with the feet on the same line, parallel to the plane of the trunk and the barbell. The Referees give the signal to lower the barbell as soon as the lifter becomes motionless in all parts of the body.”
You’ll notice that in receiving the bar,  the words are “splitting or bending the legs”.
The fantastically lovely deep squat snatch, is a thing of beauty, It’s where strength, mobility, flexibility, agility, and let’s face it, awesomeness  blend.  It is, however a specific method used by  strong, mobile, flexible, agile and awesome people . As many people will tell you, if you don’t have mobility and flexibility, as far as the squat snatch goes, you are screwed. Even if you are awesome.
What  the rules mean is you can also  power and  split snatch. The split and power snatch are available to all (well, OK, 95% of people).
So my advice is this.
Focus on the actual message of the Olympic lifts first. Get judged on how much you can lift over your head, not on the method you use. Splitting and power snatches are safe and can be used by awesome strong people who maybe are a teeny weeny bit challenged in the mobility, flexibility and agility department.
Vorobyev states in ” A text book on weightlifting”,  “depending  on the makeup of  anatomico-physiological  and psychological features the  lifter adopts… split or squat and other technical elements”
This doesn’t mean that you cannot have a go, and practice the squat snatch. Maybe it will encourage you to actually do some mobility and flexibility, Maybe you’ll actually try and nail your  over heads squat,  but why not, in the meantime,  make sure you have a great power and split snatch too.

I don't want to do that, it's too hard!


I don’t want to do that, it’s too hard!
Whenever we face something we’ve never done before, that’s often the response we get in our heads.
This is our comfort zone.
After all, who doesn’t like to be comforfable? This is an instinct that has been wired into.our brains to fullfil the human body’s one purposes – to stay alive.
Trouble is, being comfortable doesn’t get us great abs, PBs and cool gymnastics pictures for our Insta account.

The fun stuff is OUTSIDE our comfort zones. So to be better in ourselves, we need to Get Comfortable Being Uncomfortable.  And reap the rewards of more confidence, pride and a shot of adrenaline that gets us hungry for more.
So how do we get to that place of Euphoria when we have to climb a mountain first and where we are is actually pretty cosy and comforting thank-you-very-much?
First step is to start small. One of the last articles on scaling will help with this.

Find someone who knows what they are doing to support you, such as a Crossfit coach or gymnastics instructor. They can guide you through, give you tips and they will keep you from doing anything stupid.
The key is to test your limits but not go outside of them – no prizes for jumping out of an airplane without a parachute.

Finally, learn to enjoy that butterfly feeling when you’re treading into the unknown. The more you anticipate it as the next step, going upside down or bringing a heavy bar over your head will be all part of the fun of it.
For more chances to break out of your comfort zone and get the flexibility you need to do so, jump into one of our flexibility classes.
Or, if you want to get flexible quicker or avoid pain and injuries, try a 1-1 by booking a free session here.
 
Felix
Flexibility Instructor, Crossfit London, Bethnal Green E2

KNOW You Should Stretch But Just Don't?

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We’ve all bad it. You get to the end of a workout, or a long day and your muscles are tight. You know you should stretch – but life gets in the way. You don’t feel like it.

What do you do?

The answer is accountability.

Having someone, like our Bethnal green Crossfit box to hold you accountable makes sure you get done what you need to.

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This can be a coach or a class you go to, or a friend or partner. One advantage of a class is group energy – doing something in an environment where others are doing the same makes it easier.

Whoever it is, tell them what you have to do, send them a message, tell them in person.

It doesn’t matter if they respond or not. I send messages to my accountability partner and just knowing I’ve told them makes me do it as I don’t want to admit I haven’t.

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So next time you say you ‘have to stretch,’ tell someone else and give them a date to follow up with you by. See how much YOU can get done.

Get your stretching you know you need done, come along to a flexibility class or if you’re serious about FAST results book a ‘Less Pains, More Gains’ get-flexible 1-1 on:
07504 142211
felix@superflexcoaching.com
Felix
Our classes are at the fantastic Crossfit London Bethnal green E2

Fix Your Stiff Shoulders With The Bridge – King Of Stretches

Stiff shoulders? Don’t worry, you’re not alone. We can thank our industrial ancestors for our poor shoulder mobility, being shoved in front of a desk as soon as we’re able to speak.
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Luckily, there’s a remedy. In comes the bridge. Not only does this open up the shoulders, it builds the core, and is a great milestone for shoulder flexibility.
As with all streches – and any goal in fact – we work things up one step at a time.

  1. Warm up your shoulders with some mobility exercises – you’ll learn some examples in our flexibility shoulders class.

After your shoulders are opened out a bit, you’re ready to take the bridge for a test drive.
All bridges start in the prep position. Hands by your ears, heals at your backside.
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For the first progression, grab hold of a partners ankles – less of an ask for your wrists and adds stability. If your shoulders need some work start with your partners legs wide.
We’ve got a bonus here – your partner can hold your shoulders to take some of the weight.
Lazy!
But good lazy. Once your elbows are straight and shoulders up enough you can let the support go.
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Now we’re onto the floor. Same prep position. The closer together your feet and your hands the harder it gets.
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A partner can again support your shoulders/neck/lower back etc – but by this stage you should be OK on your own.
 
That’s it! Head over to flex class for ml ore progressions and pointers on why your bridge might not be working.
Til then, stay chilled, go with the flow and keep up that little-&-often stretching.