10.22.18 - 10.26.18

Monday 10.22.18

Deadlift

3 Point Hinge Drill

This drill will be performed with a PVC pipe in order to give athletes some awareness of what neutral feels like during their hinge pattern on the deadlift. Athletes will start by placing the PVC pipes vertically running along the back of the body with three points of contact. The goal is to keep the PVC in contact with the back of the head, between the shoulder blades, and with the lower back throughout the whole hinge pattern. When the back rounds, the neck arches back, or the core becomes disengaged, one part of the PVC will lose contact with the body. Having athletes perform 10 good mornings during this drill will give them valuable feedback to transfer over into the workout.

Butt Back First

A quad dominant deadlift is also often a back dominant deadlifts based on the bar placement on the floor and the path it takes when traveling back up the body. This fault is often corrected by the drill above, but is worth touching on. When athletes initiate the descent of the bar towards the floor, they should do so by sending the butt back first as opposed to the knees forwards. This allows them to engage the posterior chain and creates a vertical shin, which is a more efficient and safe position.

Movement Prep

PVC Hinge Drill

5 Good Mornings

5 Slow Deadlifts

5 Deadlifts

Similar to earlier in the week, breaking athletes into groups of 2-3 based on similar projected weight selections. Extra bars will go away and athletes will have 15 minutes to complete 2 warmup sets and the 5 working sets of 3. Another great opportunity to make positive change in each athlete’s deadlift by giving them at least one thing to think about. This will also be a great evaluator of what weight they should use during the conditioning piece.

Like the name suggests, these rounds are intended to be close to a “Dead Sprint”. One thing to be aware of is the speed of the deadlift. We do not want athletes to add a significant amount of speed to the deadlift if that means a compromise of points of performance. The difference between the fastest set of 7 deadlifts vs. a slower set of deadlifts is a few seconds at best. Going a touch slower here and maintain proper technique takes priority over speed of the movement. Time can be made up on the run and the bike. Teams can use tally marks or poker chips to keep track of rounds. Athletes who just finished the bike should reset bike monitor after each round.

Tuesday 10.23.18

Grip

We know that the thruster is a combination of the front squat and the push press in to one big, metabolically challenging movement. In the front squat, we are able to maintain a loose fingertip grip to ensure that the barbell sits as far back onto the shoulders as possible. However, the push press requires all of the fingers to be wrapped around the bar in order to complete a safe and strong press overhead. This hybrid movement also requires a hybrid grip. On the thruster, looking to have all of the fingers wrapped around the bar, but will a slightly loose grip to allow for higher elbows during the squat.

Elbow Position

Just as there was a hybrid grip, there is also a hybrid elbow position. The elbows will slightly change positions during the thruster. While it is more difficult to keep the elbows up during the squat with the hybrid grip, looking for athletes to drive them high out of the bottom of the squat. On the way up, the elbows will have to drop slightly in order to transition from the front squat to the push press. If the elbows remain in the high position, it will cause athletes to complete a press out with the arms, send the bar too far backwards, or result in a push jerk.

Movement Prep

5 Pausing Front Squats

5 Push Press

5 Front Squats (Hybrid Grip)

5 Thrusters

During this weightlifting piece, athletes will have 15 minutes to build to a heavy set of 5 Thrusters. Athletes will group up in teams of 2-3, ideally based on similar projected weight selections. Extra barbells will be put away. This is coaches best time to make positive change in technique by giving every athlete at least one thing to focus on.

Wednesday 10.24.18

Double Unders

Hand Position

When hands widen out or rise up the body, the rope elevates off the ground and forces athletes to bring the knees up to clear the jump. Placing the hands slightly in front of the hip bones will make sure the rope has enough slack on the ground to pass under the feet.

Jumping Rhythm

When the height of the jump varies during the workout, it makes it a much more difficult task for our brain to synchronize hands and feet. Having a steady jump straight up in the air will lead to better timing and rhythm on both single unders and double unders

Movement Prep

Breaking between.

:15 Seconds Quick Singles

:15 Seconds Higher Jump Singles

:15 Seconds Double Taps*

:15 Seconds Double Unders or Practice

*Practicing timing of the double under. With a straight jump in the air, athletes will double tap low on the thigh to simulate a double under without the rope.

Movement Substitutions

Cut Double Unders Repetitions

2x Single Unders

Abmat Sit-ups

Leg Position

There is no wrong way to position the knees during the sit-up, but the different options provide slightly different feels. In both of these, the full range of motion is shoulders to ground in the bottom and shoulders forward of the hips at the top of each rep. When the knees are out in a “butterfly” position with the bottom of the feet pressed together, athletes will be utilizing less hip flexor and more abdominals. When the knees are in, with the bottom of the feet grounded, athletes will be utilizing both the abdominals and hip flexors. No right or wrong option. Athletes should choose the one that come most naturally.

Movement Prep

5 Abmat Sit-ups Knees Out

5 Abmat Sit-ups Knees In

Wreckbag Run

Bag Position

A couple of options of how to position the bag. Athletes may carry the bag on one side of their shoulder during the runs. The downside of carrying in on one side as opposed to across the back is that there is a weight imbalance that will be compensated for during the run. Despite this, athletes can switch the shoulder they carry the wreckbag on as needed. This position is slightly easier to breathe in. The other option is to carry it across the back. The downside of this position is that it is a little more difficult to get in to, but he benefit of carrying it on the back is that weight is evenly distributed and athletes will be able to run more comfortably.

Movement Prep

100 Meter Wreckbag Run

The goal of today is to push for larger sets on the rope, using the sit-ups as a recovery station. Moving through the sit-ups methodically, but without stopping, will help athletes immediately transition to the bag run. The wreckbag run will tax both the calves and the lungs. It is tempting to take a long break following the run in order to feel recovered before starting sets of double unders. Holding back slightly on the run will allow athletes to get right to the rope knock out big sets of double or single unders, where a lot of time is made up in today’s workout.

Thursday 10.25.18

Deadlifts

Grip

“DT” has the reputation of being a fairly grippy workout. Although the deadlifts are on the lighter side, they can fatigue the forearms for the most grippy movement of the workout, the hang power cleans. Going with a reverse grip here can help minimize some of this fatigue. In the reverse grip, one palm faces away from the body and the other faces towards the body. Athletes who aren’t worried about grip may also hook grip the barbell.

Transition

Along the lines of grip is the transition from the deadlift to the hang power clean. When a workout like this is done, it is sometimes most efficient on the grip for athletes to utilize the reverse grip for 11 repetitions and drop, changing their grip to the hook grip before completing their 12th deadlift. This eliminates an extra deadlift and sets athletes up in the hang position for their 9 Hang Power Cleans. If athletes are not worried about grip, and especially with the score being their slowest round, they can hook grip the barbell and take out the added transition time of dropping and resetting.

Movement Prep

Establish Setup Position

5 Slow Deadlifts

5 Hook Grip Deadlifts

5 Reverse Grip Deadlifts

Hang Power Cleans

Jump Position

It is common for athletes to send the knees forward when finding the jump position, leaving the shoulders behind the bar. If you were to tell athletes to jump as high as they could, they would most likely load their hips back and send their shoulders forward. If you were to throw a barbell in their hands, this would be considered the most powerful jumping position for the hang power clean. When bringing the bar back down to the top of the knee, have athletes send the hips back and shoulder forward.

Land Position

The landing position in the hang power clean is often more of a power lean. In the power lean, the hips and the knees track forward, leaving the back in a less than ideal position. In the landing position, looking to use the legs as shocks. Athletes can accomplish this by landing with the hips slightly back. Starting in the jump position, the order of operations goes hips back – jump – hips back.

Movement Prep

10 Second Jump Position Hold

10 Second Land Position Hold

3 Straight Arm Jumps

3 Hang Muscle Cleans

3 High Hang Power Cleans

3 Hang Power Cleans

Push Jerks

Forearms

Wherever the forearms are pointed while in the front rack position is where the bar will end up overhead. If our elbows drop in the dip or are behind the bar from the start, the bar will finish out in front of the body. Placing the elbows slightly in front of the bar will result in the forearms pointing directly over the middle of the body, where we want it to go.

Jump and Drop

With the forearms in a good position, the jump is the most important part of the push jerk. This aggressive hip drive straight up is what puts momentum into the bar. Once the bar leaves the shoulder as a result of the hip extending, athletes can then drop fast underneath and catch with locked out elbows. Thinking of jumping and dropping as opposed to pressing the bar to a locked out position.

Movement Prep

5 Second Finish Position Hold

5 Second Dip Position Hold

5 Push Jerks

2 Minutes to Build to Lighter Weight

Friday 10.26.18

Wreckbag Zercher Reverse Lunges

Positioning

The Zercher position is different than the front rack position in that the wreckbag or barbell will be held in the crook of the elbows while cradling it towards the torso. The position challenges the upper back, core, legs, and the biceps. With that being the case, we will touch on how to be most efficient on the other movement to limit the amount of unnecessary biceps and arm activity.

Breathing

The Zercher is more challenging metabolically because it is much harder to expand the ribcage to take in oxygen when in this position. Keeping a tall torso with high elbows during the step-back lunge will help athletes get as much air in as they can.

Movement Prep

10 Reverse Lunges

Establish Zercher Position

8 Wreckbag Zercher Reverse Lunges

Wreckbag to Shoulder

Hand Position

Where you place the hands on the bag will determine much about how it sits over the shoulder. The bag will be placed vertically between the legs. Placing the hands in the center of the bag create equal balance on both sides of the bag. Placing the hands slightly further back on the bag allows more of the bag to sit over the shoulder. There is no right or wrong way, only what is more comfortable for the athlete. Athletes can “touch and go” these repetitions, but it is common here that the middle of the bag stays off the ground while the edges make contact. One thing we want to make sure of is that the full bag is on the ground before the next rep begins.

Arms Long

Just like with the normal barbell clean, we want to keep the arms as long as possible until the hip “pops”. This is even more important with the Zercher Reverse Lunges within the workout as well. If the arms bend early, we lose power on the clean and make the upcoming Zercher Lunges increasingly difficult.

Movement Prep

6 Wreckbag to Shoulders

Lateral Hops

Feet Close

Looking to have the feet close in a couple ways. First, we want to feet close together as if we were performing double unders. This will help athletes spring over the bag. Secondly, we want the feet to stay close to the bag. Jumping further away from the edge of the bag creates a lot more work over the course of the 20 reps.

Movement Prep

10 Hops

10 Lateral Hops on Floor

10 Lateral Hops over Bag

Row

Relax the Hands

Relaxing the hands allows athletes to focus on their legs during each stroke as opposed to pulling hard with the arms. With the Zercher Lunges immediately following each row, keeping the arms relaxed will be even more important. Arms will stay relaxed with the elbows locked out until the very end of the stroke.

Handle Straight In

One very common fault while rowing is that the hands and handle drop while traveling forward towards the catch. When the handle drops, it is hard for athletes to generate the same amount of tension and power that they could with the handle traveling straight in and straight out. There are two screws on the rower where the chain inserts. Keeping the chain between those to landmarks will help athletes stay consistent.

10.15.18 - 10.19.18

Monday 10.15.18

Box Jump Overs

Hips – Knees

When athletes become fatigued in the legs, it is common to see them leave the ground for a box jump by bringing their knees up first. When this happens, they are missing the upward hip extension that will help them float to the top. Coming off deadlifts, extending the hips all the way before brining the knees up will allow athletes to move more efficiently on the box.

Pivot and Step Down

Pacing is an important aspect to today’s workout. While athletes may be capable of rebounding the box jump overs, this can be much more metabolically taxing. Especially when we are looking to quickly transition to the Push Jerks, a more methodical approach may pay off. When athletes land on the box, they can pivot off one foot in order to face the direction they are going on the next rep and step down to the ground. A great time to start the next bound is when the second foot makes contact with the ground.

Movement Prep

10 Seconds Small Hops

10 Seconds Tall Hops

4 Box Step-ups (each leg)

4 Box Step-overs (total, with pivot)

2 Box Jump Overs

Deadlift

Press, Not Pull

A deadlift is typically thought of as a pulling exercise. However, when athletes envision pulling the bar off the ground, there is a tendency to use more of the back than necessary. A slight paradigm shift can help them use more of the legs and save the lower back. In the set-up position at the bottom, the shins should be just forward of vertical. As athletes “press” into the floor, they use the quads, glutes, and hamstrings togethers as the knees track backwards. We want to avoid going totally vertical with the shins as this utilizes more back than legs. A slight “squat” back down to the floor while still maintaining a straight bar path will help find this position from rep to rep.

Finish Position

Just as we want to maintain a neutral back during the active portion of the deadlift, we also want athletes finding a solid natural finish position. It is commonly seen when athletes are trying to reach full extension at the top of each rep for the shoulder to lean back and the hips to come forward. This puts the lower back into an arched position. At the top of each rep, we want to stand like we would in everyday lift. The shoulders are right over the hips, the hips over the knees, and the knees over the ankles.

Movement Prep

Establish Start Position

5 Reps – Shins to Knees

Establish Finish Position

5 Reps – Knees to Hips

5 Full Deadlifts

Push Jerk

Launch & Land

Similar to the thought process on the box jump overs, we want to get as much power from the hips as possible before we land. Launching the bar off the shoulders with the legs will allow athletes to better receive each repetitions with a locked out elbow.

Controlled Dip

In the push jerk and the push press, maintaining an upright torso and elbow position will determine how a lift feels, where the bar ends up, or if it is made successfully at heavier loads. The culprit of a forward torso or elbows dropping could be the speed of the dip. Slowing the dip down slightly will allow athletes to be aware of their positioning before launching the bar off with the legs. The more efficient athletes move here, the more likely it is that they are able to hold on for all 9 reps each round.

Movement Prep

5 Strict Press

Establish Dip Position

5 Push Press

Establish Land Position

5 Push Jerks

Build to lighter weight

Tuesday 10.16.18

Run

Bike Pedal, Not Elliptical

If you’ve ever been on an elliptical, you know that the feet travel very far forward and very far behind the body. On the opposite spectrum, when we ride bikes, the feet remain directly under the hips. When we run, we want our feet to mimic the motion of the bike, not the elliptical. When the feet come very far in front, we quite literally put the breaks on our run. If they are coming far out front, they will also swing far behind the body, utilizing more of the hip flexors than the posterior chain. Slightly leaning forward and the ankle and keeping the feet under the center of mass with make for a more efficient run.

Row

Handles Clear the Knees

One of the biggest faults we see is the knees leading the way back to the catch position. If this is the case, it is unlikely that athletes will actually find an appropriate catch position. This can be defined as vertical shins with the shoulders slightly forward of the hips. In this position, the seat will be about a foot away from the seat. Athletes will keep the legs extended until the hands clear the knees before the torso leans forward and the knees bend to slide the seat down the rail. With a longer time domain and a little more pacing involved, it will be easier for athletes to focus on this and find a proper catch position.

Pull-ups

Feet Together, Legs Long

The tighter you stay, the less you weight. Keeping the feet together and the legs long keeps all the energy moving in the same direction. When the knees bend or the legs and feet move independently of each other, the energy spills out in different directions. With only 5 pull-ups at a time, it is easier for athletes to dial this in.

Movement Substitutions

Reduce Reps

Jumping Pull-ups

Banded Pull-ups

Row

Push-ups

Straight Body

Looking to have head, shoulders, hips, knees, and toes all in a straight line during every rep. The chest sometimes presses up first, arching the back and causing athletes to press a lower percentage of their body weight. Moving up to a bench or a box will ensure that they are pressing the appropriate amount of their weight while maintaining a good position.

Movement Substitutions

Reduce Reps

Elevate Onto Box or Bench

Knee Push-ups

Air Squats

Maintain Tension

With the air squat most likely being the easier movement of this workout, it is common for athletes to relax the body on points of performance. Looking to do the common uncommonly well on these repetitions. Staying active in the bottom of each squat rather than letting the core relax and shoulders hunch forward will actually make this less effort. Keeping the core on while sending the hips down and back will give athletes a nice stretch reflex at the bottom, assisting them with a spring out of the bottom instead of a crash.

Wednesday 10.17.18

Double Unders

Relax the Wrists

The wrists are the main movers of the rope on double unders. It is common for athletes to death grip the handle with the thought that this will help them spin the rope faster. Having an aggressive grip on the handle actually makes it harder for athletes to rotate at the wrist, putting most of the load in the shoulders. Relaxing the grip will better allow athletes to rotate at the wrists.

Pogo Stick

A pogo stick is a fixed structure that is made to bounce straight up and down. We want to think of our bodies as pogo sticks. The bottom half of a pogo stick can’t bend forward or backwards. What happens in the lower body is one of the most important aspects of the double under. While is may be possible to complete some double unders by doing so, keeping the bound straight up and down will lead to better synchronization with the hands and create better habits in the long run.

Movement Substitutions

Reduce Reps

60 Single Unders

:30 Seconds Double Under Practice

30 Lateral Line Hops

Movement Prep

:15 Seconds Single Unders

:15 Seconds Double Taps

:15 Seconds Double Under Practice

*Practicing timing of the double under. With a straight jump in the air, athletes will double tap low on the thigh to simulate a double under without the rope.

Toes to Bar

Starts in the Shoulders

When athletes struggle to find rhythm in the kip swing, the culprit is often the shoulders. What the hips are doing is often prioritized, but the kipping motion starts in the shoulders. The press down into the bar and the pull through is what initiates movement. When the hips lead the way is when athletes find themselves swinging from the bar instead of being balanced. The larger the range of motion, the more work the shoulders have to do.

Big Kip vs. Tight Kip

Is a big kip better or a tight kip better? A big kip is only more beneficial if athletes are able to stay in a tight position. What is often seen is athletes create a giant kip, only to bend their knees and internally rotate the shoulders to create more range of motion. In this position, it is much harder to maintain tension from rep to rep. A smaller, but tighter kip is the better option. Athletes should only go as big on their kip as they are able to stay in solid hollow and arch positions.

Movement Substitutions

Reduce Reps

Feet as High as Possible

Knees to Chest

Knees to Waist

Sit-ups

GHD Sit-ups

Movement Prep

10 Scap Pull-ups

5 Kip Swings

5 Knees to Chest

5 Toes to Bar

Power Cleans

Weight Back

In the double unders, the weight is primarily forward on the foot. When we approach the barbell for power cleans, our body has been used to being on the toes. Athletes really have to focus on keeping the weight back during this movement. If the weight stays forward on the foot, the bar will also travel forward.

Find the Pockets

Looking to find the pockets on each rep today. When athletes miss the pockets, the are pulling the bar from much further down on the legs, creating more work for themselves. Pulling from the knee requires more of a “jump” than pulling from the pockets. With a lot of jumping in the workout to begin with, finding the pockets will maximize efficiency in this workout.

Movement Prep

Establish Pocket Position

Establish Receiving Position

3 High Hang Power Cleans

3 Hang Power Cleans

3 Power Cleans

Build to workout weight

Thursday 10.18.18

Back Squat

Midline

One thing we often see is athletes who relax at the bottom of the range of motion of the squat. This is seen on both air squats and loaded squats. A tell tale sign of this is the “butt wink” where the pelvis shoots under the body. Keeping the midline engaged throughout the entirety of the squat will keep athletes in a safe position and help them generate more power out of the bottom of each repetition.

Spread the Floor

One way to get properly aligned and maintain tension in the squat is to spread the floor. There is sometimes the tendency for the knees to come in or for the weight to track towards the inside of the foot. Spreading the floor with the feet will work to create torque in the legs and track the knees in the right position.

Bench Press

Be the Bench

Looking for several points of contact on the bench that are active throughout the lift. Head, shoulder blades, glutes, and both feet should be in contact with either the bench or the floor. Squeezing the butt, pressing the feet through the floor, and squeezing the shoulder blades under will create for a stable platform to press from. Pretend like you are an extension of the bench.

Bar Path

It is common for athletes to make bar contract too high up the body. In this position, if put the front of the shoulder in a more compromised position. Starting and finishing with the bar right over the bottom of the breastbone will allow athletes to get the most out of their chest and triceps and keep the shoulders safe.

Deadlift

Squeeze, Not Grip and Rip

When athletes are trying to move quickly through deadlifts, they often tend to grip and rip the barbell in order to move through them as quickly as possible. With high reps and ascending weight, we want to set the tone from the onset of the workout. Squeezing the bar off the floor with the legs will keep the back safe and recruit more muscle.

Head Neutral

It is common in the deadlift to arch the neck as the bar descends down the body. This creates a break in the chain and causes athletes to overextend the spine. Keeping the head neutral will ensure athletes can stay in a safe, connected, and powerful position.

Build to all weights for the three movements.

Friday 10.19.18

Bike

Knees In

It is common on the bike for the knees to flare out towards the outer edge of the pedal. If we were to step on a bug on the ground, we get the most power by kicking straight down. Same goes for the bike. Keeping the knees stacked over the pedals allows for maximum power.

Arms

Getting the arms involved increases the total amount of power athletes can put into the bike. While we still want the legs as the main power generator, pressing and pulling with the arms will spike up the RPMs and help clear the bike quicker.

Row

Fast Handle

A quick return of the handle back towards the monitor accomplishes a few things. One, if the handle travels forwards first before the torso and the knees, we are looking at a better catch position than the opposite. This organizes athletes body to generate as much power as possible with every stroke. A quick handle in a faster workout also increases the stroke rate and helps athletes clear that station faster.

Sprint Start

At the start of every row, we often see athletes utilize several quick bends of the arms before completing one full stroke. Taking the opposite approach however will bump the power up and help accumulate those first few calories faster. Instead of the small pulls at the beginning, have athletes start with one long and strong full stroke. Following this stoke, they will quickly make their way back towards the monitor in small increments. Thinking 6 strokes as fast as possible before returning to normal rate:

Full Stroke

Just Arms

Arms And Torso

Quarter Slide

Half Slide

Full Slide

Transitions

With as many transitions as there are today, each one is important. Keeping the straps slightly loose will make for an easy entrance and exit for each partner. Making sure to aggressively kick up and pull down will ensure the feet get out without catching anything.

Pull-ups

Wrap the Thumbs

Looking to wrap the thumb around the bar as opposed to having it over the bar for multiple reasons. The first is safety. Coming off two high intensity machines, we want to best ensure that athletes will not fall off the bar. Second reason being that wrapping the thumb helps create more torque in the shoulder. We know that this torque, or tension is of great importance in gymnastics movements for its ability to keep the body moving as one unit. It is sometimes more comfortable for the athletes to have the thumbs over the bar, but it comes with a cost. This position allows them to find a greater range of motion, but this range of motion is often “stolen” by internally rotating the shoulders or bending the elbows. This is a break in the system, resulting in a loss of tension, and put the shoulder in a less than ideal position.

Toes – Hips

In order to stay in a solid hollow position during the pull-ups, we want athletes leading their way up towards the bar with the toes first. It is commonly seen that the lower half of the legs stays behind the body as athletes leads with the hips. Athletes will feel significantly heavier in this position. The tighter you stay, the less you weight. Making a kicking motion with the feel press tightly together before popping the hip will help athletes find the weightless moment we are looking for.

Movement Prep

10 Scap Pull-ups

5 Kip Swings

1-3 Strict Pull-ups

3 Pull-ups

Movement Substitutions

In order of preference for stimulus

Reduce Repetitions

Jumping Pull-ups

Ring Rows

10.8.18 - 10.12.18

Monday 10.8.18

Air Squats

Extend Hips and Knees

When moving through air squats rapidly, we sometimes see either the hips or the knees not come to full extension. A light squeeze of the quads and glutes at the top of each rep will ensure full range of motion. Shoulders should be stacked on top of the hips, on top of the knees, and on top of the ankles.

Chest Tall

Again, looking to maintain the usual points of performance as we add speed to the air squat. Dropping the chest or relaxing in the bottom of the squat is common during high reps. Doing the common uncommonly well is more important than speed through these reps.

Push-ups

Lockout

When muscular fatigue starts to set it in, it is common for athletes to not fully extend their elbows at the top of each repetition. Enforcing full extension will allow athletes to train the full range of motion and get the most out of each rep.

Rigid Body

Looking to have head, shoulders, hips, knees, and toes all in a straight line during every rep. The chest sometimes presses up first, arching the back and causing athletes to press a lower percentage of their body weight. Moving up to a bench or a box will ensure that they are pressing the appropriate amount of their weight while maintaining a good position.

Power Clean

Hips Back

What is sometimes seen on the power clean is athletes catching with the hips forward and shoulders back. This is more of a power lean than a power clean. Looking for athletes to catch each rep with the hips back. From the catch of the power clean, each person should be able to smoothly transition to a front squat if they had to. Thinking of squat cleaning the bar, only to cut it off above parallel is a great way to address this fault.

Pull Under

Thinking about the action of the squat clean will also help athletes pull under the bar. As long as the bar is received above parallel, it is still considered a power clean. Over the course of 20 minutes, pulling the body under the bar as opposed to pulling the bar all the way up to a standing position will help athletes preserve their pull and cycle these repetitions at a steadier pace.

Movement Prep

Hold Receiving Position – 10 Seconds

High Hang Power Clean – 3 Repetitions

Hang Power Clean – 3 Repetitions

Power Clean – 3 Repetitions

Build to Workout Weight

Tuesday 10.9.18

Wall Balls

Positioning

How far athletes are positioned away from the wall often affects both their squat pattern and the throw to the target. An athlete set up to close to the wall could likely overextend through the midline or bring the heels up in order to keep the chest more upright. Setting up too close also could cause the ball to skim the wall on the way up. Similarly, an athlete too far away from the wall is likely to catch the ball slightly in front as it descends, pulling them forward into a bad position. Each athlete is different, but finding a position about an arms length away with medicine ball in hand will help them find a rhythm and stay in a good position.

Hands/Elbows Under

It is common in the wall ball for the hands to be off the the side and the elbow be flared out. We know from the thruster that having the elbows stacked directly under the hands will result in the best transfer of power into the barbell. Even with the wall ball essentially being a “light thruster”, we want our hand and elbow position to benefit us. If the wall ball were a clock, athletes hands would be placed at 5 and 7, with the elbows tucked underneath. This will allow athletes to efficiently pass off the power from the extension of their hips.

Movement Prep

5 Front Squats

5 Push Press

5 Thrusters

5 Wall Balls

Kettlebell Swings

Quads & Glutes

On the kettlebell swing, the rapid extension of both the hips and the knees is what drives the kettlebell overhead. When athletes hit good extension, it creates the feeling of weightlessness. Athletes can find this rapid extension by aggressively squeezing both the quads and the glutes at the top of each rep.

Arcing vs. Straight

After the athletes find good extension, there are a couple of options as far as the path of the kettlebell. There is the traditional swing in which the arms remain straight the whole time and the kettlebell travels in an arcing motion away from the body. The second option is a snatch-like motion where the arms bend after hip extension to keep the bell close to the body followed by a punch up. The first option is a touch slower, but doesn’t tax the shoulders quite as much as the quicker second option. With this being a team workout today, keeping the bell close and pulling it back down through the legs will increase cycle time.

Movement Prep

With Lighter Weight

5 Kettlebell Deadlifts

5 Russian Kettlebell Swings

5 Full Swings

Grab Workout weight and repeat

Row

Slide and Swing

The slide portion of the row is when the legs drive away from the catch position as the torso remains static. At the finish of the slide position, the shoulders will still be slightly forward of the hips. The next action is the swing portion, in which the torso leans back slightly and the arms finish to the chest. The return swing begins with the hands moving away from the chest, followed by the shoulder returning to in front of the hips. The slide of the seat down the rower after this places athletes back in the catch position.

At the playground, you can’t be on a slide and a swing at the same time. Same goes for the erg. Athletes need to complete the slide before they can start to swing. Very often these two motions are combined. Most commonly seen is a big lean back of the chest and shoulders before the legs reach full extension. Breaking these positions down very slowly in movement prep by segmenting them into individual parts. Putting it all together at the end, building speed a mechanics and consistency develop.

Movement Prep

:30 Seconds Each

Just Legs

Legs & Torso

Torso & Arms

Full Body

Wednesday 10.10.18

Romanian Deadlifts

Hips Back, Bar Close

Each RDL starts by deadlifting the bar to the hips. From here, athletes will send the hips back while maintaining a vertical shin until the bar reaches around mid-shin. We want the end range of motion to be a position in which athletes can maintain a neutral spine. Pulling the bar into the body will allow for best control of the weight and the best position.

Head Neutral

It is common in the deadlift as well as this movement to arch the neck as the bar descends down the body. Keeping the head neutral will ensure athletes can stay in a safe, connected, and powerful position.

Abmat Sit-ups

Shoulders

At the top of each repetition, looking for the shoulder to be forward of the hips. This is essentially a resting position if sitting on the ground. At the bottom of the movement, the shoulders should make contact with the ground with the hands overhead.

Stay Grounded

In a typical workout, the cycle time on sit-ups is fairly quick. With this speed comes the tendency of the hips to raise off the ground, resulting in a kipping style movement. With the focus today being quality of movement and midline control, looking to keep the glutes and hips on the ground throughout the full range of motion.

Hip Extensions

Clear the Pad

In order for the hips to move freely during this movement, we need to position them forward of the pad of the GHD. Adjust the machine as necessary to accomplish the proper range of motion. If not equipped with a GHD, have athletes perform 20 controlled Supermans lying on their stomach.

Spine Neutral

As with every movement we do, looking to keep the spine neutral throughout. The hips, shoulders, and head should move in unison. Only want athletes to descend as far down as capable while maintaining this position before squeezing the glutes to return to parallel.

Flutter Kicks

Hands

During the flutter kick, that hands can be in one of two places. One position is with the palms down with the arms long beside the body. Seconds position would be under the lumbar curve. The palms down position will be more challenging, and the second position takes some of the midline stabilization out of the equation.

Feet

With toes pointed and legs long, the feet with scissor kick up and down just a few inches off the floor. A kick up and down with each leg will be considered one repetition.

Banded Good Mornings

Band Set-up

Athletes will step into the band with feet directly under the hips. The upper hand will pass over the head and rest across the back. Looking to choose a medium tension band here. If no bands, substitute barbell good mornings.

Execution

With a soft bend of the knee, athletes will perform a very similar movement to that of the RDL. The hips will travel back while maintaining a neutral spine and relatively vertical shin. A squeeze of the glutes will return athletes to a standing position.

Thursday

Calorie Bike

Transitions

The amount of time athletes decide they will transition after, and how quickly and efficiently exit the bike makes a difference in the time it takes to clear this station. The goal of the bike should be to maintain an intense pace, using both the arms and the legs. Once the athlete on the bike starts to slow down at all, that is a fantastic time to switch. Teams can choose a time or a calorie number, but it is good to note that time will remain constant, while calories may fall off as the workout progresses. This could mean 15-20 seconds or 10-15 calories per turn. Also, having a strategy as to which direction athletes will exit and enter the bike will make for an efficient transfer.

Box Jump Overs

Low vs. High

On box jump overs, there is no need to stand up all the way, but there are certain benefit to what depth athletes land on the box at. While landing a little bit higher require more energy and extension from the hip, it will save the legs a little more. When athletes catch low on the box in more of a squat position, it is a faster cycle time, but does tax the quads more than the previous option. With thrusters following this movement, athletes and teams can play around with both options depending on what best suits them.

Movement Prep

Each athlete

10 Seconds Small Hops

10 Seconds Tall Hops

2 Box Jumps (step down)

2 Box Jump Overs

Chest to Bar Pull-ups

Midline

Yesterday when working the wall squat and double under, we spoke in depth about maintaining middling stability on these simply body weight movements. The wall squat was a slow and controlled movement where it was easy to identify if athletes were losing their lumbar curve. As movement start to become more dynamic, we want the principles and points of performance to carry over. Maintaining midline stability in the kipping motion will help athletes generate more power through the whole system. A squeeze of the belly and the glutes while keeping the legs long and tight will allow athletes to stay in a more powerful, connected position on the bar.

Movement Prep

Each partner simultaneously

10 Scap Pull-ups

10 Kip Swings

1-3 Strict Pull-ups

3 Pull-ups

3 Chest to Bar Pull-ups

Thrusters

Squeeze & Breathe

In order to get the most out of the hips, athletes have to open their hips to full extension before pressing with the arms. Squeezing the glutes ensures that the hips are fully extended. Especially with chest to bars to follow and another set of thrusters after that, using the hips to full capacity will allow teams to move through the middle of this workout more efficiently. On top of this, a slight breath at the top of each repetition will help athletes move through the large sets and recovery better for their next set.

Build to Workout Weight

3 minute to build to workout weight. Should be a lighter weight that all athletes can get to in one weight jump.

Friday

10.1.18 - 10.5.18

Monday 10.1.18

Double Unders

Bound

The bound or jump is arguably the most important piece of the double under. How we jump either sets us up for success or for some trip ups. Taking the time to properly practice the bound both in class and outside of class will engrain good movement patterns that can be maintained when fatigue sets in. Timing and consistency of the bound is key in stringing quality reps together.

When the feet “pike” forward or “kick” backwards, it is more difficult to maintain timing and requires more work. Preserving a similar jump from the single under to the double under is easier said than done, but can be attained through practice, practice, and more practice. Conveying to athletes that regularly picking a modification that will help them chase the proper stimulus as opposed to checking the “Rx” box, will get them fitter. We will practice the bound today, but if double unders are a weakness, putting the time in outside the hour will get this skill where they would like it to be.

Hands

Hand positioning plays an important role in the mechanics of the bound. For example, if hands are too far in front or too high up on the body, we have to compensate by bringing the knees up to avoid tripping up. Keeping the arms long in front with hands slightly in front of the body throughout the whole jump will help with the mechanics of the jump and minimize the amount of unplanned breaks.

Movement Prep

Breaking between

:15 Seconds Quick Singles

:15 Seconds Higher Jump Singles

:15 Seconds Double Taps*

:15 Seconds Double Unders or Practice

*Practicing timing of the double under. With a straight jump in the air, athletes will double tap low on the thigh to simulate a double under without the rope.

Movement Substitutions

Cut Repetitions

:30 Double Under Practice

60 Single Unders

Hang Squat Cleans

Hook Grip

In a fairly grippy workout, using the hook grip on the barbell will be important today. It is also a great opportunity to practice regaining the hook grip after standing up the squat clean. Depending on mobility, some athletes may be able to hold on to the hook grip when they catch the clean and still maintain high elbows. For athletes who struggle with mobility, they will likely let the bar sit back into the fingertips to find a solid front rack. Establishing the hook grip when bringing the bar back down to the hang position is a skill that can be practiced before the workout weight gets on the bar. No better time to touch on this than with an empty barbell and in the first practice round with lighter weight.

Jump Tall, Get Small

It is common for athletes to use the arms to pull the bar to their shoulders before starting their squat. With double unders also in this workout, the sustainability of this action is very short. A better option that is easier to maintain is jumping to full hip, knee, and ankle extension and then using the arms to pull the body underneath the bar. This gets as much upward momentum into the barbell and takes a lot of strain of the arms.

Stand Up

When cycling hang squat cleans, it is sometimes seen that athletes do not stand to full extension before bringing the bar back down to the hang. We want to emphasize that athletes stand up completely after each repetition before the bar leaves their shoulders.

Movement Prep

Performed with empty barbell

5 Hip Hinges (Pockets to Top of Knee)

5 Jump Shrugs

rest

3 High Hang Power Cleans

3 Hang Power Cleans

rest

3 High Hang Squat Cleans

3 Hang Squat Cleans

Build to lighter weight than being used in workout

Tuesday 10.2.18

Handstand Push-ups / Push-ups

Support

Whether we are performing handstand push-ups or push-ups, want to make sure that athletes are pressing from a solid support base. In the handstand push-ups, this is from the tripod position. The head often starts within the hands or just in front of the hands, which makes for an unstable base and loss of balance. In the tripod position, the top of the head and the hands are resting on the ground, with the head slightly back towards the wall and the hands in front of the face at shoulder width.

In the push-up we want to find a proper hand width in a stacked position. The wrist should be directly under the elbow and the elbow directly under the shoulder. From here, making the action of spreading the floor apart with the hands will place the elbow in a powerful pressing position.

Head Neutral

In both of these movements, it is important that the head stays neutral throughout. If the neck arches, it puts the lower back in a compromised position and athletes are more likely to fall off the wall during the movement. The push-up is a less risky movement to have a the neck and back arched, but it does result in the chest getting to the ground easier. We would rather work the full, proper range of motion.

Muscle-ups / Strict Pull-ups

Press Down

The lats are a major movers in the muscle-up and the pull-up. Often times on both of these movements, the biceps can be used more during the pull. Thinking about pressing down on the bar or the rings before pulling will help utilize the lats to the best of their ability.

Toes

Looking to maintain a hollow body as much as possible today. It is very common for the knees to bend when trying to generate power in the muscle-up or when trying to get the chin over the bar in the strict pull-up. Leading with the toes on the muscle-up and keeping the toes slightly in front of the bar keeps the body in a more ideal position.

Movement Prep

10 Scap Pull-ups

5 Kip Swings

1-3 Strict Pull-ups or 1-2 Muscle-ups

Kettlebell Swings

Straight Arms

Very often when swinging a kettlebell, there can be a small bend in the arms at the bottom of the swing. Over the course of many repetitions, this adds a lot of extra tension onto the biceps. Knowing the next movement athletes will complete is a pull, we want to keep the arms as long as possible when the bell is between the legs. This enables the hips to create the majority of power of the swing overhead and takes stress off the arms, making the muscle-ups and pull-ups an easier task.

Hips and Knees

On the kettlebell swing, the rapid extension of both the hips and the knees is what drives the kettlebell overhead. When athletes hit good extension, it creates the feeling of weightlessness. With the amount of swings in the workout today, we want to avoid using the arms as the primary mover.

Movement Prep

Performed with lighter kettlebell

10 Kettlebell Deadlifts

5 Russian Kettlebell Swings

5 Full Swings

Grab Workout Weight

5 Russian Kettlebell Swings

5 Full Swings

Wednesday 10.3.18

Grouping athletes into groups of 2-3 for the weightlifting portion. During this time, athletes will put the extra barbells away. With the deadlift being on of the heaviest potential lifts, bigger teams could be better based on how many plates are available. Athletes will build to something heavy over the course of the 15 minutes. Great opportunity to makes positive change in the deadlift in each athlete. Make it a goal to give each athlete at least one thing to take away.

Deadlifts

Shins Vertical

A vertical shin on the deadlift keeps that bar as close to the body as possible. The closer the weight is to the center of the body, the better the back position will be while executing the lift. Pressing the butt back and send the shoulders forward as the bar descends towards the ground will create this vertical shin. Often the knees shoot forward first and create a difficult bar bath to the floor and a less than ideal starting position for the next repetition.

Press Through the Floor

Instead of thinking about pulling off the floor, think “press through the floor”. This creates a great deal of power with the legs and keeps from overusing the back muscles.

Movement Prep

With Empty Barbell

5 Hip Hinge Deadlifts (Hip to Top of Knee)

5 Full Deadlifts

Bike

Seat

When athletes are sitting on the bike, the seat should be at a height that the leg is almost fully extended at the bottom. Athletes should not feel like they are reaching for the pedal at the bottom. Similarly, the seat shouldn’t be so far away from the handles that they feel like they are reaching. With a team workout today, the partners should compromise at a position that works for everyone.

Knees In

It is common on the bike for the knees to flare out towards the outer edge of the pedal. If we were to step on a bug on the ground, we get the most power by kicking straight down. Same goes for the bike. Keeping the knees stacked over the pedals allows for maximum power.

Abmat Sit-ups

Range of Motion

Whether athletes put the bottom of their feet together or have the bottom of their feet on the ground, looking to have the shoulders forward of the hips at the top of the sit-up. This looks a lot like a resting position. At the bottom of the repetition, hands should touch behind their head.

Arms

Throwing the arms will create more momentum and take some of the strain out of the midline. This will also athletes cycle repetitions faster and raise the intensity of the movement. The top of the rep is also a great opportunity to breathe out.

Thursday 10.4.18

Breaking athletes into teams of 2-3 for the weightlifting portion. 15 minute today to build to a heavy set of 5 on back squat. Taking 1-2 warmup sets before beginning the working sets. Looking for athletes to move exceptionally well. As coaches, this is our time to make positive change in athlete’s squat mechanics. A good goal to have is to give each athlete one piece of feedback. Although the back squat and thruster are slightly different, it could make a great impact on how well they squat in the metcon when fatigue starts to set in.

Back Squat

Hand Position

While training back squat, we can focus on some skills and positions that will be beneficial for other movements. One of these things is the hand position. Looking for the hand position on the back squat to be consistent with the hand position of the front squat, clean, or the thruster. This works to train uniformity across all three of these lifts and assists with mobility. When the hands are wider than that, we are not training the same hand position that we would use in other movements. We can work on getting in a better position for the thrusters that are coming up later in the hour during our back squat session.

Elbow Position

Having the hands in the clean grip paired with a proper elbow position creates a nice, stable platform for the bar to rest on. In the high bar back squat, the bar is meant to rest on the traps. This positioning is great for those athletes who are newer to back squatting or who tend to have an uncomfortable position on the back. Bringing the elbows back with the hands narrow elevates the trap and leads to a more comfortable and secure shelf for the barbell.

Thruster

Grip

We know that the thruster is a combination of the front squat and the push press in to one big, metabolically challenging movement. In the front squat, we are able to maintain a loose fingertip grip to ensure that the barbell sits as far back onto the shoulders as possible. However, the push press requires all of the fingers to be wrapped around the bar in order to complete a safe and strong press overhead. This hybrid movement also requires a hybrid grip. On the thruster, looking to have all of the fingers wrapped around the bar, but will a slightly loose grip to allow for higher elbows during the squat.

Elbow Position

Just as there was a hybrid grip, there is also a hybrid elbow position. The elbows will slightly change positions during the thruster. While it is more difficult to keep the elbows up during the squat with the hybrid grip, looking for athletes to drive them high out of the bottom of the squat. On the way up, the elbows will have to drop slightly in order to transition from the front squat to the push press. If the elbows remain in the high position, it will cause athletes to complete a press out with the arms, send the bar too far backwards, or result in a push jerk.

Movement Prep

5 Pausing Front Squats

5 Push Press

5 Front Squats (Hybrid Grip)

5 Thrusters

9.24.18 - 9.28.18

Monday 9.24.18

Power Clean

Weight Balanced, Bar Close

Where the bar is in relation to the body plays a big difference in whether a lift is successfully made or failed. We are always looking to have the bar track as close to the body as possible. If it tracks correctly, this means the weight will be balanced right over the middle of the foot or directly over the loops of the laces. There is often a direct relationship between where the bar is and where the weight is balanced in the foot. What is most commonly seen is the bar too far away from the body and the weight towards the toes. It is also possible to have the weight too far back in the heel, often resulting in an awkward receiving position or a failed lift. Looking at an athletes feet during a lift can likely tell you everything you need to know.

Failed Power Clean = Squat Clean

When the barbell gets heavy, the starfishes tend to make their appearance. There is a reason that many athletes have higher power clean numbers than they do squat cleans numbers and that is all related to technique. A failed power clean should occur because the athlete caught it too low, not because their feet jumped too far out and they couldn’t support the weight. Have athletes practice power cleans as if they are going to squat clean the barbell, only to cut it off above parallel. Starting this with light weight will make for good habits when the load increases.

Movement Prep

Performed with an empty barbell. Focus points for each position.

5 reps from each position, with a short rest between movements.

High Hang Power Clean

Aggressive Jump

Drop Fast

Fast Elbows

Hang Power Clean

Shoulders Over Bar

Pull Bar Close

Pass Through First Position

Power Clean

Shins & Knees Back

Lats On

Pass Through First and Second Positions

Tuesday 9.25.18

Wall Balls

Tall Chest, Ball High 


Maintaining a tall chest throughout the entirety of the Wall Ball accomplishes a few things. When the chest is proud, the ball with most always be in a solid position to be thrown to the target and athletes will be able to control their breathing much better. One of the many downfalls of the chest dropping is the ball prematurely hitting the wall and getting shot back towards where it came.

Relax the arms 


At the top of the movement, athletes frequently leave their hands straight overhead after throwing the ball to the target. Leaving the arms in the air over the course of many repetitions increases the time under tension and causes extra fatigue. After launching the ball upward, have athletes relax the arms back down to the front rack position to receiving the medicine ball for the next repetition. This will enable athletes to hold on for larger sets on both the wall balls, and later on the dumbbell and toes to bar.

Movement Prep

5 Front Squats

5 Push Press

5 Thrusters

5 Wall Balls

Dumbbell Snatch

Zip the Coat

It is common on the dumbbell snatch for the bell to swing out and away from the body, Pretending to zip up the jacket of a coat will help keep the weight close to the body. The closer the weight is to the body is, the lighter it will feel.

Punch Up

Following the “zipping of the coat”, want athletes to punch up hard into the dumbbell. Sometimes the elbows get relaxed and the dumbbell has to be pressed out to end range. An aggressive punch up will ensure the dumbbell is received with a lockout out elbow on each repetition.

Movement Prep

Perform with 1-Arm, then switch.

5 Deadlifts

5 Deadlift + Shrug

5 High Pulls

5 Dumbbell Snatches

Toes to Bar

Find Hollow and Arch

The better athletes can find tight hollow and arch positions today on the toes to bar, the more powerful and consistent these reps will be. The arch is typically the harder position to find, with the chest through and heels back with feet tight. Getting to this position creates more tension and better rhythm. Holding these positions of the floor before heading to the bar.

Movement Prep

:20 seconds Hollow Hold

:20 seconds Arch Hold

followed by…

5 Scap Pull-ups

5 Kip Swings

5 Knees to Chest

5 Toes to Bar

Movement Substitutions

Feet to Space

Knees to Chest

Wednesday 9.26.18

Row

Seat Away From Feet

Very often in the catch position, the feet tend to “bounce” off or make contact with the heels. In this position, the shoulders are most likely dumping back too early resulting in a significant amount of lost tension and power. Leaving a gap between the front of the seat and the back of the heels will place athletes in a better position of power. This seat away from the feet position is established when athletes pick up the handle to begin rowing. When reaching for the handle, shoulders are in front of hips and there is about a one foot gap between the seat and the feet. Looking to get back to this position on every stroke.

Keep the Handle Moving

Many times at the finish of the stroke, there is a long pause before the handle returns back towards the monitor. When you relate this to running, it is the equivalent of jogging for a few steps and stopping, and then jogging for a few steps and stopping again. Keeping the handle moving creates a smooth rhythm to the stroke. Just because the handle is traveling back towards the catch doesn’t necessarily mean that we are speeding up strokes per minute. Once the hands clear the knees, the torso will lean forward and the knees will bend as the athletes glide towards the catch. The handle sets the rhythm for the row.

Barbell Facing Burpees

Step-up

Utilizing step-up burpees today will help athletes find a nice “choreographed” rhythm and keep their heart rates down for when they approach the barbell for max effort push presses. When coming out of the bottom of the burpee, athletes will jump one foot to the outside of their hand and then recover the back foot to the outside of the other hand. This will also minimize the amount of unnecessary steps taken before they jump and land with two feet on the other side of the barbell.

Cross Step

Going along with the theme of no wasted movement again here. When athletes jump over the bar they can step their right foot across the body. Pivoting on the right foot, they will bring the left foot parallel to the right, causing them to face the barbell once more. This cross step is another way to minimize the amount of steps taken, making less “work” for the athletes.

Movement Prep

4 Active Spidermans (2/leg)

4 Push-ups

4 Frog Jumps

2 Burpees

2 Barbell Facing Burpees

Push Press

Forearms

The dip is arguably the most important part of the lift, as it sets athletes up to press the bar to a good position or a bad position. Focusing on where the forearms are pointed during the lift can be a helpful indicator of where the bar will end up overhead. Positioning the elbows slightly in front of the bar will aim the forearms right over the middle of our body. Often the chest and elbows drop during the dip, causing the bar to travel forwards. Maintaining the original line of action throughout the whole dip will make it more likely that the bar ends up exactly where athletes want it.

Squeeze Hard

Anytime we are going overhead, we want to extend the hips, knees, and ankles hard. This triple extension is what gets the barbell overhead as efficiently as possible. Especially on this two part workout where we are going “heavy” on push press and we are trying to hold on to a moderate barbell for as many reps as we can, the lower body plays a huge role. It is common for athletes to rely on their shoulders early on. However, getting the legs involved from the beginning will save the shoulders for when they are truly needed.

Movement Prep

10 Second Dip Hold

5 Dips

5 Dip Drives (no arms)

5 Push Press

Thursday 9.27.18

Box Jumps

Arms = Wings

When you want to fly on box jumps, the arms are the wings. Typically we think of what the hips are doing, but focusing on the arms can lead to proper hip extension. In the box jump, we are looking to reach full hip extension in a vertical direction. Loading the arms back and launching the straight in the arm like in a kettlebell swing will help launch the hips where the need to be to get on top of the box. Especially with a higher box in today’s workout, using the arms will be advantageous.

Knees Out

It is common for athletes to prioritize what happens on the jump over what happens during the landing portion. We often see knees and ankles caving when the feet hit the box. Landing with the knees out , just like in a squat, will cause our legs to act as shock absorbers and take a significant amount of stress in a poor position off the knees, calves, and ankles. This doesn’t mean athletes have to land is a full squat, rather just land with knees out.

Movement Prep

10 Seconds Small Jumps

10 Seconds Tall Jumps

3 Step-ups (each leg)

3 Jump Up / Step Down (shorter box)

3 Jump Up / Step Down (workout height)

Rowing / Deadlifting

Legs Initiate Power

There is no movement that resemble the catch position of the rowing stroke quite like the setup position of a deadlift. There are may things that carry over from one movement to the other. If we are able to correct flaws in one of the movement, it will very likely transfer over to improved technique on the other. One of these principles that applies to both the deadlift and rowing is that the legs initiate the power. Athletes are commonly seen using the back or the arms when beginning these movement. Pretending to press the floor/foot pedals away will help generate power with the largest muscles in the body and save the back and the arms.

Handle and Seat / Bar and Hips Move Together

One way to tell if the legs are truly initiating this power is by focusing on the handle in relation to the seat and the hips in relation to the bar. They are one is the same. If one rises or moves before the other, you can almost guarantee that one part of the body is being used more than the other. If the seat moves a foot, the handle moves a foot. It the bar rises six inches, the hips rise six inches. This is true until the very end of each movement, where there is a slight lean back in the row and when the hips travel forward in the deadlift.

Handle / Hips Lead The Recovery

The recovery of each movement is so important in properly organizing the body to carry out the next stroke or the next repetition. On both the deadlift and the row, it is common for the knees to lead the recovery. This makes it much harder for athletes to find a proper catch position and start position. On the row, the handle leads the way. When the handle reaches about mid-shin, the torso leans forward followed by the knees bending to return to the catch. On the deadlift, the hips will travel back as the bar slides down the thigh while making contact. One the bar passes below the knee, athletes will bend and return to the bar to the start position.

Friday 9.28.18

Double Unders

Posture

The best posture for double unders is a tight, upright body position. In this position, the calves will end up doing most of the work, acting like springs. As the athlete jumps a little higher, there will be some knee bend and quad engagement, but mostly calves. Main focus here is all about springing, not absorbing. When the heels touch the ground and athlete start absorbing, it will alter the timing of the jump.

Bound

Once the correct posture is found, we can start to test out single under height jumps and then double. This short, single under height jump helps athletes practice rotating at the wrists and not the shoulders. When practicing these, we want to avoid the big, loopy single unders. These will work with singles, but won’t carry over to successful double unders. Keeping the same posture, hand position, and jump mechanics, athletes can start to open up to the higher, double under height jump.

Movement Substitutions

Reduce Reps

1:30 Double Under Practice

200 Single Unders

Movement Prep

:15 Seconds Easy Bike

:15 Seconds Single Unders

:15 Seconds Medium Bike

:15 Seconds Double Taps

:15 Seconds Hard Bike

:15 Seconds Double Under Practice

*Practicing timing of the double under. With a straight jump in the air, athletes will double tap low on the thigh to simulate a double under without the rope.

9.17.18 - 9.21.18

Monday 9.17.18

Rowing

Seat Away From Feet

Very often in the catch position, the feet tend to “bounce” off or make contact with the heels. In this position, the shoulders are most likely dumping back too early resulting in a significant amount of lost tension and power. Leaving a gap between the front of the seat and the back of the heels will place athletes in a better position of power. This seat away from the feet position is established when athletes pick up the handle to begin rowing. When reaching for the handle, shoulders are in front of hips and there is about a one foot gap between the seat and the feet. Looking to get back to this position on every stroke.

Keep the Handle Moving

Many times at the finish of the stroke, there is a long pause before the handle returns back towards the monitor. When you relate this to running, it is the equivalent of jogging for a few steps and stopping, and then jogging for a few steps and stopping again. Keeping the handle moving creates a smooth rhythm to the stroke. Just because the handle is traveling back towards the catch doesn’t necessarily mean that we are speeding up strokes per minute. Once the hands clear the knees, the torso will lean forward and the knees will bend as the athletes glide towards the catch. The handle sets the rhythm for the row.

Thrusters

Get Tall

With a thruster weight slightly heavier than we are accustomed to in workouts like “Fran” and many others, it is vital that athletes get the most out of their legs and hips. Getting as tall as they can will extend the hips, knees, and ankles, and put as much upward momentum into the bar as possible. Maximizing the amount of power created here before passing off to the arms will help individuals hold onto the bar for large sets.

Elbows Forward

The better positioning athletes find on the thruster, the easier the movement is. Finding a good front rack on the first repetition is easier than finding them on the following nine. Our goal is to find the same front rack setup each and every time. If the elbows come straight down while going into rep two, the bar will often find a lower position on the body than before. From this position, it is harder to get the most out of the legs and it is a longer distance to press the bar. Pointing the elbows forward while lowering the bar back down to the shoulders many times fixes this fault. Having elbows will be in the same position across the board makes for better thrusters.

9.18.18 Tuesday

Row

Tug of War

If you’ve every played tug of war, it is all about being in the most powerful setup position to pull the other team towards you. You would grab the rope with long arms and shoulders forward of the hips before driving with the legs and leaning back with the torso and pulling with the arms. Same goes for the rower. The better you can get back to a solid catch position, which very similarly resembles a solid tug of war position, the more power you can get into each stroke. When rowing for calories, power is more important than when rowing for meters. Pretend there is a team of people on the other side of the rower and pull them towards you!

Deadlifts

Shins Vertical

A vertical shin on the deadlift keeps that bar as close to the body as possible. The closer the weight is to the center of the body, the better the back position will be while executing the lift. Pressing the butt back and shoulders forward at the top of the deadlift will create this vertical shin. Often the knees shoot forward first and create a difficult bar bath to the floor and a less than ideal starting position for the next repetition.

Press Through the Floor

Instead of thinking about pulling off the floor, think “press through the floor”. This creates a great deal of power with the legs and keeps from overusing the back muscles.

Movement Prep

With Empty Barbell

5 Hip Hinge Deadlifts (Hip to Top of Knee)

5 Full Deadlifts

Hang Power Cleans

Sponges

We’ve used the cue “close the armpits” before on cleans. Today, we are looking to accomplish a similar task in keeping the bar close. Pretend that there are wet sponges placed under your arms between the rib cage and the armpit. Visualizing squeezing out those sponges throughout the pull will help keep the bar close during every phase of the pull.

Hook Grip

Although Hook Grip might be slightly uncomfortable for athletes who aren’t used to it, utilizing it in the olympic lifts is vital. First, it is the more secure grip that will help athletes hang on to the bar. Second, having a secure grip on the bar will help athletes avoid an early arm bend and prevent excessive forearm fatigue.

Movement Prep

Hold Finish Position – 5 seconds

High Hang Power Clean – 5 reps

Hang Power Clean – 5 reps

Push Jerks

Forearms

Wherever the forearms are pointed while in the front rack position is where the bar will end up overhead. If our elbows drop in the dip or are behind the bar from the start, the bar will finish out in front of the body. Placing the elbows slightly in front of the bar will result in the forearms pointing directly over the middle of the body, where we want it to go.

Jump and Drop

With the forearms in a good position, the jump is the most important part of the push jerk. This aggressive hip drive straight up is what puts momentum into the bar. Once the bar leaves the shoulder as a result of the hip extending, athletes can then drop fast underneath and catch with locked out elbows. Thinking of jumping and dropping as opposed to pressing the bar to a locked out position.

Movement Prep

Hold Finish Position – 5 seconds

Hold Dip Position – 5 seconds

3 Push Jerks

7 minutes to build in weight. Leaving weight for final round on the barbell to confirm weight in practice round.

Wednesday

Pausing Back Squat

Stay Active

The pausing back squat is intended to reinforce and challenge good bottom positioning. During this three second pause in the bottom of the squat, looking to stay in an active position rather than dropping to a complete bottom position. Elbows should down, belly tight, with the knees driving out.

Back Squat

The only thing that changes with the back squat is the removal of the pause. Still looking to stay active in the bottom. Athletes may continue to build from where they left off with the pausing back squat. Again, looking to build in load while still moving exceptionally well.

Double Unders

Hands in Front of Hips

When hands widen out or rise up the body, the rope elevates off the ground and forces athletes to bring the knees up to clear the jump. Placing the hands slightly in front of the hip bones will make sure the rope has enough slack on the ground to pass under the feet.

Steady Jump

When the height of the jump varies during the workout, it makes it a much more difficult task for our brain to synchronize hands and feet. Having a steady jump straight up in the air will lead to better timing and rhythm on both single unders and double unders

Abmat Sit-ups

Range of Motion

Whether athletes put the bottom of their feet together or have the bottom of their feet on the ground, looking to have the shoulders forward of the hips at the top of the sit-up. This looks a lot like a resting position. At the bottom of the repetition, hands should touch behind their head.

Throw Arms and Breathe

Throwing the arms will create more momentum and take some of the strain out of the midline. This will also athletes cycle repetitions faster and raise the intensity of the movement. The top of the rep is also a great opportunity to breathe out. Finding a rhythm with the breath will make for an easy transition to the jump rope.

Thursday 9.20.18

Kettlebell Swings

Arms Straight

At the bottom of each swing there is the tendency to bend the elbows slightly. This puts an unnecessary strain on the biceps and reduces the amount of power athletes can transfer into the bell with their hips. Looking to keep the arms long and the bell high between the legs until the hips rapidly extend.

Extend Hard

On the kettlebell swing, the rapid extension of both the hips and the knees is what drives the kettlebell overhead. When athletes hit good extension, it creates the feeling of weightlessness. With the extra weight on the swings today, we want to avoid using the arms as the primary mover.

Movement Prep

Performed with lighter Kettlebell 
5 Kettlebell Deadlifts 
5 Hip Pops 
5 Russian Swings 
5 Full Swings

Grab Workout Weight

5 Full Swings

Friday

Toes to Bar

Starts in the Shoulders

Although the toes and the lower body is what makes contact with the bar, the kipping motion starts in the upper body with the shoulders. With legs long and feet glued together, the athletes will push down on the bar to elevate the body upwards and pull the chest back through to the arch position. This press down is a similar movement to shutting the trunk of a car. If the hips lead the way in the kip, it will result in a swing and a longer distance for the toes to make contact with the bar.

Tension

Maintaining tension is one of the most important aspects of the kip. A great example of tension not being maintained is when athletes have to double kip. This double kip is a result of a passive return of the legs after the toes hit the bar. Instead of letting gravity bring the legs down, have athletes return their knees back down to the chest and drive the feet down and back. This will put them into a tense arch position and help them maintain rhythm in their kip.

Movement Substitutions

Reduce Repetitions

Toes as High as Possible

Knees to Chest

GHD Sit-ups

Sit-ups

Movement Prep

10 Scap Pull-ups

5 Kip Swings

5 Knees to Chest

5 Toes to Bar

Dumbbell Reverse Lunges

Chest Up

Especially with dumbbells in hand, looking to keep the chest tall throughout the whole movement. When the chest drops forward, it puts a strain on the low back, restricts breathing, and moves the dumbbells forward. We are in the best balanced position when the chest is up and the weight is centered on the body.

Step Back

From a standing position, athletes will step one foot back until the knee touches the ground. In this position, the front shin should be relatively vertical. It is ok if the knee tracks slightly forward as long as the heel remains grounded. When the knee its forward of the ankle and the weight is on the toes is injuries could happen. The benefit of a reverse lunge as opposed to a forward lunge is that it is much easier to find a proper position with the front leg.

Movement Prep

Establish Lunge Position

4 Bodyweight Reverse Lunges

4 Dumbbell Reverse Lunges (lighter dumbbells)

Dumbbell Clean and Jerks

Narrow Stance

In the dumbbell clean and jerk, the bell touches the ground on every rep. Rather than touching both bells on the ground, athletes can make contact with the top of one bell. The best option is the bell that rests on the shoulder when in the front rack position. In order to properly get the bells to the ground, athletes will have to assume a more narrow stance than usual. When the bell toughest the ground, looking for it to make contact near the middle of the foot.

Meet the Bells

When cleaning dumbbells, it is easy for the bells to come crashing down on the shoulders. Being an unstable object, we want to be able to have as much control over them as possible. Rather than pulling them as high as they possibly can, we want to make sure that athletes meet the dumbbells at the peak of their height to help avoid this crash down.

Movement Prep

Performed with lighter dumbbells

3 Hang Power Cleans

3 Strict Press

3 Power Cleans

3 Push Press

3 Clean and Jerks

Grab workout weight

9.10.18 - 9.14.18

Monday 9.10.18 

Back Squats + Air Squats
Neutral Spine
If you assume a natural standing position and pull the front of the shirt tight, you will see the normal resting spine position of the lower back. During any movement, we want to make sure that this position remains this way. Often when athletes squat, the lower back either rounds forward or hyperextends. Keeping the belly tight as athletes send the hips back will help avoid overextension. Staying braced in the bottom will help with the rounding, or “butt wink”.

Spread The Floor
Collapsing ankles and collapsing knees put those structures in compromised positions. One way to prevent this less safe position is to pretend to spread the floor with the feet planted on the ground. This works to raise the arches and activate the glutes, placing the knees and ankles in a better spot.

Movement Prep
5 Air Squats
5 Back Squats

Push-ups
Vertical Forearms
In the bottom of the push-up, a vertical forearm is a sign of good position and proper leverage. You will often see the hands either too far forward or too wide, putting extra pressure on the soft tissue structures of the shoulder. Laying flat on the ground, athletes can bring the thumbs near the bottom of the chest and just off the rib cage to find this vertical forearm position.

Belly Tight, Butt Tight
A surefire way to get better at proper push-ups is to press an appropriate percentage of bodyweight with a straight body. When athletes snake their push-ups, they are pressing a less percentage of their body weight, which some athletes should do, but here with an overextended back. Pressing from the knees, to a box, or to a bench with a straight body is more beneficial than snaking push-ups. Keeping the belly tight and the butt tight throughout the whole range of motion will help athletes keep a rigid body.

Movement Prep
Establish Bottom Position
Establish Top Position
5 Push-ups

Row
Recovery
The recovery of the stroke is often brushed over because athletes are unable to do work there. This recovery is often rushed, turning into an active position to allow for the next stroke to happen faster. When this happens, athletes tense up instead of relaxing like intended. Athletes will still be able to get a strong stroke with a slower recovery. This ratio of work to rest also enables them to slow things down to find a better catch position. Think drive and relax. Push the hands away, lean at the torso, bend the knees, and repeat.

Movement Prep
10 Strokes (4 Second Recovery)

Tuesday 9.11.18 

Rope Climb

Unfortunately with the length of today’s workout, there isn’t much time available to really dive into teaching the rope climb. However, emphasizing and demonstrating a proper foot lock position will dramatically increase the ease of rope climbs and decrease the tension on the arms.

Movement Substitutions:

Cut Reps
Half Climbs
Seated Rope Pulls (2:1)
Ring Rows (6:1)

Bear Complex

1 Bear Complex:

Power Clean
Front Squat
Push Press
Back Squat
Push Press

This complex cannot be strung together as a squat clean thruster directly into a back rack thruster. One option for those not looking to compete in the sport of CrossFit that is safer than bringing the bar down to the back from overhead is:

Power Clean
Front Squat
Push Press
Front Squat
Push Press

Build Up:

Giving athletes 4-5 minutes to build up to their workout weight and play around on the ropes. We typically do a rehearsal as a group, but this is our opportunity today to get that done.

9.12.18 Wednesday

 

Pausing Snatch Deadlifts
2 Second Pause, Below Knee
On this pause below the knee, we are really focusing on getting the shins out of the way. As athletes press through the floor, the knees will track backwards as the hips and shoulders rise together. Finding a good position here will truly set them up for success when it comes time to build to a heavy Power Snatch. If the knees fail to track backwards, it will lead to a looping bar path and a poor lift at a heavier load.

Lats On
With his pause comes the need to stay active. If the arms relax, the bar will drift away from the body. The further the bar is away from the center of the body at any point in the lift, the more difficult it will be to properly and safely lift the weight. As athletes pause for 2 seconds right below the knee, this is a great opportunity to train pulling the bar in towards the body with the lats.

Snatch High Pull
Patience
During the high pull, we are building upon the positions established in the pausing snatch deadlift. Getting the knees out of the way and pulling the bar in prepares us to be patient until the bar reaches a point above the knee. Rushing the “first pull” may put athletes in a less than ideal position. Once the reaches about one inch above the knee, shins should be vertical with the bar pulled onto the thigh and shoulders way out in front of the bar. Want to make sure we hit this checkpoint along the way.

Elbows High and Outside
After reaching the checkpoint at one inch above the knee, want to make sure we hit the final checkpoint at the pockets. In this position, chest is still over the bar with a fairly vertical shins. Finding this position will help athletes get as much power into their “jump” as possible while keeping the bar close. From here, hips will extend and the bar will travel up the body. Trying to “lift the shirt” by tracking the elbows high and outside will keep the bar tight to the body.

Power Snatch
Pull Under
At a certain point while building to a heavy load, athletes will be unable to jump the bar to a fully locked out position at the very top of their range of motion. Press-outs happen when they attempt to do so. Instead of thinking of pulling the bar up to above the head, have the group think of pulling themselves under into a quarter squat position. Although it is a power snatch, approaching it like a squat snatch and cutting it off above parallel will help them receive the bar in a better position as it starts to get heavier.

Stay Over the Bar
In the snatch deadlift and high pull, we reinforced positions. These were below the knee, above the knee, and at the pockets. Once we start to add load, looking to consistently find these positions. Many times athletes try to muscle it up once it reaches a certain weight and these positions become neglected. Today is more about finding a balance between technique and intensity than about how much weight is on the bar. Finding these positions and staying over the bar until the last second will get athletes better at snatch today.

Thursday 9.13.18

 

Strict Ring Dips
Hollow Body
Beginning with the support position when locked out on the rings. Being able to support yourself on the rings is a prerequisite to a ring dip. When locked out and stable, we want athletes in a hollow body position. Squeezing the butt and the belly at the top of the dip while having feet slightly in front of the rings will ensure that this hollow position is found.

Rings Close
One thing that will keep athletes stable when locked out in the hollow body position is pulling the rings in close. Unlike a stationary dip, the rings are attached to straps and want to move freely through space. We have to prevent them from doing that by pinning them to the side of the body. The closer they are, the more this movement will actually feel like a stationary dip. Letting them get away from the side makes the dip exponentially harder and puts the athlete at a risk for injury. Even if athletes are going banded, still want those rings tight to the side.

Chest Forward, Elbows Straight Back
Once the rings are close and athletes are in a hollow body position, we can start to talk about the descent to the bottom of the dip. To initiate this movement, we will send the elbows straight back and the chest forward. Note that the elbows are traveling straight back and not out. Elbows tracking out will make it difficult to keep the rings close while lowering.

Shoulders Below Elbows
At the bottom of the movement, shoulders below the elbows will be considered full range of motion. Really want to make sure that the above three criteria are being followed before we talk about range of motion. If athletes are reaching full range, but the rings are far away from the body and their feet are behind them, it puts them in a vulnerable positions and at a much greater risk for injury.

Movement Substitutions
Banded Ring Dips
Stationary Dips
Banded Stationary Dips
Jump to Support on Rings (control down) 
Push-ups

Strict Pull-ups
Hollow Body
Common theme across these two movements today is trying to maintain a hollow body throughout. It won’t be the most perfect repetition every time, but striving to find hollow body from the onset. We tend to see what we can the “seahorse pull-up” where the legs are way behind the body and the lower back is arched. Looking to have feet slightly in front of the bar during the strict pull-up.

Chin Above Bar, Full Extension
Full range of motion is important for getting the most out of every repetition. Breaking these up correctly and picking the right movement substitution will help each athlete get the appropriate stimulus for them while maintaining proper movement.

Movement Substitutions
Banded Strict Pull-ups
Ring Rows

Friday 9.14.18

 

Burpees
Step Up vs. Jump Up
There are a couple different methods for getting to the standing position of the burpee. On the step up method, athletes will jump one foot to the outside of the one hand, similar to an active spiderman stretch, and then bring the trail leg forward to the outside of the other hand before jumping tall. On the jump up method, athletes will pop both feet up outside of the hands before performing their small jump up. Neither method is wrong, but we are looking for the one that will be most consistent today. What is often seen is athletes jumping up quickly from the beginning, only to be reduced to a step up as the workout progresses. It is sometimes better to start out with the step up at the onset of the workout and then kick in the jump up towards the end when needed

Feet Outside of Hands
On the jump out of the bottom of the burpee, it is important that athletes jump their feet outside of the hands. Feet sometimes land within the hands, causing athletes to land on their toes into a less stable base. Landing on the toes will also excessively tax the quads. Whether stepping up or jumping up, looking for the feel to land in about squat stance or a little wider.

Movement Prep
3 Spidermans (each leg) 
3 Push-ups
3 Frog Hops
3 Burpees

Power Clean
Hips Back
With the power cleans most likely being performed as singles today, a lot of attention can be placed into moving well while moving the barbell. What is sometimes seen on the power clean is athletes catching with the hips forward and shoulders back. This is more of a power lean than a power clean. Looking for athletes to catch each rep with the hips back. From the catch of the power clean, each person should be able to smoothly transition to a front squat if they had to. Thinking of squat cleaning the bar, only to cut it off above parallel is a great way to address this fault.

Pull Under
Thinking about the action of the squat clean will also help athletes pull under the bar. As long as the bar is received above parallel, it is still considered a power clean. Over the course of 20 minutes, pulling the body under the bar as opposed to pulling the bar all the way up to a standing position will help athletes preserve their pull and cycle these repetitions at a steadier pace.

Movement Prep
Hold Receiving Position – 10 Seconds
High Hang Power Clean – 3 Repetitions
Hang Power Clean – 3 Repetitions
Power Clean – 3 Repetitions

5 Minutes to Build to Workout Weight

 

8.27.18 - 8.31.18

Monday - 8.27.18

Burpee Box Jumps
Chest Up
Knowing that this is a two part movement, being efficient in the first makes the second much easier. Coming out of the burpee, we can make the transition to the box jump easier by landing with the hips back and chest up. The finish position of the “pop” out of the burpee will look very much like the loading position of the box jump. It is common to see the hips high and chest down when coming out of the burpee. This would make the path from burpee to box jump more difficult. Chest up, then jump up.

Footwork
As a clarification, these are burpee box jumps and not burpee box jump overs. One major difference between the two is that athletes stand up all the way on straight jumps and do not have to stand up burpee box jump overs. After standing up all the way on the box, there are a couple different ways that athletes can return to the ground. The first would be to jump the feet far enough back where they can flop down to the ground. The second would be to step off the box, which requires more work out of the legs, but is more controlled. On either footwork choice, athletes want to avoid any unnecessary steps, keeping the top of the head as close to the box as possible without actually hitting.

Movement Prep
3 Push-ups
3 Frog Hops
3 Burpees
– – – – – – – – – – – – – 
3 Step-ups (Each Leg) 
2 Box Jumps (Shorter Height) 
1 Burpee Box Jump (Short Height) 
– – – – – – – – – – – – – 
2 Burpee Box Jumps (Workout Height)

Rowing & Wallballs
Heels & Hips
We know the importance of keeping the heels down in nearly every movement in CrossFit. This is often overlooked while rowing, as the majority of athletes push only through the toes. In the catch position, we can aim to keep the heels in contact with the machine with the hips are back. Hips back means that there is a gap between the seat and the feet, allowing athletes to load the posterior and keep the legs in a good driving position.

On the wallballs, the hip and heels are also a main focus. Upon receiving the ball, athletes want to lead the squatting motion by sending the hips down and back as the heels remain in contact with the ground. Leading with the knees forward or coming up on the toes throws off athletes balance and potential power that they can put into the throw. This throw requires a good deal of accuracy over a high number of reps, making positioning and balance all the more important.

Rowing Movement Prep
10 Strokes (2 Second Pause in Catch)

Wallball Movement Prep
5 Pausing Medicine Ball Air Squats
5 Medicine Ball Push Press
5 Wallballs

Dumbbell Snatches
Elbows Locked
A common fault of the dumbbell snatch is to see soft elbows on both the pull off the ground and when receiving the dumbbell overhead. Having a strong locked out elbow during the jump enables athletes to generate more power with the legs, giving the bell a more weightless feeling. Receiving it locked out overhead avoids press outs that can excessive tax the shoulders. The longer the arm stays straight today, the better.

Muscle vs. Traditional
There are two types of dumbbell snatch variations often seen. They are the muscle snatch vs. traditional snatch. We can almost picture the muscle snatch as the finish of a push press, where there is no re-bend of the legs, where the traditional snatch is receiving a push jerk, where the knees are allowed to bend. The muscle snatch is a quicker from point A to point B due to the fact that athletes are getting to full extension and staying there. The traditional snatch requires athletes to reach full extend, dip back under, and then reach full extension again. Because of this, the time to completion on each rep may be a little longer. Athletes can feel the difference between the two and make a decision on what is more sustainable for them over the 60 reps and 13 minutes.

Movement Prep
Each Arm With Lighter Weight: 
3 Deadlifts
3 High Pulls
3 Strict Press
6 Alternating Dumbbell Snatches

Tuesday 8.28.18

Strict Pull-ups & Push-ups
Body Position
Every pull-up and push-ups is a plank (or hollow), but not every plank is a pull-up or push-up. Good body positions here helps athletes build strength in the right positions instead of positions of compensation. It is common to see an aggressive arch of the back when push-up off the ground or pulling the body up. Pull the belly button towards the rib cage and keep the body as straight as possible, even if that means breaking sets up more than expected or dropping the reps down. Short term pain for long term gain.

Strict Pull-ups Movement Prep
10 Scap Pull-ups
1-3 Strict Pull-ups

Strict Pull-ups Substitution
Reduce Reps
Banded Strict Pull-ups
Ring Rows

Push-up Movement Prep
:15 Second Push-up Plank
5 Push-ups

Push-up Movement Substitution
Reduce Reps
Push-ups to Box or Bench

Air Squats, Sit-ups, Rowing & Bike
Low Back
We want to do our best to maintain the natural lumbar curve we have in our spine during all movements. In the pull-ups and the push-ups above, it is common to see an overextension of this curve. However, in the squat, sit-ups, and rowing & bike, it is more common to see a rounding over than a reaching back. This is typically seen as the chest and shoulders drooping forward. Keeping the head tall, shoulders back, and chest up throughout these movements better allows for good movement.

Air Squat Movement Prep
5 Hands Up Air Squats
5 Air Squats

Sit-up Movement Prep
5 Sit-ups

Rowing & Bike Movement Prep
:20 Second Moderate at Each

Wednesday 8.29.18 

Sandbag Run
More Steps
A common misconception in running is that the longer your strides are, the faster you’ll complete your run. However, when athletes foot travels too far out of the back or the front, it results in either a heel strike or a mid-foot strike. In both these scenarios, the foot striking out in front of the center of mass serves as a brake, slowing athletes down and putting a lot of impact on the joints. Rather than reaching with the foot, we want to think about quickly pulling the foot up so that the ankle bone of one foot is in line with the opposite knee. The more steps taken directly under the body, the better running will look and feel, especially with the added weight of the sandbag.

Movement Prep
100 Meter Sandbag Run (As a Team)

Deadlifts – Hang Power Cleans – Push Jerks
Forearms
In the set-up position of the deadlift, the hips will be positioned slightly above the knees with the forearms just outside of the legs and slightly behind the shoulders. If the forearms are in front of the shoulders, it likely means that the barbell is too far away from the body to get a good pull.

On the hang power cleans, we can think of always pulling the forearms back towards the body. Any little bit of separation here will make the bar feel heavier. Pull the forearms back and then punch them through hard to secure the barbell on the shoulders.

Wherever the forearms are pointed while in the front rack position of the push jerk is where the bar will end up overhead. If the chest/elbows drop in the dip or are behind the bar from the start, the bar will finish out in front of the body. Establishing and maintaining elbows slightly in front of the bar during the dip will result in the forearms pointing directly over the middle of the body, where we want the bar to go.

Deadlift Movement Prep
Establish Set-up Position
5 Deadlifts

Hang Power Clean Movement Prep
3 High Hang Power Cleans
3 Hang Power Cleans

Push Jerk Movement Prep
Establish Front Rack
3 Dip & Stands
____________

3 Push Press
3 Push Jerks
____________

Build to Workout Weight

Thursday 8.30.18

Lower Body Placement
How the lower body is organized on the seat plays a huge role is finding a successful catch position. In today’s workout, the little things are the big things. The 2k row is the epitome of the importance of both technique and effort. It is common for more of the back pockets of the shorts to take up most of the seat. In this position, it is harder for athletes to get their shoulders in front of their hips in the catch. Making sure more of the hamstring is in contact with the seat allows athletes to arrange themselves in a position for the most powerful drive possible.

Shoe Tie Drill
The show tie drill is a great way for athletes to feel where their legs need to be on the seat. This can be done before partner rowling begins in order to set the tone for the rest of the day. Sitting on the seat, have athletes reach down as if they were about to tie their shoes. You will find that they need to scoot back on the seat in order to reach down towards the floor. This is the position that they want to get comfortable in every time they sit on rower.

Beat the Knees
Second most important to lower body position when trying to find a solid catch position is that the handle beats the knees. One of the most common faults seen in rowing is that the knees bend before the handle passes over them. When this happens, it is very hard to get into a good catch position. The hands should leads the way back to the catch, followed by a lean forward of the torso, and finally the bending of the knees until the shins are vertical. Segmenting this is the drill below will be helpful in feeling this out.

Pull – Punch Drill
Two commands in this drill. This first is PULL. Athletes will pull to their finish position, pausing with the handle at the bottom of the chest, shoulders relaxed, and a slight lean back. Next command is PUNCH. With knees straight, athletes will punch their hands forward and pause with them just past the knee. Next command is PULL, as athletes return to the catch and repeat this segmented cycle for 5 repetitions. Following the 5 repetitions, have athletes row for 30 seconds without segmenting the parts.

Don’t Waste the Chain
We want to get the most out of every single pull today. What often happen is that an aggressive drive does not happen until the middle or the back half of the pull. Not wasting any chain means starting this drive early out of the catch position. With relaxed arms, athletes will start the drive with the legs as soon as they change direction away from the monitor. While we want to get the most out of the chain, we do not want to sacrifice back position for more length.

Flywheel Demo/Drill
This aggressive drive is best demoed by the coach or an athlete proficient at rowing. You can clearly hear the difference in when the flywheel revs up in relation to where the athlete is on the slide. Demo or have an athlete demo revving the wheel up at the beginning of the stroke and near the end of the stroke. We are aiming for every drive to start early. Have athletes row 100 meters working on not wasting any chain.

Friday 8.31.18

Double Unders
Rope Speed vs. Height
One of the more challenging transitions from single under to double unders is adjusting to the added speed of the rope required to get the rope around the body twice. While high, looping single unders are good for getting used to the height needed for double unders, the big circles with the elbow do not carry over well to successful rope speed for double unders. Some athletes may have trouble with getting high enough off the ground, while other may struggle with rope speed. For athletes practicing today who struggle with rope speed, they can aim to perform very fast single unders to gradually build up their speed. For athletes who have good rope speed, but can’t get high enough. Higher single unders during the workout will likely be the best option for them. Root the problem and work towards a solution.

Movement Prep
:15 Seconds High Single Unders
:15 Seconds Fast Single Unders
:15 Seconds Double Under Practice

Movement Substitutions
Reduce Reps
2x Single Unders

Sit-ups
Hip Position
When athletes set-up with the AbMat behind them, it is common to see the hips position too close to the object itself. When this happens, it becomes like more of a see-saw for the body, enabling the hips to leave the ground with every rep. Setting up a few inches a way will allow athletes lumbar spine to pivot properly over the AbMat and maintain hip contact with the floor.

Movement Prep
5 AbMat Sit-ups

Front Squat
Upper Half
While we typically focus on the lower body in the squat, today we’ll focus on the upper half of the body, specially the belly, elbows, and head. Rather than wearing a belt during these front squats, we’re going to build a belt. The way we create a solid midline is by supporting the weight effectively. Taking and holding a big breath through the belly at the top of each rep allows athletes to simulate the feeling of wearing a belt by creating pressure and stability on their own. Fill the belly with air and lock it down. Secondly, we want to drive the elbows up and out. When the elbows come down and in, it causes the upper back to round over, making it harder to support the weight and breathe. Finally, the head also play a role in good front squats. Where the eyes go, the elbows tend to follow. Keeping the head neutral and the eyes straight better allows for a bigger breath into the belly and high elbows.

Movement Prep
5 Pausing Air Squats
5 Pausing Barbell Front Squats

 

 

8.20.18 - 8.24.18

Monday 8.20.18 

Front Squat
Elbows Away from Knees
If the elbows get close to touching the knees (or actually touch them) in the front squat, it means that some part of their body is out of position. This loss of proper posture puts them in an less than ideal spot. Throughout the whole squat, athletes can try to keep their elbows as far away from their knees as possible. As they start to squat and while they are standing, they will keep a constant upward pressure on the bar and be able to maintain a better position.

Big Chest
One thing that can contribute to elbows dropping is a loss in stability of the upper back. When the upper back rounds forward, the elbows drop and the bar sits lower on the shoulder. Puffing the chest out and pulling the shoulders back keeps the spine in neutral alignment and the bar closer to the middle of the body. The closer the bar is to the center, the lighter it will feel and the better athletes will move.

Movement Prep
10 Second Front Rack Hold
3 Pausing Front Squats
2 Front Squats

Push Press
Dip Straight
No matter the weight on the bar, dipping straight down sets the tone for the lift in a similar way to the elbows setting the tone for the front squat. When athletes shoulders get in front of the hips, the bar typically ends up forward of the body. When fatigued or at heavier loads, a forward bar often means more energy expended to get the same amount of work done or a missed lift. Dipping as if the back is against a wall or a PVC pipe leads to better movement.

Head Back, Bar Back
Even if athletes dip straight, there is still sometimes the tendency for the bar to end up out front. If the dip is good, this is most likely a result of elbow position or head position. The head is clearly in the way when athletes go to press the bar back. Having the elbows just in front of the bar is the first priority. From there, making sure to tuck the chin will allow the bar to balance right over the middle of the body.

Movement Prep
5 Strict Press
5 Pausing Push Press

Hang Power Cleans
Squat and Stop
On of the biggest problems we sew with the hang power clean is the feet jumping out into a starfish position as the weight gets heavier or as athletes fatigue. A great motto is that a failed power clean is a squat clean. As long as athletes stay above parallel, it is still considered a power clean. Approaching every clean as if it were a squat clean, only to stop it above parallel, will help with speed under the bar rather than feet wide to get under the bar. Building the habits and positioning with light weight makes it easier to maintain as load goes up.

Grip
During any olympic lift, we always want to be utilizing the hook grip. This helps athletes hold onto the barbell and get the best triple extension possible. However, we don’t want to confuse “hook grip” with a “death grip”. When athletes have too strong a grip on the barbell, it doesn’t allow for the elbows to come through fast enough and the lift is usually failed out front. This problem is more prevalent when the weight gets heavier. After athletes reach triple extension, every so slightly loosening the grip will allow the elbows to get in front of the bar quickly.

Movement Prep
3 Hang Muscle Cleans
3 Hang Squat Cleans
3 Hang Power Cleans

Tuesday 8.21.18

Row
Seat Away From Feet
Very often in the catch position, the feet tend to “bounce” off or make contact with the heels. In this position, the shoulders are most likely dumping back too early resulting in a significant amount of lost tension and power. Leaving a gap between the front of the seat and the back of the heels will place athletes in a better position of power. This seat away from the feet position is established when athletes pick up the handle to begin rowing. When reaching for the handle, shoulders are in front of hips and there is about a one foot gap between the seat and the feet. Looking to get back to this position on every stroke.

Movement Prep
Establish Seat Position
:20 Seconds of Rowing

Burpees
Hand Position
Just like in the push-up, we want the hands far enough down on the body where athletes can maintain a vertical forearm. The front of the shoulder is taxed extra when the hands are high up on the body, adding fatigue for the double unders to follow.

Movement Prep
Establish Hand Position
3 Push-ups
3 Frog Hops
3 Burpees

Double Unders
Pogo Stick
A pogo stick is a fixed structure that is made to bounce straight up and down. We want to think of our bodies as pogo sticks. The bottom half of a pogo stick can’t bend forward or backwards. What happens in the lower body is one of the most important aspects of the double under. While is may be possible to complete some double unders by doing so, keeping the bound straight up and down will lead to better synchronization with the hands and create better habits in the long run.

Movement Substitutions
Single Unders

Movement Prep
:15 Seconds Single Unders
:15 Seconds Double Taps*
:15 Seconds Double Under Practice

*Practicing timing of the double under. With a straight jump in the air, athletes will double tap low on the thigh to simulate a double under without the rope.

Wednesday 8.22.18

Overhead Squats
Fight the Rotation
Most athletes do a phenomenal job at finding external rotation at the top of the overhead position. The difficult part in maintaining this throughout the full motion of the squat. Once athletes get about a quarter way down is when we usually start to see the shoulders internally rotate. Working on fighting this rotation will be crucial in maintaining a solid overhead position. In movement prep, we will start light and slow down the squat in order to really feel out what a good position is. We’ll also run through a practice round at workout weight after the moderate set of 2. The goal on both of these is not speed, rather to maintain a stable shoulder and good body positioning under load.

Movement Prep
Establish Overhead Position
:30 Seconds PVC Quarter Overhead Squats
:20 Seconds Barbell Quarter Overhead Squats
________________________________

5 Pausing PVC Overhead Squats
5 Pausing Barbell Overhead Squats

Thursday 8.23.18

Row & Sandbag Cleans
Flex & Elbows
On both the rower and the cleans, athletes are holding onto handles. There is always the temptation of an early arm bend, especially when the weight is relatively light. The handle has some tension, but not a lot, and the bag is about the same weight as an empty barbell. When the elbows bend, the power ends. Rather than pulling with the arms early on, we want athletes pressing hard with the legs and opening the hips first before the elbows bed. On both these movements, we can think about flexing the triceps to keep the elbows locked during the leg drive. Once the leg drive is complete, athletes can finish with the elbows back on the rower and elbows forward on the clean.

Row Movement Prep
:30 Seconds Easy Row

Sandbag Clean Movement
3 Sandbag Deadlifts
3 Sandbag Jump Shrugs
3 Sandbag Cleans

Perform with lighter weight, then workout weight.

AbMat Sit-ups & Sandbag Reverse Lunges
Head Up
In the finish position of the sit-up and with a sandbag in the back rack, it is common to see the shoulders and upper back rounded forward. As athletes sit-up off the ground and step back into a lunge, reaching their head up towards the ceiling will bring their shoulders down and place their back into a more neutral position.

AbMat Sit-up Movement Prep
Establish Finish Position
5 AbMat Sit-ups

Sandbag Reverse Lunge Movement Prep
4 Alternating Bodyweight Reverse Lunges
4 Alternating Sandbag Reverse Lunges

Friday 8.24.18

Wallballs
Distance
How far athletes are positioned away from the wall often affects both their squat pattern and the throw to the target. An athlete set up to close to the wall could likely overextend through the midline or bring the heels up in order to keep the chest more upright. Setting up too close also could cause the ball to skim the wall on the way up. Similarly, an athlete too far away from the wall is likely to catch the ball slightly in front as it descends, pulling them forward into a bad position. Each athlete is different, but finding a position about an arms length away with medicine ball in hand will help them find a rhythm and stay in a good position.

Movement Prep
Establish Distance
5 Front Squats
5 Push Press
5 Wallballs

Box Jumps
Load and Land
The jumping position and the landing position should look almost identical in the box jump. To start, athletes will send their hips and arms backwards before extending upward. When they land softly on top of the box, the hips should also be back with the whole foot in contact with the wood surface.

Movement Prep
6 Step-ups
3 Lower Height Box Jumps
3 Box Jumps

Burpees
Land
In the box jump, we are looking for the whole foot to remain in contact with the wood upon landing. Same idea coming out of the burpee. Rather than coming up on the toes, aim to have the whole foot planted on the ground before jumping and clapping overhead.

Movement Prep
3 Establish Landing Position
3 Frog Hops
3 Burpees

Power Snatches
Stand with the Legs
What happens from the floor plays a huge role in the efficiency of a lift. When athletes lead too much with the chest, it causes the knees to shoot forward and puts the load primarily in the back. Once the bar finally passes the knees, they amount of extension that can be exerted is greatly limited due to the angle of the torso and lack of load in the hamstrings. When athletes stand with the hips first, they are de-loading the legs, again putting most of the load in the back. In the hips first movement, the bar will also stay lower to the ground, making a much longer distance for it to travel.

From the start, the hips will be slightly above the knees with shoulders slightly forward of the bar. As athletes stand with the bar, the knees and shins will track backwards. The torso angle will remain static throughout. Emphasizing the start will help athletes set themselves up for greater success later in the lift. This start can almost be considered as “squatting the bar up”. When athletes return to this position on the way back down, they again want to think about “squatting the bar down” to the floor before getting the knees out of the way again.

Movement Prep

3 High Hang Power Snatches
3 Hang Power Snatches
______________________

Establish Bottom Position
Establish Above the Knee Position
______________________

5 Snatch Deadlifts
3 Power Snatches

Build to workout weight 

 

8.13.18 - 8.17.18

Monday 8.13.18 

Row – Kettlebell Swings – Wallballs
Legs Straight, Arms Finish
All of these movements have something in common. The bigger muscles (the legs) create the majority of the power before passing off to the smaller muscles (the arms).

In the row, this means that legs will straighten by pressing the knees down before athletes pull the handle to their chest.

On the kettlebell swings, athletes will straighten their legs hard by squeezing the quads and the glutes. Once that happens, the arms will guide the bell to an overhead finish position with the bottom of the bell straight up over the center of the body.

The wallballs are very similar to the kettlebell swings. However, instead of a hinge movement, we are now looking at a squat pattern. Athletes will also squeeze the quads and the glutes to straighten the legs before guiding the ball to the target with the arms.

Rowing Movement Prep
:20 Seconds Just Legs Rowing
:20 Seconds Rowing

Kettlebell Swing Movement Prep
With a lighter weight: 
5 Kettlebell Deadlifts
5 Russian Kettlebell Swings’
5 Kettlebell Swings

Build to workout weight and repeat

Wallball Movement Prep
3 Front Squats
3 Push Press
3 Wallballs

Tuesday 8.14.18 

Bike
Leg/Foot Placement
When adjusting the seat of the bike, athletes should find a height that allows for a subtle bend of the leg at the bottom of the revolution. Athletes shouldn’t feel like they are reaching extra far to find the pedal at the lowest point. As far as where the foot goes, athletes can aim to place the ball of the foot on the pedal. The placement of the leg and the foot allow for maximum power to be applied to the bike.

Movement Substitutions
30/21 Calorie Schwinn Bike
21/15 Calorie Row

Double Unders
Knees Back
Triple extension is important in the olympic lifts, but also with double unders. We often see athletes either bring the knees up or the heels back. This is hip flexion and knee flexion. If athletes can think about pressing the knees back, they will get adequate extension while keeping the lower body in a good position.

Arms Close
What the arms do determines how long the rope is. If the upper arm stays close to the rib cage, the rope is at the optimal length that athletes measured it out at. However, if the arms drift away from the body, the rope shortens and is more likely to cause a trip. Keep the arms close to minimize the probability of tripping.

Movement Prep
:15 Seconds Single Unders
:15 Seconds Higher Single Unders
:15 Seconds Double Unders

Movement Substitutions
Reduce Reps
120 Single Unders
1 Minute Double Under Attempts

Deadlift
Arms Close
During movement prep, have athletes hold the bar on their mid shin or at the top of the knee. Cue them to relax their arms and let the bar swing away. Now cue them to pull the bar back in by squeezing the arms close to their side. Repeat for three reps. Being aware of the role the lats play in the deadlift will help athletes keep the bar tight to the body and stay in a safe pulling position during the workout.

Hips Back
What happens at the top of the repetition before the bar returns to the ground is just as important as what happens from the floor. At the completion of the rep, the hips should travels backwards first as opposed to knees driving forwards. Sending the allows for a good bar path and good use of all the leg muscles.

Movement Prep
Establish Set-up Position
Arms Close Drill
_ _ _ _ _ _ _

5 Deadlifts
_ _ _ _ _ _ _

Build to Lighter Weight

Wednesday 8.15.18 

Sandbag Run
Bag Position
There are a couple way to hold the sandbag, both with their own set of pros and cons. The first and most common would be to have the bag rest across the back like a barbell. In this position, the weight is balanced and in a very stable position. The downside of this position is that it does take a little longer to get into and the arms almost nothing to assists with the run. The other option would be to throw it over one shoulder. This is a very quick transition to the shoulder from the ground and allows athletes to pump the other arm while running. The downside of this method is that the weight is off the one side, creating more work for the midline. Neither is wrong. Whatever is more comfortable and whatever gets the work done the quickest is the best option for athletes.

Movement Prep
50 Meter Sandbag Run (Bag Across Back) 
50 Meter Sandbag Run (Bag on Shoulder)

Burpees
Hot Floor
When performing burpees today, we want to imagine a hot floor. This minimizes the amount of time that athletes spend on the ground. When they are standing tall, they are also better positioned to get a big breath in. Breathing here will be important knowing the bag is on the shoulders following this movement.

Movement Prep
4 Spidermans (Each Leg) 
3 Frog Hops
2 Burpees

Thursday 8.16.18 

Cleans
Hips Up, Hips Down
With a lot of reps on the barbell, the more power athletes can generate with their hips, the more time they give themselves to get under the bar. With the nature of the workout, we also have to focus on getting under the barbell quickly. In that second and third set, there may not be as much “oomph” on the way up, so pulling the body under the body becomes that much more important. We can get used to that even when the weight feels lighter. Getting the hips up fast and down fast accomplishes exactly what we’re looking for. Athletes can envision a heavy resistance band attached to their hip. They have to jump hard on the way up to stretch the band. After the hard jump, the band will quickly pull them back down to receive the bar.

Movement Prep
2 High Hang Power Cleans
2 Hang Power Cleans
2 Power Cleans
_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _

2 High Hang Squat Cleans
2 Hang Squat Cleans
2 Squat Cleans

Overhead
Push Press (Squeeze)
The push press is the first overhead movement to be performed in the complex. The difference between the push press and the push jerk is that the knees do not re-bend at all. Athletes will finish with a strong extension of the hips, knees, and ankles. Squeezing the belly, butt, and quads hard throughout the movement will put a great deal of power into the barbell and prevent the accidental re-bend that is common with this movement.

Movement Prep
3 Push Press

Push Jerk (Drop)
In the Push Jerk, will are still looking for the hard extension to get power into the bar, however athletes can now drop back under to receive the bar. We are looking for the hips up, hips down thought process we established in the cleans to catch the bar with locked out elbows. Dip, Drive, and Drop!

Movement Prep
3 Push Jerk

Split Jerk (Positioning)
The split jerk is something we perform less commonly than push press or push jerk. Despite the split being the most efficient receiving position, many athletes are able to lift more in the push press or the push jerk due to the more complicated footwork pattern of the split. For these athletes, the strength is likely there, so the skill will take priority. To find this balanced split position, we can have athletes step back into a lunge. In this position, their front knee should be slightly behind the ankle. The back knee should be just under the back hip with the toe on the ground. When athletes stand up halfway they will find their split jerk position. If they were to lean and fall forward, the foot that moves forward first will likely be the front foot in the receiving position. The biggest fault we see here is a straight back leg which puts most of the weight on the front foot. Making sure the back knee is bent every rep will be important to avoid this. For resetting, athletes will recover their front foot and then back foot.

Movement Prep
Establish Split Position
_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _

3 Jumps to Split Position (Thumbs on Shoulders) 
3 Jumps to Split Position (Land and Punch Arms Overhead) 
_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _

3 Split Jerks
_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _

Full Complex with Empty Barbell

Friday 8.17.18

Row
Use the Recovery
The recovery is exactly what it sounds like. This should be a passive movement, not active. It is commonly seen that athletes aggressively pull themselves back into the catch. While this may be appropriate sometimes, today we can take it as athletes opportunity to breathe, especially with burpees to follow. Let gravity do the work and preserve energy for a large drive away from the monitor with the legs. Let’s focus on the power of the stroke rather than the total number of strokes. Quality, not quantity.

Movement Prep
:30 Second Row

Movement Prep
Establish Bottom Position
3 Push-ups
3 Frog Hops
3 Burpees

Toes to Bar
Heels to Floor
It is common during the kip swing for athletes heels to bend and curl up towards their backs. This results in a break in the chain and a loss of tension. Keeping the legs longs so that the heels are as close to the ground as possible during the swing allow athletes to generate more power between the hollow and arch positions. Bringing the heels back down the ground quickly is also beneficial in finding a rhythm from rep to rep. Keeping the legs straight with the heels towards the floor applies to this movement as well as the pull-ups today.

Movement Prep
10 Scap Pull-ups
5 Kip Swings
3 Knees to Chest
3 Toes to Bar

 

 

 

 

8.6.18 - 8.10.18

8.6.18 - Monday 

Run

Waist

On the hang power clean, athletes bend forward at the waist. However, when running we are looking to have a straight line from the ankle to the head. Rather than leaning forward at the waist, this lean will come from the ankle, allowing athletes to execute a “controlled fall”. Being mindful of where this lean is coming from makes the running more effortless and preserves that movement pattern for hang power cleans.

Arms

Knowing the work inside requires athletes to hold on to rope handles and a barbell, keeping the arms relaxed on the runs will be beneficial. Athletes can envision themselves holding eggshells that they are attempting not to break

Movement Prep

10 Seconds Tight Bunny Hops in Place
20ft. Bunny Hop Forward* 
100 Meter Run

*Leaning at ankle with arms relaxed.

Double Unders

Hands & Shoulders

Same thought process on the ropes as the run. Arguably more important on this station. There is a tendency to tense up in the shoulders and death grip the rope to spin it around. Bringing the shoulders down and back and unlocking the wrists takes some tension out of the upper body, allowing the hang power cleans and rope to cycle more smoothly.

Movement Prep

15 Seconds Each: 
No Rope Single Unders Thigh Taps (Relaxing the Arms) 
Easy Single Unders
No Rope Double Under Thigh Taps (Relaxing the Arms) 
Double Under Attempts

Movement Substitutions

Reduce Reps
2x Single Unders

Hang Power Cleans

Balance

Weightlifting requires athletes to control and balance an external object. There are many moving pieces that contribute to helping with this balance. A common fault associated with balance issues in the clean is athletes jumping forward or backward. You can imagine that jumping forward is likely a result of the bar swinging away from the body or the weight staying in the toes. Jumping backwards can happen from overextending, having the weight too far back in the heels, or jumping too early. Just like when we jump rope, the most efficient use of energy is to jump straight up and straight down. This balance point for athletes on the clean is the middle of the foot. Today, we will focus on feeling the weight balanced here until the final extension. For athlete with this issue, a tape or chalk line under the arch of the foot is a great tactile cue for them to see where their body is traveling.

Movement Prep

10 Second Receiving Position Hold
10 Second High Hang Hold
10 Second Low Hang Hold

3 High Hang Power Cleans
3 Hang Power Cleans

Build to Workout Weight

8.7.18 - Tuesday

Bike
Knee Position
In the squat, the knees will track out to create torque. However, in the bike, we actually want the knees to stay in. Because of the structure of the bike, it is beneficial to have the hip, knee, and ankle all in one line, tracking straight down to the pedals. Because the majority of the movement we do tend to involve “knees out”, this may be hard to adjust to at first, but will feel more comfortable over time.

Movement Prep
:30 Second Bike

Sit-ups
Knee Position
There is no right or wrong knee position in the AbMat Sit-up. If we are looking to get the most out of the abs, placing the heels on the ground with the knees spread wide reduces the use of the hip flexors. This is more of a true AbMat sit-up than placing the feet straight out front with knees slightly bent, although either way is acceptable for today’s workout.

Movement Prep
5 AbMat Sit-ups

Squats
On the Edge
We want to live life on the edge…of our feet. Rather than cueing “knees out” today, we’ll take a different approach to accomplish the same task. Athletes can create torque, and thus a safe and powerful leg position, by keeping constant pressure on the outside edge of the feet. We can think of always driving weight outward, keeping the load right around where the arch of the foot meets the heel. This doesn’t mean that athletes are lifting the inside edge of their foot of the ground. The whole foot will still remain in contact with the ground as athletes go through their full range of motion.

Movement Prep
5 Pausing Air Squats
5 Air Squats
5 Back Squats

8.8.18 - Wednesday  

 

Power Snatch
Pockets
The last position athletes pass through before launching the bar overhead is the pocket position. We can aim for the pockets with straight arms on all our snatches today. Athletes typically do a really nice job of finding the pockets, but that is often accomplished by pulling the bar there with the arms. Rather than bending the arms and losing some power, athletes can think about pressing the bar back against their pockets with the lats. This straight arm jump will come in handy on both the heavy lift and the high-rep, light snatches in “Randy”

Press Outs
Not only are we looking to avoid bending the arms to get the bar to the pockets, but also when supporting the bar overhead. The quicker athletes can get from their jumping position to their landing position, the more likely they are to receive the bar with strong, locked out elbows. Putting this into practice while building up to the heavier weights will help engrain good movement patterns for the light barbell.

Movement Prep
From the High Hang: 
3 Down and Ups
3 Elbow High and Outsides
3 Muscle Snatches

From the Back Rack: 
5 Snatch Lands

Working Top Down: 
2 High Hang Power Snatches
2 Hang Power Snatches
2 Power Snatches

Push-ups
Hand Position
In the bottom of the push-up, you will often see the hands either too far forward or too wide, putting extra pressure on the soft tissue structures of the shoulder. Laying flat on the ground, athletes can bring the thumbs near the nipple line and just off the rib cage to find a vertical forearm position. A proper hand position gives athletes better leverage and a safer pressing position.

Midline
A surefire way to get better at proper push-ups is to press an appropriate percentage of bodyweight with a straight body. Keeping a straight body means keeping the midline on by squeezing the belly, butt, and quads. When athletes snake their push-ups, they are pressing a lesser percentage of their body weight, which some athletes should do, but here with an overextended back. Pressing to a box or a bench with a straight body is more beneficial than snaking push-ups. Keeping the belly, butt, and squads tight throughout the whole range of motion will help athletes keep a rigid body.

Movement Prep
Establish Bottom Position
Establish Top Position
5 Push-ups

Movement Substitutions
Reduce Reps
Push-ups to Box or Bench

Rowing
Hand Position
In the world of water rowing, the oar will naturally move up and down as a part of the stroke. The blade has to go into the water and out of the water. However, when training on an erg, moving the handle up and down only leads to a more inefficient position and can put more strain on the shoulders. A good visual is to keep the hands and the handle somewhere between the two screws located near where the chain inserts. It may help to mark with either tape or chalk a small line in the middle of the screws as a point of reference on where the hand and chain should be when rowing today.

Midline
When rowing, it is common to see athletes round their backs to get the handle close to the flywheel in the catch. Despite the extra length, this position makes it more difficult to breathe and does not demonstrate a position that would be used in any other movement. Sitting tall on the rower throughout the stroke with the belly squeezed and head reaching up creates more power and helps athletes breathe better.

Movement Prep
:15 Second Holding Catch Position (abs on, handle straight) 
:30 Seconds Rowing

8.9.10 - Thursday

 

Row
Foot Position
The longer your shin is, the lower you feet should be. The shorter your shin is, the higher it should be. A general guideline is that knees should be relatively close to the armpits in the catch position. In this catch position, we are also looking for the heels to be grounded with the shin vertical. If your feet are too high, you will limit your front-end length, or how close the handle can get to the flywheel. On the other side, if you feet are too low, front-end length will be good, but at the expense of an optimal leg drive and possibly a loss of good back position. For athletes with mobility issues, dropping the foot lower (up towards 5-6) will better allow them to a more advantageous stroke length.

Arms Straight
The rower is oddly enough a very opportune time to practice locking out the elbows for when the overhead squats come along. At the finish of the stroke, we want the arms shooting straight to be the first action when beginning the recovery. The arms will shoot straight to lock the elbows, the chest will slightly lean forward, and then and only then do the knees bend. Arms straight with handle past the knees before they bend.

Movement Prep
Establish Foot Position
:15 Seconds Active Catch Position Hold
:30 Seconds of Rowing

Burpees
Knee to Elbow
When coming out of the bottom of the burpee, you sometimes see athletes jump with a straighter leg. Straighter legs makes for a longer distance to travel. Whether athletes go for a two legged jump or a step-up, aiming the knees to the elbows will help athletes catch in a lower position with an upright chest, making the jump all that easier.

Movement Prep
3 Push-ups
3 Frog Hops
3 Burpees

Overhead Squats
Hand Position
Just like the foot position on the rower differs based on the athlete, the hand width on the overhead squat will be athlete specific as well. We have to take into account both arm length and mobility. The longer the arms, the wider the hands will likely have to be. However, mobility will likely be the biggest determining factor. A great place to start is snatch width grip, with the hands wide enough that the barbell sits near the waist band. From this position, most athletes should be able to balance the barbell over the middle of their foot while overhead. For more mobile athletes, bringing the hands in will better stack the wrist, elbow, and shoulder, making for a more stable support. Going narrow is only better if athletes are able to maintain an upright chest with heels down during the squat. We’ll play around with hand position first and foremost today.

Hands Up
No matter the hand position athletes take, keeping the arms straight is a constant. Imagine trying to hold a barbell in the back rack in a quarter squat for as long as you can. Now imagine trying to hold the same weight barbell, but standing tall with legs straight. Holding the barbell with straight legs will undoubtedly be easier due to the fact that joints stacked on top of each other can support more weight for a longer duration than muscles alone. If athletes can lock the elbows through the whole way up and down on the overhead squat, they’ll be able to hold on longer and move more weight. The hands are always pressing up like the roof is caving in.

Movement Prep
Establish Hand Position
:15 Second Overhead Position Hold

5 Pausing Overhead Squats

Build to all four workout weights

8.10.18 - Friday

 

Strict Pull-ups
Hollow Body
In the kipping pull-up, athletes generate full body power by alternating between the hollow body and arch positions. In the strict pull-up, all the power comes from the lats and the arms, so athletes will only be in the hollow body position throughout the movement. Being able to feel out the hollow body on the floor will allow athletes to find the position better when hanging from the pull-up bar. On the floor, athletes will begin lying on their back. From there, we are looking for the following:

Pull belly button to spine
Push low back into floor
Feet & legs squeezed together
Legs 6 inches off floor
Shoulder blades off floor
Elbows by ears (hands by side if low back comes off ground)

Once we feel this position out on the floor, we will look to recreate it while hanging from the pull-up bar. The only things that change is that the feet will be slightly in front of the bar as opposed to off the floor.

Shoulder Position
After establishing the hollow body position on the bar, athletes can set their shoulders into a strong pulling position. It is common to see athletes rely on their biceps to pull their chin over the bar. The biceps are nice looking, but the lats are the bigger and stronger pulling muscles. Both are involved in the movement, but the lats are doing most of the work.

This strong pulling position begins with a scap pull-up or scap retraction. Athletes can begin in a dead hang from the bar. Then, from the hollow position with straight arms, they will pull the shoulders down, away from the ears. Doing so will help them feel the lat engagement that helps dramatically in big pulling movements. Being able to feel and use the lats throughout the full movement helps athletes get stronger in the right places and accumulate more reps today.

Movement Prep
Demo & Establish Hollow Position on Floor
:20 Second Hollow Hold

Demo & Establish Hollow Position on Bar
:20 Second Hollow Hold

10 Scap Pull-ups
1-3 Strict Pull-ups

Movement Substitutions
Banded Pull-ups
Ring Rows

Running
Arm Swing
Although the lats are the main movers of the pull-up, the biceps do play a role, as they help flex the elbow. When running, the biceps naturally flex to keep the arms close to the body, providing balance and a little momentum. Knowing that the pull-ups will take a toll on them, relaxing the biceps and arms here will be beneficial for recovery. Consciously loosening the arms a bit may make the run a little less efficient, but can payoff with bigger sets of pull-ups upon returning inside. Keeping the abs slightly engaged and the shoulders square helps minimize some of the side to side motion that can result from loosening up the arms.

Movement Prep
50 Meter Normal Run
50 Meter Relaxed Arm Run

Movement Substitutions
25/18 Calorie Assault Bike
40/28 Calorie Schwinn
500/400 Meter Row

 

 

7.30.18 - 8.3.18

Monday 7.30.18 

Power Clean
Elbows
Quick elbows sets the tone for a good complex and a good AMRAP. Upon extension, loosening the hook grip will enable athletes to quickly get their elbows through, allowing the barbell to securely rest on the shoulders. Slow elbows mean that athletes are having to muscle the weight up with the upper body, which makes supporting the front squat and push jerk more difficult due to the added fatigue.

Movement Prep
2 High Hang Power Cleans
2 Hang Power Cleans

4 Power Cleans

Front Squat
Upper Back
One thing that can contribute to elbows dropping is a loss in stability of the upper back. When the upper back rounds forward, the elbows drop and the bar sits lower on the shoulder. Puffing the chest out and pulling the shoulders back keeps the spine in neutral alignment and the bar closer to the middle of the body. The closer the bar is to the center, the lighter it will feel and the better athletes will move.

Movement Prep
Establish Front Rack
2 Pausing Front Squats
2 Front Squats

Push Jerk
Heels
Balance is key when going overhead. Just like we touched on in the front squat, the closer the bar is to the middle of the body, the lighter it will feel. A common fault in the push jerk is letting the weight more forward over the toes. Keeping the heels down and elbows up better ensures that the weight is balanced. A balanced weight feels strong and stable overhead.

Movement Prep
10 Second Dip Hold
3 Push Jerks

1 Empty Barbell Complex (Power Clean + Front Squat + Push Jerk)

Tuesday 7.31.18 

Box Jumps
Hips Up, Knees Up
With a higher box, hip extension will be important. At smaller heights, athletes can get away with just brining the knees up. With a half a foot added to the height of the box, it helps to get more out of the hips. Athletes can think about opening their hips all the way before the knees come up. Bringing the hips higher allows the knees to get higher, allowing for better box jumps.

Landing
How we do one thing is how we do the other. It is really common to see a loss of midline when landing on the body. This looks like athletes crashing onto the box with back rounded forward. If that happens on the box jumps, it is likely to happen in the deadlift. When athletes land, looking for a more upright chest and neutral back position.

Movement Prep
10 Small Hops
10 Tall Hops
5 Step-ups (Each Leg) 
3 Shorter Box Jumps
3 Workout Height Box Jumps

Deadlifts
Set the Back
With a moderately heavy barbell in today’s workout, we want to make sure that athletes set their backs in the start position before pressing the bar off the floor. Typically when we are doing sets of more than one, the first deadlift is always the most difficult. The following are usually easier and look better because of the added momentum from the top going into the next reps. That being said, if athletes aim to make the first and hardest deadlift flawless, the others will likely follow along. However, it is hard to recover to a good position after the first rep once the spine has been compromised. Athletes can use the bar to pull the chest up so that they establish their natural lumbar curve. Taking a big breath in and squeezing the belly allows athletes to lock in this position. Let’s set the tone from rep one.

Set the Upper Body
The arms are what connects the weight to the torso. If the arms are are not active and secure, the weight will run away from the middle of the body and pull the back out of position as well. Squeezing the shoulder blades down and back and the arms to the sides allows the torso and arms to move as one throughout the lift.

Movement Prep
Establish Setup Position
5 Deadlifts (Pausing in Setup)

Build to workout weight

Wednesday 8.1.18 

Row
Feet
In a workout filled with thrusters and rowing, we want to make sure to use all the legs and not just the quads. It is very common to see athletes drive out of the catch just pressing from their toes. This puts most of the bodyweight in the quads, which will also make the thrusters more difficult. Keeping the heels down allows athletes to better use their posterior chain during the stroke. If athletes struggle with keeping their heels down due to ankle mobility, dropping the height of the foot plate down will help. The higher the number is, the easier it will be for athletes to get more length while keeping the heels down.

Movement Prep
Adjust Foot Plate
:20 Seconds Rowing (Feet on Top of Straps) 
:20 Seconds Rowing (Feet Strapped In)

Burpee
Feet
On the theme of feet, we can also be aware of how our feet are landing in the burpee. When athlete bring the feet forward to land under the body, the heels should also be planted slightly outside of the hands. It is common to see athletes bring the feet within the hands and land on the toes. Looking for a wider, more athletic base on the land today.

Movement Prep
3 Push-ups
3 Spidermans (Each Side) 
3 Frog Hops
3 Burpees

Pull-up
Rhythm
The reason athletes get out of rhythm during bar gymnastics movements of any kind is because the upper half of the body and lower half of the body are imbalanced on either side of the bar. The chest and legs should be evenly distributed out of the front and back of the bar. Beginning with the end in mind may help athletes feel out what this balance and finish position should look like. Athletes will begin this drill with a strict pull-up and hold the hollowing position for 3-2-1. After the 1, athletes will press away and complete 3 kipping pull-ups, aiming to get back to the position they were previously holding.

Movement Prep
10 Scap Pull-ups
5 Kipping Swings
1-3 Strict Pull-ups

2 Rounds: 
1 Strict Pull-up
3 Second Hollow Hold
3 Kipping Pull-ups

Movement Substitutions
Reduce Reps
Banded Pull-ups
Ring Rows
Jumping Pull-ups

Thruster
Loose Hands, Full Grip
We know that the thruster is a combination of the front squat and the push press in to one big movement. In just front squatting, we are able to maintain a loose fingertip grip to ensure that the barbell sits as far back onto the shoulders as possible. However, just push pressing requires all of the fingers to be wrapped around the bar in order to complete a safe and strong press overhead. This hybrid movement also requires a hybrid grip. On the thruster, looking to have all of the fingers wrapped around the bar, but will a slightly loose grip to allow for higher elbows during the squat.

Feet
If the bar is balanced properly on the shoulders, athletes will be more likely to find the balance with their feet. Just like on the rower, we want to drive through the whole foot, only coming up on to the toes as a follow through to extension, not as the main mover. We can jump more weight up with our hips than we can by calf raising it to an overhead position.

Movement Prep
3 Pausing Front Squats
3 Push Press
3 Thrusters

Build to workout weight

Thursday 8.2.18 

Tire FlipsBegin by gripping the bottom of the tire on the tread, and position your feet back a bit. Your chest should be driving into the tire.
To lift the tire, extend through the hips, knees, and ankles, driving into the tire and up.
As the tire reaches a 45 degree angle, step forward and drive a knee into the tire. As you do so adjust your grip to the upper portion of the tire and push it forward as hard as possible to complete the turn. Repeat as necessary.

Sand Bag Run
Shoulders Back, Head Up
Although the bag is roughly the same weight as an empty barbell, it presents a different challenge to position than a barbell would due to the odd nature and size of the bag. The weight has the tendency to want to pull athletes shoulders and head forward into a collapsed positioning. Pulling the shoulders back and the head up will help combat the breathing and postural issues that the Wreck Bag presents.

Movement Prep
50 Meter Wreck Bag Run

Friday 8.3.18 

AbMat Sit-ups

Eccentric

One part of the sit-up that is often overlooked is the eccentric portion. There is sometimes the tendency for athletes to really slowly control the descent back to the ground. If done for many reps in a row, this can become very taxing on the midline. Letting gravity do some of the work will limit this fatigue and allow for an easier concentric portion of the movement.

Movement Prep

5 Slow Sit-ups
5 Sit-ups

Double unders

To learn how to do double unders, it starts with finding the right rope. Though speed ropes are best for double under performance, heavy ropes are better for learning because they provide more tactile feedback, which helps greatly with your timing and coordination.

To get started, your basic jump rope technique must be solid. As you progress to double unders, your wrist rotation will be critical as it controls the pace. Your jumping needs to be powerful and controlled so you are landing in a balanced position on your midsoles to allow for quick rebounding.

The final steps of learning double unders comes down to finding the perfect balance between jumping and wrist rotation so you can start stringing together repetitions consecutively.

 

 

 

 

7.23.18 - 7.27.18

7.23.18 Monday

Wallballs
Legs
Using the legs to the best of their ability today will take some of the workload off the arms, which will spend quite a bit of time holding onto either a ball or a bell. The arms are sometime the first thing to go on this movement. Understanding what using the hips to full capacity feels like will better allow athletes to dominate this movement with the lower body and not the upper body. When the ball has to travel a further distance, athletes have to generate more power with the legs. We’ll feel out strong hip extension with some high wallballs.

Ball Hog
One thing that tends to happen in the squat is that the chest and the ball drop towards the ground. Not only does this put athletes out of position, but it also requires the ball to travel a much further distance. The ball should be supported in front of the body with the hands pressing up from underneath. If the ball remains in a good position, a buddy would be able to come over, put their hands underneath it as well, and squat together. If the chest and ball drops, the athlete holding it is a ball hog because their buddy is now unable to play along. Don’t be a ball hog.

Movement Prep
5 Front Squats
5 Push Press
5 Max Height Wallballs

5 Buddy Squats
5 Normal Height Wallballs

Alternating Dumbbell Snatches
Rule of Thumb
At the finish position of the dumbbell snatch, it is common to see the shoulder rolled inwards. A good rule of thumb is to pay attention to where your thumb is. If the thumb is pointed towards the front of the room, your shoulder is likely in a bad position. If the thumb is pointed towards the back of the room your shoulder is likely to be in a stable, externally rotated position. Thumbs forward is thumbs down, thumbs back is thumbs up.

Changing Hands
There are several ways to switch hands on the alternating dumbbell snatch. The first option is to place the dumbbell back on the ground between each rep and switch hands there. This option allows athletes to set their back each time, but is a little slower on cycle time. It also comes from a dead stop overtime, making it similar to single repetition deadlifts in which there is no “rebound” effect. The second option would be to switch hands in the air, ideally just in front of the face. This option requires more practice and accuracy than the first, but is a much faster cycle time. We get the “touch and go” effect with these, which makes it feel more like a kettlebell swing than a dead stop snatch. However, there is the tendency to be slightly out of position at the bottom of each rep due to the more dynamic nature of this movement.

Movement Prep
Each Arm With Light Weight: 
3 Deadlifts + Shrug
3 High Pulls
3 Strict Press
3 Dumbbell Snatch

7.24.18 Tuesday 

Row
Hands + Shoulders
Relaxing the hands and shoulders allows athletes to focus on their legs during each stroke as opposed to pulling hard with the arms. It is common to see a hard pull with the hands and the shoulders shrugged at the end of each stroke. With the farmers carry immediately following each row, keeping the upper body relaxed will be even more important.

Movement Prep
:30 Second Row

Farmers Carry
Soft Knees, Fast Feet
Picture the dumbbells as buckets of water. If the legs were straight and the body rocked side to side, the water would spill all over you and the ground. We want to keep the water in the bucket. A soft bend of the knees throughout keep the torso upright and the buckets balanced. Taking short, quick steps with the feet also helps with balance and with getting from point A to point B quicker.

Movement Prep
5 Dumbbell Deadlifts
25 Meter Farmers Carry

Walking Lunge
Solid
On the farmers carry, the tighter the upper body is, the easier it is to move forward without spilling the buckets. In the walking lunge, a solid torso also pays dividends. Keeping the shoulders square and belly tight lets the legs support a solid object instead of a constantly moving object, making their job easier.

Heel
When moving forward in the lunge, the heel of the forward leg should remain on the ground as athletes go to drive through the front leg. Just like the barbell movement yesterday, keeping the heel down helps with balance and keeps the knee in a safe, strong position.

Movement Prep
4 Reverse Lunges in Place
25’ Walking Lunge

7.25.18 Wednesday

Barbell Movements
Weight Back
It is common in all of these barbell movement, especially when cycle time speeds up in a partner workout, to get pulled forward onto the toes. Doing so throws off balance and makes overhead positioning much more difficult. The sole focus on the three movements today is to keep the heels firmly planted on the ground. If we can control our bodies, controlling the weight will be an easier task.

Clean and Jerk Movement Prep
Establish Clean Receiving Position & Hold for 10 Seconds
1 High Hang Power Clean
2 Hang Power Cleans
3 Power Cleans

Establish Jerk Receiving Position & Hold for 10 Seconds
2 Push Jerks
2 Clean and Jerks

Power Snatch Movement Prep
Establish Receiving Position
1 High Hang Power Snatch
2 Hang Power Snatches
3 Power Snatches

Thruster Movement Prep
3 Front Squats
3 Push Press
3 Thrusters

Build to all three weights, performing at least 3 repetitions of each movement. Build up from thruster, to snatch, to clean and jerk. Clean and Jerk weight on for practice round.

Thursday 7.26.18

Toes to Bar
Starts in the Shoulders
When athletes struggle to find rhythm in the kip swing, the culprit is often the shoulders. What the hips are doing is often prioritized, but the kipping motion starts in the shoulders. The press down into the bar and the pull through is what initiates movement. When the hips lead the way is when athletes find themselves swinging from the bar instead of being balanced. The larger the range of motion, the more work the shoulders have to do.

Big Kip vs. Tight Kip
Is a big kip better or a tight kip better? A big kip is only more beneficial if athletes are able to stay in a tight position. What is often seen is athletes create a giant kip, only to bend their knees and internally rotate the shoulders to create more range of motion. In this position, it is much harder to maintain tension from rep to rep. A smaller, but tighter kip is the better option. Using the pinky knuckle over grip, athletes should only go as big on their kip as they are able to stay in solid hollow and arch positions.

Movement Substitutions
Reduce Reps
Feet as High as Possible
Knees to Chest
Knees to Waist
Sit-ups
GHD Sit-ups

Movement Prep
10 Scap Pull-ups
5 Kip Swings
5 Knees to Chest
5 Toes to Bar

Running
Knee Position
One of the common misconceptions about running form is an aggressive knee drive. While the knee will naturally come up as we pull the heel off the ground, it is not an active thought to bring the knee up. Athletes are not looking to actively drive the knee up towards the torso by using the hip flexors. This will expend more energy and fatigue the hip flexors, which are also a vital mover in the toes to bar today. Don’t drive the knee up, pull the foot off the ground.

Movement Prep
Leaning Against a Wall: 
10 Heel Pulls (Each Leg) 
100 Meter Run

Friday 7.27.18

Medicine Ball Squat Jumps
Ball Position
In the medicine ball squat jump, athletes will descend below parallel before getting a slight jump off the ground, just far enough that there is a space between the feet and the floor. Looking for the medicine ball to stay as close to the middle of the body as possible. Hugging the ball with both arms nice and close to the chest will best accomplish this. The other option would be to hold it like a wall ball, but that would be pretty taxing on the midline, especially with the increased weight. There will be a slight natural lean forward of the torso, but it should not be excessive to the point where the weight is in the toes and athletes are rounding their backs.

Hips – Knees
With a more dynamic squatting movement, it is even more important that the lower body sequence stays in order. It is common to see the knees track forward first, only sending the hips back when it become difficult to get any lower. Beginning the movement prep with the slower, basic air squat to hammer home hips back first, then knees out.

Movement Prep
Establish Ball Position
5 Air Squats
5 Air Squat Jumps

5 Medicine Ball Squats
5 Medicine Ball Squat Jumps

AbMat Sit-ups
Positioning
The reason we use the AbMat for sit-ups is because the shape allows for full extension and full flexion of the abdominals, something that is not possible in the crunch or regular sit-up. The correct position of the AbMat is to have the thicker side facing the athlete with a small gap between the lower back and the AbMat. If we are looking to get the most out of the abs, placing the heels on the ground with the knees spread wide reduces the use of the hip flexors. This is more of a true AbMat sit-up than placing the feet straight out front, although either way is acceptable for today’s workout.

Movement Prep
5 Sit-ups

Deadlifts
Feet – Hands – Shins – Chest
Focusing on the order of the setup of the deadlift today, as it sets the tone for the lift. When athletes approach the bar they can first think of where their feet are. The loops of the laces should be directly under the bar. The hands will then grab the bar just outside the knees. Now, athletes will bring their shins to the bar and pull their chest up to set their back into a natural position. Repeating this on every first deadlift, which tends to be the most difficult, will better ensure a safe and strong pulling position. Feet, hands, shins, chest.

Leg Press
Once athletes are locked into their setup position, they want to try and maintain the neutral back angle that they just worked to establish. If the hips rise first without the bar, athletes will find themselves in a very rounded back position. Squeezing the abs, locking the arms to the side, and pressing through the floor will better allow for a good position. When we think about a leg press machine at a traditional gym, the back is locked in and only the legs are doing the work. We can approach this like one of those machines. Lock the upper body and back in and just let the legs do the work.

Movement Prep
5 Empty Bar Deadlifts

Grab Light Weight: 
Setup Routine
3 Deadlifts

Grab Slightly Heavier Weight: 
Setup Routine
3 Deadlifts

7.16.18 - 7.20.18

Monday 7.16.18 

Double Unders

Paint Brushes

It is common to see athletes who have some double unders, but not large sets, do a really good job of spinning the rope with their ropes. However, what direction athletes direct the hands is almost more important than the spin itself. What often happens is the flick of the wrist happens as the hands and the shoulders move back, bringing the rope closer to the middle of the foot. This increases the likelihood of tripping up quite a bit. Athletes can pretend that they have two wet paint brushes in their hands. Keeping the shoulders and hands forward and unmoving, they want to direct the water forward. If the hands and shoulders stay in one spot as they spin the rope, the lower body can better coordinate with where the rope is.

Movement Prep

:15 Seconds Single Under Wrists Rotations*
:15 Seconds Quick Single Unders
:15 Seconds Double Under Wrist Rotations* 
:15 Seconds Double Unders Practice

*Rope in front of body. Just moving hands and handle, not rope.

Movement Substitutions

Single Unders

Back Squat & Front Rack Reverse Lunges

Midline

Looking to create a rock solid foundation for both of these movement by dialing in the midline and feet. Having a strong and stable base is important when trying to move heavier weights. Rather than wearing a belt, athletes can look to create their own belt by learning how to properly stabilize their core. Where your ribs stop, your spine is only supported by the musculature around it. Athletes can complete what is called the “valsalva maneuver” to help increase the pressure within the abdominals, helping the musculature support the spine and discs. Before athletes squat down or step back, they will take a big breath in through the belly (not chest) and lock it down. The benefit comes through holding this breath through the most difficult portion of the lifts. When athletes feel like they have gotten through the “sticking point” of the lift, that is where they breathe out and repeat for the next lift. This maneuver is not recommend for athletes who are pregnant, elderly, or who have high blood pressure.

Feet

The feet are the base of the pyramid. The stronger we are here, the better balance and mechanics athletes will showcase. In the back squat and the lunge, especially the front rack, the weight always wants to shift athletes forward onto their toes and towards the inside of the foot. Athletes have the really fight to keep the whole foot in contact with the ground, keeping the big toes, pinky toes, and heels in contact with the ground throughout. When trying to balance on a single leg, athletes can really feel their feet, as they are fighting to maintain balance.

Back Squat Movement Prep

5 Pausing Air Squats
5 Valsalva Air Squats
5 Valsalva Back Squats

Front Rack Reverse Lunge Movement Prep 

:20 Seconds Single Leg Balance (Right Leg) 
:20 Seconds Single Leg Balance (Left Leg) 
5 Bodyweight Reverse Lunges (Each Leg) 
3 Valsalva Front Rack Reverse Lunges (Each Leg)

Tuesday 7.17.18

 

AbMat Sit-ups & Row

Head Up

In the finish position of the sit-up and catch position of the row, it is common to see the shoulders and upper back rounded forward. As athletes sit-up off the ground and travel back towards the catch, reaching their head up towards the ceiling will bring their shoulders down and back into a more neutral position.

AbMat Sit-up Movement Prep

Establish Finish Position
5 AbMat Sit-ups

Row Movement Prep

Establish Catch Position
:30 Seconds Rowing

Russian Kettlebell Swings

Chest Angle

The more aggressive athletes are with extending their hips, the more upright their chest can remain during the swing. Less folding over means a faster cycle time, getting the heavy kettlebell out of the hands sooner. It also helps minimize midline fatigue, making for better sit-ups and rowing.

Arms Parallel

The finish position for the Russian Kettlebell swing is arms parallel to the ground. If athletes are able to get a good hip pop, the bell will feel weightless as it reaches this position. This weightless moment is a great opportunity to relax the hands, as grip will likely become a factor with rowing and heavier swings back to back.

Movement Prep

With lighter weight:
5 Kettlebell Deadlifts
5 Hip Pops
5 Russian Kettlebell Swings

Wednesday 7.18.18

 

Thrusters & Overhead Squats

Balance

In both of these movements, we are looking the bar to stay positioned over the middle of the foot throughout the range of motion. The overhead squat likely provides more of a positional issue for athletes than the thruster. To really feel out this balance and where the bar should be, we’ll perform some overhead squat therapy with a PVC pipe within two uprights on the rig. Athletes will buddy up and share two posts. With both ends of the PVC pipe pressed against the rig, athletes will try and maintain contact as they descend into the squat. The more the feet are in line with the posts, the more it will resemble a true overhead squat. Athletes will complete three slow repetitions on the coach. 1 minute total before switching! 10 Seconds Down, 5 Second Pause, 5 Seconds Up.

Overhead Squat Movement Prep

PVC Squat Therapy – 3 Repetitions (10 Down, 5 Pause, 5 Up)

:30 Seconds PVC Overhead Squats

5 Pausing Overhead Squats

Thruster Movement Prep

3 Pausing Front Squats
3 Strict Press

3 Push Press
3 Thrusters

Thursday 7.19.18

Row

Relax the Arms

An early arm bend on the rower is a warning sign that the athlete will also bend their arms early on the power cleans. This arm bend across both movements will cause excess muscle fatigue and put a ceiling on how much work can get done. Relaxing the arms will allow athletes to drive as much as possible with the legs and accumulate calories quicker.

Chest Up

Relating the row to the power cleans again, looking for athletes to maintain an upright chest in the catch position. If they round forward on the rower, they are also likely to do so at the bottom of the power cleans, limiting breathing and putting extra demand on the lower back.

Burpee Box Jump Overs

Pop, not Push

Pushing the body up out of the burpee like in a push-up and then jumping the feet up will excessively fatigue the arms. Popping up out of the bottom instead of pushing-up out of the bottom will allow athletes to move more consistently through this movement.

Different Gears

There can be a few different gears of the burpee box jump overs based on how much time is left in the workout. The slower gear involves a step-up out of the burpees into a jump up and over the box. The faster gear entails a quick jump up and over the box. With a short amount of time left in each AMRAP, the second option will most likely be the best option. However, having both gears in the tank will be beneficial during the workout.

Movement Prep

3 Frog Hops
3 Burpees
10 Small Hops
10 Tall Hops
3 Step-ups (each side) 
3 Box Jumps
3 Burpee Box Jump Overs

Power Cleans

Bend

When cycling the barbell, it is common for athletes to reach towards the ground when making contact at the bottom of each repetition. In this position, the hips commonly stay high as the shoulders drop down. This movement pattern results in athletes pulling more with the back, rather than driving off the ground with the legs. At the bottom, athletes can bend the knees to get the bar to track over the loops of the laces with a vertical shin and upright chest.

Movement Prep

3 High Hang Power Cleans
3 Hang Power Cleans

6 Power Cleans

Touch all 3 weights, then put opening weight on the bar for a practice round.

Friday

 

Rope Climb

Toes

No matter what rope climb technique athletes choose to utilize, the foot lock with always remain the most important aspect of the movement. One way to ensure that the feet do not slide and set athletes back in their progress up the rope is to point the toes up when ascending. If the foot is flexed and the toes are up, the rope can remain securely pinned against the body. The time where it is appropriate to point the toes down (and spread the feet apart) is when descending the rope. The more aggressive the point or distance between the feet, the faster athletes will descend.

Clamp – Stand – Reach

It is common on the rope climb to see the right things happen, but in the wrong order. What often happens is athletes clamp their feet, but try to pull themselves up with the arms and stand with the legs at the same time. Rather than using the arms to pull the body weight up, athletes can think about clamping the the feet, standing all the way up with the legs, and finally reaching the arms to full extension overhead.

Movement Prep

3 Foot Locks
2 Foot Lock + Stand + Reach
1 Rope Climb

Movement Substitutions

Seated Rope Pulls (2:1 Ratio) 
1/2 Rope Climbs (2:1 Ratio) 
Pull-ups (5:1 Ratio) 
Ring Rows (5:1 Ratio)

Dumbbell Push Press

Dip

It is common to see a very deep dip in the push press. While a deeper dip may get more legs involved, it could cause the torso to lean forward or the heels to come off the ground. Thinking shallow and powerful today. To initiate the dip, athletes will slightly unlock the knees by driving them out, followed by an aggressive drive upward.

Finish

In the finish position, the elbows will track closely to the ears with the weight balanced right over the middle of the foot and the belly tight. Holding this position will get athletes familiar with the end range of the push press.

Movement Prep

With lighter weight

Establish Dip Position
15 Second Dip Position Hold

5 Dumbbell Strict Press

15 Second Finish Position Hold

5 Dumbbell Push Press

Wreck Bag Run

Lean

When a weight is on our back and we are moving forward, there is the tendency to want to lean forward at the hips. However, a break at the hips puts a great deal of strain in the lower back and compresses breathing. Rather than leaning at the hips, leaning at the ankle keeps the body in line and uses gravity to assist in the run.

Breathe

Even if we are in a perfect position here, breathing will still be more challenging due to the extra weight on our backs. This means that athletes really must focus on getting full breath in and a full breath out. For those who are used to taking shallow breaths in through the chest, this will be a good time to practice deep belly breathing. The weight almost forces athletes into learning to breathe the correct way.

Movement Prep

50 Meter Wreckbag Run

 

6.25.18 - 6.29.18 Coaches

Monday 6.25.18

Double Unders

Stacked

Staying organized while jumping up and down makes it more effortless to leave the ground. A tendency during double unders is for athletes to drop their shoulders back or kick their legs in front of or behind their body. If we were to draw a straight line through the body from head to toe, we want to be stay balanced on that line throughout the jump. Head, shoulders, hips, knees, and ankles will all be stacked over one another.

Movement Prep

:15 Seconds Tight Hopping
:15 Seconds Single Unders
:15 Seconds Double Under Attempts

Movement Substitutions

Reduce Reps
60 Single Unders
30 Seconds of Double Under Attempts

Strict Handstand Push-ups

Neutral Head

Controlling body position will be an important factor on all three movements today. When we press overhead in the strict handstand push-up, it is common to see athletes arch their neck and look towards the ground. Whether we are using dumbbells or flipping upside down, we want to pick one spot to look at throughout the movement. Finding a point of focus will help keep the head and neck neutral and prevent athletes from falling off the wall due to a a rounded body.

Movement Prep

10 Second Lockout Hold (Handstand or Dumbbells Overhead) 
2 Lowers to Tripod or 4 Dumbbell Strict Press (Light Weight) 
2 Strict Handstand Push-ups or 4 Dumbbell Strict Press (Workout Weight)

Movement Substitutions

Reduce Reps
Dumbbell Strict Press

Deadlifts

Flashlight

On the deadlift, keeping the head neutral often leads to a better back position as well. One of the biggest faults we see is an arching of the neck. Tucking the chin helps keeps everything in one line, from the head to the lower back. Athletes can visualize a flashlight taped to the back of their head. If their head doesn’t move and the neck arches, the flashlight will stay pointed straight up at the ceiling. If their head and torso track properly together, the flashlight would be drawing lines back and forth on the ceiling and walls.

Movement Prep

3 Hip Hinges (Bar to Knee) 
3 Full Deadlifts

Tuesday 6.26.18

Talk with other coaches

Wednesday 6.27.18 

Run

Degree of Falling

Running is all about using as little effort as possible to move forward. We’ve talked recently about the idea of falling to initiate forward momentum. But to what degree do we fall? Is there such thing as falling too much? Yes there is. When falling forward, we are looking for a gradual lean forward at the ankle. When athletes lean too much, they end up over-striding to put the brakes on and prevent an actual fall. This ends up defeating the purpose of the fall altogether. A quick change of weight support from right leg to left leg allows athletes to fall faster and run faster due to an increase in cadence. We’ll get there shortly, but first we can focus on the degree of falling.

Movement Prep

With a Partner: 
Lean Into Buddy
Run 50 Meters

*Buddy 1 will be running while Buddy 2 is there for support. Buddy 1 will lean forward at the ankles, with Buddy 2 supporting them with hands on their shoulders. At the call of “Go”, Buddy 2 will get out of the way and Buddy 1 will jog it out for 50 meters. Complete twice each.

Changing Support

In order to not “put on the brakes” and use as little muscle/energy as possible, athletes want to transfer weight from leg to leg right under the body. With the same partners from the first drill, athletes will now lean into their buddy and work on unweighting one leg at a time. When athletes pull their leg up, we are looking for the heel to track right under the center of mass, not out the back.

Movement Prep

With a Partner: 
Lean Into Buddy
5 Pulls (Each Leg) 
50 Meter Jog

Tempo

Finally, the way to run faster is to fall faster. The way athletes fall faster is to increase the cadence of their foot strike, rather than reaching further with the feet. We’ll complete the same drill as we did in the changing support section, but this time much quicker to work on an increased tempo.

Movement Prep

With a Partner: 
Lean Into Buddy
5 Fast Pulls (Each Leg) 
50 Meter Fast Jog

Thursday 6.28.18

Talk to other coaches

Friday 

Row

Tug of War

If you’ve every played tug of war, it is all about being in the most powerful setup position to pull the other team towards you. You would grab the rope with long arms and shoulders forward of the hips before driving with the legs and leaning back with the torso and pulling with the arms. Same goes for the rower. The better you can get back to a solid catch position, which very similarly resembles a solid tug of war position, the more power you can get into each stroke. When rowing for calories, power is more important than when rowing for meters. Pretend there is a team of people on the other side of the rower and pull them towards you!

Deadlifts

Press Through the Floor

Instead of thinking about pulling off the floor, think “press through the floor”. This creates a great deal of power with the legs and keeps from overusing the back muscles. It will be difficult to press through the floor if the knees do not bend. Although the weight is light for a deadlift, bending the knees once the bar passes them gets all the leg muscles involved. 

Movement Prep

With Empty Barbell
5 Hip Hinge Deadlifts (Hip to Top of Knee) 
5 Full Deadlifts

Hang Power Cleans

Sponges

We’ve used the cue “close the armpits” before on cleans. Today, we are looking to accomplish a similar task in keeping the bar close. Pretend that there are wet sponges placed under your arms between the rib cage and the armpit. Visualizing squeezing out those sponges throughout the pull will help keep the bar close during every phase of the pull.

Hook Grip

Although Hook Grip might be slightly uncomfortable for athletes who aren’t used to it, utilizing it in the olympic lifts is vital. First, it is the more secure grip that will help athletes hang on to the bar. Second, having a secure grip on the bar will help athletes avoid an early arm bend and prevent excessive forearm fatigue.

Movement Prep

Hold Finish Position – 5 Seconds
High Hang Power Clean – 5 Reps
Hang Power Clean – 5 Reps

Push Jerks

Forearms

Wherever the forearms are pointed while in the front rack position is where the bar will end up overhead. If our elbows drop in the dip or are behind the bar from the start, the bar will finish out in front of the body. Placing the elbows slightly in front of the bar will result in the forearms pointing directly over the middle of the body, where we want it to go.

Jump and Drop

With the forearms in a good position, the jump is the most important part of the push jerk. This aggressive hip drive straight up is what puts momentum into the bar. Once the bar leaves the shoulder as a result of the hip extending, athletes can then drop fast underneath and catch with locked out elbows. Thinking of jumping and dropping as opposed to pressing the bar to a locked out position.

Movement Prep

Hold Finish Position – 5 Seconds
Hold Dip Position – 5 Seconds
3 Push Jerks

7 minutes to build in weight. 

 

 

 

Coaches 6.18.18 - 6.22.18

Monday 6.18.18

Row

Core + Head

How we sit on the couch or at work will likely be our default position on the erg. If our shoulder and back are slouched forward, the pelvis is titled and the muscles around it (core and legs) will be unable to work properly. Athlete can imagine that someone is pushing down on their head and that they have to press up against the force. This brings the shoulders down and engages the core. Shifting the hips back on the seat also better positions athletes for better leverage and power with each stroke.

Movement Prep

Establish Seated Position
:30 Second Row

Burpee

Upper Body

It is common to see athletes control their bodies down to the floor with the arms and lead with a press of the arms out of the bottom like a push-up. With push presses to follow this movement, we can focus on not overusing the upper body on the way up or down. Rather than excessively taxing the chest and arms, athletes can think about “flopping” down to the ground, using gravity to their advantage. Using the core and legs to jump the lower extremity into an athletic landing position is ideal on the way up. While the arms are not out of the picture fully, they don’t dominate the movement.

Movement Prep

3 Push-ups
3 Frog Hops
3 Burpees

Deadlift

Vertical Shin

The static set-up position is a great place to identity the possible efficiency of the deadlift. A simple fix here can make a big different. We often see the barbell out near the toes with the knees driving forward in that direction as well. An attempted lift from here would likely lead to a looping bar path and a rounded back. Brining the bar back over the loops of the laces and pressing the knees back to nearly vertical allows athletes to better keep their backs flat and bars close.

Movement Prep

Establish Set-up Position
5 Empty Bar Deadlifts

Push Press

Knees Away, Knees Back

Both the dip and the drive portion of the push press are important in executing properly. In the dip, there is the tendency for the knees to cave in or the weight to roll to the inner edge of the foot. When this happen, athlete’s support base and power output is compromised. When completing their shallow dip, athletes can drive the knees away from each other like their have opposing magnets on them. In order to drive the bar overhead, athletes will aggressively shoot the knees back and the hips forward to reach triple extension. In the push press, there is no re-bend of these joints, so “squeezing” until the bar is fully overhead is what differentiates this movement from a push jerk.

Movement Prep

3 Dips
3 Drives
3 Push Press

Build to lighter weight

Tuesday 6.19.18

Run

Fall

The proven way to run faster is to fall more. The further athletes fall forward, the faster they will go. The more upright they are, the slower they will go. A more pronounced angle of falling is the “go button”. To avoid falling forward, athletes will have to naturally increase the frequency of their stride. This means taking more steps over the course of their 400 meter runs.

Pull

The legs can be thought of as pistons when running. The heel should be pulled straight up and straight down so that it lies directly under the hip. It is very common for the leg to swing far back behind the body or over stride in front of the body. Athletes are essentially putting on the brakes when that happens. If they can combine a proper pull with an effective fall, running will feel more effortless for them.

Movement Prep

10 Stationary Heel Pulls, Each Leg
10 Total Alternating Heel Pulls, Each Leg
10 Bunny Hops (Falling Forward) 
10 Falling Heel Pulls (Falling Forward) + 100 Meter Run

Squats

Pin the Band

When squatting, it is common to see the heels lose contact with the ground, the feet roll in, or a combination of the two. A way for athletes to tangibly know if they are doing this is to use a band (or another flat-ish object, like a piece of paper) to drill proper movement. One end of the mini-band will be placed under the back outer edge of one foot, with the other end being held by a buddy. The buddy holding the band will apply light tension away from the foot, while the buddy squatting tries to keep the band pinned to the ground. If the band snaps out from under the foot, the athlete lost proper connection to the floor. This is our focus for the day on the back squats and air squats. Pretend the band is there and don’t lose it.

Movement Prep

5 Air Squats
10 Air Squats with Band
5 Air Squats

5 Empty Bar Back Squats

Wednesday 6.20.18

Row

Relax the Hands + Shoulders

Relaxing the hands and shoulders allows athletes to focus on their legs during each stroke as opposed to pulling hard with the arms. It is common to see a hard pull with the hands and the shoulders shrugged at the end of each stroke. With the dumbbell strict press immediately following each row, keeping the upper body relaxed will be even more important.

Movement Prep

:30 Second Row

Farmer’s Carry

Knee Bend

When the legs stay straight during the farmers carry, it causes athletes to sometimes rock side to side. This side to side movement causes the kettlebells to swing, making them much harder to control. Slightly bending the knees will allow athletes to maintain better balance while carrying these implements.

Arms Tight + Knuckles Under

Along with the slight knee bend, one other thing that will help athletes maintain control on the dumbbells is keeping the arms tight to the side. Just like we do with the barbell, we want to squeeze the armpits together. Doing so will allow athletes to move faster, as the weight they are holding is better connected to the body. Also, getting the knuckles further under the handle will enable athletes to have a stronger and fuller grip than holding the bells with their fingertips.

Movement Prep

With workout weight:
5 Double Kettlebell Deadlifts
25 ft. Farmers Carry

Thursday 6.21.18

Air Squats

Stance

In the air squat, it is common to see athletes take slightly too wide of a stance. While they are able to get their knees out initially, they are more likely to track in when fatigued. Bringing the stance to about shoulder width allows athletes to drive their knees out further and utilize more of their leg muscles.

Movement Prep

Establish Stance
5 Pausing Air Squats
5 Air Squats

Double Unders

Handles Connected

When the hands move back during double unders, the rope is more likely to make contact with the feet or change the jumping mechanics in a negative way. When the hands are placed just forward of the hips, athletes can envision that the ends of both the handles are connected by another rope. If the hands move back past the front of the body, that imaginary rope would cause a trip up.

Movement Prep

:15 Seconds Quick Single Unders
:15 Seconds High Single Unders
:15 Seconds Double Under Practice

Movement Substitutions

Reduce Reps
150 Single Unders
1 Minute Double Under Attempts

Power Snatch

Body + Arms

One of the more common faults in the snatch is an early arm bend. A different way to think about the movement that may help avoid this is to make sure the the body at the arms are always moving in the opposite direction. As the body is rising, the arms are staying down. Once the body is dropping down, the arms are traveling up. Body up, arms down. Body down, arms up.

Movement Prep

3 Down and Ups
3 High Pulls
3 Muscle Snatches

2 High Hang Power Snatches
2 Hang Power Snatches
2 Power Snatches