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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Hold Receiving Position – 10 Seconds
High Hang Power Clean – 3 Repetitions
Hang Power Clean – 3 Repetitions
Power Clean – 3 Repetitions
Build to Workout Weight
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.
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.
5 Front Squats
5 Push Press
5 Wall Balls
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.
With Lighter Weight
5 Kettlebell Deadlifts
5 Russian Kettlebell Swings
5 Full Swings
Grab Workout weight and repeat
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.
:30 Seconds Each
Legs & Torso
Torso & Arms
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
10 Seconds Small Hops
10 Seconds Tall Hops
2 Box Jumps (step down)
2 Box Jump Overs
Chest to Bar Pull-ups
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.
Each partner simultaneously
10 Scap Pull-ups
10 Kip Swings
1-3 Strict Pull-ups
3 Chest to Bar Pull-ups
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.