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.
Establish Seated Position
:30 Second Row
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.
3 Frog Hops
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.
Establish Set-up Position
5 Empty Bar Deadlifts
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.
3 Push Press
Build to lighter weight
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.
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.
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
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.
5 Air Squats
10 Air Squats with Band
5 Air Squats
5 Empty Bar Back Squats
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.
:30 Second Row
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.
With workout weight:
5 Double Kettlebell Deadlifts
25 ft. Farmers Carry
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.
5 Pausing Air Squats
5 Air Squats
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.
:15 Seconds Quick Single Unders
:15 Seconds High Single Unders
:15 Seconds Double Under Practice
150 Single Unders
1 Minute Double Under Attempts
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.
3 Down and Ups
3 High Pulls
3 Muscle Snatches
2 High Hang Power Snatches
2 Hang Power Snatches
2 Power Snatches