7.23.18 - 7.27.18

7.23.18 Monday

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 

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
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.

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
GHD Sit-ups

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

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
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

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