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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
With Empty Barbell
5 Hip Hinge Deadlifts (Hip to Top of Knee)
5 Full Deadlifts
Hang Power Cleans
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.
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.
Hold Finish Position – 5 seconds
High Hang Power Clean – 5 reps
Hang Power Clean – 5 reps
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.
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.
Pausing Back Squat
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
Performed with lighter Kettlebell
5 Kettlebell Deadlifts
5 Hip Pops
5 Russian Swings
5 Full Swings
Grab Workout Weight
5 Full Swings
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.
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.
Toes as High as Possible
Knees to Chest
10 Scap Pull-ups
5 Kip Swings
5 Knees to Chest
5 Toes to Bar
Dumbbell Reverse Lunges
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.
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.
Establish Lunge Position
4 Bodyweight Reverse Lunges
4 Dumbbell Reverse Lunges (lighter dumbbells)
Dumbbell Clean and Jerks
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.
Performed with lighter dumbbells
3 Hang Power Cleans
3 Strict Press
3 Power Cleans
3 Push Press
3 Clean and Jerks
Grab workout weight