Back Squats + Air Squats
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.
5 Air Squats
5 Back Squats
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.
Establish Bottom Position
Establish Top Position
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.
10 Strokes (4 Second Recovery)
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.
Seated Rope Pulls (2:1)
Ring Rows (6:1)
1 Bear Complex:
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:
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
Strict Ring Dips
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.
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.
Banded Ring Dips
Banded Stationary Dips
Jump to Support on Rings (control down)
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.
Banded Strict Pull-ups
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.
3 Spidermans (each leg)
3 Frog Hops
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.
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
5 Minutes to Build to Workout Weight