15 Minutes to work up to a heavy 2 rep back squat
15 Minute to work up to a heavy 3 rep front squat
5 Rounds for quality of:
2 Back squats @ 80% of 2 rep back squat
:30 Handstand hold
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WHY CAN’T I GET INTO THE PROPER POSITION? – Anna Mattson
Proper positioning is key to successful, injury-free movement in CrossFit. When we can’t get into the correct positions in a particular movement, such as our chest dives forward in an overhead squat or our back rounds when we go deep into a squat, this can lead to many unsuccessful lifts AND increase your potential for injuries!!! Why can’t you get into the position is the question. We often assume and apply the scarlet letter to just mobility issues, but it could be a wide range of things. Reasons why you can’t get into the correct position:
-Motor Control Issues
-Joint Capsule restrictions
-Soft Tissue tightness
-General muscle tightness
As there are many reasons why you can’t get into the correct positions, there are just as many ways to work on getting into those awesome positions. Below is an article from CrossFit Invictus that discusses some of the tissue and joint issues and how to work on them. Next week I will address some of the strength and assessment of joint capsule issues. You can see the full article here
Mobility should be a proactive approach, not a reactive one. In other words, don’t wait until problems arise before you address them. Too often I will see athletes finish a workout that might have hundreds of repetitions of loaded squats or pressing and do absolutely nothing to address the potential issues that are usually right around the corner. Having said that, there’s a great deal you can do to prevent injury, speed recovery, and improve performance. We can break down mobilization into three primary modalities: soft tissue work, stretching, and joint mobilization.
Soft Tissue Work
There are a number of modalities within soft tissue work. In gyms, self-myofascial release (SMFR) is the most common form of soft tissue work. Tools such as foam rollers, massage sticks, theracanes, and lacrosse balls are common tools for this modality. SMFR can be performed before or after training sessions. Sometimes SMFR alone isn’t enough and an athlete will have to seek out a massage therapist, chiropractor, or physical therapist who is trained to deal with issues outside the scope of a fitness coach. Modalities such Active Release Technique (A.R.T.), Rolfing, Muscle Activation Technique, Structural Integration, and Trigger Point Therapy are amongst the techniques you will find utilized by professionals. If you are experiencing sharp, shooting pain, your coach should refer you to an appropriate medical professional.
Static stretching and proprioceptive neuromuscular facilitation (PNF) stretching are the two most common ways to stretch short, tight muscles. Static stretching normally involves using stretches that hold the target muscle in a lengthened position. Through autogenic inhibition, this method allows for increases in passive range of motion. Static stretches are typically held for at least 30 seconds. PNF stretching comes in a variety of forms but most commonly is performed by stretching the tight muscle, isometrically contracting the muscle, and then stretching the muscle further. Kelly Starrett recommends five cycles of 5 seconds of contraction followed by 10 seconds of passive stretching. Watch Kelly Starrett demo PNF stretching here:http://www.mobilitywod.com/2011/01/episode-148365-pnf-demo-deadlifting.html.
A variety of techniques are demonstrated on Kelly Starrett’s website, often involving stretch bands, to provide distraction at a given joint. The goal of joint mobilization is to help increase extensibility of a joint capsule by breaking up adhesions and/or stretching the capsule itself. Be cautious if you are experiencing pain or are prone to joint subluxations or dislocations as joint mobilization is contraindicated. Having said that, I would also advise against using any sort of band distraction if you are pregnant as the increased joint laxity can be problematic.
Mobility or mobilization is not to be confused with warm-up. The primary focus of mobility is to improve positions thereby improving power output and performance. Warm-up is designed to prepare the body for movement, it does not solve positional problems. Most group classes at Invictus involve a warm-up consisting of dynamic range of motion movements, which will certainly help to prepare you for the impending training session. However, if you are positionally inhibited you will need to supplement your training with mobility work in order resolve any positional problems you might have.