Wednesday 130529

Seven rounds for time:

35 Double-unders
One Snatch

The snatch is intended to be heavy; possibly around 90% of your one-rep-max.

Post time to comments and BTWB.

The bars ominously lie in wait for the “Lumberjack 20.”


The Burpee ~ Luke Palmisano

Few things in our gym cause more groaning than burpees. The mere mention of them brings a grimace to most athlete’s faces that reminds me of a child who is forced to eat broccoli and finds it incredibly, utterly distasteful. Like maybe you just chirped in your mouth or something. And, because of that, and also because of the very simple standards required of a burpee (chest to the deck at the bottom, jump and clap at the top), we don’t often pay too much attention to everything in between. The normal attitude: Do what you have to do to get it done. Maybe, though, we don’t give the burpee enough credit for being a rich, powerful expression of human movement.

You can hold a plank, right? But can you do it dynamically? If I said 3,2,1,GO, could you go from a standing position, dropping straight into a plank, while keeping a stable trunk and torso, with a strong shoulder position in the plank? We can call it a heaving plank balance (Luke Palmisano, 2013, ™©∞). After acquiring that position, can you perform a push-up with forearms maintaining a vertical position? After completing that push-up, can you jump your feet to the bottom of the squat position, keeping a stable mid-line? Can you then keep your torso upright as you stand, jump and clap? All those movement sequences describe in a technical fashion what is required to do a burpee. Sound easy? Give it a shot. Chances are, if you have issues moving through a snatch or a clean, or with the transition of a muscle-up, you may find that being meticulous about your transitioning through the positions of a burpee will be challenging as well.

Point is, nothing about the way our body moves is menial. You may think the burpee is a mere torture tool (I would never put burpees into a workout merely to watch you suffer. I mean, I just wouldn’t do that. Courtney would.), but remember, CrossFit bills itself as “functional.” One reason the burpee is used is because of how it translate to life, and sport. Think: Every time you lay on your stomach, for any reason, and then get up, you’re doing a burpee variation. Think of an MMA fighter who needs to spring up from the ground, or a surfer springing up to a standing position. Or, a dad who trips on a toy that his son may have left on the floor, falls, leaps back up, only to see his 16-month-old pointing and laughing? Yeah, real funny. But I’m sure you get the point. We don’t want to move (either in the gym, or in life) in ways that lead down the path of injury. So, next time you encounter a burpee, ask yourself: What is the best way to move through this? My money is on the concept that once you organize your body while burpee-ing, your body will learn to be more efficient, apply more force, and become more graceful… As opposed to some burpees that we see that resemble something between a inflatable air dancer and a baby animal standing up for the first time.

The information for this post was referenced from Kelly Starrett’s book, Becoming a Supple Leopard.

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