September 18th, 2009

Intervertebral Relationships

spine

This is a picture of a neutral or natural spinal position. We are designed in such a way that the discs in between each vertebrae fit nicely in between each vertebrae without any pinching or squeezing. Notice the lordadic curve in the lumbar spine and the kyphotic curve in the thoracic spine. One of our goals as CFers is to become as strong as possible at maintaining these relationships between the vertebrae. This is called core strength. We hear about core strength a lot these days and it doesn’t mean, contrary to popular belief, that you have poppin’ six pack abs. That just means you don’t eat much in the way of starchy carbs, sugar and alcohol, but I digress. The only way to become stronger at maintaining these relationships is to do things that naturally make us want to lose these relationships forcing us to use our muscles to maintain them. The result is muscles that are better at maintaining these relationships when we walk out the door. Dead lifting and back squatting naturally make you lose your lordosis. Engage your spinal erectors, tighten your abs and you can fight against this, making you better at keeping this curve. GHD Situps and overhead pressing can make you over exaggerate your lordadic curve and lose some of your kyphotic curve messing up those intervertebral relationships. You must really contract your abs and think of keeping the front of your rib cage down to fight against this stimulus. This will cause you to be more effective at fighting against these types forces in real life. Side note…if you can’t even put your spine in a neutral position when you are just standing, due to inflexibility you probably have back problems. We can improve this problem, usually through focused flexibility training and CFing. Side note finished. So whether you are snatching, deadlifting, pressing, jerking, GHDing sitting upping, running, rowing or sitting in a chair, this is the position your spine should be in. So stay neutral people! Your back will thank you.

Tooty on the ’09 Games Site

Great video. Write up, pic and comments here. By the way, the only reason she keeps flipping the KB over is because that is the only way her judge would call her reps good. The KB had to be vertical overhead and he was quite a stickler! Side note again. I prefer that you keep the KB slightly in front of your hands rather than crashing down on your head. Just a preference of mine and my insurance company. Side note finished.

AM Class

Elizabeth

21-15-9 reps of:
Clean 135 pounds
Ring dips

Post time to comments.

PM Classes

Run 1600m
Rest 4 minutes
Run 800m
Rest 3 minutes
Run 400m
Rest 2 minutes
Run 200m

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Compare to here.

September 16th, 2009

Kipping and the Band

women-pullups

Check out Ingrid from CrossFit Birmingham kipping with the band. She has got it down! Notice the stretch of the band around her body as she reaches her chest forward at the bottom of the pull up. This stretching of the band allows for a rebound that gives you momentum allowing you to do more pull ups. Isn’t this cheating? Ok, first, don’t get me started. But, since you’ve got me started, it is a highly athletic, explosive movement. There is obviously a lot of value in those types of movements. It encourages good shoulder flexibility. It translates well to kipping pull ups, which, also is not cheating. More work in less time people! Yes I know we are not targeting the lats and biceps, but I don’t really care. Again, I care about more work in less time.  Try Fran with truly strict pull ups and then do it with kipping pull ups. Which one feels like a more significant stimulus? That is the goal here give your body stimulus that it must respond to! And no I have never had this conversation before with anyone and no I am not defensive!

AM Class

Weighted pull ups

1-1-1-1-1-1-1

Then…

3 rounds for time of:

15 Box jumps

15 ring rows

PM Classes

Happy rest day!

September 15th, 2009

Nutrition…more than half the battle!

fake-food-jumpy-kids-01-af

Check out Robb Wolf’s post on food, exercise and weight loss. Titled, Exercise: Ineffective for Weight Loss, this post echoes my sentiments after training for  a couple years now. So much so that I am very clear now in initial sessions that CrossFit will NOT cause you to lose that spare tire or chubby buns. It WILL, however,  give you the ability to destroy your enemies, which is cool too.  This is a hard reality as a CrossFit coach. I really wish that exercise could all solve all of the body composition problems because you guys are really good at getting in here and working hard, but it doesn’t. Body composition is almost completely tied to nutrition and specifically to controlling blood sugar and insulin levels. Period! A lot of good book are available about this, The Zone, The Paleo Diet, Good Calories Bad Calories, but I have seen it worked out both positively and negatively in our gym. It is true.

AM Class

For time:
Row 1000 meters
95 pound barbell Thruster, 21 reps
21 Pull-ups
Row 750 meters
95 pound barbell Thruster, 15 reps
15 Pull-ups
Row 500 meters
95 pound barbell Thruster, 9 reps
9 Pull-ups

Post time to comments.

PM Classes

Weighted pull ups

1-1-1-1-1-1-1

Then…

3 rounds for time of:

15 Box jumps

15 ring rows