Workout of the Day: 5:45am,8:30am(Sign up Required), 10:00am, noon(Sign up required), 3:30pm, 4:30pm, 5:30pm, 6:30pm
So you are several months and/or years into CrossFit, you’ve been attending classes on a regular basis (3-4 days a week), you have eliminated all of the processed foods, gluten, and refined sugars from your pantry, you are a beast with a barbell, the squat rack is your happy place, you have learned how to create momentum with your hips, and you have done a complete 180 with regards to running; rowing has now become your new cardio obsession. But when a bodyweight specific WOD is thrown at you, all hell breaks loose. Wait, you are expecting me to be able to do 10 unbroken perfect push-ups off my knees? You keep wondering why you still can’t do ring dips; you probably need to pass go on those 10 unbroken perfect push-ups off your knees first. You can do 25 butterfly pull-ups in a row, so what is the reason for doing them strict (aside from the fact that you can’t)? You can front squat 300#, (heavy loads and lifting shoes do a brilliant job of sinking your ass to the grass) but can barely get below parallel in your air squat and please don’t expect me to keep my chest tall. Damn, those pesky double unders again! You should have listened to your trainer, bought your own rope and practiced at home….. Bodyweight exercises might not be as sexy as Snatching your bodyweight, but I can guarantee you that the core strength and proper biomechanics training that you get from perfecting these exercises will only benefit you in EVERYTHING else that you do in the gym.Old school CrossFit (like 8+ years ago) was much more plyometric, agility, and gymnastic based. About 4 years ago when The Games made it onto ESPN 3 (a channel not included on any sports package offered by your cable provider), watching people do high volume reps of push-ups and air squats didn’t sound quite as exciting as slamming heavy bars and pushing sleds. If you started drinking the Kool-Aid about this time, unfortunately you missed the kind of programming designed to build the core strength and solid gymnastic foundation that the early days of CrossFit focused on.
Here are some tips of the trade….1. Hands down, you have got to work on your gymnastic strength on your own time. Fortunately this is very easy to do, even if you don’t have a pull-up bar or rings at home. All you need is yourself and the jump rope that your trainer advised you to purchase. You can do push-ups, air squats and double unders anywhere, vacation included.
2. Have some integrity when performing these movements during a WOD, even the high volume workouts. You are not building any strength when doing these exercises with bad technique and form and at spastic speed. You are only dripping more sweat onto the floor (which might be your goal). Slow it down, do them right.
3. Ditch the banded Ring Dips; they are doing nothing for you. As far as I am concerned there is nothing about a banded Ring Dip that translates into doing a Ring Dip without a band. Most of the time the rings end up behind your back and you have to do this funky arch move to get out of the bottom of your dip. Do deficit push-ups instead; work towards multiple sets of unbroken deficit push-ups (off your knees) versus using the band as a pogo stick.
4. Stop the “1 and Drop Syndrome” when it comes to kipping pull-ups. All you are doing is getting really good at thrusting your hips wildly into the air. This approach to pull-ups is doing absolutely nothing to make your lats stronger. If you start out a WOD doing 1 and drop reps, you are already doing something wrong. Swallow your pride and either learn how to link your kipping pull-ups or get on those Ring Rows. Trust me, doing Ring Rows the right way (heels on the ground, toes pointed up, keeping a tight plank position at the top AND the bottom of each rep, initiating with your lats instead of your hips, and getting as parallel to the ground as possible with your legs straight; remember full range of motion is rings to armpits) is MUCH harder than linking kipping pull-ups together.
5. Pay your dues on 1-4 and then we’ll talk about Handstand Push-ups & Muscle-ups