Categorized as: CF Naples

16 Simple Stretches for Tight Shoulders

You probably don’t notice it right away. It might creep up after you’ve been sitting at your desk for hours, chipping away at your daily to-dos. Or perhaps it’s because you always carry your backpack on your right side or take calls by squeezing your phone between your shoulder and ear.

Whatever the reason, sooner or later it hits you: Your shoulders are scrunched, your neck hurts, and your muscles feel tight.

“The neck and upper back area hold a lot of tension,” says Karena Wu, a physical therapist and owner of ActiveCare Physical Therapyin New York. “The amount of time spent with forward head and shoulder posturing increases the stress on the soft tissue and joints in the area.”

 In other words, sitting at a computer all day with our head and neck in the same position leaves us with tight, stiff, and sore shoulders. And our sedentary jobs aren’t the only issue. Stress can add to the problem: When people experience high levels of it, the rib cage can drop slightly, causing the shoulders and upper back to round forward into a slouch. Read More…

CrossFit and Handstands

I’ve been hand balancing for several years now, but I actually got my start in hand balancing from CrossFit.

Yup, I was an avid CrossFitter for several years and used to teach parkour classes out of a CrossFit gym in Colorado Springs.  I got my first muscle up while CrossFitting, hit a Fran PR of 5:55, and got my first freestanding handstand.  It was nothing special, but I was proud of it at the time.

Back when I first started learning handstands, it was mostly because of how much it was discussed in CrossFit circles.  HSPU (Handstand Pushups, for those who live under a rock) felt relatively common, and I wanted to get better at my WODs…so I started focusing on hand standing against the wall.  As my HSPU got better and better, I wanted to move away from the wall, so I started taking the necessary steps to do that.

Unfortunately, it took me over 12 months of training and research to get away from the wall and start performing freestanding handstands.  That’s is a big difference from the 4-8 weeks that most people experience when they work with me now.

The key for me was to actually look outside of CrossFit for advice, and I found a lot of great advice on hand balancing when I started branding out from CrossFit into parkour.

Since then, I have trained hundreds of people to get their first handstand, and thousands have started the 28 day handstand challenge.  A lot of people who sign up for the challenge mention that they are signing up specifically to get better at handstands for CrossFit.

This article will help you get better at Freestanding Handstands or Handstands for CrossFit. Read More…

Snatch, Clean, and GET YOUR CHEST UP!!!

As I’ve probably stated too many times already, I am a USA Weightlifting coach and have taught a number of people how to snatch and clean and jerk.  The point of this article is to point out an often overlooked technical aspect of the snatch and the clean.

There are a lot of people out there teaching the Olympic lifts in a number of venues.  CrossFit, college weight rooms, powerlifting gyms, and personal training studios are all utilizing these fun and powerful lifts for strength and power development and competition.  However, I do see a lot of glaring form faults from time to time in the execution of these lifts that are easily fixed and make a huge difference in how much weight the lifter can move.

The most important aspect of the Olympic lifts is the powerful extension of the posterior chain.  This mainly originates from the hips and is often mistaken for a jump.  However, we don’t want to move ourselves AND the bar, just the bar.  Driving through the heels as long as possible will ensure that more power is transferred to the bar alone.  Driving through the heels also ensures that our center of gravity stays over our heels and not our toes.  You can see that although all of these lifters are on their toes, their center of gravity is still over their heels.  This is because they aren’t jumping.  Their heels leaving the floor is the result of violent hip extension.  Driving through the heels also keeps the bar close to the midline and allows us to exert maximal force on the bar with powerful hip extension.  Most people get this right. Read More…

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