Categorized as: Informative

Stop Rounding Your Back!

Rounded backs have always peeved me. The worst is when you’re rounding when you’re NOT even fatigued. In situations where you are fresh, there should be no excuse to round your back on any exercise. Not only does a rounded back exponentially increase your risk of injury, it also decreases performance due to a lack of structural rigidness. This is very similar to pulling a boat with a rubber band instead of a chain. 
 
There are three main reasons why rounded backs happen:
  1.  Lack of awareness – bad habitual posture
  2.  Poor flexibility in hip flexors and hamstrings
  3.  Lack of spinal erector strength AND Lat activation
In many cases, a rounded back is a combination of all three reasons listed above. So how can we get your back to straighten out under load?
 
Default posture: You should be aware of what your default posture is when sitting, standing, and walking. You should always try to draw your shoulder blades together and stay rigid in the abs. If your default posture is excellent, it will be easier to maintain in all situations.
 
Hamstring and Hip Flexor Stretches: If you’re too tight in these muscle groups you have to work way harder than you need to just to get in basic positions. Loosen up the hammies here, and hips here
 
Lat Activation: When pulling from the floor the, the fastest way to improve your positioning is engaging your lats. Check out this video for detailed instruction.
 
You have to work on this on your own at home or before or after class. It’s not going to magically happen overnight either. 

16 Health Benefits Of Drinking Warm Lemon Water

Lemons are vitamin C rich citrus fruits that enhance your beauty, by rejuvenating skin from within bringing a glow to your face. One of the major health benefits of drinking warm lemon water is that it paves the way for losing weight faster, thus acting as a great weight loss remedy. 

Lemon Water Flushes Out Toxins And Is Extremely Beneficial For The Body

Warm lemon water serves as the perfect ‘good morning drink’, as it aids the digestive system and makes the process of eliminating the waste products from the body easier. It prevents the problem of constipation and diarrhea, by ensuring smooth bowel functions.

Nutritional Value Of Lemons

A glass of lemon juice contains less than 25 calories. It is a rich source of nutrients like calcium, potassium, vitamin C and pectin fibre. It also has medicinal values and antibacterial properties. It also contains traces of iron and vitamin A. (1)

Even LeBron James Reads

 
When was the last time you lost yourself in a great book? I love reading and admit I don’t read nearly enough. Eve has been really into reading books lately, and that typically means me reading the same story 3 times in a row. 

LeBron James made headlines for reading at his locker before dominating the 2012 NBA Playoffs. As a professional athlete who loves to read,

This has got me to thinking – reading is great! It helps us learn, destress, relax, and very importantly allows us to use our imagination! We often distracted by tv, movies, youtube, radio, music and we put reading on the back burner. None of those mentioned can come close to reading’s ability to use our imagination, deep think, and increase our stunted vocabulary. 
 
Here’s a list of the benefits of reading:
  • Improved memory retention
  • Reduced aging
  • Stress release
  • Increased vocabulary
  • Gained knowledge
  • Improved problem solving
  • Great attention span
  • Better writing skills
  • And more! (click here and here)
Reading before bed is a great way to take your mind away from your daily stresses. Also reading while you stretch is be a great way to make efficient use of your time!
 
Please, do yourself a favor and make time to read every day. 

Are You Coachable?

I have pretty much played sports since I can remember. Not saying I was ever great at any one sport, but I played them.  I remember vividly running laps in volleyball practice my freshman year.  I just thought the coach hated me…there I was running laps while the other girls were diving for volleyballs.  Why was I running laps? I didn’t dive for the damn ball, ever!! I don’t know if I was scared, or what….but she knew I could do it.  So when I messed up, I ran laps.  Did I hate her?! At the time, yes.  What 14 year old likes any adult? But I did what she told me to do, no matter what it was.  Eventually after her coaching cues, numerous days of laps, and practices, I got better! In fact, I was team captain senior year, and our team won tournaments, awards, and were awesome!! All the hard work of listening to her, staying after practice to set more, etc earned me the MVP award that year.  So although I didn’t see why (at the time) I had to run laps or get yelled at; it made me a better athlete.

When I asked my brother if he is coachable here is basically how our convo went….
Do I listen…yeah. Yeah I am coachable.  But, if my coached asked me if I was coachable, I would take it as I am f*cked up, that I need to fix something, or that he is trying to motivate me.  My coach knows me and so by him asking me that, would be like a red flag.  On the other hand, if some brand new coach who I didn’t know or he didn’t know me asked if I am coachable…I would take it as I need to prove myself to them.

When I asked my husband if he is coachable, this is what he said.
Well not all the time.  In a workout I am not.  If I am doing strength, skill work, or barbell movement practice then I am 100% coachable.  After 3,2,1 GO I don’t really listen to anyone or anything, I don’t even hear the music.  If you try to stop me in the WOD and get me to fix something…yeah thats probably not going to happen.  At this point, I need cues from my coach before the 321…. Read More…

How does Age affect improvement in CrossFit?

Last year we released an article entitled How Long Does It Take To Improve In CrossFit? Using “Fitness Level“, our robust measure of an athlete’s physical capacity, we looked at improvement rates across all levels and abilities. We found that, on average, it takes about 5-6 months to improve your overall Fitness Level by 10 Levels (e.g. going from a level 60 to a level 70).

We then followed up that analysis with Working Out More: Is It Worth It? In it, we looked at the affect of the number of workout days per week on improvements to Fitness Levels. We discovered that working out 5 days per week produced a 27% faster improvement over working out 3 days per week.

In this article, we’ll be throwing age into the mix. We’ll explore the relationship between an athlete’s Age and improvement time in CrossFit. How much of a difference is there in improvement times between a 25-year-old and a 45-year-old? This is an especially important question when considering the validity and necessity of age divisions in competitions, such as the various Master’s Divisions at the CrossFit Games.

After analyzing the data, we found that there is a strong correlation between an athlete’s age and how long it took them to improve their BTWB Fitness Level by 10 levels. As an example, on average, it took 45 year old athletes nearly 2 months longer (32% longer) to improve from a level 60 to a level 70 when compared to their 25 year old counterparts. Read more…

Proper Foundations: A 5 Step Progression To The Bar Muscle Up

As a coach, I have seen so many variations of bar muscle up progressions. Many I have seen are extremely dangerous and involve bands, boxes, and a lack of proper skill and strength foundations.
 
This article is going to explain the proper foundational movements to get your first bar muscle up – and how to get that first bar muscle up without injuring yourself in the process.
 

Proper Foundation #1: Strict Pull Ups

The number one foundational movement for the bar muscle up is the strict pull up. If you don’t have a strict pull up, a bar muscle up will be difficult to accomplish. Development of the latissimus dorsi, trapezius (upper and lower), supraspinatus, infraspinatus, teres minor, and subscapularis are important, not just for strength, but also for protection of the rotator cuff muscles and back. You will work other muscles as well, but these are particularly important to the function to bar muscle up. Practice not using the suicide grip (thumb on same side as your fingers) and attempt to grip the bar with the thumbs under the bar. Read More…