Heart of America: T-Minus 3 Days
I forgot about these posts – I wanted to do one everyday before the competition to catalogue my thoughts, doubts, fears, and all those other things…emotions I think they’re called. I had a couple great conversations about the competition today. Honestly, and this has always been a struggle for me, I need to HAVE FUN! Yes it’s a competition, there are 100’s of people there who are all ready to work hard and want to win. But it can’t be only about winning, thats a recipe for disappointment and disaster. It has to be fun, there has to be a drive and a purpose beyond the competitive aspect, at the end of every WOD I want a smile on my face. I want to know I’ve given all I’ve had to give and let that be enough.
This all sounds horribly cliche and isn’t exactly a “Grizzly” approach, but it’s the truth and more healthy for me at this point. Also, I was going to write this post about mobility, then I forgot and wrote an entire separate post for mobility. Well just the tools. So go read that, then come back here – as I’ll cover the actual movements I do for mobility depending on the WOD’s to come.
Top to Bottom
Always start with Feet
There isn’t a single WOD or Crossfit movement that won’t benefit from taking care of your feet. I have naturally flat feet, which I think KStar would yell at me just for saying, because it’s all about keeping your foot active keeping the ankle engaged and ready for the torque coming it’s way. This is my goto feet care from MWOD.
5 minutes standing on a lacrosse ball does the job just fine as well.
Ankles and Calves
KSTAR calls this heel cord love, there are a ton of variations on these movements, some require bands, some require floss, some require a barbell, some require a foam roller, you get the point – you can come at this from a million different ways, but heel cord love and calf work are essential. Tight ankles actually ruin a lot of Olympic lifts, Mark Burgener talks a TON about footwork, its the setup for the whole thing. Plus, running, box jumps, double unders, anything that has a “bounce” to it puts a tremendous force on the heel cord and if yours are tight you’re headed for trouble. Here’s some of my favorite heel cord/calf videos.
The man is a GOD.
Knees, Hips and Quads
In reverse order, Quads are arguably the easiest, couch stretch and some foam rolling and they’re pretty much good to go, the hips are much more complicated, IT bands, patellar tendon, holy crap theres some shit that gets messed up in there. I started with two of my favorite videos regarding squats, they focus on many common issues with what Jon calls a “naive” squat. You’ll find what makes the biggest difference for you, I focus a lot on my hips and less on things like quads, find your weakness and mobilize!
Next up are a few (okay a lot) of my favorite KStar videos regarding mobilizing the lower half of your body in functional ways. I will note now, this doesn’t even scratch the surface of this mans knowledge, or the video’s he posts FOR FREE. Buy his book, send him a thank you…seriously.
Psoas, T-Spine, Abdominals
The Psoas runs from the bottom of your ribcage, down through the inside of your groin to the top of the femur. It’s a big muscle and has a lot to do with hip drive and can get really messed up in there. I throw this in with T-Spine and abdominal because it’s easy to get all three in similar movements. They’re all sort of right in the middle of your trunk and easy to ignore.
Lats & Shoulders
The shoulder is easily the most covered join on MWOD and most complained about in boxes I think. It’s one of the most flexible joints int he body, the degrees of freedom and ROM you have in the shoulder is actually impressive from an evolutionary standpoint. All that complexity means there’s a TON that can go wrong, so it’s hard to self-diagnose issues, but you know what hurts and where, and you can try and at least improve mechanics to keep yourself healthy. I don’t actually deal with a ton of shoulder issues, so my expertise in this category is less than most of the others, but I’ve watched some of these today and I picked out my favorites.
Elbows & Wrists
I have a lot of experience with this one, firstly, my front rack used to be TERRIBLE, like I did the bodybuilding style front squat until I learned how to clean. It was ugly. Secondly, I’ve been dealing with on and off epicondylitis, or golfer’s elbow, which is inflammation of the tendon in the inside of your elbow (as opposed to the outside which is tennis elbow). For elbows, nothing comes close to flossing, I’ve tried it all and flossing takes the cake. As far as front racks, it depends where the deficiency lies, it could be the wrist, elbow or shoulder. Find it and mobilize!
Elbow-bent = pain & instability
Tricky elbow fixes
My favorite flossing video
My 2nd favorite flossing video
Elbow pain and forearm grossness
Improving the front rack
Elbow pain in the front rack
Fixing the front rack
This is far and away not even close to a full recap of everything there is to know. This is just a leaping off point, a catalog of quick solutions to simple problems, many of which I’ve faced in the last 3 months and you’ve probably faced in Crossfit. I wanted them all in one place, actually more for myself and my team, if something hurts, grab a video and fix it. Trust me, I realize I mostly just took other people’s youtube videos and pasted them in here – I’m not dumb I’m not trying to pretend I’m the teacher. This is meant to be a resource and something for me to focus on before HOA. Mobility is a huge part of my preparation, mentally and physically. I would be lost without all this guys knowledge so readily available – and worse I’d probably be hurt. Coming up on HOA, the last thing I want to do is slack on my mobility and end up hurt or inefficient. Here’s to mobility, supple leopards, and healthy competition!