Strength you should be doing at home

The essence of CrossFit is that it is a “core to extremity” strength and conditioning program. Core strength is imperative to the health of your joints, posture, and breathing.

The practical application is that every movement initiates with midline stability. You can squat, deadlift, clean, snatch, press, or even perform basic gymnastics like pullups or pushups without a tremendous amount of core strength.

The hollow rock should be your go to core strengthening exercise at home. If a hollow rock is a little difficult for you, it is scalable.

1. Start with a plank on your elbows and toes with your feet together and shoulders directly over your elbows. Try holding for 30 seconds.

2. Now try a plank with a reach. Start in the plank position as described above. Then slowly, and without moving the rest of your body, reach one arm straight out in front of you before returning your elbow to the floor. Try 5 slow repititions on each side without taking a break.

3. A hollow rock hold. In the hollow rock position, make sure your shoulders are not touching the floor, and that your arms are covering your ears. On your back, lift legs and butt, and arms an shoulders off the floor into a static hold. At this point only your mid to lower back should be in contact with the floor and maybe the top of your glutes. First try holding this position for 10-20 seconds at a time and gradually increasing.

4. If you’ve mastered those you’re ready for the full hollow rock. In the HR position. Try rocking back and forth slowly without moving your arms or legs. Try 20 reps without rest.

Good luck!

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4 Quick tips for better recovery

4 Tips for recovery

Recovery needs to be as much of a priority as your training does. Without proper recovery, we are unable to train as often or as intensely as we need to hit our goals. Sometimes it’s about listening to your body and knowing when you need to go a little lighter, or even take a rest day. But usually it’s about how wisely you use the time in between:

1. Hydration. Water is the oil to your body’s engine. Dehydrated muscles can’t recycle the cells and tissue that have been broken down by training, leaving your body sore and for longer. Your internal organs need it to function. And if that’s not enough, the first thing that gets sacrificed when you get dehydrated is your cognitive function.

2. Sleep. Sleep like it’s your job. You need it, and chances are you’re not getting enough of it. REM cycles are the time your body takes to repair itself, your brain reorganizes itself, your metabolism is raised, and hormones are balanced. If you have trouble sleeping at night stay away from the sleep aids! They do not allow you to enter the restorative REM cycles and instead put you into an almost unconscious state. Chances are that if you’ve ever tried sleep aids that is exactly why you wake up feeling groggy.

3. Post WOD protein shake. Right after your workout your muscles need refueling and quick. A protein shake is a good way to get the materials your body needs to repair the damage done from your training session. Your muscles will recover quicker, leaving less soreness and allow you to bounce back quicker. Stay away from soy protein.

4. Active rest. Get your body moving in order to help it recover. It doesn’t have to be anything strenuous, just something that you like to do. Go for a walk, a jog, play catch, do some yard work. You can even practice some movements or skills that you need some work on. Practice your olympic lifts with an empty bar, learn to kip on the bar or the rings, try a handstand, or just work on your air squat. Extra mobility is paramount to keeping you injury free and increasing your range of motion throughout your movements. If something is tight and sore, try some mobilization techniques to the area.

Plan for friday

A little weekend motivation.

All too often the story is that you do great with your meal plans and nutrition all week long. Then for some reason the weekend hits and the wheels come off. And they don’t just come off for Saturday and Sunday; no this train wreck starts on Friday. Because we plan so well for Monday-Thursday, we very often don’t plan for Friday. It makes sense, as friday starts the weekend and thus crosses this partition in our minds. Schedules change and our normal routine is busted.

Make an effort to plan for Friday. It’s a tough task, but it is the first domino in line that needs to be pushed over. Try keeping some healthy options nearby that can be thrown together quickly. Or try freezing pre-made meals that can be put in the slow cooker while you are getting on with your day. There are options out there, and even though it is ok to have a cheat item from time to time, try not to make it a cheat weekend.