If your back is sensitive, tender, tight or sore from all of those heavy deadlifts this week, ask yourself these 6 questions:
1. Did I screw my feet into the mat, tightening the top of the leg into the socket of the hip, causing the arch of my foot to rise and my knees to track over my toes?
Good set-up position
2. Did I hinge at the hips first, thereby putting the weight into my posterior chain (the muscle groups that run down your backside, i.e. the traps, the back of the shoulder, the spinal erectors that run down the sides of your spinal column, the glutes, hamstrings and calves)? Or did I initiate the set-up with my knees bending?
A knee-initiated deadlift set-up
3. Did I maintain a low lumbar curve, holding my lower back tight both in the initial lift from the ground AND when standing at full extension at the top of the lift? Or did I lose the curve basically allowing the weight of the bar to pull at the low back?
Loss of lumbar curve
4. Did I maintain a braced torso? … Pinching the shoulders together; keeping the abdominal muscles pulled in, belly button to the spine and rib cage the same distance from the hip bones during the entire lift? Or did I allow my belly to sag?
Slight sag in the belly
5. Did I keep the weight in my feet between the ball of the foot and heel? Or did I roll up on to the toes, shifting the weight into my quad muscles (which can cause me to round both the upper and lower spine to complete the lift)?
6. Did I keep the bar close to my legs, essentially traveling straight up and down? Or did I start the lift with the weight too far out in front of me, having to then rescue the bar as I lifted it, rounding the lower back to pull the bar in?
Bar far from the shins, causing bodyweight to shift into the toes
What SHOULD be sensitive after a heavy deadlift day? Your gluteus muscles and your hamstrings…
Over the past 15 years, the CrossFit program has proven itself to be truly revolutionary its ability to create and assimilate culture. Culture is built on ideals that are shared by a group of people. If we study the culture of a group of people, we can deduce some facts regarding that group’s belief system and which types acts can be considered desirable and undesirable.
If you have been in my On Ramp class, you have done this mental exercise with me when we discuss proper functional movement technique. It goes like this.
Imagine you are an engineer observing the human body for the first time. Without any type of tools or instruments or fancy calculations, what are some conclusions you would come to regarding the best way to perform various movements?
Some of the observations are:
- The hip is obviously way better designed to handle load than the knees.
- The spine would best handle load by maintaining natural curvature and not rounding.
- The generation of forces in any hip hinging movement should be accomplished by the glute muscles, the hamstrings, and the lower back.
- Upper body pulling movements should begin in the large back muscles.
- The most powerful positions would be where gravity is resisted in a vector opposite to it’s influence with joint angles remaining as open as possible.
- The most efficient path for moving a load would be a straight line as close to the center of gravity as possible.
and on and on and on…..
“I love this because “CrossFit” didn’t invent this. This is what you get when you match a set of eyes with some basic education in physics. This is not just what “CrossFit” thinks, these are facts. “
Lately, I’ve been thinking a lot about the same type of mental exercise but in a different application. This exercise involves taking a look at the CrossFit methodology and coming up with some conclusions about what kind of person makes a CrossFitter. Imagine you are an anthropologist observing the CrossFit culture and methodology for the first time. What are some facts you would deduce regarding this people’s beliefs.
Here is an incomplete list of my initial thoughts:
- They value community and togetherness.
- They believe that deliberately choosing the harder path today will lead to a better tomorrow.
- They believe in efficiency and working not just harder but smarter.
- They value competition and its unique ability to bring out the best in themselves.
- They value humility, willingly putting themselves in positions that expose weakness and inability so that they might improve.
- They value honesty, knowing that even small lie about a score or load not only keeps them from growing but negatively impacts the group.
- They view food as fuel for health and not as a mouth carnival they have a right to experience 3-4 times a day.
- They do not believe in entitlement and know that the only valuable things in life are earned not given.
- They scoff at pain if it is the kind of pain that leads to progress.
- They value instruction and the ability to bypass years of struggle by taking the advice of those who have gone before them.
Again, this list is by no means exhaustive but I think is adequately representative of the CrossFit mindset. If these values are values that you can relate to or already have in your life, we have the perfect place for you to exercise and expand them. If these are values that you feel you and your family could use more of, we have the perfect place for that as well.
Glassman said, “…lessons and expressions of self-discipline, responsibility, friendship, work, perseverance, and faith come easily and regularly in the best training environments.”
More than I love talking to people about “how” to do CrossFit, I love talking to people about “why” they should do CrossFit. If any of this resonates with you and you feel that little voice inside of you telling you this might be something need, it’s super easy to click here and set up a free No Sweat Intro with 1 of our 5 full-time Level 2 trainers.
L-3 Certified CrossFit Trainer
CrossFit Breaux Bridge
CrossFit St. Landry
Metcon (AMRAP – Rounds and Reps)
16 Min AMRAP
8 GHD Situps
1 Ring Muscle-up
8 GHD Situps
2 Ring Muscle-ups
8 GHD Situps
3 Ring Muscle-ups
Deadlift (3 @65%, 3 @75%, 3 @85%)
15 Chest 2 Bar
20 Deadlift @225/155
15 Chest 2 Bar
15 Deadlift @ 315/205
15 Chest 2 Bar
10 Deadlift @ 405/255