Not to be all ushie gushie but…I missed everyone after not interning last week! I really do enjoy coaching: investigating warm-ups, teaching skills, and overall being around to cue and encourage during WODs.
Sooooo…this week has been a bit rough. From cardio squatting on Monday to the treacherously fun Kelen Helly to yesterday’s heavy deadlifting MetCon, I know myself and many of you are feeling a bit…crunchy. Maintaining one’s mobility can help mitigate/dampen this crunchiness.
In the modern life of being able to do most things while sitting in a car or in front of a computer screen at a desk, a majority of people don’t have the full range of motion of their joints and also don’t have very good joint stability. Therefore when people join CrossFit they commonly struggle to full range of motion which causes less-than-optimal mechanics while learning and doing new movements like the overhead squat, snatch, clean, and jerks. For example, with limited hip mobility one can’t bring their knees to the level of the chest while maintaining an upright back. Thus a common compensation is to lean their torso forward as they bend down. Mobility is also important for power generation and resetting of the central nervous system to speed up recovery.
In CrossFit, mobility is usually built into the warm-up in the form of dynamic stretches and short-timed static stretches. Dynamic stretches move the individual through a range of motion in order to stimulate tendons and ligaments as well as break up fascia around muscles. This includes stretchess like spidermans, inchworms,and russian baby-makers. Static stretches consist of an individual holding a position at the end of a range of motion and includes movements like child’s pose, runner’s lunge, and pigeon. One has to be more careful about static stretching because during a warm-up they should only be short timed (approximately 30 seconds) and not until after some warm-up cardio and dynamic stretches. This is because like a cold rubber band, muscles grow more elastic as they warm-up. Therefore doing too long or static stretching first off can lead to a decrease in performance as well as a decrease in the ability for a muscle to stabilize and control its motion and can lead to injury.
A big portion I have learned while interning is how to create and execute a proper warm-up. I now know a warm-up a CrossFit coach puts athletes through for the day is not pulled outta the blue. Each stretch or activity is being done to warm-up regions and muscles of the body that will be used within the strength portion and/or WOD. Thus, a WOD including deadlifts will have a warm-up for hamstrings, glutes, and posterior chain where a WOD of pull-ups will include a warm-up for shoulders, lats, and core. After just having experience creating warm-ups for me and maybe another person, I learned quickly upon coaching group classes that they can’t be too complex of multiple stretches and activities need to be easy to instruct.
If you are new to the mobility game or want to add more to your routine, I couple suggestions would include ROMWOD and Crossover Symmetry. ROMWOD is daily programming of static stretches or targeted mobility of certain regions. I find ROMWOD a relaxing way to end a workout before having to get ready to deal with the real world. Also due to the generosity of CF Bangor, it is available for your viewing pleasure in the room off the lobby. Crossover Symmetry is a shoulder specific routine one can do to build the mobility and stamina of the shoulders to limit pain and injuries and also strengthen the rotator cuff and lats. Crossover Symmetry is available on the back wall of the gym near the AirRunner and the CFB Moose. Make sure to ask a coach if you need any help if learning the process. A last but definitely not least suggestion would be join the wonderful Coach Michelle for her 9:15-10:15 Saturday yoga session. It is a great way to start the weekend off right.
Until next week,
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