Blog & WOD

By: Matt Sleeper

Yes, stretching.

Athletes can, and often do, possess more potential for strength than they are currently able to realize. Muscular strength is effected by three main factors:

1) Muscle cross-section area (size); This is how much the muscle fibers overlap each other during relaxation, the more fibers overlapping, the greater potential for force production.

2) Type of muscle fibers; There are 2 main types of fibers, type I and type II. Type I fibers are long and lean, capable of repeating motion for long periods of time without fatigue, but only able to produce small amounts of force. Type II are just the opposite, shorter and bulkier, not able to contract for long periods of time...

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Whether you’ve just started CrossFit or have been CrossFitting for years, you’ve undoubtedly heard mention of the importance of taking the time to truly develop and master the Squat. You’ve also likely heard the term “Virtuosity”; doing the common uncommonly well.

The Squat is one of the first things you learn to do in CrossFit. It is not only foundational to so many of the other movements we do in CrossFIt, but it is one of the most very natural things we learn to do virtually in infancy. It is very much a part of your DNA. Watch any small child and you will see this is true. A two year old has one of the most amazing and beautiful Squats you will ever see. It i...

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Yes, it is a thing. Our neck is almost never thought of when contemplating what to mobilize. That is until it comes up due to painful headaches or a chronically tight neck resulting in pull-ups and overhead movements to be uncomfortable. Not only can it hinder movements due to tightness, it can also hinder the growth of those muscles. That keeps you at bay from clean prs, snatch, deadlift, barbell cycling, etc. Point is your neck is important. Below are two ways to mobilize it:

1- Simplest one, grab a band of medium-thick resistance. Then step your foot in in and loop the other end over your shoulder. Following the band placement, proceede to look over your opposite shoulder and down at the g...

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Having issues squatting? Back squat, front squat, overhead squat especially or just can’t seem to nail pistols? Chances are you have very tight ankles that prevent you from having the mobility to do all of the above movements without your heel coming off the ground. Lets fix that.

You will need the following: a lacrosse ball, and a medium resistance band. We will start from the ground up. Something I almost always have mobility classes’ start with is rolling out the bottom of the feet. So take those shoes off (keep socks on), place the lacrosse ball underneath your foot, put your weight onto that foot and start rolling. You will find tightness in the arch of your foot, maybe even ...

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We work on hips a lot. When it comes to bad positioning in squats it is often tight hips that we blame. What if I told you that could be a false assumption?

An easy way to test whether it is hips or ankles is holding the bottom of a pistol position. No you do not need to perform a pistol to test this. It is simply testing whether or not you can hold the bottom.

You can refer to the picture below of how you should look. A full test is holding the bottom of that position for at least 20 seconds. If you can hold it but fall right out of it- see the pictures of PJ- then you probably have tight ankles!

Another way to test for tight ankles without the effort of holding the bottom of a pistol is simpl...

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Calves are one of the most used yet under cared for piece of our athletic body. Whether you use them for box jumps, squats, double unders, to show off your new stance socks, or all of the above, I can almost guarantee that mobilizing your calves rarely crosses your mind.

If that is not the case but opposite then you deserve a huge cookie (gluten free one duh….. ☺ ) because that is awesome.

If however, you tend to neglect your calves, you might experience pain in your knees, lack full depth in your squat, or fall apart in overhead movements. All of which can be linked to tight, overworked calves.

Luckily, there are easy methods of mobilizing them. Downside is they can be one of the most p...

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We have all heard the phrase “Drink Responsibly.” Also almost all of us have experience being “WOD drunk” post WOD. So I am going to introduce the phrase “WOD responsibly.”

When drinking responsibly one usually plans ahead with at the very least making sure one has a designated driver. Others have various pre-drinking rituals but the point is they plan ahead. The same needs to be done for WODs. Planning ahead via stretching the areas that will be used, especially if you typically feel pain or discomfort in those areas.

Any example of this would be the wrists. Often times people feel fine pre-WOD then the strength comes up- typically cleans, thrusters, front ...

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This is the final installment of how to mobilize the big muscles that are often the culprits for knee pain.

If you missed the previous two weeks you can click on the following two links for Part 1 and Part 2.

The last spot as promised is the IT band. To keep it super simple, it’s a ligament that runs down from the hip to the shin and is key in knee movement and stabilization. When it gets tight or inflamed simply moving the knee can become painful never mind squatting or lifting heavy shit.

This is not a spot we often think of when mobilizing so it is often neglected. We are going to change this.

It is a hard spot to get to but there are a few different ways. First one is using a lacrosse ...

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Continuing on last weeks theme of finding relief for knee pain. Below are a few extra tips, including how to mobilize the hamstrings to alleviate knee pain, that will allow us to find relief in spots we may of not even though were tight. Yes the top one is a repeat but it is too simple and easy to not keep bringing up.

Lets continue to fix those chronic aches and pains.

You will need the following: a lacrosse ball, a medium resistance band, a barbell, and a superfriend.

We will start from the ground up. Something I almost always have mobility classes’ start with is rolling out the bottom of the feet. So take those shoes off (keep socks on), place the lacrosse ball underneath your foot, pu...

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With all of the heavy legwork we do on an almost daily basis we often neglect loosening those muscles up with some mobility afterwards. What ends up happening is with chronic tight quads, hamstrings, and IT bands our knees end up taking the brunt of the work.

Without relief the knee can start out as agitating during workouts, however, after a while the pain can be so bad that you tell your coach you need to modify the front squats in that days WOD.

Don’t settle for that. Don’t settle for pain that can be alleviated, even avoiding!

Post or Pre WOD grab a men’s barbell and roll out those quads!

Sit your butt on the floor to the right of the barbell. Extend your right leg out stra...

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