W.O.D.

Lickity Split

Lickity Split

Strength- Snatch Press 5×5, Jerk from back 3×3 Heavy]

WOD-

20-15-10

Thrusters 95/65

Toes to Bar

Pistols

Wodivore Blog Nov 13, 2012

Wodivore Paleo Breakfast


Ingredients

  • 8 bacon slices, diced
  • ½ yellow onion, diced
  • 1 medium sweet potato, diced
  • 1 medium zucchini, diced
  • 7-8 green beans
  • 1 avocado
  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Instructions

  1. Cook chopped bacon in a medium skillet over medium-low heat. Drain fat when done and set bacon aside.
  2. Meanwhile, heat a large sauté pan over medium-high heat. Add 1 Tbs of drippings from the bacon pan, onion, and sweet potato.
  3. Stirring often, sauté  until onions begin to turn translucent and sweet potato softens slightly (about 10-15 minutes).
  4. Add zucchini and green beans to the sweet potato mixture and cook just until they turn bright green.
  5. Combine bacon and vegetables. Season with freshly ground black pepper, and top with avocado to serve.

“Mikey”

WOD

100 Double Unders

30 Back Squats 225/135

100 Double Unders

30 Box Jumps

Wodivore Blog Nov 12, 2012

I knew Mike Hullender personally. Mikey was a medic overseas. He gave his life defending this country and on this day we honor his sacrifice. Greater love hath no man than to lay down his life for a friend. I love you Mike and today we will wod in your memory!

 

Filthy 50

Filthy 50

WOD:

“Filthy Fifty”

50 Box jump, 24″ Box
50 Jumping Pull-Ups
50 Kettlebell Swings (1 pood)
Walking Lunge, 50 steps
50 Knees to Elbows
50 Push Press (45 men/35 women)
50 Back Extensions
50 Wall Balls (20 men/14 women)
50 Burpees
50 Double Unders

“HOOMMEE”

Strength

Front Squats

5-5-5

Work up to a new 5 rep max

WOD

12 minute AMRAP

5 KB Snatches (Left)

10 Broad Jumps

5 KB Snatches (Right)

10 Tuck Jumps

KB Weight 53/35

 

Wodivore Blog Nov 8, 2012

Why You Should Kettlebell Snatch

Because it’s manly, and made of awesome & win! Further:

  • Strength – You develop a sort of limit strength with this movement (what does that mean? I dunno, but it sounds cool!)
  • Speed – you’re learning how to accelerate a heavy object up off the ground over your head, the movement demands speed!
  • Explosiveness – you’re training your body to not only be strong, but to show that strength explosively (perfect for all sports!)
  • Tendon Strength – the repetitive jarring of the weight being spread out over your body builds an odd level of tendon strength throughout your joints (much like the repetitive hitting of stuff by martial artists builds tendon strength!)
  • Posterior strength/power/conditioning – once again, it’s a major “back side” movement!
  • Safer – than trying to learn how to do a proper barbell snatch & you can use a weight that builds strength even though it’s not all that heavy.
  • Conditioning – high rep snatches will make you a “never quit” beast
  • Fat loss – high rep snatches are one of the most metabolically challenging exercises there are — the fat will melt off!
  • Time Saving – why do strength training, explosive training & conditioning work when you can cram it all in with one exercise?

If you can’t tell already, I’m a HUGE fan of the snatch! In fact, I think I love the Snatch more than anything else …

 

How To Set Up The Snatch

kettebell-clean-1You start it like this (this should look familiar):

  • Feet shoulder width apart
  • Toes pointing out 30 degrees.

It’s familiar, because I copy and pasted it from one of my other articles. You start the same, and even incorporate a clean motion into it. You will be using a weight that is less than what you can swing, by the way.

Simply stated, a snatch is a swing that starts with a clean and ends with the end of a press (arm extended with the bell). BUT…you are not PRESSING it, you are not CLEANING it, and you are not SWINGING it.

You are SNATCHING it.

How To Start The Snatch

Begin the movement by initiating your hip drive. This needs to be FORCEFUL and POWERFUL. You are literally blasting the kettlebell up by will of hips alone, your body is merely a vessel for this godly force. Zeus would be proud.

So, your hips are driving, and you want to get the bell up above your head, so why not just swing it up there? Because what goes up, must come down. In a swing, your arm is the lever, and the bell is at the end. You generate enough force to swing it all the way up above you, sure. There are only two problems:

  • That bell is gonna be swinging around something fierce and WILL impact your forearm as it rotates at the top
  • It’s just plain inefficient

That huge semicircle swing you just did to get the bell up there? WASTE.

How To Finish The Snatch

So, think of the clean: you are going to keep the bell close to the body. You are going to have a bend in your elbow when you are swinging the bell up. In this manner, it is similar to the clean, in that you are staying tight and keeping that power contained…but not for the whole movement.

Because you are using a lighter weight (for now, tough guy), your explosive hip drive will allow the movement to continue up–the “clean” like movement (keeping it close to you) just initially reigns the kettlebell in and directs it up, instead of outward.

Remember how with the clean, I said think about cleaning it to your stomach as a cue to get it to the right position? With the snatch, think about cleaning it to your god, and you will get it high enough.

At the top, as the bell begins to rotate, your arm should still be slightly bent (if its straight already, the weight is either too light, or your timing isn’t right just yet).

As the bell is rotating over your hand to the back of your forearm, think “PUNCH” and punch that sucker. Now when you do this, it will help with the shock absorption, as you are moving the handle of the bell into the rotation of the bell itself.

At the end, you will be in the exact same position as the end of a press. Then you simply reverse the movement to get it down to the ground.

 

how-to-kettlebell-snatch

 

 

Respect The Snatch!

To recap this beast:

  • Movement starts the same as a swing/clean: initiate movement with hips
  • Keep it close to the body but keep the momentum moving upwards. You’re taming the movement, but also transferring the power up
  • As the bell rotates over your hand, PUNCH your hand up to extend
  • TIGHT!

No Pain

No Pain

Strength- Overhead Squat: 3,3,3,3,3

WOD- As many rounds as possible in 10 minutes of:

Power clean and jerk @ Bodyweight x 3

Burpees x 2 

15′ Rope climb x 1

Wodivore Blog Nov 8, 2012]

Wodivores, I understand the importance of your training but I would like to emphasize the importance of being safe. please be cautious on your route here. the roads are very bad. Take the preventive measures needed to ensure you arrive here safely. Good luck and I will meet you on the battlefield. Get some!

For Sarah

For Sarah

Strenth/Skill

Muscle Up Progression

Get 15 Muscle Ups. Strict!

WOD

AMRAP 8 min

4 Deadlifts 345/225

5 Toes To bar

 

WODIVORE BLOG Nov 7, 2012

Mental Control

 

Often the difference between winning and losing depends on your mental control. Getting and keeping your head together can be much easier if you use some of the tools of sports psychology: 1) Develop self-confidence; 2) use mental imagery, and; 3) control doubt and negative thoughts. These techniques help you develop and master mental control. Sports psychology is a large field requiring many years of study. In climbing, especially climbing competitions, routes are designed at the peak of a climber’s ability. This information is not all-inclusive and is intended to provide a general overview of gaining mental control to improve your performance and spark your further personal study.

Develop Self-confidence to Enhance Mental Control.

A climber’s self-confidence is probably the greatest asset in developing your mental control over your body’s reaction to stress. Self-confidence doesn’t happen by simply deciding to be confident – it takes a deliberate and planned effort. Self-confidence is not a matter of “fooling” yourself into believing something false. Just the opposite – it is based on accurately knowing yourself. Self-confidence allows you to take appropriate risks and climb at the top of your ability.

The most effective way to build self-confidence is by setting performance-based goals. Set attainable and measurable performance goals and make sure you achieve them. Then set new goals and achieve them. Through this process you learn your own abilities. By knowing your own capabilities you avoid surprise failure and develop confidence in yourself. Believing in yourself helps you develop mental control.

Your goals to attain mental control should be measured in terms of performance, not achievement. An example of an achievement goal is: “win the competition”. This is not a good performance based goal. Examples of performance based goals are: “Increase pull-ups by 1 per week”; or, “increase endurance training by 1 minute per session”; or “increase dead-hang time by 10 seconds per week”, etc. There are many aspects to achieving mental control to improve your lifting performance. Develop as many performance based goals as you can manage. Design your goals to be achievable within about a week or two weeks time. This will give you a sense of accomplishment, confidence, and help you develop a keen sense of your own abilities.

Mental Imagery (described below) is also useful for building self-confidence and control. This is useful if your lack of self-confidence or other “mind game” factors are interfering with your ability to achieve a goal. However, a note of caution. It is possible to use imagery to improperly build a level of over-confidence. Using imagery without rationally considering your actual abilities can lead to over-confidence and unexpected failure, which will cause a loss of confidence. Over-confidence is just as bad as a lack of confidence – maybe worse. Over confidence does not lead to mental control, it is a misreading of your own ability. If you are over-confident you will not give the climb 100% effort and may lead you to attempt something that you are not capable of doing. It can lead to an unexpected failure, which can destroy your self-confidence.

Self-confidence should come from a realistic understanding of your abilities based on incrementally achieving performance-based goals.

Mental Control using Imagery and Positive Thinking.

Using imagery, you imagine smooth controlled lifting, proper rests, shaking, clipping, breathing, good technique, etc… all the way to the top. Imagery can and should be used during previews, before a difficult move, at night in bed, waiting in a line at the store, on a bus or passenger in a car (but not as driver). Think and imagine yourself lifting and moving like a crossfitter you admire – or visualize yourself making a particular move. Visualize the feeling, momentum, and balance. Visualize only correct lifting technique and form. Gain mental control of yourself and the lift by focusing and creating positive mental imagery.

Visualizing reinforces lifting movement in your mind – so use it to reinforce good movement. Visualizing is training for your mind. Do do not dwell on bad moves. Analyze what went wrong then visualize the correct movement from the beginning of the sequence through the end of the section. Imagine the feeling of the bar, your momentum, your breathing, where you chalk up – be as vivid with your imagery as you can. It is a skill that needs to be developed just like physical skill.

Imagery can also be used to help you relax and lower your stress level. This can be helpful in competitions or in many other situations in lifting. Imagine a peaceful, relaxing, happy or fun place. Make it as vivid as possible by visualizing every detail, the warm sun, feeling of joy, smells… every detail that goes with your “happy place”. Use this imagery technique to reduce stress and maintain mental control.

Imagery can be used to push your limits, for specific moves, for general technique, to break through a mental block, to reduce stress, or to build up your self-confidence. Be aware that imagery can be used to an unhealthy extreme. Use imagery and positive thinking within realistic boundaries to push yourself to new heights and break through barriers. This is an effective tool when used correctly.

Mental Control over Doubt and Negative Thoughts.

In the same way positive imagery “teaches” your mind through a visualized reinforcement, negative thoughts also teach your mind – the wrong thing. Get control of your mental thoughts. Make a conscious point not to allow negative thoughts to dominate. Answer negative thoughts with positive thoughts.

Sometimes negative thoughts are difficult to get out of your head. I may help to physically speak the positive out loud several times. If you are in a crowd or around other people do it sub-vocally. It is a stronger reinforcement when spoken. Respond to negative thoughts with positive thoughts based on clear and rational assessments of your known ability.

Become aware of your thoughts. Normally thoughts will come and go and you will hardly notice. Watch for feelings of inadequacy, criticism, feelings of stress, worry. Awareness is the first step to gaining more mental control. As you become more aware of your thoughts you can learn to control them.

But how do you not think of something? If someone says “do not think of a red balloon”, you immediately visualize a red balloon whether you want to or not. Not thinking of something is more difficult than thinking about something. When you get a thought that is counter productive, make a conscious effort to visualize it’s opposite. Speak the opposite if possible, or at least speak it sub-vocally. For example: “red balloon”: now think of a green balloon and say “green balloon” out loud. It is now green. Use this technique to conquer doubt, negative thoughts and reinforce your good technique, confidence, and positive self-image. You are what you think, so think what you want yourself to be.

Summary of Mental Control.

These are simple tools you can use to help break through mental barriers, maintain mental control under stressful situations and build new self-confidence. It may well take you to a new level of climbing. Top athletes, coaches and trainers in every sport agree the proper application of sports psychology provides a significant boost in performance level. Self-confidence will help you climb at your best. Using mental imagery and controlling doubt will help you press through mental barriers. Developing these simple techniques are as important as your physical training.

Warriors, Come out and play!

Warriors, Come out and play!

Strength-

Snatch High Pull 5-4-3-2-3-4-5

WOD-

20 Burpee Box Jumps

30 Sumo Deadlift High Pull 105/75

40 Push  105/75

50 Chest to Bar Pullups

 

Wodivore Blog Nov 6 2012

Main Muscle: Hamstrings

 

 

  1. With a barbell on the floor close to the shins, take a wide snatch grip. Lower your hips with the weight focused on the heels, back straight, head facing forward, chest up, with your shoulders just in front of the bar. This will be your starting position.
  2. Begin the first pull by driving through the heels, extending your knees. Your back angle should stay the same, and your arms should remain straight. Move the weight with control as you continue to above the knees.
  3. Next comes the second pull, the main source of acceleration for the pull. As the bar approaches the mid-thigh position, begin extending through the hips. In a jumping motion, accelerate by extending the hips, knees, and ankles, using speed to move the bar upward.
  4. There should be no need to actively pull through the arms to accelerate the weight; at the end of the second pull, the body should be fully extended, leaning slightly back. Full extension should be violent and abrupt, and ensure that you do not prolong the extension for longer than necessary.

Snatch Pull 

Click to enlarge

Snatch Pull 

Click to enlarge

Snatch Pull

 

 

“Mmmhmmm”

WOD

Run 200m

40 Back Squats 135/95

Run 400m

30 Front Squats 135/95

Run 800m

20 Back squats 135/95

Run 1200

10 Front Squats 135/95

Run 1600m

 

Wodivore Blog November 5, 2012

The Pose Method of Running – An Introduction

Photo Nicholas Romanov founder of the Pose Method of Running.

 

 I stumbled upon a link to PoseTech.com, which promised a way to reduce running injuries through an extremely efficient technique. Dr. Nicholas Romanov, creator of the Pose method, asked why people were taught how to play basketball and football, throw shotput, and play other sports, but were never taught how to run. He believes there is a proper technique that can be used to run.

The existing technique of landing on the heel and then pushing off into a wide stride is just as inefficient as a new runner going out there and doing what feels natural. Over 50 percent of runners get injured every year, and a third of those are knee joint injuries. Even with the “advances” in the shoe industry, the injury rates have remained consistent over the past 25 years. Obviously, “just running” is not working for many people.

The Pose method looks at running as a technical skill of movement, and believes it should be taught like one with its own theory, rules, practice exercises, and more. Aerobic conditioning can only take you so far: an efficient movement is necessary to achieve maximal speed and distance. Pose breaks running down into three simple parts: the running pose, the fall, and the pull. Pose –> Fall –> Pull. Even simpler, all you have to do to run is to change support from one leg to the other by pulling the support foot from the ground. It sounds quite simple, but it takes a lot of practice to retrain your muscle memory to learn the movement, and to unlearn old habits.

The four forces acting up on the body in movement are gravity, muscle elasticity, ground reaction, and muscle contractions. These forces drive the body forward when they are unbalanced. The runner must create a constant state of unbalance to allow the gravity force to drive the body forward. Running comes down to the level of skill of the runner to interact with gravity throughout the gait cycle, and use the gravity to move forward. To break balance and fall forward, the weight of the body must be on the ball of the foot (BOF) exactly like in barefoot running. Landing on the toes or the heel is not as efficient as a BOF landing, and this may be one of the biggest adjustments for runners practicing the Pose method.

While it may be difficult to master, running in the Pose technique is quite simple. Your main goal, besides Pose–>Fall–>Pull, is to get your own body out of its way, and let gravity do all the work. Here are a list of errors that occur from either trying too hard or from incorrect form. And remember, pain is the body’s reminder that you’re doing something wrong, so don’t ignore what your feet and joints are telling you.

Running Errors

  • Landing with the heel first – land on the ball of your foot (BOF)
  • Heel strike with a straight leg – recipe for hurt knee and joints
  • Landing ahead of the body, aka overstriding – keep your general center of mass (GCM) in line with your BOF
  • Using quad muscles instead of the hamstrings (push off), and pulling the swing thigh and knee forward and up – pull the leg up with your hamstrings
  • Landing on the toes with the body behind landing/foot – land on your BOF in line with your GCM
  • Landing with stiff ankles/leg – relax the ankles and let them absorb the impact
  • “Active landing” – don’t place your foot on the ground, let it fall naturally with gravity
  • Overall muscle tension – remember to stay loose, not rigid, even in your neck, back, and shoulders
  • Active push/toe off, straightening the leg to propel the body forward – there is no need to push off and strain the calf muscle, just fall forward and let gravity do the work
  • Holding the rear leg behind after leaving the support – allow the foot to drop back to the ground
  • Leaning the trunk sideways or forward – lean from the ankles, not your waist, unless you want lower back pain
  • Keeping the shoulders up and stiff – just relax!
  • Arms pumping – keep elbows relaxed and back, with the thumbs alongside your ribs

There are many drills and exercises in the “Pose Method of Running” book that will help you retrain your mind to learn the proper movements. The most simple one you can do is to stand in the Pose position. Click the image to see full annotated version of the Pose running position (Source: Pose Method of Running</em /> by Dr. Nicholas Romanov)First, stand in a springy, S-shaped pose with bent knees and heels slightly off the ground. Then, using your hamstring, pull one foot off the ground, ankle in line with the knee, maintaining balance. This is the Pose position, the position you should always strive to be in when running. Now, from the ankle and hips, lean forward, breaking the delicate balance. Allow your raised foot to fall down with gravity’s help, landing on the ball of the foot, while simultaneously pulling your other foot off the ground with your hamstring. The loss of balance and gravity’s assistance moved you forward, with very little muscle interference. You’ve just taken your first step in running in the Pose method! Congrats!

All information was taken from the “Pose Method of Running” book or a clinic manual, both written by Dr. Nicholas Romanov. I highly recommend checking out the book and the articles and discussions on Posetech.com for more information. I also highly suggest attending a clinic with a certified coach to ensure you’re properly running using the Pose method.

 

Double Trouble

Double Trouble

Team Wod-

As a team you will complete as many thrusters as you can in 15 min. Guys weight is 95# ladies use 65#. When your partners bar touches the ground you both do 5 burpees. Enjoy!

Individual-

Max thrusters in 10 min 95#65# Every time you drop the bar do 5 burpees. 

Wodivore Blog Nov 3, 2012

The Unique Value Of Olympic Lifts For Athletes (Excerpted from Appendix 3 – Training on the Snatch and Clean and Jerk: A Key to Athletic Excellence)

The truly remarkable abilities of Olympic style weightlifters are certainly due in part to genetic qualities of these athletes and to their outstanding physical condition. However, they are also due in no small measure to the kind of training that weightlifters do: performing the snatch and the clean and jerk (C&J).

Almost any form of resistance training can improve an athlete’s strength, but the snatch and C&J are unique in their ability to develop strength and explosive power at the same time. And the benefits of practicing the Olympic lifts are hardly limited to developing strength and power. Here is a partial list of other added benefits:

1. The mere practice of the Olympic lifts teaches an athlete how to explode (to activate a maximum number of muscle units rapidly and simultaneously). Part of the extraordinary abilities of the Olympic lifters arises out of their having learned how to effectively activate more of their muscle fibers more rapidly than others who are not so trained (in addition to having developed stronger muscles).

2. The practice of proper technique in the Olympic lifts teaches an athlete to apply force with his or her muscle groups in the proper sequences (i.e., from the center of the body to its extremities). This is a valuable technical lesson which can be of benefit to any athlete who needs to impart force to another person or object (a necessity in virtually every sport).

3. In mastering the Olympic lifts, the athlete learns how to accelerate objects under varying degrees of resistance. This is because the body experiences differing degrees of perceived resistance as it attempts to move a bar with maximum speed through a full range of motion. These kinds of changes in resistance are much more likely to resemble those encountered in athletic events than similar exercises performed on an isokinetic machine (which has a fixed level of resistance or speed of resistance throughout the range of motion).

4. The athlete learns to receive force from another moving body effectively and becomes conditioned to accept such forces.

5. The athlete learns to move effectively from an eccentric contraction to a concentric one (through the stretch-shortening cycle, the cycle that is activated and trained through exercises that are often referred to as plyometrics).

6. The actual movements performed while executing the Olympic lifts are among the most common and fundamental in sports. Therefore, training the specific muscle groups in motor patterns that resemble those used in an athlete’s events is often a byproduct of practicing the snatch and C&J.

7. Practicing the Olympic lifts trains an athlete’s explosive capabilities, and the lifts themselves measure the effectiveness of the athlete in generating explosive power to a greater degree than most other exercises they can practice.

8. Finally, the Olympic lifts are simply fun to do. I have yet to meet an athlete who has mastered them who does not enjoy doing the Olympic lifts. While making workouts enjoyable may not be the primary objective of a strength coach, it is not an unimportant consideration in workout planning. Athletes who enjoy what they are doing are likely to practice more consistently and to be more highly motivated than athletes who do not enjoy their workouts as much.

Other than the abilities of Olympic style weightlifters, is there any proof that practicing the Olympic lifts actually helps athletes? There is an enormous number of examples of athletes who have benefited dramatically from practicing the Olympic lifts. Presenting these cases would require a very large book. I will provide just three examples to make the point. I have chosen those particular examples because they come from athletes who participate in sports which would not normally be expected to benefit very much from ordinary weight training.

Steve Bedrosian recently retired at the age of thirty-nine after a very successful career as a professional baseball pitcher, most recently as relief pitcher for the Atlanta Braves. His career had very nearly ended five years earlier. When he was thirty-four, Steve lost some of the feeling in two of the fingers of his pitching hand. As a result he had lost the ability to pitch effectively and was forced to take a year off in an effort to rehabilitate his hand. Many baseball experts felt that after this kind of setback his career was over. It was at this point that he met Ben Green, athletic director at the White Oak Athletic Center in Newnan, Georgia (Ben’s accomplishments as a weightlifter and coach were discussed earlier in this book). Ben put Bedrosian on a program of Olympic lift training during his year off . After six months of such training, Bedrosian added eight miles per hour to his fast ball and was able to dunk a basketball (something he had often tried but had never in his life been able to do). Steve made a triumphant return to the mound during the 1993 season.

A second example is professional golfer Cindy Schreyer. She was introduced to the Olympic lifts by Ben Green in 1993. After approximately eight months of training, Cindy increased her drive by a full forty yards, a staggering improvement for a person already highly skilled at golf. Cindy won her first PGA tournament shortly after this dramatic improvement in her drive occurred..

Derrick Adkins was a sophomore at Georgia Tech when he began to work with Lynne Stoessel-Ross, then the school’s strength coach. Lynne has been a national champion and a national record holder in weightlifting and has represented the United States in the Women’s World Weightlifting Championships. She has a strong academic background in physical education, having earned a Masters degree in that field. She currently works as and educator and strength and conditioning coach in Lubbock, Texas. Derek had already reached the international level as a 400 meter hurdler when he began training with Lynne in 1990, having won the Atlantic Coast Conference championships and placed sixth at the World University Games. His best time was 49.53 seconds. In less than a year of training on the Olympic lifts, he shaved nearly a second off his already outstanding time (reducing it to 48.6 seconds). An injury sustained during an unfortunate running accident hampered his training for more than a year after that. However, after recovering from his injury and resuming training on the Olympic lifts, he reduced his time by another .9 seconds and went on to win the U.S. Nationals and the Goodwill Games. More recently Derek won the 1996 Olympic Games in Atlanta.

Needless to say, if a baseball player, a golfer and a hurdler have benefited so much from practicing the Olympic lifts, football players and other athletes who participate in sports in which power is acknowledged to play a more critical role can enjoy and have enjoyed even more direct benefits.

In order to enjoy the myriad benefits that arise from training on the Olympic lifts, there is a significant price that every athlete must pay. He or she must commit to learning the requisite skills. Most weight training exercises can be learned in one session, and the athlete’s technique can be refined to the point where the athlete can train with little supervision (with regard to technique) in a few practice sessions. In contrast, mastering the Olympic lifts requires a deeper understanding of the mechanics of the movements (which are somewhat complex). Moreover, considerable practice under supervised conditions must take place before competency is attained. People who say that the Olympic lifts are dangerous are very wrong in most of their arguments, but they are correct in one very important sense. The Olympic lifts can be dangerous if an athlete does not learn how to perform them properly. An athlete who is not willing to learn proper technique is better off not practicing the Olympic lifts at all.

 

 

 

 

Terror

Terror

Strength- Hand Stand Pushup or Handstand walk progression

3 sets of 5 reps, wall walks, shoulder touches, handstand pushups

WOD-

10 min Amrap

4 OH Squats 95/65#

6 HSPU

8 Burpees

 

Wodivore Blog November 2, 2012

Building Posterior Chain Strength

DSC_0199a

So what exactly is the posterior chain? Its only one of the most important sets of muscles you have and run right up the back of your body including the lower back, the glutes, the hamstrings, and also the calves. Unfortunately the Posterior Chain is all to often neglected, why? Simply because none of them are mirror muscles. This is not only a shame but it can lead to various aches and pains plus a poor posture. Once you start strengthening the Posterior Chain you can expect:

  • Faster Running Times
  • Lower Back Pain Banished
  • Improved Posture
  • Easier to Stand for long periods

I first came across the posterior chain a few years back when getting into crossfit as a lot of their workouts are based around strengthening the rear set of muscles as they correlate directly with improved athletic performance. So lets have a look at some of the best Posterior Chain Movements.

KettleBell Swings

KettleBell swings are awesome they not only work the front muscles like shoulders, chest and biceps but give your lower back, hamstrings and hips a really good workout.

*Dec 03 - 00:05*Desk email

Lance Armstrong was using KettleBell swings as preparation for his recent 3rd place in the Tour De France and it seemed to do him pretty well, improving his rear body strength and endurance. When doing KettleBell swings I would suggest going lighter with good form for about 20-30 reps per set this is the best way to train the lower back as they can be a delicate set of muscles when first trained so take it easy, nail the form and don’t strain.

Deadlifts

The grand daddy of exercises and probably the most effective thing you can do at the gym. They are not only the best muscle building exercise but are superb for strengthening the hamstrings and lower back plus improving posture by enforcing your rear delts and traps.

 

As with all exercises start light and nail the form. A few sets of 8-12 rep deadlifts and you will have a superb workout and really feel the soreness the next day. Its a shame that deadlifts are often neglected in the gym these days when they should be a cornerstone of weightlifting.

Glute Ham Raises

These are by no means an easy exercise and can be subbed for simple lower back extensions if you can’t so them yet. If you can though they are amazing at building your hamstrings, hips and lower back.

 

Again do these in fairly high reps with a light or no added weight due to your posterior chain being fairly delicate to start this will avoid any injury.

No Equipment No Problem

If you don’t have any equipment not to worry training your posterior chain can still be done easily and effectively. Check out some of these…..

  • Sprinting – This is the best natural one as it trains not only the whole body but focuses on the hamstrings and hips to propel you.
  • Swings With Anything – Basically pick something heavy instead of a Kettlebell this maybe a Log on a run or a bottle of water, just use it in place of the kettlebell.
  • Body Weight Good Mornings – As Featured Here…. Just do them with your hands clenched behind your back and keep reps high

Strengthening the Posterior Chain will not only make you feel better it will improve your performance in any sports you may participate in thanks to its role in supporting muscles. Whatever you do stay away from too much running on treadmills as they disengage and weaken the posterior chain as they allow your hanstrings, thighs and buttocks to relax while running which is very unnatural.