IMG_5222CrossFit WOD SKILL WORK 400m KTB farmer carry (1.5P/1P) Try and complete without rest.

WOD Thruster IMG_52011-1-1-1-1-1-1

Compare to Feb 2009 (been awhile!)

Strength Focus

Bench Press with bands and Kettle Bells 3-3-3-3-3


Thrusters are a compound, multi- joint movement combining a squat into an overhead push press. They work essentially all your major leg muscles; the quadriceps, hamstrings and glutes, before the power and force from your legs is transferred into the upper body, giving you the power to drive the weight overhead.

While they can seem daunting at first, remember the force from your legs is propelled to your abdomen and lower back before reaching your upper body, so use that squat to make the move more energy efficient. This will also ensure you are performing the move safely and protecting your upper body.

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Knowing your 1-rep max is an important part of making the most of the programming at the gym. We frequently use percentage references in prescribing the number of reps to perform, so it’s essential that you have a good idea on most of your maxes. “Work up to 85% percent of your max for a single” is pretty useless if you don’t have a good idea of what you can lift.  Record your lifts and keep track of your increasing strength in every lift.

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You can pick up a pencil any which way you want, but the heavier the load, the better the form you need.  Picking up a pencil from the ground doesn't require much thought or form, but picking up a moving box of heavy books does. CrossFit is all about perfecting life's everyday activities: squatting, lifting, pulling, pushing, etc. It's to keep people mobile and active to get through life well.

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Farmer's Carry

They look so unassuming, yet have so many benefits. Want to improve grip strength? Farmer carries. Want to lose fat? Want to gain muscle and get stronger? Farmer carries. Want to get your heart rate up really quickly? Farmer carries!

Probably one of the safest exercises you can do with weight is the “Farmer Carry” and you don’t need any fancy equipment to do them. You will not only feel these in your forearms and grip but also your neck, shoulders, back, abs and even glutes and quads!

The key is going HEAVY. All too often, I see athletes choose weights that are much too light to provide the benefit this exercise can offer. It should be a struggle to make it 50-100 meters with the weight you choose and if you can do 100 meter repeats without setting the weight down, you probably underestimated your abilities.

Grab two HEAVY weights – dumbbells, kettlebells, sacks of concrete, or whatever else you can find. To pick the weight up off the ground safely, half squat-half deadlift yourself to them with a flat back. Take a big belly brace and press your legs through the ground and to extension. The weight will now be at your sides with your palms facing towards your hips. Pin back your shoulder blades, make your spine as long as possible and walk as far as you can. Make sure you keep your belly braced throughout your walk.

IMG_5123 IMG_5148 Great to have Jane back, moving and grooving!

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Technique Tips For The Farmer's Carry

Center yourself - Although it might be tempting to “grip it and rip it,” especially when the event is just a single short run of ten to fifteen meters, make sure your hands are central on the grip. Being a little out of position with the hands can translate into the weights tipping forward or backward substantially. At best, this will tire your grip as you try and get balanced. At worst, one side of one or both of the walks will hit the floor and bring you to a dead halt.

Get solid - Once you center yourself, get solid through your whole body. Squeeze the glutes and brace the core. Get the chest up and sit your weight through the heels. Drive through the floor to pick up the weight. If you pick the handles up in a disadvantaged position, then you’ll be at a disadvantage throughout.

Get tall and straight - Get tall by standing up, making sure the hips are open and the shoulders are pinned back. Get straight by making sure standing does not end up looking like hyperextension through the back. Squeeze the glutes and tuck your ribcage in to straighten up. Look straight ahead.

Small, fast steps - Taking small steps will help to stop the equipment from swinging by your side. I often get my clients to warm up with quick heel-to-toe walks, just to get them used to shortening their stride. But small doesn’t mean slow. Move the feet quickly!

Drop carefully - Make a judgement call depending on the type of event you are in and the type of farmer’s walk handles you have. When you get to the end of your run - with your shoulders burning, arms about to fall off, and grip about to give - the overwhelming urge is to just drop the equipment. However, if you have to turn around and pick everything up again, taking a second to put the bars down under control so they are in a good and even position to pick up again could be time and effort well spent.

IMG_5058IMG_5059IMG_5062 And now for the PR Happy Dance! IMG_5064IMG_5063IMG_5068