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Exercises Movements, technique & proper execution

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Old 12-12-2004, 10:58 AM   #1
Tim Johnson
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As I dug thru the site and archives today I realized that the menu of WOD exercies seems to be missing movements for the trunk (abs, low back, hips)that, for lack of a better term, are athletic in nature. To be specific, what's lacking are lateral flexion (side beding), trunk rotation and hip\leg rotation (both are twists). What the WOD movements do emphasize are trunk flexion (sit-up),integrated movements for the core (L-sit), and to some extent co-contractions of abs and glutes (back squat). These movements are fine, but when I'm playing sports or even just working in the yard, I'm on one leg more than two and constantly crouching, twisting and bending.

Does anyone care to comment on this observation? Maybe share why this is, or suggest movements to incorporate that "pass the Crossfit muster?" Or, maybe explain to me how I'm wrong and why?

Thank you!

Tim
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Old 12-12-2004, 08:17 PM   #2
Pat Janes
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Off the top of my head, TGU will work the lateral flexion. As will probably any of the single handed dumbbell/kettlebell lifts.

Not sure about the others... there was talk recently of "windshield wipers", but I don't remembers seeing them in a WOD.
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Old 12-13-2004, 09:20 AM   #3
Tanner Kolb
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how about the turkish get up or single arm walking lunge
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Old 12-13-2004, 12:43 PM   #4
Gregory Spilson
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From the Pavel archives, the Full contact Twist, Saxon Side bend and suitcase deadlift could all help. I also think that the side press may be a viable option. Hope this is of assistance.
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Old 12-14-2004, 03:23 PM   #5
Tim Johnson
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To clarify: I know of many movements for lateral flexion, trunk rotation, etc. But they're not used in the WODs, or posted in the crossfit exercise section.

My question is why? I just would like to know.
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Old 12-14-2004, 11:16 PM   #6
Carrie Klumpar
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OK, I'll take a stab at this. I think that a lot of this is covered in the WODs; it just might not be in the form you’re expecting.

First, you’re right, Tim, that CF doesn’t incorporate a lot of exercise that focus specifically on these movements; however, most (if not almost all) of the compound, functional moves you see in CF workouts require trunk stabilization/pressure/tightness of the sort that seriously recruits all the “core” muscles together. The ones you’re concerned about are in fact constantly being worked; they’re just not separated out into isolated packages that are easily identifiable as specifically “lateral flexion” moves or “trunk rotation” moves.

Second, the WODs *do* sometimes include moves that more explicitly work those planes and muscles. E.g., KB or DB windmills (and in fact pretty much all one-handed KB work, including snatches, C&J, presses, overhead holds, figure 8 and around-the-body moves, etc.), Turkish get-ups, pistols, windshield wipers, landmines, various forms of medicine ball throws (waPOW!), waiter walks, farmer’s or suitcase walks, sandbag carries, etc. It's true enough that these don’t appear frequently (and maybe could be in there more often, to mix things up a bit), but on that point, also see the previous paragraph. :-)

In short, I think that the WOD does provide the kind of stimulus and training you’re thinking of, even though you may not ever see “side bends” or “lateral crunches” or what-have-you named in the WOD. Is there some result or benefit you’re looking for in this regard that you don’t think the WOD delivers?
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Old 12-17-2004, 02:00 PM   #7
Tim Johnson
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Carrie, thanks for taking a stab at this. While I don't think your answer satisifes me, I appreciate your attempt. I guess some commentary from the coach or Dan John or some others would've been nice.

Crossfit is an enjoyable format for exercising. I looked for different methods because I was dissatisfied with the results of other modalities and, frankly, bored in the weightroom.

While the overall core is indeed worked with multi-chain exercises like the deadlift and squats and all. You're not necessarily developing what's under developed. That is, if I stabilize myself in the squat and my rectus abdominus is already far stronger than my obliques, then I'll be working the rectus mostly and the obliques never catch up.

In your post you mentioned many exercises that do hit on some lateral flexion, but none target rotation. Further, many of the movements you mentions are seldom included in a WOD. For example, since I've been monitoring WOD's I can't recall ever seeing windshield wipers or farmer's walks.

So I guess while Crossfit is fun, brief (wonderful for us working parents) and does provide results (fat loss, improved stamina, some strength gains). The WODs do seem to have have some flaws and the designers are prioritizing some exercises and body movements over others. Examining their motives for their choices was at the heart of my question. I'm a curious person.

Like I said originally, as an athlete, I am usually on one leg (pistol, step up) and bending (Saxon side bends, bent press) and twisting (twisting sit ups). Rarely am I on two legs (squat), inverted (HSPU), need tremendous grip strength (pullups and olympic lifts for volume) or isometrically contracting my muscles for extended periods (L-sit).
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Old 12-17-2004, 04:25 PM   #8
Gregory Spilson
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Hey Tim. I am aware that I am not a "coach" on this forum, but I may be able to shed some light on this. From some of the past rhetoric that I have been exposed to on this forum, it seems to me that areas of weakness should be incorporated as a warm-up to the WOD. Therefore, if one muscle group is a weak link and there is a remedy eg obliques in the squat-windshield wipers, it would be perfectly acceptable, if not encouraged for you to include such a movements like these on a regular basis prior to your WOD. Hope this makes sense.
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Old 12-18-2004, 01:12 PM   #9
Michael Street
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Tim as an athlete, you know that POWER and SPEED is king in sports performance – this is why in the sports arena we have winners and losers.

If you look at our training protocols they encompass POWER and SPEED – DYNAMIC movements. I have yet to see a day of Chuck Norris crunches, or boxing Billy punch twisting leg lifts – when I do I am out of here. Leave it for the sheep – not the warriors.

In sports performance, abdominals primary role is midline stabilization *not* trunk flexion. You notice this most when you are attempting to DRIVE loads overhead (particularly HEAVY loads) your entire midline is activated – strong and stable – or you fail, and or have a terrible body arch, where you hips, stomach and pelvis creep out in front of the load.
I am curios for numbers on your OHS, as well as time on your L-sit holds – you talk like you don’t do them, or are not executing at your full potential.

As some of the other contributors have stated add some of *your* favorite movements into your training program. The ones stated here are all really good. As well look into odd lifts.

Basically if you have a chink in your armor fix it before it is exposed.
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Old 12-18-2004, 06:21 PM   #10
Robert Wolf
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Tim,

Hope this doesn't sound like a cop-out, but we find that people who have good numbers on L-sits, front levers, ice-cream makers, etc tend to have phenomenol performance in rotational activities ranging from punching to kicking to sledge hammer drills. As to why more of these midline stabilization movements are not included in the general WOD most are too demanding to perform in a fatigued state (this is my opinion, I'm not sure if Coach or others would agree). This makes them perfect for practice during the warm-up when the nervous system is fresh.

The WOD itself has grown more demanding over the past few years as the fitness levels of CF'ters has increased. Perhaps in a few years we will see "tabata ice cream makkers" or some other abomination.

For sure experiment with this! None of this is science of written in stone. This is how progress has been consistent and rewarding around here.

As an asside- After Dr. Jim's Dynamax presentation and Coach Sommers gymnastics presentation in Colorado our warmups have changed and include much more direct trunk work.
Robb
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