CrossFit Discussion Board

CrossFit Discussion Board (
-   Exercises (
-   -   Hip/Back Extensions "snake motion"? (

Jonathan Kessler 08-18-2004 11:46 AM

Can someone please explain why to use the "snake motion" in the hip/back extensions?

James R. Climer 08-19-2004 06:29 PM

After doing them I would say listen to my hamstrings, but they can't talk. I can tell you that if they could talk, they would be saying something so religious that I'd get ex-communicated.

David Wood 08-19-2004 07:12 PM

James: LOL! :lol:

James R. Climer 08-21-2004 12:35 AM

I'm glad to entertain, but I really hope I helped.

Jonathan Kessler 08-21-2004 10:44 AM

Definitely helped. I did some "snaking" but didn't really notice, it helps me to know "what to look (or feel) for" so I can focus on it.

David Wood 08-22-2004 08:01 AM

After doing these (finally), I think I can now say that doing them with the "snake" motion really adds an abdominal element to the workout. Instead of just swinging up, I had to really contract my abs to get that snake going.


Christopher Sommer 08-22-2004 08:25 AM

For a gymnast, the main purpose of doing the "snake motion", or curl ups as we call them in my gym, is to work all of the spinal extensors (the muscles inbetween the vertebrae). This is basically a horizontal version of a Jefferson curl; a powerlifing preventative exercise mentioned by Dr. Fred Hatfield ("Dr. Squat") in one of his early books on powerlifting from the 70's. It is an excellent exercise and one that we use regularly in my program.

To execute this exercise for maximum benefit, I recommend keeping the chin tucked to the chest and the back strongly hollow ("hunched") at the beginning of the movement. Now attempt to "uncurl" the back up to horizontal, one vertebrae at a time, beginning with the lower back and trying to work your way up. At no time should the plane of the back go above horizontal. Also be sure to not extend past flat to an arch; this includes the lower back. Upon reaching horizontal the back should be flat with no remaining hollow, be sure to pause here for a second or two. You are now half way done.

To return to the start, simply reverse the movement by curling the veterbrae of the upper back down one veterbrae at a time while keeping the mid and lower back flat. To understand this exercise better, it may help to visualize a string of pearls in which you uncurl the string up one pearl at a time and then curl the string back down one pearl at a time.

Done at a slow to medium tempo with added weight, this is a very vigorous exercise.

Yours in Fitness,
Coach Sommer

David Wood 08-22-2004 10:34 AM

"Done at a slow to medium tempo with added weight" . . . and a two-second hold . . . for 21 reps . . . I think would cripple me :lol:

Thanks, Coach Sommer.


James R. Climer 08-22-2004 07:32 PM

I hurts just reading that description Coach, I definitely wasn't 4.0 on my form, so I'll get to hate them even more next time. Thank You.

I think watching the video of those WOD exercises which I'm not too familiar with work like a picture: It's worth a thousand words. But a detailed text or verbal description like this puts those words in capital letters.

All times are GMT -7. The time now is 06:17 AM.

CrossFit is a registered trademark of CrossFit Inc.