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Exercises Movements, technique & proper execution

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Old 05-12-2005, 09:28 PM   #1
Mark Bullard
 
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Discovered this site about a month ago and am trying to get in shape enough to do the WOD. I have been doing a lot of thrusters and interval combos (400's or jump ropes)because I can haul the bar out to the field. Just using the 45# bar and I am getting some reps in, but I have to contort to keep my elbows from hitting my knees just before I hit bottom. I am afraid that as the weight goes up this is going to be an issue. It seems that I can't get my elbows up even if I am just holding a broomstick! Anybody else have that problem? How did you solve it/work around it? I figured now is the time to get my form down pat and would appreciate any advice?
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Old 05-12-2005, 11:50 PM   #2
Eric Moffit
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definitely a good idea to get the form now. im guessing you have flexibility issues w/ the 'rack' position. in order to properly rack the bar, your elbows should be perpendicular to your body w/ the bar resting on your shoulders and your fingertips touching the bar. see the pic below for a visual (taken from CrossFit Journal 11 - The Clean). the way i worked on my flexibility was just holding the bar in various positions. so, do your best rack and hold it. if you lack wrist flexibility, point your elbows to the floor and bend your wrists while holding the bar up (i wouldnt allow your wrist to go completely limp here...more of supported stretch). this can eventually be done w/ one hand. ill leave it to others to add more intelligent advice.
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Old 05-13-2005, 01:03 PM   #3
Eugene R. Allen
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Mark - don't worry if you can't rack a broomstick. The light weight of the stick keeps you from having a stationary thing to lever your hands against so you can lift your elbows. It's actually easier with a bar and a little weight.

There are two likely culprits to your problem and they are the flexibility of your hips and your shoulders...I surmise this because you describe my difficulties exactly as you describe your own.

After you warm up a bit and have a sweat on, get your broom stick and work on rotating the stick in a wide, snatch grip positon, from arms straight at your belt line, over your head and behind your back. Keep your arms straight and work your shoulders through that...what...320 degrees of rotation? If you bend your elbows, move your hands in a bit, if it goes over easy, move them in a bit. After you get a good stretch that way, put the stick overhead with a snatch grip, elbows locked, shoulders extended upward and pull the stick as if you were trying to stretch it. The bar should be above your head and slightly behind your ears. Stick your head out the window made by your arms and the stick. Now go to a full squat.

Did you tip forward? Stand back up. Keep your head and eyes up, really extend the shoulders upward and pull the stick apart, make sure your feet are in the landing stance which is wide enough for hips to fit between your ankles, point your toes outward slightly and make sure you track your knees over your toes. This time when you squat keep upward and outward tension on that stick and don't fold at the waist. Keep your back at the same angle as the shins, stick your butt back as if trying to sit in a chair that is too far behind you and drop your hips between your ankles. Is the bar in front of your head, shoulders, hips and toes? If you can stand with the bar well behind your ears and when you squat it goes forward...you need to work on your hips.

Grab something heavy that you can pull against without it moving. Go into your full squat position and grind around down there working against whatever is causing you grief. Twist, rotate, stretch what ails you. Go to a high box, workbench, kitchen table and stand on it with one foot. Hang the other foot down and drop into a squat position on the side that is on the table. As before stretch and grind and struggle to make this position more comfortable. Move to a third world country for a year and spend all your sitting time in a full squat. Or, if that is unworkable, at least spend more time in a full squat and make the position your friend...or at least less of an enemy.
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Old 05-13-2005, 04:27 PM   #4
Veronica Carpenter
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good advice from Eugene above. I'll add to help with wrist flexibility load up a heavy bar in the rack and position yourself under it with a clean/front squat grip. Rotate arms one at a time, work on getting the elbows as high as you can. Also, stretch your wrists whenever you can leaning over them on the floor, (might as well practice handstands since you've got them on the ground!) or against a wall.
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Old 05-13-2005, 08:07 PM   #5
Eugene R. Allen
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Mark - an error in my post. I said to move your arms in if you bent your elbows...nope, the other way. Wider is easier.

eug
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Old 05-13-2005, 09:47 PM   #6
Mark Bullard
 
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Thank you everybody for your help!
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Old 05-15-2005, 04:58 AM   #7
Rob deFreese
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Eugene,

Excellent post! The definitive guide to diagnosing and improving your rack/squat position. Approaching your ability to clearly communicate has become a goal of mine.

Rob
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