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Fitness Theory and Practice. CrossFit's rationale & foundations. Who is fit? What is fitness?

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Old 03-06-2007, 03:07 PM   #1
Darrell E. White
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I just returned from a golf boondoggle with a bunch of buddies...15 straight year with same bunch. Typical knucklehead golf, straight from the van to the first tee without warm-up, weather notwithstanding. So naturally I tweaked my back on the 4th hole on day two and had to just ride the cart and be the "beer chick" for two days. Since starting CF 15 months ago I have done this 2 or 3 times, pretty much the same rate as pre-CF. For the record I am a 6 or 7 (up from a 4), and have been playing high quality golf for 35 years.

My question is this: I am in phenomenal shape, fitter and stronger than I have been in easily 10 years since starting CF. What can I do to avoid this lower back issue? It used to happen all the time, but now it's only from golf. I would prefer staying in the CF universe, perhaps concentrating on different exercises or exercise patterns. Yeah, I know, stretching and warming up will help, but I get it even when I behave.

What do you think? Turkish Get-ups? One-armed snatches or one-armed OHS? Golfers and non-golfers are encouraged to weigh in.

Actually, I'm begging....

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Old 03-06-2007, 05:34 PM   #2
Mike ODonnell
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You want to prevent injury in a sports related movement...you have to DO the sports related movement...twists and so forth. Dont expect a DL to help your ROM in another plane of motion. Simple as that.
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Old 03-06-2007, 06:29 PM   #3
William Hunter
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Mike, I'll respectfully disagree and say that it's not ALWAYS that simple. Take me for example. I play in a similar manner to Darrell (no warm up, little to no range work, absolutely no rotational training), I've been playing for over 20 years (currently a 12), and I never tweak my back. I've had major back issues before, but the last several hundred rounds have gone by without incident, other than sucky golf.

I feel that a well-balanced CF-like program will prepare the casual golfer. I mean, ANYONE in decent shape should make it through two days of golf before their back craps out on them (It's not hockey for pete's sake).

Might be there is there's some type of glitch in Darrell's back (averaging 2-3 incidents per year is a lot for a fit guy). Perhaps facet related, trigger point/adhesion? I think the good doctor should cross over to the dark side and see a chiropractor. Or maybe that's just an insane idea and he should see a PT.

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Old 03-06-2007, 06:45 PM   #4
Darrell E. White
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Mike and Will:

Good things to take from both of your posts, although I can't really act on yours, Mike. As a younger man I played >100 rounds of golf/year and NEVER had back issues. Part of the problem now is probably the fact that I play <20 rounds/year now. What sort of movements/exercises can be added to my routine or WU?

Will, I've seen top-notch chiropractors in the past and received excellent treatment. I'm not convinced, however, that routine "maintenance" chiropractic is the answer. I've also had the "platinum medical work-up" which was entirely negative for structural issues. I suppose I could simply try to add the 15-20 minutes necessary to do the PT program that saved me from my last major back episode 4 years ago. In the end that's probably the solution, but I'm curious about the possibility of some form of CF'ish work-outs geared toward the rotational/torque movement in a reasonably good golf swing.

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Old 03-06-2007, 06:59 PM   #5
Mike ODonnell
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Darrell, I would say more rotational dynamic warmups pre-wo and stretches post workout. If you really want to work on using the muscles you can do sport specific training such as med ball swings, diaganol chops, russian twists on a ball....etc..etc. Now if it's a physical attritubute that is causing spasms and so forth (discs) then some traction might be needed.

This site is by far the best resource for anyone playing sports...great great information...here's one for golf specifically...notice all the rotational movement preps and exercises (hate to say I know what I am talking about...but sometimes I am just good. :showoff: )
http://www.coreperformance.com/workout.php?p=1&s=2&id=4
link sfw

Crossfit is a great overall GPP program, but if you have specific needs (such as golf) or specific issues (tight, movement problems) then it is your responsibility to add them into your training. CF can not be 100% to everyone as we all have different needs and activities, so add in the more specific stuff as well.

William feel free to disagree...I love all opinions...and take no offense to anything....and feel free to say I'm right whenever you like. :biggrinthumb:

(Message edited by mike_od on March 06, 2007)
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Old 03-06-2007, 07:03 PM   #6
William Hunter
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You're right about maintenance not being the answer. I'm sorry I wasn't trying to imply that. Was anyone who evaluated you able to find something that clicked in your mind as being the likely culprit, or are you just super inflexible and need a longer period to increase the viscosity? I know you're a die hard, but there's no shame in a little PT programming to add to the mix. I'm sure Coach Glassman won't call you out or anything :-)

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Old 03-06-2007, 07:31 PM   #7
Darrell E. White
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Mike: Cool site. Lots of these exercises are similar to my PT. I'll add some of these and resume the PT in addition to CF.

Will: Once upon a time I was super flexible, and when I warm up and stretch for golf I still have a very fluid, long swing with a pretty impressive turn. I think the theme here is developing...more rotational core work baseline...no more knucklehead cold-shafting!

I'm still interested in thoughts on CF exercises. Windshield wipers? TKU? One-arm lifts?
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Old 03-06-2007, 08:40 PM   #8
William Hunter
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Wrong Darrell, the theme that is developing here is that you have a better swing than me.

Seriously, probably TGU's would be a good place to start along with the WW's. On the stabilization side, I really like the side bridge/plank to shore up the quadratus muscles. Doing those always make my back feel bulletproof.

Mike, you're so money you don't even know it. You're a hockey player living in Georgia. Ever play golf? Reminds me of a certain Adam Sandler movie...
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Old 03-07-2007, 07:38 AM   #9
Matt DeMinico
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Darrell, if I were you, I'd find a good physical therapist (sports performance specialized if you can find one) and have them do a thorough examination on you. Tell them what's going on, and why you're there. Most likely they will find that some joint (or more likely a combination of joints) are outside their standard range of motion due to any number of things, tightness in muscles, overuse in one particulary wrong movement, maybe you always stand a certain way, or walk a certain way, etc... They'll probably find that one muscle in your back was tight because it is compensating for another part of your body (maybe hips, maybe knees, maybe shoulders, maybe ankle, who knows) wasn't doing its job properly, or couldn't because of ROM. They'll work for a while to help you fix what's wrong, and probably be good as new.

For example, here's my story:
I regularly attend any speedskating clinics put on by Sue Ellis, the 2002 Olympic short track coach. I've gotten to know her pretty well and she offers great advice whenever she's available. She took a look at me on ice and saw that I wasn't completing my right leg extension in the corners (the outside leg). I started concentrating on pushing my right leg completely, and I ended up in a less-than ideal body position for skating, which was robbing me of power. I went back to the position, and couldn't complete the right leg extension. So she looked at me off-ice doing a few stretches and said "HOLY CRAP, THAT'S PATHETIC!!!" (I knew it was bad because Sue is the most encouraging person on the face of the planet). She said I was extremely tight in the lower back and upper glutes. Plus I had a limited ROM in my hips, and my hams were tight as well, in addition to my calves and ankle ROM was a little low. All this was adding up to cause my problem. She gave me a few stretches to do, and I began doing them.

Then, I went to a Physical Therapist clinic here in Michigan (MIHP.net in case you're wondering), they did an evaluation, and here's the story, it's a chain reaction starting with the problem:
Your left ankle is tight in the dorsiflexion (I think), which is the movement of the foot and toes up towards the shin, bending at the ankle. This limited ROM has caused you over the years to walk like this (point my right foot out towards the right at about a 15 degree angle) so that you can twist your right ankle to make up for the limited ROM in dorsiflexion. When you did this, your right knee tended to dip to the inside, throwing your weight off normal balance a little bit so that when you're standing on both feet in a speedskating position, you're putting more weight on the left side because your right knee is bending in.

Also, because of the ankle turning out (~15 degrees), your hip has changed its normal ROM such that it naturally wants to turn to the outside, and the muscles in your hips, glutes, and lower back are tight because they are compensating.

In addition to this, your back muscles are tight, limiting your ROM in the twisting direction. Also, your left ankle, since it is forced to compensate, and your weight is shifted more over it, tends to collapse towards the outside... etc... etc...

So in short, just a little thing (tightness in my right ankle in dorsiflexion) is causing my entire body to be thrown out of whack. I'd definitely get to a PT and have them check you out, they can probably fix problems you never knew you had.

(Message edited by Matt_DeMinico on March 07, 2007)

(Message edited by Matt_DeMinico on March 07, 2007)
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Old 03-07-2007, 08:12 AM   #10
William Brownley
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Darrell, in agreement with all above--although it might be in your golf swing as well. However (I am a 9) changing your swing in an effective way may take more time and practice than is reasonable, particularly as you have "grooved your move" over a long period of time. Try taking an old club, cut the head off and run elastic bands through it and then attach them to something. Try to replicate your move, making sure you go all the way to your finish position. Work on this with the bands. You may have to work your takeaway separately, but again make sure you go all the way to the top, just as you go all the way to the finish. Try to work the same thing for balance as if you were left handed for balance and symmetry sake. Get a Mr. Whippy to use as a warmup tool (not a training tool). That plus warm up will hopefully avoid future issues. Thanks, Bill
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