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

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Old 04-10-2006, 07:18 PM   #11
Barry Cooper
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Rotational movements are not missing. They just aren't common. We will do 1 handed snatches on occasion, or windshield wipers (hang from bar, raise legs to bar, lower sideways to left, back up, to right, back up, one), but my suspicion is that rotational movements tend to create more injuries, especially with heavier loads, and especially in less trained people.

From where I'm sitting, a big design element is simplicity. The movements we do are simple, and not altogether removed from things we might do in real life. A lot of people--based no doubt on the same consideration you mentioned--do add things like hammer chops on tires, turkish getups, windmills, and, my favorite, the Full Contact Twist. That one, you just find a corner to secure the barbell, load the other end with enough plates to make you happy, then rotate right, rotate left, one. I don't do those very often, but when I do, I find I haven't lost any strength, so what we're doing must be working. Personally, I find the whole of my abs engaged on almost all Olympic and powerlifting movements.
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Old 04-10-2006, 07:21 PM   #12
Robert Wolf
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I think the incorperation of throwing ( as has been mentioned) and martial arts covers rotation nicely.

We had a good discussion on this about a year ago and the consensus was that the primary funtion of the abbs is for midline stailization. Improve that and you will improve dynamic activities.

There are also movements like windshield wippers and others that can be added to the mix. Keep in mind that the WOD is intended to be both challenging AND accessable. Our friends in Israel who train with Ido Portal do WOD's like:130 back flips for time and complete the activity in less than 30 minutes. That is kick-*** stuff but hard to release to the masses.

There is no limit to what you can add to this programming and if you perceive a deficiency certianly try to address it but it is an amazingly complete system. Give it a go for a while and get your times into the top 10% for your gender/age group and see the results. That can provide many "aha's" about both programming and efficacy.
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Old 04-10-2006, 07:33 PM   #13
Dan Colson
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Just a thought but is'nt simply running/sprinting working in the transverse plane.
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Old 04-11-2006, 11:20 AM   #14
Mark Reinke
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Alright Tom, first off your core does not weaken when it is sucked in. Understanding that your spine is stabilized and shortened by squeezing in those muscles. For example, if I were ever to do three times my body weight in an OHSQ, I'd probably be wearing some sort of weight belt, which is going to be tight, which in turn acts as a false TA! It serves the same purpose as the TA that you already have, but will become weaker if not used! So basically if you're able to OHSQ three times your body weight you are sucking in your gut, stabilizing your hips, and gaining the core control needed to move through the range of motion.

One other note, that "sucking in" or "activating" the TA is clearly just a BS concept pioneered by a noname inexperienced physiologist. Like GRAY COOK "Athletic Body in Balance". Who also, by the way developed the OHSQ movement assessment, amongst numerous others. The "real life" lifting you refer to is obviously lacking the power of knowledge to successfully and efficiently move through.

Thanks for the input by everyone on this one!

Mark
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Old 04-11-2006, 11:39 AM   #15
Tom Corrigan
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You need to check out Stuart McGill's books on the subject. I'm not an expert, but I listen to one's that use clinical, evidence and performance based studies.

You missed my point on the squatting example. Do a 1/4 back squat, NOT an OHS. You "brace" your entire midsection, creating your own belt. If you draw your TA inward (instead of just flexing it "in place") and your waist measurement gets 2-3" smaller [i.e. sucking it in] you will NOT be able to support the load on your spine. While the OHS is great for midline stabilization, you can't overload your shoulders with a huge weight that you could quarter squat.

Look at the champion Deadlifters, squaters, Olympic lifters midsections when they lift. They DON'T suck their gut in like some Yoga-types do when they do a "vacuum" manuever. These PL and Oly guys would snap in two if they did that manuever.

Measure you waist (bell button) when you are standing with some residual firmness in your core. Then flex hard, and try to keep the same measurement. Your core is strongest when it contract this way. Now try the draw-in way. Suck it in so your measurement is at least 2-3" less (or more if you are over 200#). Your muscles may be flexed hard, but your base of support is smaller and is asymetrically loaded, with your abs much closer to your spine than obliques and erectors. You may have activated your TA, but you can't support heavy loads that way. Please go to every PL, Oly, WSM, Highland Games site you can find and post a picture of any athlete sucking in their gut while supporting a huge load. Good luck and happy hunting.
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Old 04-11-2006, 12:01 PM   #16
Lincoln Brigham
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One important point to make about this entire topic is that the Crossfit paradigm is an open and flexible paradigm. If someone feels that a particular aspect of fitness needs more attention, simply add that in. No two Crossfitters ever do the same program anyway.

Many people have come to the conclusion - based on clinical experience - that spinal movement is not nearly as important to performance as spinal stability. Therefore, they don't perform as many rotational exercises as they do stabilization exercises. However, if you feel differently, then feel free to use the Woodchopper exercises instead Overhead Squats. Both are functional movements.
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Old 04-11-2006, 12:06 PM   #17
Mark Reinke
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Agreed Tom, the sucking in I was referring to has everything to do with bracing. I do understand how the sucking in applies to yoga, and bracing applies to olympic lifters. However, I was disagreeing with the statement, "that no one who is strong sucks their gut in". There is also no olympic lifter who is going to not brace their TA and attempt to do their lifts! Simply put, bracing the TA is easiest to refer to as sucking in for someone who has never done it before. I'll check out those McGill books that you refered to. Thanks for the reference!
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Old 04-11-2006, 12:13 PM   #18
Mark Reinke
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Good post lincoln, not only does our ability to stabilize any form of load in a propreceptive or stable environment become important as weight increases, but so does one's flexibility of their range of motion throughout the planes of motion. Simply put, exercising the full range of motion of all planes will allow any individual to more effectively generate and transfer power to any movement.
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Old 04-11-2006, 12:26 PM   #19
Sean Guerrant
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Some other points - I know I've seen a lot of people (Kelly M. and other folks up north come to mind) who do snow shoveling and virtual shoveling workouts. Lot of twisting there, I think. So, I would say it's there, but maybe not common. As someone else noted, the WOD's are part of CrossFit, but CF is not simply the WOD's.
Any sport specific stuff would cover that kind of work, as well.
For example, I play hockey. Shooting the puck, as well as stickhandling and passing, require a lot of twisting. Skating itself does, too, but to a lesser extent. With the GPP of CF to give me a strong core, that other stuff becomes so much easier to do AND I'm in shape for doing it.
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Old 04-11-2006, 01:42 PM   #20
Carl Herzog
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See Dan John's post here:
http://www.crossfit.com/discus/messages/21/12237.html
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