Page 2 of 2

Fix Your Squat

The squat is a foundational movement and is a building block to many movements we perform. Yet as foundational as it is, most people perform the squat wrong. I believe this is due to poor posture and a lack of proprioception, knowing where your body is in space.

If you are someone that tends to drop their chest and round their lower back at the bottom of the squat, then this exercise is for you: the Lateral Lunge.

This is a great exercise because you can essentially load up the movement and build strength and flexibility simultaneously. Instead of always performing a couch stretch or throwing a band around your hip, warm up with the lateral lunge to remain active throughout the movements.

The key benefits to this exercise are:
Hip Mobility
Knee Stability
Deeper depth in your squat

To regain your proprioception of your midline, you will want to start with a PVC pipe on your back. This will ensure you have a neutral spine and will drill it into your brain what it should feel like. You want to maintain 3 points of contact the entire time throughout the movement with the PVC pipe touching your head, mid-back, and butt. If at any point, the 3 points of contact are lost that means that at some point you went into over-extension or you rounded your low back. Only go as deep as the 3 points of contact remain, and overtime you will gradually increase your depth.

JessPowersSquat2

You will want to make sure your stance is wide enough so that your hips do not feel pinched in the front and maintain the knee over your toes at all times.

CrossFitCentralJessPowers

Try to remain active the whole time sliding from side to side without standing all the way up until you are completely done with your reps. Warm up with 3 sets of 5-8 repetitions on each side.

IMG_5674-2

CrossFitCentralLateralLunge

Once you master the PVC pipe and understand what a neutral spine feels like, you can progress to Goblet Lateral Lunges. I would start with no more then 15lbs when you start this exercise.

JessPowers_SquatArticle

Holding the kettlebell in front of your body will help counterbalance you and will help get to the back of the hip. You may notice you can get a little bit lower in the lunge when holding the weight. I would start with the same repetition scheme as the PVC pipe Lateral Lunge and only progress into more repetitions if form is PERFECT.

So next time you have back squats, front squats, or even just air squats in your workout, think about throwing in Lateral Lunges into your warm up with a PVC pipe to start making improvements in your squat form and notice your PRs will go through the roof!

Why I Fell in Love with Austin!

11141762_1001118133234083_7583290325817202564_n

This weekend I competed in Austin’s Fit Magazine’s Fittest Competition for the first time and halfway through the event I realized why I had moved to Austin in the first place…

I remember back to March 2013 when I made the 14 hour drive to Austin from Omaha, NE to complete the Underground Strength Coach Certification at RedBlack Gym. Some things that really stuck out to me once I got into the city was that no matter what street I turned down there was always someone running, biking, walking their dog, etc. People here really loved fitness and it was part of their everyday life. I instantly knew that this was something I wanted to be a part of!

Fast forward to this past weekend, it is no wonder why this city puts on an event like this. People here love fitness and all types of it! From long distance running to CrossFit to Olympic Lifting to circuit training. No matter the domain, people here love to express themselves through human movement.

I had such a fun time this weekend meeting new friends and old from around the Austin community. It was crazy to see so many familiar faces heading up the different events. I have only been here for 2 years and I feel like I have met so many influential people in the Austin Fit Community. The camaraderie that I experienced between my other competitors was exceptional. It brings joy to my heart to see other people share the same passion I have of positively impacting people’s lives through physical fitness. I am also honored to work for a company that is involved in helping put on this event and hosting probably the most hated test of all max burpees in 1 minute.=)

This past weekend truly set in why I love Austin and why I love competing. I feel like I’m a pretty laid back competitor. I enjoy laughing and joking before I take the stage but once it is time to go, I definitely put my game face on. It felt good to get out there and test some events I haven’t done in awhile. Some of my favorites were the 40 yard dash, Vertical Jump, and the Mystery Test where we jumped over and under a PVC Pipe. The results don’t come out for a couple days, so I will have to wait and see how I did but I am pleased with my performance. I know that I have room to improve with my mile time… I’ve always hated running but I know I need to get better at the long distance stuff.

All and all it was a well run event and I can’t wait to do it again next year. I loved seeing the whole Austin Fitness Community come together and showcase their talents, love and passion for physical fitness. Thank you Austin Fit Magazine for hosting!!

IMG_3854

Programming for Non-Class Days

Question: What should I be doing on my non-crossfit days?

I believe a lot of us are constantly asking ourselves this same question especially if you are only Crossfitting 3 times a week. I dive into the topic and give you 5 different things that you can be doing based on what goals you have.

1. Know what your goals are. Write them down.

2. G.O.A.T. Training aka Weakness Training- you can find the full program on this Crossfit Journal

3. Low-Impact Aerobic Training or Sprint Training- you can check out Coach Megan Parson Track WODs for Sprint Training

4. Mobilize

5. Work with Licensed Body Worker aka Next Level, Dry Needling, ART, massage, acupuncture, etc.

What are you currently doing and are you going to change things up a bit? Let me know what you think!

Those Pesky Wrists

Question: How to deal with wrist pain with HSPUs? 

The wrist contains a total of 8 bones and 2 bones from the forearm, the ulna and radius. The wrist has so many small and intricate movements involved with it that it is no wonder people sometimes have pain in certain movements.

There are two ways we can tackle this problem. The first way is looking at the mobility of the wrist. The problem with HSPUs is that it puts the wrist at the end range position. Whereas, 80% of people spend most of their time in mid-range positions such as texting, typing on the keyboard, etc. So if you think about how much time you spend never at full range positions, we can see there is a gap missing.

Here are some mobility drills you can focus on that put your wrist in full range positions and also work on the muscles of the forearms that are movers of the wrist.

1. Planche Position working on Extension and Flexion of the Wrists

IMG_6484 IMG_6488

IMG_6491 IMG_6492

Spend about 4 minutes total on this. You can switch between wrist and increase intensity by going onto your toes. You can also rock side to side to really get into the cracks.

2. Lacrosse Ball Forearms

IMG_6509 IMG_6502

Spend a total of 2 minutes on each forearm with your palm facing the ceiling. Make sure to dig the other lacrosse ball directly over the one on the bottom. You can flex and extend and make circles with your wrist to increase intensity.

3. Voodoo Floss the Wrist

IMG_6512

This one I grabbed out of my book Becoming a Supple Leopard. If you don’t own the book, you need to go out and buy it now! If you have wrist pain or any joint pain in that matter you need to purchase yourself some Voodoo Floss if you don’t already have them. You can purchase them locally at FringeSport. This drill really helps to unglue the tissues surrounding the wrist and thumb and will help to restore the sliding surfaces to that region. This is great for those that work at a desk all day and type away at that keyboard =)

The second way we can look at wrist pain in the HSPU is to look at the bottom position. The bottom position should look like a TRIPOD.

IMG_6493 IMG_6494

This position puts your forearms perpendicular to the ground and your wrist right about the elbow. If your hands are placed right, you should always be able to see your hands. This position sets you up in a good position for you wrists and doesn’t put them into internal rotation which you can see in the picture below.

IMG_6498

As you can see, my hands and head are in a straight line with each other with my elbows splayed out to the side. This is improper pressing mechanics and you can see all the torque it creates in my wrist.

You can focus on working your headstands in the correct Tripod position before moving onto the wall.

So have pesky wrists?? Work on your mobility with the drills above and make sure you are set up in the correct position.

Have any other questions?? Email me at jesspowers@crossfitcentral.com and you could be featured on my next post!!!

My Favorite Core Workout

Last week I put out a video on my Facebook page asking if anyone had any fitness or nutrition questions. I was pleased to see that many of you jumped on and commented with what questions you would like answered.

I plan to answer all these questions here and if you happen to think of others do not hesitant to comment below or personally email me at jesspowers@crossfitcentral.com and I will be happy to answer them!

This is for you Cynthia Lara =)

What is your best ab workout?

Before we dig into what I think the best ab workout is, I want to make clear one thing first. ABS are definitely made in the kitchen. You can have the harderst abs this side of the Mississippi but if you’re body fat is high you will never see them… I know it is unfortunate but if it was easy everyone would have abs and then no one would want them 😉

Now if you wanted to get a stronger CORE and get better in your lifts because your core is jacked, then you will want to check this out.

It includes two exercises, the Ab Roll Out and Toes to Bar.

You will start a descending ladder of 10,9,8..1 of Ab Wheel Roll Outs and an ascending ladder of 1,2,3..10 of Toes to Bar.

Take note on the proper form of the Ab Roll Out as it is very easy to do wrong and not use your core at all.

IMG_6446  IMG_6448

As you can see above, your body should remain in a hollow position during the whole movement with your hips tucked under and your core engaged. It should never look like this:

IMG_6447 IMG_6449

Never arch your back just to get out further. Only go as far as your position allows. Doing it this way, will inevitable hurt your back.

Both of these movements are easily scalable with a swiss ball instead of an ab wheel and progressing to hanging knee raises instead of toes to bar.

Let me know how it goes =)