Squat therapy, one of the major CrossFit exercises, has the power to enable you comfortably to perform the difficult positions of squat and at the same time enhance your focus in each squat session so that you can have more gains and lower your risk of injury. In as much as squat therapy is not new, it can be reliably said that few people integrate it into their workout routines. For this reason, you should think about including this therapy in your warm-up whether at the gym or in your CrossFit home workouts. How to Perform the Squat Therapy Knowing the technique of performing squat therapy can enhance your gains and improve your proficiency in CrossFit. The first step is to begin by facing the wall and with your feet position in squat stance. The distance between the wall and where you stand should be approximately 10 to 12 inches. Your focus should be on squeezing your glutes and tightening your abs. With your arms extended above your head, pull your shoulders down and towards the central part of your back so as to activate your lats and scaps. With your weight concentrated towards the back of your foot, rotate your hips externally. At times, you may find your knees touching the wall. This is mostly as a result of initiating the movement with the knees instead of the hips. Keep on practicing this crucial step until you get it right. In CrossFit exercises, you need discipline. Proceed to pull yourself right into the bottom of the squat. The reason this drill is exciting is that it engrains the idea of slowly easing to the bottom of your squat instead of simply dropping down. Restricted mobility in the hips or ankles can cause your chest to pitch forward and your hands to touch the wall during squats. In order to get this behind you, you need to focus on those areas as well as keep your upper back and scaps engaged. While you are at the bottom, you should hold the position for about 2 or 3 seconds, according to people following CrossFit exercises for a long time. If you have a friend watching you, ask them to take a video so that you can afterward see your position and how you looked like while at the bottom of your squat. If you realize you have a wink, the instance when your hips round under at the end and your lumbar spine loaded in a less than ideal position, try focusing more on squeezing your abs and glutes in the course of your movement. As you stand up, be gradual. Ideally, you should come straight up and not pitch forward from your squat. This is because pitching forward strains your lower back. If you find yourself doing this, focus on squeezing your upper back and scaps so that your chest stays up. It is recommended that you repeat your squats for about 10 reps at a speed that enables you to focus on the various portions you need to work on. When you integrate squat therapy into your CrossFit workout schedule, you stand to enjoy massive gains and reduced injuries.
Any CrossFit athlete will tell you that a strong core is an absolute must in CrossFit success. As opposed to bodybuilding which prioritizes aesthetics, CrossFit puts function and fitness first. Because of this, it gives you a healthy approach where your body is defined by what it does and not how it looks. There are sit up exercises that will enhance your core and as an addition give you the much fantasized six pack abs. Before delving into these exercises, it must be emphasized that the right CrossFit nutrition must be part of the matrix. L-Sit This is a deceptively brutal CrossFit exercise with lots of benefits for CrossFitters. It enhances the health of your shoulders, chisels your abs, builds functional core strength, as well as helping you out with your deadlift. L-Sits can be done on dip bars, kettle bells, push-up bars, yoga blocks, or even benches. All you need are two secure platforms of the same height to enable you to lift your butt off the ground. Frog Crunch This variation targets your lower abs, strengthens your core, and also challenges your balance and stability. Start by sitting and bending your knees right in front of you. Then, lean back slightly so that your torso is positioned at a 45 degrees angle relative to the floor while your chins parallel to the floor. As you straighten your legs and push your arms to the sides, keep your abs involved. Lastly, bring your legs and arms back to the initial position and continue with these movements while holding your core steady. Bicycle Crunch This CrossFit exercise is excellent for toning your thighs and building core strength. You don’t need any equipment, and you can perform it anywhere. Just lie on the floor and let your lower back press onto the ground. Position your hands on either side of your head, but do not pull your head up or lock your fingers. Gradually, lift your knees up to an angle of 45 degrees and slowly execute a bicycle pedal motion using your legs. Alternately, as you twist back and forth through your core, let the opposite knee touch your elbows. Instead of keeping the elbows forward to the chest, keep them back because this can strain your neck. Running Man Sit Up This is more or less a combination of a standard sit up and a bicycle crunch. Simply lie on the floor and position your hands behind your head. As you curl up and twist your torso, bend your right knee so that it is crossed over by your left elbow. Thereafter, drop all the way to the starting point and then repeat the same for the other side. Reverse Crunch Pulse To perform this exercise, lie on your back and let your legs face straight up perpendicular to the floor. As for your hands, keep them down on your sides and let your palms face down. Squeeze your abs as you raise and lower your butt off the floor in quick succession. When doing this exercise, focus on using your lower abs. The alternative way of doing this is to bend your legs at the knees and allow your shins to be parallel to the floor. Other sit up exercises you may want to include in your CrossFit workout schedule are Russian twist, six pack abs plank, and T-Cross sit up.
To ensure a proper running posture, form, gait, and efficiency, you need sufficient hip extension. Without knowing, some athletes engaged in CrossFit training suffer from restricted or inhibited hip extension. This may lead to the decreased running economy, overstriding, poor movement patterns, and the potential risk of injury. The most reliable muscle and primary hip extensor in your body is the gluteus maximus. When this muscle is well developed, it allows for better bipedal locomotion as well as improved running ability. In order to perform the most basic and primitive movement patterns, you need a proper activation of the hip extension and glute max motion. This is particularly necessary when performing exercises such as throwing, jumping, punching, bridging of the hips, squatting, swinging an object among others. When you have limitations in gluteus maximus or hip extension activation, your static posture will also be affected. Why Hip Extension Maybe Restricted There are many reasons behind the limited hip extension. The key is to find the source of your particular restriction as this will open the avenue to the most efficient and effective treatment. The very common problems of hip extension restriction according to CrossFit training, includes: Hip flexor contractures Tightness or thickening of anterior hip capsule following a period of prolonged immobilization Articular or bony defects Movement pattern avoidance due to previous injuries or a conscious attempt to avoid perceived pain In addition to the above, poor ankle mobility can also limit your hip extension in gait. How to Improve Your Hip Extension A few of the above and other restriction may require dedication and time to resolve. However, some of them can be resolved quickly which is good news for any athlete. Tissue extensibility issues are the ones that may require dedication and lots of work to respond because they are a bit slow. You may need to devote up to 5 minutes of stretching a day for 3 months straight to start realizing some real tissue length changes. In the event you have multiple issues occasioned by a restriction in your hip extension, you may need the help of your instructor in the CrossFit gym to pursue a combination of techniques which address both the slow responding issues and the rapid responding neuromuscular issues. Among the techniques used to correct hip extension issues include: Instrument-Assisted Soft Tissue Mobilization (IASTM) This technique from CrossFit training can be undertaken using some instruments including Graston tools, the end of a reflex hammer, and Gua Sha tools. The IASTM technique helps in increasing hip extension and may result in prompt changes to your hip extension ROM. The advice is to seek the help of a physical therapist or a trainer especially if you don’t have any knowledge of this technique. Hip Reset Technique This method of correcting hip reflection issues quickly reduces spasm or hypertonicity and allows for a much greater hip extension. Doing a set of 10 to 15 reps should enable you to record some improvements. For this technique to have lasting results, you need to repeat it now and then. Other techniques to include in your CrossFit workout schedule are joint mobilization, proprioceptive neuromuscular facilitation (PNF) stretching, and lunge position stretch.