Saturday, 12/31 One Class at 9:30am
Sunday, 1/1 Closed
Monday 1/2 Two Morning Classes only! 9:30am and 10:30am
Happy New Year Everyone!
Saturday, 12/31 One Class at 9:30am
Sunday, 1/1 Closed
Monday 1/2 Two Morning Classes only! 9:30am and 10:30am
Happy New Year Everyone!
Please note we only have one class this Saturday! 9:30am only!
Happy New Year Everyone!
There will be no O-Lift Essentials tonight at 7:30pm. There will be advanced O-lift with Adam.
Regular schedule resumes next week.
Sunday 12/25: Closed
Monday 12/26: Closed
Tuesday 12/27: Regular Schedule
Saturday 12/31: One Class 9:30am
Sunday 1/1: Closed
Happy Holidays Everyone! Here's our schedule for the upcoming week. Check in to the site the days we are closed because we will post workouts you can do from home:
Monday 12/19: Regular Schedule
Tuesday 12/20: Regular Schedule
Wednesday 12/21: Regular Schedule
Thursday 12/22: Regular Schedule
Friday 12/23: Closed
Saturday 12/24: Closed
Sunday 12/25: Closed
Monday 12/26: Closed
Tuesday 12/27: Regular Schedule
Sunday 1/1: Closed
Catalyst Athletics: Our Warm-up is a Warm-up
Greg Everett | November 8 2011
Whenever you start getting confused about what to do, a reliable course of action is to ask yourself a simple question: Why? What is the purpose of this? What am I trying to accomplish? If you can answer those questions, chances are you’ll be able to work it all out just fine. If you can’t answer those questions satisfactorily, don’t be afraid to seek out the advice of someone more experienced in that particular area.
When it comes to warming up, what are we trying to accomplish? The name itself is a bit of a hint, but increasing body temperature is just one element. It might be easier if we rename the warm-up to training preparation. Now if we ask what we’re trying to accomplish, it should be obvious: we’re preparing our bodies for the training to follow.
I’ve seen more times than I can even believe warm-ups that read exactly like workouts—and not easy ones. The first thing I think to myself when I see these warm-ups is that I would have to warm-up to do them. This is a pretty good tip-off that your warm-up may not be serving its purpose. Ring dips, box jumps, burpees and the like are not elements of a warm-up. There will be times when you insert non-warm-up exercises before the primary workout, but these come after an adequate warm-up; they’re not part of it. These are usually remedial exercises to address an athlete’s or client’s weaknesses or activation exercises to help correct inactive musculature in a manner that carries over into the subsequent training (an example would be glute medius activation drills).
The title of this post is a modification of a popular line that demonstrates a lack of understanding of the purpose of a warm-up (which would garner more sympathy from me if it weren’t demonstrative of such an elitist attitude), as well as suggests that some people are more concerned with creating the appearance of athletic ability than actually developing it.
Having recently hired two new trainers at Catalyst, I’m having to go over a lot of the fundamentals again to ensure that everyone’s on the same page. One of the things I find myself reiterating regularly is that the number one priority in this gym is not hurting people. As much as I feel like this should be so obvious it shouldn’t need to be even said out loud, it can be overlooked easily when overwhelmed by the excitement and novelty of certain aspects of training, and often a big part of a trainer’s job is protecting clients from themselves.
That being said, I recognize and accept that some injuries and pain are inevitable with any physical activity, particularly among groups of people who have the shared tendency to push themselves. However, I see this not as an excuse to ignore it, but as a reason to do everything we possibly can to minimize the occurrence and severity of injuries. Much of this is accomplished through programming choices and client entry protocols, but the warm-up plays a significant role.
So what should a warm-up actually look like? Here are some guidelines to help you develop what I would consider an effective training preparation protocol.
This is some repetitive activity like rowing, jogging or jumping rope. I don’t believe this to always be necessary. Its purpose is to get some initial body temperature increase and systemic loosening in unusually cold temperatures or for individuals who have been immobile for a long period of time prior to training. This should be low intensity and for about 2-5 minutes depending on need. We usually start our class warm-ups with one of these or some basic agility ladder drills since most of our clientele work sedentary office jobs. This is definitely important for our early morning classes—usually these clients have literally just rolled out of bed. Agility ladder work is a lot more interesting than jogging or rowing and our clients love it. Partner medicine ball drills are another way to get some more fun and variety into this part of the warm-up.
Possibly the most significant change to my basic warm-up routine has been the addition of pre-training foam rolling. When I was first introduced to the practice, I relegated it to the post-workout period along with stretching. This of course is helpful and certainly worth doing, but rolling before training can make a tremendous impact on movement by allowing muscle and fascia to glide more smoothly. Hitting problem spots a little more aggressively is fine, but generally I suggest pre-training foam rolling be fairly light, smooth and quick rather than slow and painful; the latter I find best saved for after training (this is somewhat analogous to using dynamic stretching pre-workout and static stretching post-workout). I like to hit the upper back to mobilize the thoracic spine, then smooth out the scapular musculature and lat/teres/etc. attachments under the arms. From there glutes, hamstrings/adductors; then VMO/adductors, quads from front to lateral aspects, ITB/TFL, and finally calves if needed. Generally about 10 passes on each area is adequate.
This is where we get into the kicks and twirlies. My goal with this portion of a warm-up is two basic things: make sure I address all the movements or joints necessary, and try to get in enough variation day to day that people stay engaged and perform it properly rather than turn into drooling robots who aren’t accomplishing what I expect them to.
I posted a video of many of the drills I use frequently on the site a couple years ago. This is a pretty extensive warm-up series and typically I wouldn’t actually use all of these in a single warm-up. I think of this stuff in sets of drills that each address a certain movement or area of the body and then I try to alternate exercises each warm-up while still having 1-3 from each set. This is how we get some variety without neglecting anything.
These drills can also be varied to prepare people specifically for the subsequent workout. That is, emphasis can be placed on movements and areas of the body that will be important for the training. An example would be doing more wrist, elbow, shoulder and upper back work for a workout that has a significant overhead component.
I conceptualize these sets or areas of the body somewhat nebulously, but if I had to write them down it would look something like this:
There is a range of specificity there both by necessity and for the sake of practicality. Following are some ideas of how I address each area. You’ll notice that many of the drills don’t fit neatly into one category and often address multiple areas—this is just the nature of athletic movement and is only a problem when trying to write something like this. In fact, it ends up being convenient because you’re often able to get more accomplished with fewer drills.
My default drill here is wrist circles with the hands clasped together. This is quick and simple and usually about as much as the typical person needs. If a client has particularly tight wrists and/or will be doing activity that demands a lot from the wrists, stretches can be done with the hands on the floor or against a wall for flexion and extension or with one hand used to stretch the other. Drills with PVC pipes and similar can also be thrown in occasionally. Also, if you’re doing some floor-based work later, e.g. inchworms, you’ll be getting some of this stretching along with that.
Elbows go overlooked much of the time until they start hurting, at which point it’s usually too late to fix them quickly. A few seconds of mobility work will help keep the elbows moving smoothly. Basic elbow circles are usually enough, although I have my clients rotate the hands as they do them to get a little more movement of the radius and ulna. Make sure you go both directions and extend the elbow completely each time.
You can get a bit more involved and throw in things like drill bits (demonstrated about halfway through this video), or rotations with a PVC pipe. For the latter, hold a PVC pipe horizontally in front of you with your left hand gripping the left end of the pipe with a supinated grip and your right hand grasping the middle of the pipe lightly (doesn’t really matter if it’s palm up or down, but up is easier). Keeping the right hand as an anchor in about the same place, let the pipe slide through it freely as needed while you pronate your left hand, still gripping the pipe, and extend your left elbow. Move back and forth between supination and pronation, fully extending your elbow each time.
Foam rolling the thoracic spine is the ideal way to start your shoulder warm-up. Many times people are so focused on shoulder mobility that they overlook the fact that their upper backs are hunched and tight, placing excessive demand on the shoulders to take up the slack. Mobilize the upper back, and suddenly your shoulders will feel a lot more flexible.
The basic arm circle forward and backward is the standard. Make sure you’re moving the shoulder blades in concert with the arms as you do these and keeping your upper back extended. People get remarkably lazy with these and end up looking like hunchbacks running a giant egg beater in front of themselves. Over and backs (swing the arms up over your shoulders and chop your upper back, then swing the arms back down behind you) and bear hug swings (swing your arms out to the sides, then back across your body like you’re hugging yourself) are also quick and easy.
If the following workout is shoulder intensive or the shoulders are a focal point, some more in-depth work can be added. Dislocates and presses behind the neck with a PVC pipe are quick and effective (make sure you’re retracting your shoulder blades with the presses). Pipe rolls are a good way to finish after some dislocates. With the same grip, swing one arm up and around your head and follow with the other arm; make sure you go in both directions.
Band pull-downs and chest expanders are good as well. For the pull downs, grip the ends of a light elastic band and hold it overhead like you would a bar for an overhead squat. Keeping the shoulder blades retracted tightly, pull the hands down to the sides until they’re below your shoulders. The band should slide lightly down your back—this isn’t a dislocate; the hands move straight down and back up. For chest expanders, use the same grip but start with the arms in front of you. Squeeze the shoulder blades back and pull the band apart as you bring your arms backward and let the band stretch across your chest.
Finally, a stretch we call the pat down: get near a wall and put the hands against it overhead like you’re getting searched by an arresting officer. Keeping the abs tight to prevent hyperextension of the back, push your chest down and back from the wall to open the shoulders. Instead of just pushing, thinking of pulling down away from the hands as well.
Standing trunk rotations are sufficient to loosen up spinal rotation and hit the hips a bit, and they’re quick and nearly impossible to screw up too bad. Allow your back foot to pivot as you rotate away from it. You can do some rotation on the floor with iron crosses, which can be a bit more of a stretch, but doesn’t have the same dynamic element. Lying on your back with your arms to the sides and legs straight, lift one straight leg up and then bring it across your body to try to touch it to your opposite hand. Bring it back to the midline and down and switch legs.
While I like the standing rotations a bit more than iron crosses, they can’t do what the scorpion can do for the hip flexors. Lying on your stomach with the arms out to the sides, bend one leg and bring the foot to the opposite hand. Activate the glutes as you do this to keep the lower back from hyperextending and to help relax the hip flexors and allow them to stretch.
Leg swings forward and backward are very basic but effective. The back swing will loosen up the quads and hip flexors if done properly: keep the knee close to the other leg and try to close the knee entirely while getting the knee behind the hip.
Lunge variations are excellent for opening up the hips and I like having some kind of lunge used daily not only for this reason but also because of the glute activation and hip stability elements. Basic walking lunges are the simplest, but to this I’ll usually add either a rotation of the trunk or lateral trunk flexion toward the lead leg at the bottom of the lunge to further stretch the hip flexors.
Hip circles can be thrown in as well. The glutes should be kept tight as the hips move forward to stretch the hip flexors.
The bow and bend is again the most basic here but also effective. Bend at the hips with the knees slightly unlocked and reach to the floor, then return to the top and use the glutes to push the hips forward as you lean back. The back can round as you reach down, but don’t let it complete the whole movement—make sure the hips are hinging so you’re stretching the hamstrings. This will hit the hip flexors quite well also as long as you get the hips through with tight glutes.
The spiderman lunge is one of my top choices for opening up the hips. Take a long lunge step and put the hands on the floor, then try to push your hips and chest toward the floor as far as possible. Stay low as you advance with the next leg. The lead shin should be about vertical—don’t get your body way ahead of your front foot. This should feel like someone is trying to rip your leg out of your hip, but in a non-violent and helpful way.
Groiners are like mountain climbers that reach the feet up to the hands and put you in the spiderman lunge position. The idea is to switch legs rhythmically, but to sink in deep each time to stretch out the hip capsule and adductors.
Leg cradles (knee to chest) are a good starting movement that doesn’t cause much strain. I like doing these walking and extending the ankle of the support leg as you squeeze the other knee to your chest. Make sure the support side glutes are active and your hips remain squared off—don’t let the lifted leg side drop.
Lunge variations will do some stretching of the lead leg hamstrings, adductors and glutes. The forward and backward leg swings mentioned above will hit the hamstrings on the forward swing. Lock in the pelvis as you swing—letting the hips rock back simply allows the lower back to flex rather than keeping the swing to the hip joint. Side leg swings will hit the adductors on the outward swing and some lateral hip, TFL and ITB on the inward swing. Lean forward slightly to lean against a wall or pole and swing one leg across yourself and then back out to the side. Let the toe point up at each side.
Inchworms are another good early drill because they’re slow and controlled. Place the hands on the floor in front of the feet with straight knees and walk them out slowly. When you reach a push-up position, drop the hips to the floor, engage the glutes, and lift your chest to stretch your hip flexors. Then walk the feet (keeping the legs straight) back up to your hands.
The Kossack is one of those exercises that I love but seem to forget too much of the time. Get into a squat and throw one leg straight out to the side with the heel on the floor and your toes pointed up. Keeping your feet on the floor, shift into a squat on the straight leg side and straighten the formerly bent leg. Keep your hands on the floor in front of you and support yourself as much as you need to make it from side to side without tearing your groin. Eventually you should be able to do this with no arm support and keeping your hips low as you transition from side to side.
Finally, there’s the Russian Baby Maker. I doubt I’m the first one to ever do this stretch, but I am the one who gave it that name. And no, I’m not going to explain why—it’s an inside joke that dates back to my college years; you’ll just have to trust me that it’s funny. Put your feet a little wider than your normal squat stance and toes a little more forward than you would normally squat with. With your hands holding the tops of your feet, wedge your elbows between your thighs—get them back as deep into your groin as you can manage. While pushing the elbows out into your thighs, slowly drop your hips toward a squat position. Don’t worry about keeping your back arched. This is not the same as pushing the knees out in a squat position—here we’re trying to spread the proximal ends of the femurs apart rather than the distal ends. In other words, spread the hips, not the knees. You can hold this bottom position for a while, or you can periodically move the hips up slightly and re-settle.
The knees should get pretty warm with the above drills, but focus work can be done if desired. Simple squats are a good place to start. To these, you can add some knee rotations in the bottom position, which will also help the hips and ankles. In the bottom of the squat, put the hands on the knees and move the hips up and down slightly as you push the knees in small circles each direction.
You can also do knee rotations in a number of ways from a standing position. The basic one is with the feet close together and straight forward, place the hands on slightly bent knees and move both knees together in a circle. You can also move the feet out and move the knees in the same direction, or in opposite directions.
The above knee circles in the bottom of the squat is a good ankle warm-up and a number of different movements can be performed from this bottom position, such as shifting side to side. A more aggressive stretch can be performed by leaning both forearms on one knee to push the ankle closed.
Ankle circles in the standing position with the toe on the floor are quick and simple, and you can also add some heel-toe walking to other warm-up drills to sneak in some ankle work.
Putting it Together
This isn’t an exhaustive list—there are other exercises that can be used to address each of these areas. However, this is more than enough to keep you busy and getting enough variety to not drive yourself or your clients nuts. A single warm-up won’t use all of these drills by any means. We get a group warm-up done here in 12-15 minutes at a steady but not rushing pace. An example series might look like:
1. Wrist circles – 10 each direction
2. Elbow circles – 10 each direction
3. Arm circles – 10 each direction
4. Bow & bend – 10
5. 1-legged RDL + leg swings – 10 each leg
6. Spiderman lunge – 10 each leg
7. Scorpion – 10 each side
8. Russian Baby Makers – 30 sec hold
9. PVC dislocates – 10
10. PVC overhead squats - 10
Select static stretching can be placed here to address specific problem areas that need aggressive stretching.
This would now be the time to perform any remedial work you want to place before the workout. The individual is warm and the muscles and joints prepared to perform exercises safely and effectively. Examples would be glute activation drills like bridges, clamshells and X-band walks or shoulder prep/pre-hab work like band external and internal rotations, abduction, etc., or stability exercises like Turkish get-ups. These are drills that will either help the athlete or client perform safely or properly in training, or are elements deemed important enough to warrant the focus and energy only available at the beginning of the training session.
I know a few people who never warm-up, and a few of them will even tell you that warming up is unnecessary. Interestingly enough, all of these folks have chronic pain and histories of injury. Don’t make up silly excuses and analogies because you don’t feel like spending a few more minutes getting reading. You’re not a wild animal being chased without warning in the jungle—you’re an athlete getting ready to train in the gym.
Some new added elements to your Warm up! You have seen these on the board. Try your shoulder dislocates in a Gymnastic "L" grip and increase your shoulder mobility.
Remember connection to the floor with your hands is essential in the Inchworm Push up. If you have to break the system bend your legs!
By Jeff Tucker and Dusty Hyland CrossFit Journal September 2011
To the novice or within our community, the handstand is sometimes seen merely as a basic tool within gymnastics sport—or a cool party trick. Its benefits, for example, include but are not limited to balance, strength, spatial perception/awareness, core-control development, isometric strength development, and so on. And these are but a few fringe benefits from basic skill sets before adding walking drills or ranges of motion with disadvantaged leverage to a handstand.
A large-volume book could be written on handstands and how this basic gymnastics tool can change your daily fitness goals and improve so much of your game. In this series, we will be offering several things to consider as you work at multiple levels to accomplish inverted goals. We’ll take this basic movement and delve into load core control via hollow-body bracing in the inverted, locked- out position.
It’s important to define some traditions and see why body position is important in inverted, locked-out isometric holds—or handstands. An old-school handstand is a movement that now appears very outdated. Why? Well, it normally features a large arch to the back, a closed shoulder girdle (the shoulders are not fully open), and toes that are either located over or beyond the head when inverted. What we would like to see today is an inverted lockout where, if you look down the side of the body profile, you will see toes and ankles over and in line with the knees, hips, shoulders and hands. The modern handstand used today for an inverted position requires understanding of the hollow bracing for this isometric hold.
What we would like to see today is an inverted lockout where, if you look down the side of the body profile, you will see toes and ankles over and in line with the knees, hips, shoulders and hands.
Normally, you begin with neutral head position until students learn how to control this core bracing, at which point you can allow them to look toward their hands or the floor for a better focal point. Changing the focal point normally allows for better balance once the individual understands that the hollow is working and should be a large part of the movement.
The only caveat to this is that most newbies tend to let go of the hollow brace as they look up with their chin and toward the floor with their eyes. I tell people all the time they must recall that the chin is in some ways connected to the tailbone: the more you raise your chin without thinking of engaging your core while doing a handstand, the more arched your body will become and the less efficient your handstand will be. Remember that you can look with your eyes first toward the ground before ever moving your chin toward the ground when inverted. One large issue is the basic strength requirement needed for a locked-out inverted hold. You must approach such static holds with body-weight control, so try to limit your beginner’s attempts to five-second static holds with rest until basic strength prowess is achieved—or scale accord- ingly. This is very important and cannot be overlooked or overstated: you need to know if there are issues with strength, mobility or fear. All these things can become a factor and part of a recipe for injury.
Ascertain the numbers for the strict press, kettlebell swing, dead-hang pull-ups, bench press, etc. before getting someone inverted. Have them acquire some upper-body strength for added control in this inverted isometric hold. Then get them comfortable by scaling handstand inversion progressions to limit fear if that’s what is required.
We have a great deal of tools we can use for prerequisite strength needs. For your consideration below is a list you could use for strength development for inversion to handstand:
• Active hollow body hold for 20 seconds.
• 10 hollow-to-supermans and back.
• 10 solid burpees with vertical jump and clap.
• 10 seconds in scaled handstand inversion holds.
• 15 push-ups, active body tension, externally cued hands.
• 10-second form frog stand. • 10 barbell overhead squats. • 10 thrusters with negative returns to rack position. • 10 push presses with solid negative returns.
Handstands require strength. Make sure you have enough before going upside down.
Freestanding Handstand With Dusty Hyland
As the squat is to weightlifting, the handstand has been the foundational block in the development of gymnastics and going forward should be seen as a staple in the CrossFit community. The importance of proficiency in the “balanced” freestanding handstand position cannot be understated. We are attacking some very specific skills sets that are absolutely required by CrossFit.
The ability to hold a “balanced” handstand in the center of the room requires strength, coordination, balance and agility, not to mention an applied understanding of body tension and midline stability. My belief is that the handstand rivals the overhead squat in exposing an athlete’s inflex- ibility and weakness. This point is most readily apparent at the shoulder girdle and at the hip. We are building more efficient human beings, and after a strong dose of CrossFit basics—i.e., squatting, correct form in push-ups (exter- nally rotated and cued hands) and hollow holding—the athlete should be challenged toward an inverted position soon after.
Once an athlete is proficient, inversions can also be scaled up.
For the young and old athlete, the handstand, first on a box, then against the wall, in various forms addresses a fear component in addition to the list of skills stated above. Many movements do not do this. The handstand also provides for the athlete a first taste of applied human movement and the concept that all training has a functional use. Have you ever looked at a problem and turned it on its head? Slowly load up the system (the body) hands-first and see what issues need to be addressed. It is incredible for some to be in an inverted position, and for many of those who walk into your gyms, it will be a first- time experience.
Starting with an active lunge position, we can begin to move toward an inverted, extended position with the feet above the head. We know the primary mover or stabi- lizer in this movement will be the shoulders. You need to know how to lock out and press that open shoulder up as you kick up. Once you go to inversion, you are pressing shoulders, hips and feet toward the sky, which assists in establishing an optimal handstand position.
The lunge itself must be active, whether it’s a standing lunge position or compromised lunge (hands on the floor). Make sure you spot the athlete in the beginning until competency is seen and requirements for safety are met. For beginners, have an exit strategy: reverse-lunge from your kick-up if using the wall, or cartwheel out of it by quickly turning hips in the descent. Some folks forget that the way back down is the way they came up. In our next segments, we will focus more on using the wall and speak on the pros and cons of facing the wall and kicking up toward the wall, as well as how we add ranges of motion.
The handstand should be seen as a resting position. You heard me! When done correctly, it is a balance move that requires much less strength than it seems when you first get up there. Understanding human movement and relating it to optimum performance training is what is at hand here, and exactly what is at the heart of CrossFit. So in a sense the handstand position and skill set apply pure CrossFit methodology—and we have known this all along. For the gymnastics coach and hopefully now the CrossFit trainer, the goal of an optimal handstand position is black and white. When cued and performed properly, the handstand should place the human form into an inverted, dynamically efficient and stable system where balance is the key focus, and strength, while an important factor, becomes secondary.
We operate in the realm of the cubit (shoulder-width distance) established with a sound push-up and hollow- body hold. In a perfectly balanced freestanding handstand, the body is stacked vertically. The hands are engaged with the floor, fingers spread wide for stability. The shoulder is open and engaged in extension. The head is in a somewhat neutral position for optimal stability, while the gaze is slightly toward the hands to cue the balance of the athlete and line of sight. The trunk is active and tight, and the rib cage is shortened with the lower back flattened via an anterior pelvic tilt. The glutei are squeezed tight and the hip is open and neutral. The quads squeeze the legs straight and the toes are pointed toward the ceiling for structural integrity and stability.
The body is long and extended, and while all this work is performed you have to learn to breath. Well, eventually you will begin to breathe.
Points to Consider
• Is the fear factor an issue? If so, ramp up slowly, getting comfort levels up with scales, partially inverted loads on tires, boxes, etc. and eventually kicking up to a wall for five-second holds with perfect form.
• Coaches, be active and helpful in your spotting for newbies. Have exit strategies.
• Gain the basic prerequisites and upper-body strength needed, and scale as needed.
• Learn active lunge positions with active tissue and spotting as needed, standing or bent body with hands on the ground.
• The student should have a clear understanding of locked-out, active tissue as he or she presses the shoulders and feet up toward the sky in inversion.
• Watch the placement of the head and chin; remember the preferred focal point.
• Develop hollow-core bracing: tight extremities, hands as foundations, legs and glutes squeezed together, cubit width of hands, active shoulders.
• Cue fingers spread wide and slightly gripping the floor for a good foundational platform.
Conclusions by Jeff Tucker
Now that you got that, just where does this balance occur?
First, begin by adjusting balance on your hands alone from the top of your wrist crease toward the phalanges or fingers. Think of the palms of your hands working up and down for balance needed forward or back. Begin with small balance-drill sets and increase over time with success and length of balance holds, all the while keeping the integrity of the handstand form in your extended vertical body. Any angles in the vertical line are a big no-no! Keep that nice stabilized vertical form and hollow bracing as you adjust for balance on your hands alone.
Over time, you can begin to adjust with strong shoulders and elbows. It really is that simple. And yes, it takes work and time, but once you dial in the basic strength needed to perform small static holds, great rewards will come.
In our future articles, we will include more details on form development, balance work, walking on hands, straddle presses to handstand movement and much more.
Until then, get your butts tight and upside down. See you on the mat!
About the Authors
Dusty Hyland is the co-owner of DogTown CrossFit Culver City, Calif. By the age of seven, he had started an active athletic regimen that has continued throughout his life. At 13, Dusty gave up a host of other sports to focus on gymnastics. He was a very successful gymnast, and after his father’s job promotion and relocation to Northern California, he began to train at Stanford University under two-time world champion Tong Fei. By 16, he had competed at the Junior Olympic National Championships and trained with the U.S. Olympic Team. In college, he competed in NCAA Division 1 men’s gymnastics and scored a NCAA record perfect 10 on the still rings. After one more year of competition, he retired due to injury. He then traveled the world starring in a Cirque De Soleil-type live show before settling in Los Angeles and doing some stunt work in films.
He has CrossFit Level 1, Gymnastics and Mobility certificates, and he is an NASM CPT and a USA Gymnastics Coach.
Jeff R. Tucker, or “Tucker” to those who know him, is the CEO and founder of Global Sports Xtreme (GSX) in Fort Worth, Texas, and he has a passion for teaching gymnastics. At CrossFit Gymnastics Seminars, he and his staff delve into basic and intermediate gymnastic forms in a lecture setting followed by practical application. Skills are repeated until the student has a satisfactory understanding of how to learn, spot and teach such methods safely. Students are also taught how to scale the movements until they become second nature. Tucker’s goal in this course is to aid CrossFitters in using gymnastics for strength development, core control and WOD progressions. Result: the CrossFit community will become more engaged in using one of the foundational blocks for CrossFit workouts—gymnastics.
It’s time to move on…
For many of you, that time has come; the time to move on. Leave that green band behind and go for the blue! Pick your knees up off the floor and go for the real push-ups.
I get it; we are obsessed with the clock. We’re supposed to go as fast as we can right? Yes BUT take the time to do it right. First focus on form and technique. Can you do the movements correctly? If not, slow down and get it right. Second, challenge yourself! If a workout that once took you 10 minutes with the green band, takes you 25 with the blue band that’s ok! You are making progress and it takes time!
CrossFit is not easy… it’s hard! Like anything you train for, you’re not going to be good at everything over night, but you have to keep trying to make progress. Don’t be content with that green band!
Your coaches struggle with several things too. Ask me about my push-ups. I hate them! Ask Dusty about his struggle with double-unders! Ask Adam how long it takes to be even remotely decent at the Oly lifts. It’s a long time and a lot of work.
So don’t be content. Take the time to work on your weaknesses and push yourself. You will feel so good when you finally conquer your goal! It’s ok to take more time and struggle a bit.
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