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Lose The Ass-Back To Get Your Ass Back

What Is An Ass Back?

An ass back is a terrible condition that’s sweeping the nation causing back erectors to look like giant steel rods and prevents those with the condition from using the peach emoji to describe their rear.

Along with the limitation of emoji use many individuals who have an ass-back have lower back pain when the move, especially when they extend their hips because they are using their back to extend rather than their butt. This is a functional movement issue and can lead to chronic low back pain, loss of stability in the hips, and it will put more stress on the synergistic muscles that should aid in hip extension not be the primary force for hip extension.

How Do I Know If I Have Ass-Back

There are a few different ways to determine if you have the dreaded ass-back.

You can test by:

  • Lay flat on the ground facing the ceiling, if your low back is significantly raised above the floor and you cannot hold the position comfortably for a few minutes you may have an ass-back.
  • Use a mirror or a coach to check your hip hinge. Do you round at the back on the way down and extend through the low back when you bring your hips through (ribs will be raised) you may have an ass-back.
  • Do you stand with an anterior pelvic tilt which is an excessive lower back curve with the ribs flared up? You may have an ass-back.
  • Does your lower back light up when you do any repetitive movement that involves bending over and hip hinging back up (Ex: Deadlift/Burpee/KB swing/picking up items off the ground/standing up out of a chair)

If you experience one or multiple points listed above it’s likely you have an ass-back

How Do I Lose My Ass-Back

I get it you’re upset because you want your low back to stop hurting and gain the ability to use that peach emoji, thankfully the ass-back has a cure, you can do the following to RECLAIM DAT ASS!

  • Hip hinge drill with PVC maintaining all points of contact (head-upper back-low back-butt) to help you hip hinge correctly.
  • Dead bugs which will aid in core strength to prevent any hyperextension
  • Glute Ham bridge and bench hip thrust, you can add a band around the knee to make the glute turn on. This will help you to hip hinge and get the glutes to fire, just make sure when you do this drill the core stays engaged. Imagine a line from your shoulder to hip, and you do not want to break that line!

You Got The Ass Back Congrats

Make sure you continue with drills to aid in proper hip hinge mechanics and getting the butt to work, not the back. It’s also important to realize that when you do a workout that involves a lot of hip hinge work GO SLOW move well before you move fast. You may actually find that moving well makes the workout a lot harder than moving fast.

#bringingthegainztothepeople

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Stop Moving Wrong

Before I go any further the 3 people in the photo above do move well, they just all happen to be sitting in their right hip….

This may sound creepy, but I know how you stand, walk, drive and sleep. In the human body, there are chains of muscle that work together to drive movement, of these many chains some are likely overactive due to muscular site attachment and neuromuscular function.

It is probable you:

  • Sleep on the right side or you may lean to the right in any sleeping position with your left leg turned out.  You may also have the left knee further out than the right knee (in a bent knee position)
  • Drive with your left leg turned our (with knee bent or with knee straight) and a slight rotation to the right
  • Sit back in your right hip or forward in your left hip and with a small rotation to the right (this includes left foot turned our right foot turned in)
  • You may not notice but… walking in your right hip shortening the swing time of your right arm

The Chains (A Basic Overview)

The two chains I will briefly talk about are the brachial chain (specifically the right one) and the anterior interior chain (specifically the left one). The brachial chain (BC) has an influence on the neck, shoulder, and breathing dynamics. The anterior interior chain (AIC) affects the pelvic girdle position, torso position/motion, spinal position/movement, ribcage position, and the position of the knee and ankle joints.

Needless to say, these two chains of muscle have a significant effect on our body movement.  This overactive right BC and left AIC cause a torso to rotate to the right and the weight to be shifted into the right hip usually with the right leg slightly turned in and the left leg slightly turned out. It is not that moving into your right hip is bad, what’s bad is not being able to shift IN AND OUT of the right and left hip

Why Knowing Not To Move Like This Is Important

If you repeatedly sleep, drive, walk, and stand like this that is a lot of time drilling one specific motor pattern into your head, and since this is the popular pattern you will perform motions that require better mechanics to perform well and avoid injury. For example, it is not good for performance and injury prevention to sit in only the right hip for lifting, running, biking, other daily activities, and sports. So chances are you like to do one of those things so if you want to stop the pain when you run or perform better on the field of sport, being able to shift into both hips is important.

Shift into both hips can help you avoid injury and play better. If you want to learn more visit www.posturalrestoration.com or youtube/google search PRI exercises.

#bringingthegainztothepeople

 

The Open Is Over…..Now What?

So The 2017 Reebok CrossFit Games Open has come to and end, and now being a week from the last announcement you may be thinking what now?

Reflect

Reflect on the moments and the experiences of the open, celebrate your achievements and learn from your failures. If you got further than you thought in a wod celebrate it and if you hit a PR or got your first bar muscle up/pull up/handstand push up/double under celebrate it! If you think they are small achievements not worthy of celebration you are wrong, every achievement is worth celebrating because you are enjoying the process of becoming healthy, fit, and working towards your goals. Enjoy the process.

And as I said before, learn from your failure, it’s important to fail because it means you are attempting things that are challenging and when you learn you overcome challenges and become a better you.

HAVE FUN

You’ve just spent the past 5 weeks stressing about what awful workout Dave Castro was going to announce on Thursday. And then you likely were stressed out all day until you got to do the workout. Now it’s time to relax, decompress, and have some fun. Do some fun workouts with things you like and most importantly workout with friends!  Do this for the next few weeks and enjoy the point of CrossFit, getting healthy and enjoying it with friends.

Next Step

Set a goal for next years open and begin your journey to accomplish the goal. Maybe you want to RX every open wod next year, and that might mean you have to learn muscle-ups and handstand push-ups, well good news you have just under a year left to start learning and working on those movements. Setting a goal NOW will prevent you from going into a post new years resolution type funk where you were on point for the first month and then dropped off, don’t let the open be a failed new years resolution.

#bringinggainztothepeople

Keep The Intensity Or Lose The Results

Intense Reminder

Intensity is what yields results, and that’s important to remember. It happens too often, athlete’s get into a chronic state of low intensity in their training, and they become upset when they fail to see the results they were hoping for. And as a coach, it’s important to remind your athletes that intensity and getting out of your comfort zone is where the progress happens. When an athlete lacks intensity and then lacks results they can become upset which will affect their training negatively.

Find The Right Intensity For Your Current Goal

If my goal for the day is to recover and move around after an exhausting day of training, then I will find the right intensity that will get me the optimal recovery I’m looking for. At the other end if my goal is to increase a rep max or build explosive power my intensity needs to be elevated otherwise the results will be minimal. The idea is to find the right intensity for the current training day and for your goals.

How Do You Get Intense?

It starts with being in the moment. When you get to the gym think about the training and don’t worry about anything else. Try an if, then thought process “If I go to the gym then I will focus only on training,” and “If I’m training then I will be at the desired intensity”. If your thoughts are elsewhere when you train, then you likely do not have the intensity needed for the days training.

GET OUT OF YOUR COMFORT ZONE! This is important, right outside your comfort zone is fear, fear of failing your attempt, fear of injury, fear of not being good enough, but if you get past that fear and learn from your failure (you must fail and learn to make progress), you will reap the benefits. In this case, fear is the bridge to the best you and the progress you want/deserve. Get after it and try a new movement, move up a KB size during swings, or try a Rx weight in a metcon. And it is smart to speak with a coach so they can help you get out of your comfort zone with choosing something appropriate but still difficult.

Intensity Yields Results, Get Comfortable Being Uncomfortable

#bringingthegainztothepeople #ironknowledgegainz 

 

Growth Mindset: Mental Strength For Increased Performance

Negative Views

Ever see the details of a workout and become disappointed when you realize there is a movement you struggle with or a time domain that isn’t in your wheelhouse? If you are frustrated or nervous, that will affect your performance to come, and it doesn’t matter how physically capable you are, if your mental game is weak, you are weak.

Negative Self Talk

When going through a workout (in your wheelhouse or not) and it gets challenging, and you tell yourself “I can’t do this” or “cmon don’t suck,” or any other combo of negative words this can be defeating. This kind of repeated negative talk will have an impact on your performance, you will begin to consistently think negative and doubt yourself in times of adversity.

The Growth Mindset

To combat these negative thoughts or views that deflate your performance you need to adopt and practice a growth mindset. Having a growth mindset will aid in building confidence and allow your skills to grow much faster because you always learn from failing.

For example, if there is a movement in a WOD that you aren’t proficient at, instead of being disappointed or nervous you should be excited. This is an opportunity to improve on a movement that is challenging, and it’s also an opportunity to work on managing a workout with a difficult movement and learning to pace your weaknesses, so they slow you down as little as possible.  If two athletes are lacking ability in the same movement but one has a growth mindset and one does not the athlete with the growth mindset will perform better and make progress faster.

Another way the growth mindset can aid you is in workouts that require a significant amount of effort, some might say when you need to go to “the dark place.”  It’s no easy task to continue to push hard when you’re in pain and don’t know if you can push harder but this is where the growth mindset comes into play. When you’re trying to go to “the dark place” and the workout is really starting to hurt don’t get discouraged get excited! Scream in your head “This is where I get better”, when this becomes a habit you will look forward to feeling that workout pain and difficulty because you are aware that you are making progress. Being excited about it will motivate you to push harder allowing you to push harder for longer. Yay increased work capacity!

Adopting the growth mindset will take time and practice, but it will pay off with increased performance.

An athlete with a weak mindset is a weak athlete.

 

CrossFit: How To Avoid Burning Out

BurnOut

Everyone at some point gets into a funk, motivation is lacking, energy is non-existent, you may even be questioning why you’re training.  Burnout is no fun, and I have some ways to help you get out of that funk and feeling great at the box again!

GOALS!

Goals, you need them, and they need to be very clear and measurable. A quick way to lose motivation is to not have a clear goal as to why you are training. You can speak with your coach if you need help making a goal but ultimately you need to put time aside to ask yourself a few things.

  1. What do you want to accomplish
  2. Break the larger goal into smaller goals that can be checkpoints on your way to your primary goal
  3. What do you need to do to accomplish this goal (This is not “what do I need to sacrifice to accomplish this goal,” this is “what do I need to decide to do to accomplish this goal”)
  4. What is the timeline to accomplish this goal

Once you have a clear goal set know that there will be challenges you face, it’s not impossible it’s just going to be hard, but no goal worth having comes easy. As you progress towards your goal do not look at the summit (your goal), instead, focus on the process to get to the summit (your goal). Focusing on the process allows you to hit all of your mini goals along the way, if you concentrate on the main goal you lose sight of what needs to be done to accomplish your goal.

It’s About You – Don’t Strive For Perfection

Don’t focus on others and where they are at, focus on you. Being envious of others and their accomplishments can imply you don’t feel you can accomplish what they have, which is not true. Focusing on yourself and what you can control is a great way to change your mindset so you can work towards your goal.

Don’t aim for perfection as you progress towards your goal, it will never be perfect, and that’s ok. If you focus on making everything perfect, you are setting yourself up for disappointment, and you will paralyze your progress. All you will think about is how what you’re doing isn’t perfect when the focus should be celebrating and enjoying the progress you’ve made towards reaching your goal. Enjoy the process!

Change It Up

If all you’ve been doing is class and nothing else, give something else a try. If your gym offers other types of classes this could be a way for you to find a new interest, you might actually enjoy putting more focus into Olympic lifting, strongman, powerlifting, etc. all of which will continue to improve your fitness within CrossFit.

Try a competition! This is something to train for and enjoy the process of preparing for. Preparing for a competition takes time, and this is a perfect way for you to create a goal and focus on the process of completing that goal.

Put In The Work

Now that you have a clear goal in mind it is time to get to work! As I said before, there will be challenges but accomplishing them will only make you better. A key point to remember as you enjoy the process of reaching your goal is this “There are no naturals, and there are no grinders.” Simply put, no one is going to naturally be great at something, and if you put in the work, you will get better. Saying someone is just a natural discredits all of the work they have put towards reaching their goal, and if you have grit and continually work towards your goal you will get better, and you will reach your goal.

Good Luck!