Exercise

CrossFit Helped Me Discover What My Body is Capable of

Gladiator imageI have been doing CrossFit for almost a year and what a journey it has been! For the first 2-3 weeks I was so sore that I seriously couldn’t even walk down stairs. I wish I was exaggerating, but I’m not. I had to find alternative ways to get places. I remember days that I couldn’t lift my arms over my head. I almost quit. I thought I was seriously damaging my body.

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The Cherry Pickers Exercise. Work Those Hamstrings!

Cherry pickers are a good exercise for strengthening and stretching your hamstrings. Here is how you do them. Spread your legs with knees straight. Bend straight over and touch the ground with both hands a bit ahead of your toes. Rise up a little and touch the ground again near your heels. Rise up a…

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How Many Carbs Do You Need if You're a Paleo CrossFitter?

Photo of some foods with carbohydratesI found this article by Lyle McDonald on Bodyrecomposition.com very interesting: How Many Carbohydrates Do You Need? It’s a question that I have been asking myself a lot, since I have been following the Paleo diet and actively do CrossFit every week. I wish there was an easy answer, but there isn’t. The answer is “It Depends“. It depends on who you are, your activity level, and what you want to accomplish (e.g., weight loss, endurance running, muscle building, etc.).

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Improving Your Squat – 5 Great Videos to Fix Form & Address Weaknesses

Lady Doing Back SquatI’ve been watching a series of 5 Squat videos from Matt Wenning over at Elite FTS. Oh, and by the way, Matt can squat 1100 lbs. I’m glad that I ran into these today, because tomorrow is our Squat day at my CrossFit box. There are some really great tips on how to maintain proper, powerful, and safe form while doing the squat. He shows a guy adding 40-50 lbs to his max Squat in just one session, thanks to improvements in form. Pretty impressive! Then he wraps up the series talking about how to address your weaknesses through assistance exercises that will help you strengthen the muscles that you need to have work together in more powerful harmony during the Squat. I’ve put the full series of 5 videos together for you below. Enjoy!

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Strong is Sexy for 3-26-11

We’ve come to the end of the week, March 26, 2011. The “Strong is Sexy” weekly event had its first male participant. Thank you Martin! His photo is featured at the end of this blog post. Martin is very busy with his family and little kids, but continues his focus on a health and fitness regimen of Crossfit with Zone/Paleo.

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Strong is Sexy – Help Us Prove It!

Photo of Overhead Squat Lady2As I wrote about in “Women and CrossFit – Time to Kill the Weightlifting Myth“, there are many misconceptions and poor role models for women who want to be fit. It isn’t about becoming “skinny” and looking like a supermodel. It is about being healthy, strong, and achieving a level of fitness that is right for you and sustainable for your lifestyle. That is what’s really sexy: Being the strongest you that you can be! So, to prove this point, every week we will feature the strongest and sexiest women as determined by votes from all of you. To participate, you can upload a photo of yourself. Once we approve the photo, it will be available for voting. So, be sure to tell all of your friends about it so that they can come back and vote for you here!

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More Training for Tough Mudder

Tough Mudder logoI’m still ramping up my training for the Tough Mudder event in NorCal this September. I’m wearing my Vibram FiveFingers much more regularly and did another 4 mile trail run in a pair of the KSOs. You may recall that I did buy a pair of the KSO Treks earlier and did a trail run in them as well. The fit was a bit too large. They felt fine for walking around, but my smaller toes kept slipping out of their pockets as I started running harder and climbing. So, I bought a size smaller of the KSOs, which are a bit different (better for water, thinner sole). Now my big toe is a bit cramped. Guess I have weird toes.

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Best Bodyweight Exercises?

Dear readers, I would like to hear from you! What do you think are the best bodyweight exercises? In the poll below, select the one bodyweight exercise that you think is the best or write in your own answer. If you could only do one bodyweight exercise, what would it be?

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I Completed the Paleo Challenge!

Body photo after the paleo challengeWell, today was the last day of my Paleo Challenge. So we took photos and measurements in CrossFit this morning. We won’t know who the winners are until next week. But, I wanted to do a quick post and share my after photo. The Paleo diet helped me bring out more definition. I lost about 4 pounds that I just couldn’t seem to gain back, but maybe that’s ok.

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Overhead Squat, Why Do You Hate Me So?

Photo of Overhead Squat LadyToday in CrossFit we did a Conditioning WOD that included the Overhead Squat. The Overhead Squat (OHS) is as much about shoulder flexibility and core strength as it is about leg strength, perhaps even more about flexibility and balance. I’ll be honest; I’ve struggled with the OHS. It isn’t about the weight or my ability to squat it. It’s about my shoulder flexibility more than anything else. As you get down into the deep squat position, you should be able to shrug your shoulders, lock your arms out straight overhead, and actually have those arms somewhat behind your head (i.e., someone should be able to see your ears from the side). When I started doing the OHS, I couldn’t even put my arms that straight overhead with NO WEIGHT! My shoulder flexibility held me back. But, I’ve been working on stretches and using a lacrosse ball to open up the muscles around my scapula and shoulders. It is helping and I can do a better OHS now, but I have a lot more room for improvement before I can add significant weight to this lift.

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