Posts Tagged ‘body’

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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"Green Exercise" Trail Run to Train for Tough Mudder Today

Map of Trail RunTo continue preparing for the Tough Mudder event, I am still doing CrossFit during the week. But I’ve also added a trail run each weekend to keep improving my endurance and add a bit more cardio work. I ran again in my Vibram FiveFingers to see how they feel on the rocky trail and what it feels like to keep running in cold, wet feet. It was ok. The FiveFingers certainly just let the water come in and your feet are instantly wet and cold. But I found that my feet warmed up as I kept running, so it was tolerable. My feet obviously still need to toughen up more. I felt all of the sharp stones on the trail (it was a really rocky trail). But, the barefoot running style ensures that you are landing lightly on your forefoot and lifting your feet quickly back off the ground again. So, hitting a rock wasn’t nearly as painful as it would be when you stride out and land harder on your heels.

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Celebrating 2 Years of a Fit and Healthy Lifestyle Change

It was a little over 2 years ago (Jan 2009) that I committed to a lifestyle change. I began making wiser food choices and walking and running again. About 1 year ago, I started P90X and finished it. Then about 6 months ago, I started CrossFit. 7 weeks ago I began the Paleo Challenge. Basically,…

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Totally Spanked "Cindy" at CrossFit

Photo of Woman Doing Pull-upsI totally spanked “Cindy” yesterday at CrossFit. It was my best performance with her ever! It is a 20 minute AMRAP (as many rounds as possible) of 5 Pull-ups, 10 Push-ups, and 15 Air Squats. Breaking the pull-ups into sets of 5 like that made it feel pretty easy and I switched my grip so that I was alternating pull-ups and chin-ups. Funny how squats start to feel like a break when you do them right after push-ups.

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Jump and Pull and Push and Push to Work Your Whole Body

Jumping Jacks at SunriseMy CrossFit workout this morning really hit my overall body with a variety of exercises that worked the core, arms, and legs. I felt it all over! Made me also realize that my forearms were more sore than I anticipated from the 32 Kg kettleball farmers walk and hammers yesterday. I really felt it on the pull-ups and performed a bit weaker than I had hoped. Oh well. Every day can’t be the best day for a given exercise. We did this same workout back in November 2010, so I was able to compare my performance. This is so critical for your motivation!). I took 17 seconds off my time and did much better on my pull-ups this time. Now my goal for the next time I do this WOD is to do everything unbroken. No breaks!

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Pushed a Jeep 220 Yards for a CrossFit Workout Today

Elephant pushing a jeepToday’s CrossFit workout was kind of fun! In addition to the usual strength training, we did some conditioning work that included pushing a Jeep. I don’t think I’ve pushed a car or truck since high school, when we either got stuck in the mud or ran out of gas. Who would think that I would do that again someday as a workout that I pay for? Life is funny…

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Tabata High-intensity Interval Training – Love It, Hate It

I described what a Tabata workout is in an earlier post. A Tabata is high-intensity interval training (HITT) and is basically 20 seconds of ultra-intense exercise and then 10 seconds of rest, repeated for 8 cycles continuously for 4 minutes. It really packs a ton of cardio and fat-burning exercise into the longest 4 minutes of your life. Today we did it for 4 exercises back to back (Squat Cleans, Pull-ups, Burpees, Kettlebell Swings), so that makes it the longest 16 minutes of your life. Who would think you would be completely drained after just 16 minutes of exercise? But, try it sometime and I think you will discover the same thing. I have a love/hate relationship with the Tabata. More than a lot of other conditioning WOD’s, you really do feel like you’re competing against yourself (if you track your progress as you should be doing!). I love that and, looking back at my past performance, I see improvements that motivate me a lot. That includes physical changes that I can see; burning off fat and getting a lot more muscle definition. The hate? The Tabata workouts really wipe me out and, like I said, you would never imagine how long 4 minutes can feel.

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Brewing a Heavenly Cup of Coffee to Avoid Calories and Boost Your Health

Photo of cubano coffeeWhen people first begin a quest to eat and drink healthy foods, they often find that they have to give up something. For many people, it is that devil drink: soda. I talked about how to stop drinking soda in an earlier post. For others, it is that delicious coffee drink from “they who shall not be named” because they add so much sugar and fat that the drinks have about the same calories as eating a big ol’ greasy cheeseburger with all the fixin’s. Yes, you really do need to give up those coffee “dessert drinks”. Sorry. But you do not need to give up coffee and the benefits that come with it.

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Back in the CrossFit and Paleo Saddle Again

Chocolate French pastriesI apologize for not posting in a while. I was traveling in Europe and playing a bit of catch up over the past week. The business trip and my stay in a very small, somewhat authentic, Parisian hotel made it a bit too challenging to keep up with any CrossFit travel WODs. But, despite a week of French food and no high-intensity exercise (although I did walk for about 10 hours each day!), I only gained about a pound and getting back into the swing of things at CrossFit last Monday wasn’t too painful. It wasn’t easy! But, it wasn’t as bad as I feared it might be.

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Pre-Paris CrossFit Workout of the Day for Thursday

Photo of Eiffel Tower in Paris, FranceWell, this morning was my last CrossFit workout before heading off to Paris. I have two challenges while traveling this time:

  1. Keeping up with CrossFit Travel WODs
  2. Avoiding the temptation of French food to maintain the Paleo Challenge

That’s right. I have to somehow avoid the great bread, cheeses, pastries, and chocolate and only eat duck, beef, and foie gras. Wish me luck!

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