Control

CrossFit carries a certain mindset much of the time which is to go big or go home. We lift heavy, we train hard and we rep out movements like nobody’s business. Our workouts require us to be powerful and explosive…sometimes. A common theme I have noticed lately is that athletes go hard for certain movements where really control needs to be demonstrated.

We forget how beneficial control is. We should be the boss of a barbell not the other way around. When the weight gets heavy or there are a lot of reps, it is easy to want to just keep going to get a faster time. This happens a lot with presses and cleans. We end up doing a bunny hop because we let the barbell get in control. Even doing movements like back squats require a lot of control. When you let the bar dictate where your elbows go that is when you find yourselves having to bail too early. When you find yourself being thrown around by a movement, stop for a second and reset. Get in control.

Many body weight movements also require control and not going at them at full throttle. For example, when you get more proficient at things like pull ups and toes to bars, the space you move in should be minimal. The more you kick and have explosive kips, the bigger your movement is and therefore it’s actually less efficient. You’ll burn out faster because you are using more energy. Try using more control and your core!

Double unders, which are not an easy feat to master, also require control. The higher you jump or bend your knees, the less efficient you are being. They are one of the easier movements to get yourself tripped up on (literally). You go from doing fast deadlifts let’s say to transitioning to double and you need to slow your roll down friends! Double unders take concentration and a lot of control and when you go too hard, even if you manage to string a lot together, you will burn out.

Hand Stand Push Ups. Let’s talk about these for a minute. Yes they take a great amount of strength but of course they also require being in control of your body while you are upside down. If you do not have your core stabilized or your lats in the right position, you will find yourself falling off the wall. I don’t care how strong you are when it comes to cleaning or jerking. If you go too hard or too fast in an HSPU without being in control, you won’t string together many reps.

Ok I think you get my point by now. Going hard is only part of the equation. Start thinking about being more in control. My recommendation is add some exercises to strengthen your core (check out hashtag #operationsportsbra on InstaGram). Having a stronger core translates to having more control of your body.

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