Movement Mastery (Wed 6/2/10)

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Move on purpose, not by accident. You’ve heard me say this in the gym several times, and you’ll hear me say it several more. It means that you should strive to stay in complete control of your whole body at all times regardless of what you’re doing.

“Complete control” means exactly that – that you are completely in control. If you’re throwing a ball in the air to yourself, then from the time you let go to the time it returns to your hand you have NO control over it. If the wind is blowing, it bounces off of something while it’s airborne or one of your friends decides to snag it before you can catch it, you’re out of luck because you relinquished control of it. The only way to be 100% sure it does exactly what you want it to is to hold on to it and make it do exactly what you want it to. Don’t relinquish control of your body – make it do exactly what you want it to do.

“Your whole body” is another simple one to define – if it’s attached to you, it’s part of your body. If you’re doing something with your arms, your legs are *still* part of your body: make them do exactly what you need them to be doing. Even though it may not be apparent to you how they’re involved with whatever movement you’re doing with your arms, I assure you they are. Whole body means whole body. Control everything.

“At all times” means before, during and after the movement. In short, there is never a time when you should not have complete control over your whole body. The moment you relax is the moment you give control over to something else (like the barbell, kettlebell, med ball, etc.), and that moment is when you miss the lift, hurt your back or lose your rhythm. Always be in control.

“Regardless of what you’re doing” extends outside the walls of the gym and into your daily life. It includes things like walking, sitting down, going up and down stairs, and literally everything else you ever do. The more control you exhibit, the better you’ll look and the stronger you’ll be. For example, when walking, do you place your foot on the ground in front of you on each step, or does your leg resemble a rope with a weight attached to the end, carelessly swung forward and then dropped somewhere in out front of you? When you sit on a chair, do you flop down onto it (making you an easy target for the old “pull the chair out at the last second” trick) or do you slowly lower your center of gravity until the chair is completely supporting your weight? When you walk up stairs, do you push off your rear foot and lurch to your front foot or do you transfer your weight to your front foot and *lift* your rear foot? And when going down stairs, do you fall to each stair or do you lower yourself from the one you’re on?

You might think it sounds a bit ridiculous to be so careful, but I promise you that if you practice control over all your movements (in the gym or wherever), then you will be able to move a larger load over a longer distance, more quickly and efficiently than the guy who flops his way around everyday.

Today’s WOD:

Skill Assessment

When you come into the gym, there will be a battery of physical tests for you to complete. Everyone will be held to the same standards on the movements (as always). CrossFit is about the unknown and the unknowable, and as such, I’m not going to tell you what to expect. Starting today, we’re going to do this quarterly. Good luck to everyone – I’ll have the puke bucket ready.

  • daniel.zaudtke

    Be afraid…be very afraid…

  • Ladybug724

    Well, this is just mean.