You have been there. We have all been there. You arrive to the box and anxiously rush over to the whiteboard to see what the day’s WOD will be.
To your dismay, that movement or movements you just can’t seem to master are in the WOD. You think to yourself, “Come on! It’s going to be a long hour.”
CrossFit is challenging, but if you knew that going in and it is because you are the type of person who thrives at overcoming obstacles and challenges, that led you to the decision to “drink the Kool-Aid” and become a CrossFitter.
We recently polled CrossFit Up Dog members to see what are some of the most challenging movements, and here is what they said.
The #1 movement that our athletes dislike the most is (drumroll) – The Overhead Squat. Why? Well, lets look at some of the answers.
“I feel like I am going to topple over!”
“I struggle with shoulder mobility.”
“It’s just awkward.”
“I suck at them. No really, I do because my shoulder mobility sucks, and they just aren’t fun.”
The truth, according to Greg Glassman: “The overhead squat is the ultimate core exercise, the heart the snatch, and peerless in developing effective athletic movement. This functional gem trains for efficient transfer of energy from large to small body parts – the essence of sport movement. For these reasons it is an indispensable tool for developing speed and power. The overhead squat also demands and develops functional flexibility, and similarly develops the squat by amplifying and cruelly punishing faults in squat posture, movement, and stability.
The overhead squat is to midline control, stability, and balance what the clean and snatch are to power – unsurpassed.” That’s correct, we are telling you that from this one movement, if done correctly, you will improve: balance, flexibility, coordination, agility, strength, speed and power
Handstands and Handstand Push-Ups
Uh oh, you are asking me to go upside down and leave my feet? You might as well just ask me to go to the moon! Yep, we are sure those thoughts creep into your minds when it’s on the whiteboard. Here is what our gang had to say:
“They are completely unnatural.”
“They suck and I cannot ever imagine the functional need to turn over and try to press the earth away.”
The truth about handstand push-ups: Implementing this into your programming will improve your barbell or kettlebell press. In addition, handstand push-ups strengthen your entire upper body, including your delts, pecs, lats, triceps, and definitely your abdominals!
Because squatting isn’t hard enough, you are asked to squat with a heavy ball in your hands and then throw said ball at a target, and repeat over and over again. This full-body movement is not a favorite of many, but why?
“Because I just can’t stand them!!”
“They wear me out quick and make me super sore!!”
Why we implement wall balls: Wall balls work multiple muscles in your body – 11, to be precise. That’s a ton of muscles to be working in one exercise, and you’ll need all of them to generate the power and explosiveness to squat down, explode out of the hole and throw the ball to strike a target on a consistent basis. You do enough wall balls, and your explosive power will steadily increase – and you’ll become more efficient at using it when you’re gassed. After all, it’s not just your muscles that need to work hard during wall-balls—your heart and lungs will be getting a pounding too. Needless to say, wall balls can significantly increase your aerobic and anaerobic capacity.
Come on! We have to run in today’s WOD? Some of us live to see running on the whiteboard, while others just want to hide in the bathroom.
“Does running count??”
Why we run: Because we are athletes!
Last, but definitely not least were burpees. This torturous movement really needs no explanation; so let’s see what people had to say!
“I hate them…just because!” (Can’t beat that answer)
“Because they just suck.”
Why is the burpee such a great movement? Burpees are dynamic and fast paced and improve your conditioning and respiratory endurance quickly for those with either body composition or basic performance goals. Also, the rapid flexion and extension of the hips makes it awesome for learning force production from core to extremity.
But wait!! Apparently they all suck!
“Whatever movement I just got finished doing. They honestly all are so tough.”
CrossFit is challenging, the movements do suck, but for some reason we all keep coming back for more. Why? One of our members eloquently worded the reason.
“Challenges are what allow us to excel and get better.”
It is vey true that many of the movements in CrossFit take an immense amount of time to develop and perfect, but all those failures and hours put toward perfecting a movement are worth it when it all comes together!
So maybe you are struggling with a movement right now, maybe you are distraught that you have not seen progress in a few weeks, but don’t let it get you down because that person next to you is feeling the same thing. When you set a PR or master a new skill, celebrate in your accomplishments. You worked hard for something, and that is one of the many great reasons to do CrossFit!