Today’s class programming has two major themes: Hip extension and breathing strategy. I’m going to talk briefly about both in the hopes that it helps you make the most of your training today.
First, let’s talk hips. Both the snatch complex and the ball slam (and should you choose it, rowing as well) have components of aggressive hip extension. In fact, if we define our success of these movements based on how easily we can move the weight, the speed and timing with which we extend at the hip is paramount. So what will help you with this today in class?
Squeeze. And squeeze hard.
Whether you’re pulling on the barbell to get it to sail over your head or you’re trying to get the
”made-heavy-by-being-an-awkward-shape” slam ball from the floor to your full standing reach, we want to think about pushing the floor away with our feet. As we do this and our bodies (and the weight we’re moving) continues to rise, think about squeezing your quads, glutes and calves. This will ensure that you have reached the fullest extension of the lower body (ankles, knees and hips) and thus, transferred that force to the object you are trying to move. You cannot have a closed (flexed) angle in the joint while squeezing these muscles, so if you focus on that feeling, you’re likely helping your cause.
Don’t forget, too, that the way you extend in the snatch pull should be almost the same as how you extend when you perform the full lift. Don’t cut that extension short just because now you are supposed to drop under the bar.
Our other area of focus today is breathing strategy. Regardless of your choice of implement - row or bike - our goal is to find a pace that is challenging but at which we can continue to breathing nasally. For those of us who are new to nasal breathing while working, approaching this as “nasal inhale/mouth exhale” might be best. If we’ve spent time with - even a relatively small amount of time - nasal breathing practice, going “nasal inhale/nasal exhale” is a good approach. Either way, pick a pattern and stick to it. If you find yourself breaking from the pattern you chose, slow down until you can get back in rhythm.
A few tips that I find helpful when challenged to regulate my breath during a working interval include:
1) Keep your technique clean - if you are slouching on the rower or constantly reaching for the bike handles, your position is working against you and you’re making it harder on yourself. Make sure you sit up tall on the rower, hinging at the hip (don’t slide your butt back towards your heels until that handle passes your knees!). Make sure you’re not stretching for the bike handles - the seat adjusts forward and backward, as well as up and down. Think about consistent, clean motion, pushing the pedals and handles straight forward, not whipping your head back and forth.
2) Short, sharp inhale; long, passive exhale - I’ve played with my breathing enough to know that switching from mouth to nasal requires some adjustments to my breath cadence. I find that I can produce longer breaths both in and out with my mouth and stay in control. However, long inhales through the nose can be really hard if you’re out of practice or you’re pushing the pace at which you work. Try using a sharp nasal inhale, then passively letting the air pass back out of your nose (or mouth). This will also keep you from spraying boogers all over the place, something your coach and fellow athletes will appreciate ;)
Hopefully these pointers help out as you plan your approach to today’s workout! Get ready for the week - it’s going to be fun!
And don’t forget, we’ll be testing out some heavy doubles on the squats soon! This week, we will be doing heavy (NOT MAXIMAL) doubles on Tuesday with the back squat. Don’t miss it!
Strength - Snatch pull + Snatch @ RPE 6
Athletes will have 20 minutes to work on the snatch complex at a moderate weight. The goal is consistently solid reps at weights the athlete is confident in hitting. DO NOT MAX OUT!
Metcon - “Party on, Party off for 60 seconds”
On a running clock for 16 minutes, athletes will alternate between working and resting:
0:60 seconds max effort Ball slams (50/30)
0:60 seconds max calories* with NASAL breathing only
*Athletes may choose between the rower or the bike BUT they must stick with their choice for the entire workout. They will complete FOUR TOTAL ROUNDS by the end of the workout.