A CrossFit Athlete’s Guide to Regionals/Games Preparation Part 1

Chest to Bar Pull Ups

GCS Athlete Kat Dalecki demonstrating strict Chest to Bar Pull Ups

The 2013 CrossFit Open is now finished. You may have made it to this next level...now it gets real! So how do you prepare for this event? Is this the main game for you or are you a serious contender for the Games?

Over the next 5 weeks, I intend on helping you prepare your body to be the best it can be for your next major competition...The CrossFit Regional Competition.

1. Goal Setting for your body

You and your coach should have your strength and conditioning program worked out - this is not my job. My job is to help you optimize your performance.

What is your mobility and stability like in the following joints?

  • Feet and Ankles
  • Knees
  • Hips
  • Low back
  • Ribs (twisting)
  • Shoulders
  • Neck
  • Elbows
  • Hands and Wrists

In my experience, people are "tight" in their ankles, knees, hips, wrists and shoulders. They are TOO mobile in their low back and mid spine (snaking on your burpees and push ups!) and girls tend to be hypermobile in their elbows.


GCS Athlete Ev Dalecki demonstrating as close to perfect overhead squat position

Since most of you hold down regular jobs or study, you want to use your time efficiently so my recommendation for you is this.

  1. Test and Restest your squats - air squat and overhead squat at the very least - note all the tension in all the areas
  2. Release the back of your hips for 30-60secs
  3. Retest your squats - what is the tension like now?
  4. Release your ribs in sidelying over a roller for 30-60secs
  5. Retest your squats - what is the tension like now?
  6. Release your Abs using a kettlebell or spikey ball to mash those abs up for 30-60secs
  7. Retest your squats - what is the tension like now?
Air Squat

GCS athlete Ev Dalecki demonstrating a perfect air-squat

You will notice you released hips then ribs then abs. Choose the release that seemed to give the BIGGEST change and note that for next time.

Next time (later that day or after the WOD or the next day), repeat the routine but start with the release that gave the biggest change last time...and release the hips last if it wasn't the biggest change...so it would be abs, ribs, hips or ribs, abs, hips.

By now, you should have a good idea which combination of the 3 produces the best outcome for you - if none of them help, then let me know below and we can see what we can do...

Please note I have chosen the squat as the main exercise here. That is because so many movements that will come up for you in the regionals will rely on a good squat and hip mobility with back stability - cleans, snatch, all the squats, wall balls, thrusters, deadlifts, pistols, rowing, Kettlebells, etc.

Get the Serratus Anterior!

GCS athlete Brendon Walsh using a foam roller for his ribs

The other key area are the shoulders - pulls ups, hand stand push ups/walks, muscle ups, all overhead bar and kettlebell work, etc. The sequence I suggest you try for the shoulders are: back of shoulder in the posterior capsulepecsribs/lats in sidelying. It might also be your neck - if those 3 don't make a big difference, then look to your neck. Choose something like an overhead squat or strict press or whatever movement annoys your shoulders.

3. If the above doesn't work...

Ask your questions here and I will do my best to help you!

4. Book in to see me or your health professional

Sometimes you just need someone to take a look for you.

Why not come along to a mobility seminar and practice these things with expert guidance - www.mypteducation.com - if we don't have one near you, contact me and we can arrange one at your box

To see me, you can contact me at www.myphysios.com.au or book online at http://clinicofficediary.co.uk/physiodetective.

Future Posts Will Include:

  • Technique refinement - how to maximize your power through mobility and muscle activation
  • How to cope with injuries
  • How to recover optimally
  • Anything else you want me to post on.

I would really love to hear from you about issues you are working through, questions you may have or topics you want to discuss. Post them below NOW!

Special Thanks: I would like to thank Ev, Kat and Brendon from Reebok CrossFit GCS. Darren Coughlan's programming and attention to good form and technique have  made working at Reebok CrossFit GCS a pleasure. Details of the GCS program can be found at www.givemcoldsteel.com.

4 Responses

  1. Pingback : Givem Cold Steel Regional Prep part 1 | Givem Cold Steel

  2. Justin

    I just wanted to say I found this blog for the first time today and, as an avid CrossFitter for the last 8 months, I really appreciate the time, effort, and insight you put into this blog. You have a new follower.

  3. Pingback : Sat 31st Aug & Sun 1st Sept « KB CrossFit

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