I’ve been using a really firm J Fit foam roller for quite some time now. As I wrote about in this post, using a foam roller is a critical useful tool for increasing blood flow and circulation to your muscles and tissues to promote healing. They can also provide “myofascial release”, which is a technique that results in softening and lengthening of the fascia over your muscles. By focusing the roller on places where you are stiff, sore, or are experiencing reduced flexibility; you can break down unwanted adhesions between the fascia and the underlying muscle tissue. At first the foam roller was pretty painful. But after using it for awhile, I’m used to it and it takes a lot more pressure to work on the knots in my muscles.
Today in CrossFit we did a Conditioning WOD that included the Overhead Squat. The Overhead Squat (OHS) is as much about shoulder flexibility and core strength as it is about leg strength, perhaps even more about flexibility and balance. I’ll be honest; I’ve struggled with the OHS. It isn’t about the weight or my ability to squat it. It’s about my shoulder flexibility more than anything else. As you get down into the deep squat position, you should be able to shrug your shoulders, lock your arms out straight overhead, and actually have those arms somewhat behind your head (i.e., someone should be able to see your ears from the side). When I started doing the OHS, I couldn’t even put my arms that straight overhead with NO WEIGHT! My shoulder flexibility held me back. But, I’ve been working on stretches and using a lacrosse ball to open up the muscles around my scapula and shoulders. It is helping and I can do a better OHS now, but I have a lot more room for improvement before I can add significant weight to this lift.
You know it’s going to be a good day at CrossFit when your warmup looks like a full-on conditioning WOD. One of the warmup exercises was a 250 M row on the C2 rower. That was just to get us all warmed up and excited for the 2000 meter row that was coming up. Today ended up being my best row yet for the 2000 and I’ll tell you how I did it.
I think too many people get caught up in their favorite sport or exercise and focus on the training that drives that. I often get asked; “What weight lifting or training can I do to improve sport XYZ or body part ABC?” When I tell them that they need to focus on overall body balance, [...]
Once you finally get into the exercise groove, it can be tempting to keep adding more hours and days. The logic is simple, but flawed: If I’m getting results with my current level of exercise, I can speed up my progress and get even better results by doing more. That’s when you see people working [...]