It’s debatable what is the most effective workout for strength training is but many experts would agree that squats are high on the list. The popular workout can be done with or without equipment and has a number of benefits.
Do you want to build your leg muscles? Do squats.
How about increasing mobility and balance? Do squats.
And what about toning your abs and backside? Do squats.
I think you’re getting the point here. Squats can do wonders for the body.
Coach Greg Glassman, author of the article, “Squat Clinic,” believes that squats are important to a person’s overall health.
“…The squat is the quintessential hip extension exercise, and hip extension is the foundation of all good human movement. Powerful, controlled hip extension is necessary and nearly sufficient for elite athleticism” Glassman said.
In the article, he breaks down how to do a sound squat without sustaining any injuries, how to avoid doing a bad one, and what to do to help an injury. It starts with the form of the body and Glassman stresses how crucial that is.
Check out the three demo videos below to see how to do an air, front, and back squat. CrossFit coaches show how to do a sound squat, with and without equipment.
Air Squat (no equipment)
To do an air squat, start with a shoulder- width stance. From there, descend your hips back and down. Your hips will go lower than your knees. To see a CrossFit demo of an air squat, click here.
Front Squat- Check it out here
Back Squat- Check out the demo here
And don’t forget everyone that we have open gyms on Mondays and Fridays at 9pm and Sundays at 2pm! Take full advantage of the open gym to work on your #IWillChallenge or to do any WODs you missed the week before.
Happy Thursday, Valkyrites! Come February, we have a lot of fun things going on and we want to keep you all updated on what is in store for you!
Firstly, we know many of you requested the daily workouts to be posted on ZenPlanner so that if you happen to miss a class, you can do the WOD on your own time. We are currently working on putting all of January’s workouts in and from here on out, we will make sure to keep things updated for you!
Also, We have open gym three times a week so make sure to take advantage of that and come work on your #IWillChallenge and get any other missed workouts in!
February 21 at 7pm, Kettlebell Kitchen is coming back! We will be canceling the 7pm bootcamp for that day but every other class will still be open.
The 2017 Reebok CrossFit Games are starting up February 23 and will take place in a new venue after seven years at the StubHub Center (formerly Home Depot Center) in Carson, California. Registration for the Open started January 12, 2017, and will continue through the entirety of the Open (which ends March 27). To be a valid competitor, however, you will want to register and submit your score on Open Workout 17.1 before 5:00 p.m. PT on Monday, February 27. For more information on how to register, click the link below:
Lady Lisa has some new wise words of wisdom for us this month about how she continues to go to the gym when she is lacking the drive to get up and just go! She says:
I am really proud of myself today that I chose happiness over a funk. Like, I was headed into a funk that made me tired, complacent, and not wanting to show up at the box. But I remembered my promise that I will do things differently, that I will choose the good stuff over the funk, and the first thing is to trust going to the box, hitting that good and healthy vibe. I have to trust aligning myself with that.💗
Today will be different.
Buddy Lee is a former Olympic wrestler who is also known for his impressive jump rope skills.
While training for the Olympics, he credits jumping rope for making him “into one of the quickest, most explosive, and most highly conditioned wrestlers in the world.”
Since developing his jumping rope skills, Lee has shared his knowledge with others through informative classes, articles, and demo videos. He thinks that CrossFit is great because it helps members get back on track with fitness in a life-changing way.
“I believe that CrossFit’s fitness principles of functionality, intensity, and variety are taking us back to basics and setting the standards that can help our nation to regain its health” Lee said in his article, “Jump Rope Basics Part 1: Preparation.”
Take a look at one of his videos here and watch Lee break down the steps to jumping rope effectively.
Jumping rope is a childhood activity that continues to serve as an exercise staple. It’s no surprise that jumping rope is used in WODs because it has great benefits.
Jumping Rope benefits
- Burns calories (between 10-16 calories a minute)
- Builds agility/quickness
- Increases bone density (strength of bones)
Jumping rope helps one to move quicker because when you jump on the balls of your feet, the body and the mind work together to make “neutral muscular adjustments.” This helps to keep the body balanced, according to the article, 6 Surprising Benefits of Jump Rope (+2 You Already Know). So, in the process of jumping rope, your mind focuses on your feet for long periods of time and your coordination improves significantly. Bone density is increased because the impact of jumping rope is absorbed by both legs. Therefore, the strength of your bones increase as opposed to being strained.
Many studies on jumping roping have emphasized how good it is for your brain. It helps to develop the left and right hemispheres. This improves reading skills, memory, awareness, and alertness, according to the Jump Rope Institute. To learn more about the advantages of jumping rope on the brain, check out the article Benefits of Rope Jumping.
If you want to take jump roping up a notch, try doing a double-under. It’s when you spin your wrists so the rope passes your feet twice on every jump. Form is key when trying doing a double-under successfully. Hands should be placed slightly in front of hips, the torso should be upright, and the body should be straight. Check out a CrossFit demo video here to see how to do a double-under.
So, if you have been jumping rope in your WODs, keep going. If you haven’t picked up a jump rope in a couple years, why not start back up with it today? There’s a number of advantages and it begins with one jump at a time.
After seeing many people’s results for the #IWillChallenge, there was one reoccurring end result members desired to achieve in the year 2017: Pull-ups. Whether it’s being able to do 1 strict pull-up or 10, this spiked the coaches interest.
How can they help you achieve your goal?
Though the coaches are constantly collaborating and working hard to find ways to help their members accomplish their daily and yearly goals, a big part of what helps them do so is your communication!
So as they continue to work towards finding new and fun ways for you all to learn strict pull-ups, here are a few ways I found that seem to be efficient ways to build your way up to gaining your goal.
As an Austin native, Coach Jessica Estrada, has always revolved around competitive sports, CrossFit being no exception. As a part of CrossFit Jääkarhu, she says her intention is to bring awareness and harmony to athletes and their audience.
She lists a 4-part tutorial on how to achieve strict pull-ups; starting small, but thinking large.
Included in the link above is a video tutorial along with a description list of each step.
2. Squat Rack+Bent Knees
3. Squat Rack+Straight Legs
Remember, Whole Life Challenge begins this Saturday, January 22 so if you are interested, talk to any coach about the process of signing up!
The Men’s 6-week challenge begins the last week of January so if you know anyone who is interested, please don’t hesitate to drag them into the box! This is our first time doing the 6-week challenge for men so we are excited and would love to bring in as many people as possible to be part of our gym!
My first day interning at the box, I walked around, introduced myself, and got to know the members. I asked everyone the same question: “Can you describe what CrossFit means to you in one word?” One member’s answer stood out. Not because she could explain the impact in one word but because she couldn’t.
Her name is Judy Betz. One word was not enough to sum up how CrossFit has impacted her life, she needed more. So instead of one word, she said, “It helped me find the person that I thought I’d lost.”
Betz played softball for over half her life. She played Division 1 at Wagner College for 4 years and then coached at the same level for two years. Her first year into coaching, she suffered a concussion. It left her without physical activity for months. During that time, she gained weight.
Softball was a part of her life for years and to not have it anymore was devastating. Everything changed for her and the life she knew was no longer what it used to be.
“After I finished my time coaching and started my job search, I had lost a major aspect of my life: competitive sports, a team, and people you see everyday to accomplish a common goal” Betz said.
She wanted to start up her physical activity again. Betz attended classes at local gyms, worked with personal trainers, dieted, biked, and boxed. You name it, she did it but nothing seemed to deliver the results she wanted. While browsing through social media, Betz learned about CrossFit Valkyrie. The fall women’s challenge was beginning and she thought that this is what she needed to get her fitness routine back to how it was.
“When I met with Kent to talk about joining the challenge, I was up for anything to shake up my routine and get my health back on track” Betz said.
The first day of the challenge was great. She met women who had the same goals as her. She felt a part of something again, reminiscent of her softball days. Most of the movements during the WOD were ones that she knew. Later when she started the On-Ramp Challenge, everything wasn’t easy.
“I kept messing up the team warm-up, but even with that everyone just kept moving through it.”
So, Betz kept moving and didn’t let a anything stop her.
As she became a member and attend the classes, Betz saw how her life was improving.
“My mood has changed drastically, I’m happier, I feel like I’m part of something again, I’ve gotten stronger or back to the strength that I had when I played and that gives me confidence.”
A majority of the days when I’m at the box, I see Betz doing kettlebell workouts. Kettlebells are great for strengthening the back, shoulders, hamstrings, and glutes. Be sure to check out the video on how to do a kettlebell swing here.
What does Betz’s tell herself when she’s ready to give up on her workout?
“When all else fails, I fall back on time. It’s only 60 minutes of hard work, I can do this.”
It takes one decision in order to see change in your life. For Betz, it was trying something new by becoming a Valkyrie member. Don’t be afraid to shake up your routine, especially when it’s no longer working for you. The push that you give yourself can elevate you to new heights and become the person that you always were.
Betz was able to find the person that she thought she had lost. Through her journey, you see that the person you are is never lost, it just needs the right thing to revive it.