August 8, 2011
August 12, 2011

From jump ropes to kettlebells to pull-ups bars, Tuesday’s class had plenty to grab a hold of, and things got off to a quick start with the first warm-up exercise.

Warm-Up 1:
5 min jump-rope (single skips only)

It’s amazing how much time we spend doing double-unders and not single skips. It can help to remind you of the need for good body posture. It can also help you concentrate on turning the rope with your wrists, rather than your shoulders. As well, if you don’t have DUs yet, doing prolonged single skips like this can really help you develop comfort with the rope which will lead to better, more productive DUs.

Pose Form

We made a return to running form Tuesday night, integrating the pulling technique we covered last Tuesday with the other essential ingredient: the lean. We started off with a simple drill of leaning into the wall (breaking at the ankles, not the hips) and then pulling each leg up individually to check posture and foot position. Next we went through triple pulls while leaning into the wall, adding emphasis on quick, but quiet, feet. Lastly, we spent 1 min leaning against the wall while jogging at an easy pace, followed by 1 min at a more aggressive pace (feet slightly farther away from the wall). Lastly, we wrapped things up with a short run down the court: start with hopping on the balls of the feet (similar to jumping rope), then lean forward for a few hops before breaking into a light jog WHILE maintaining a good forward lean.

Warm Up 2:
3 Scapular Retractions, 6 Dive Bombers, 9 Broad Jumps

At this point, everyone should’ve been good and warmed-up for the main event.

Skipping Helen
(3 x 250 Single Skips, 21 KB swings, 12 Pull-Ups)

For the skipping Helen, we simply replaced the three 400m runs with 250 single rope skips. Grip can already be enough of a factor during the regular Helen, but with jump-ropes in the mix, the emphasis on grip was even more of a factor, as was shoulder stability.

This is where good form on the rope skips could help or hinder you on the following two exercises. If you can keep comfortable but tight body posture, with arms held in and wrists doing the work, then you will help save your shoulders for the swings and pull-ups. However, if your arms drift out wide, and you turn the rope with big arm swings initiated from the shoulders instead of the wrists, then the rest of the workout is going to be a slog.

Also, at a total of 63 KB swings, good posture and technique on the swings will really make a difference. Refer back to the CFDC blog post from April 22, 2011 reviewing a few key points of the swing along with 2 bad-posture/good-posture photos.


Great work from two big classes. Looks like things are going to cool off for a bit in the next few days, but don’t let up on your water intake, as the gym will be slow to respond. See you all Thursday!



  1. edgy reggie says:

    I enjoyed this class. The warm-up, the pose running drills, and the met-con [single skips…finally! :-)] gave me a good workout. The humidity in the gym gave me a good beat-down.

    I used the 28 kg kettlebell for the swings and a lot of chalk for the swings and the pull-ups. I actually performed my best pull-ups on the second round.

    I didn’t bother to do any double-unders after class. 750 single skips was enough for me. 🙂

    Everyone did a great job of persevering under less-than-optimal conditions.

    “Not too bad for an old man.” – CFDC’s (and possibly CrossFit Dupont’s) own ODB.

  2. Andraea says:

    Great workout! I thought I was never going to see the end of those skips! The last round of pull-ups were rough, my hands, arms and shoulders didn’t want to pull up anymore.

    I will definitely need to channel these hot humid days in the gym when it’s freezing outside this winter and look back on these pictures and remember the suffering.

  3. Brendan says:

    Greetings from Crossfit Frederick! The Skipping Helen looks like a good workout. We did something similar, the Balboa, which consists of:

    4 rounds of:
    100 Skips
    400 Meter Run
    10 Body Builders (burpee, pull-up, knee-to-elbow)

    I finished in 20:16, slightly below the 21:00 average.

    See you guys next week.

  4. Sara says:

    Well I was a bit concerned when I saw 250 single skips in the workout for 3 rounds. I actually did better at them that expected and much better that during the 5 minute skipping warmup.

    My forearms were on fire during the pose drills… Chris am I leaning too much if that happens?

    I don’t know my time on the metcon. I used a 20kg KB and had to break all sets due to slippery hands and the need to re-chalk

  5. Steph says:

    Good to hear that you’re getting your CF on at another box while away from home! Yours sounds like a good one too!

    Yeah, I have the same question as Sara. I felt my arms were doing a lot of work when I was leaning. Every time we broke I had to shake my triceps out.

    It was good to get a long metcon in, needed a good sweat. Did band pull-throughts instead of the swings. The single skips felt good, was able to do all three rounds without breaking. Pull-ups were tough and I had to keep reminding myself to pinch my shoulder blades but for some reps I just couldn’t pinch them anymore.

  6. SaltyHat says:

    something to grip about was right. did this workout yesterday after some pin-squats. finished in 9:48 using a 28kg KB and kipping pull-ups; I wanted to complete all the swings & pull-ups unbroken, but I simply could not hang on anymore during the last round of pull-ups and dropped off at 10. Grip fried. I followed with a set of 100 DUs post workout for giggles, along with some paloff presses. Looking forward to to some more KB snatch work today.

    hope the trip is going well Dian, we’ll miss you!

    Brendan, glad to hear your showing the crew at CF Frederick how it’s done.

  7. Ben says:

    I have to be honest I was pleasantly surprised by this workout. It was a lot more challenging, and fun, than I expected when the departing 6:00 crew clued me in on the WOD. It definitely challenged my cardio fitness level, reminding me that I need a little more work in that area.

    Grip was a big limiting factor on my pull-ups. Interestingly enough, my last round was the only one where my grip didn’t give out. Probably because I used a liberal dose of the magic strength powder(chalk).

    Thanks for a great class!

  8. Julia says:

    I worked mostly at 20kg; jumped on and off the bar for some very broken sets of kipping-ish/strict-ish pullups; and slogged through multiple trips and breaks on the skips.

    It wasn’t a beatdown, really; nothing felt so unmanageable that I couldn’t keep going. But every slip on my swings, every awkward kick/jerk/pull/wrench to get my chin over the bar, and every stumble over the rope had a cost – in terms of time lost at the moment, sure, but also in terms of extra effort expended over the course of 3 rounds. By the time I finished, well behind just about everyone else, it was really clear how much each of those inefficiencies had added up.

    Overall – a great reminder, as Reggie says, to always check my ego at the door. 🙂