February 29, 2012
March 5, 2012

More than a few people noted Tom’s prescience in putting together Tuesday’s programming, and this will mark at least the 4th year in which he has programmed a class or pre-competition workout that is eerily similar to a workout in the competition. To complement Tuesday’s snatch-tips, Thursday’s classes included some pre- and post-workout snatch-assisting mobility. Remember, we will be kicking things off on the 12.2 workout tomorrow at 1pm; we will include a warm-up for everyone, but please feel free to show up a little early to roll out and get some extra mobility in before hand.

 KB Snatch Swing (“Punch-Up”)

To start off the night, class was introduced to a different approach to an American-style KB swing: the Snatch Swing or “Punch Up.” In this version, the swing, the KB is initiated with the hips, but once the hips are fully extended, the athlete pulls the elbows in towards the body. This shorten the arc of the swing, reducing the distance the KB has to travel. As the KB passes the head, the athlete re-extends their arms, in effect punching the KB into the overhead position.

A few key points to performing the snatch swing/punch-up:

First: You must initiate with the hips! Only the arc of the KB is changed, not how you impart momentum. Pop the hips forward; don’t pull with the weight up with the shoulders.

Second: To alter the arc of the KB, pull the hands in towards the body slightly, NOT up towards the ceiling. The first will cause the elbows to pull back, which is what shortens the arc of the KB. The second will cause the elbows to pull up (as in a high pull) and causes the shoulders to do the lifting, rather then utilizing the momentum of the hip pop.

Third: To better control the KB in the overhead position, slide the hands to the corners of the KB and envision pulling the handle apart. This will help you maneuver the KB into a vertical position (rather than tilting forward), but will also help prevent the KB from flopping over backwards at the top.

When performed correctly, the KB snatch swing effectively allows an athlete to perform his/her KB reps at a faster rate than a normal American-style swing. To put this theory into practice, Thursday’s workout included a few KB swings (whoda thunk it?)

12 min AMRAP of Church Run (250m), 12 KB swings, 24 DUs

Everyone started the run together and aimed to fit as many rounds in as possible within the 12min time frame. There were a few shared KBs, so if the KB was in use, athletes were allowed to start with the DUs instead. Single Skips were subbed for DUs at a 2:1 ratio.

Post workout, it was time for some mobility dedicated to prepping people for Saturday’s fun.

Mobility Work :

PVC Kimura (Pre-Class)

Keys to performing this stretch include keeping the elbow at 90 degrees, keeping the upper arm out to the side of the body (not pulled in across the chest), and making sure the PVC is in line with the forearm.

 Chair Prayer

One of the stretches Winnie took us through a week ago, but was revisited again on Thursday with a few additional instructions: be sure to maintain a hollow position (tilting the hips towards the ground and gently rounding the lower back) and forcibly flexing the triceps, pushing the elbows down into the chair.

Death Stretch (AKA the Couch Stretch) 

 A favorite of tight-quads and sore-hip flexors everywhere!

Partner Assisted Shoulder Rotation

Another stretch we’ve done in the past, but with a slight modification (again, thanks to Winnie): instead of simply pulling upwards on the PVC, the assisting partner places one hand in the middle of the stretches upper-back, and then pulls down and back on the PVC. This prevents the stretchers shoulders from excessively rolling forward in the sockets, while also helping them keep an upright torso.

Combined with the bully shoulder drill and keg drill (which we reviewed and used back in January for a snatch/OHS workout), each of you should be adequately armed to prep for Saturday’s 12.2 workout. Until then, rest up, and get ready to have fun!



  1. Amelia says:

    Good to be back in class after missing a few in a row.

    I think I got a hang of the new swings by using a lighter KB than usual.

    Subbed single skips for DU’s and was just shy of completing my 5th round.

    See everyone on Saturday!

  2. Steph says:

    My DUs were horrible last night! I think I only had 1 round where I didn’t break. Frustrating! It was good to have Mark and SBV in the 7pm, I think I pushed harder than I would’ve if I had done this by myself. Started the run on the 6th round but didn’t make it back in time before time was up. Came in the door at 12:28.

    No comments about 12.2 other than it’s going to suck. Don’t have to work tomorrow (hopefully) so I’ll be there at 1!

  3. SBV says:

    The snatch-style/punch-up kettlebell swing is a neat new trick to have in the bag. I found it to be slightly more taxing on the shoulders but slightly less taxing on grip. Perhaps I was pulling the hands more up than in, as described in today’s blog post. Regardless, I found the cycle time to be much faster.

    I wonder if kettlebells would ever be included in an Open workout. Sure, most affiliates have access to kettlebells, but that would suck for folks in more remote locations who may not have a full “regulation-sized” set.

  4. Katie says:

    I used 8 kg for the punch-up swings and I think I got the form down pretty well. Chris was kind enough to also coach me on running, and even did a church run with me. (how many coaches would do that, seriously? Awesome.) It was tough, but I’m glad to have the extra coaching, because I feel it in my knees and hips when I run with the crappy form I’m used to. It’s difficult to focus on form when running because I just want to RUN and not think about it so much, but I’m hoping it will become more natural with practice.

    I subbed single skips (happy it was only 2:1 rather than 3:1). My goal was to finish 4 rounds, and I got 3 plus the run and 3 KB swings, which I was content with since the run was the toughest part of the workout for me anyway.

    I plan to try to make it tomorrow to cheer everyone on and see the awesomeness!

  5. Fun workout last night! I also subbed single skips for the DUs (still working on getting proficient w/them!) and was 20 jumps away from completing my 5th round. I really like that new swing technique!

    And on a separate, but equally-important note, SBV was talking in his sleep last night and NO JOKE this is what he said:

    “I told them it was my max, but they didn’t believe me.”

    I said, “what?” and he repeated it, “I told them it was my max, but they didn’t believe me.”

    Does anyone else find this REALLY sad?

    Looking forward to Saturday!

  6. edgy reggie says:

    I had to miss last night’s class due to work obligations (feels good to say that now), but it sounds as if it was a good workout.

    As a consolation to myself, I did manage to get to Winnie’s Iyengar yoga class and get my stretch on.

    I feel ready to tackle Open workout 12.2…or at least, do my level best tomorrow. Seventy is my goal number. I’m going to purchase a couple of additional pairs of long (colored) sport socks (or tube socks) so that I can create another CrossFit-style mismatched pair. Everyone is welcome to join in on the fun. 🙂

    Note to Coach: Good call on the workout. As Coach Salty mentioned in the blog entry, you have been on-point more than once when it comes to predicting CrossFit competition workouts.

  7. Erica says:

    OMG, MC I’m dying of laughter. I can totally picture that. I’ll have to pay attention to what happens tonight in my house 🙂

    It took me awhile to get the KB swings and I have a feeling, but really what do I know, that KBs will be in the open at some point. I need more practice and can see how they are quicker, but the breathing sort of through me off.

    All I can say about the met-con that followed is F&*k DUs. My swings were okay, I was running pretty fast, but I’m in the weird and annoying in between place where I am trying to do DUs instead of singles and I just didn’t have it last night. And I was very slow and getting more frustrated. Stealing Scott’s jump rope made a big difference. Next time I’m going to make a mad dash for the one rope I know works 😉

    Cannot wait to scream my head off for my teammates tomorrow.

  8. TomandAmi says:

    Good class yesterday indeed – I really prefer the different KB swing and it seems faster. I previewed 12.2 today and the 135 gets heavy really fast – at least for me. It’s a strength and power move and those multiple pulls take their toll. My goal is to get to the 135s within 2.5-3 minutes then take each one at a time and not get sloppy. I think Chris S. is right that it is worthtaking a few more seconds to set than waste evergy missing or saving a bad lift. Good luck everyone – we’ll see you tomorrow.

  9. Dian says:

    @Mary Catherine – LOL! The fact that Sebastian talks CrossFit in his sleep only makes him more awesome.

    Great class last night. I got the concept of the KB swing but not sure I got it just right. I would like to practice those more. I was just a few double-unders short of completing 4 full rounds of the workout.

    Looking forward to seeing everyone tomorrow.

  10. Sara says:

    Great class to come back too after a rough week and no workout since Sunday. I used the 16kg KB and did these swings for the first time in a workout. These like most KB exercises are good for me. Double unders went fairly smooth for me. If only I could go faster on the runs in these types of workouts. I got 4 complete rounds.

    Looking forward to tomorrow.