March 7, 2012
March 12, 2012

18 minutes of fun lie in store this weekend for those participating in the Open. To prepare, Thursday’s class started off with some useful kipping skill review and practice, and then closed out with some much needed (and very appropriate) mobility and stretching. For you participants, both of these will be included in your warm-up and cool-down on Saturday, but you would be well advised to hit them on your own between now and then.

Skill Practice and Review: 

The three-part kipping progression we’ve used in the past really seems to be paying (a lot of people are putting together solid kips!), and in light of that, Thursday’s classes worked through the same 3 parts:

  1. Two sets of 3 Arch & 3 Hollow Holds (holding each extreme position of the kip at least 3 times – so hold the hollow position, come back to center, hold the arch position, come back to center, hold the hollow position, etc.) 
  2. Two sets of Arch & Hollow Transitions (making a smooth transition between the two positions rather than holding, but still slower than a full kip); &, 
  3. At least one set of full speed kipping (this is where we speed up the arch and hollow transitions into a full speed kip). 

Developing a solid kip and rhythm will really pay off, not only for pull-ups, but knees-to-elbows (K2E) and toes-to-bar (T2B). In light of 12.3’s T2B, everyone was given the option to try out a few practice sets of T2B. Unfortunately, the bars on the court aren’t really conducive to kipping T2B practice, so restraint was the word of the evening. Post skill review, everyone nabbed a KB, a towel, and then went for a nice run to enjoy the weather.

1 Mile Run, 
3 Wall Walkers, 
15 Kettlebell Swings,
3 mummy crawls (1/2 court equals 1), 
15 Kettlebell Swings,
3 Wall Walkers

Everyone started outside, and completed two laps of the block run for their mile before heading inside to complete the remaining exercises. The name of the game for the met-con was core positioning – being tired and out of breath forced (or should’ve forced) everyone to concentrate on maintaining a tight core. More specifically, it demanded acute control over the position of the pelvis, especially the posterior tilt (tucking the pelvis forward, which is what creates the hollow position). Maintaining the posterior pelvis tilt during Thursday’s workout ensured that:

(A) your midsection didn’t collapse and allow your lower back to over-arch during the wall walkers, which stops the abdomen sagging toward the wall and helps stabilize the handstand position;
(B) your midsection didn’t collapse and allow your lower back to over-arch during the KB swings, which helps create a stable and safe position with the KB overhead; and,
(C) your midsection didn’t collapse and allow your lower back to over-arch during the mummy crawls, which stops the abdomen from sagging towards the floor and allows your shoulders to move freely.

It would appear that there’s a common theme running through there, wouldn’t it? Post thematic-workout, class worked some much needed mobility and stretching.


(1) Ankle/Calf/Achilles Stretch: 
Ball of the foot against the wall, and pushing with the back leg in order to maximize the stretch through the calf and achilles tendon.

(2) Chair Prayer:
Check out the blog post from last Thursday’s class for a more in depth explanation of the so-called “chair prayer” stretch.

(3) Keg Drill:
A quick reminder about the keg drill: 
the point of placing an object under the shoulders and raising them off the ground, as Joanna has above, is to help open up the shoulder joint; placing an object under your back (rather than your shoulders) negates this. 

Once again, we’ll be kicking off our 12.3 workouts at 1pm on Saturday – if you’re free, please come out and support your fellow athletes/teammates/friends!  See you then.



  1. Sara says:

    So I guess everyone is all commented out after Tuesday. I enjoyed last night’s class I even felt better on the run (possibly even a bit faster than I usually am) only thing I noticed while running is that my left leg feels really heavy compared to the right so it seems like it is harder to lift the left foot.

    I uses the 20kg KB and did the snatch style swings. These felt really good compared to the last time I tried that style with the 20kg. Mummy crawls were still tough. Didn’t even make it one half a length with out a break.

    I am loving all the shoulder mobility we’ve been doing in class. I am head to Chaan Thai Massage this evening for some much needed work. After Doing snatch drills Wednesday my forearms are a bit sore and want them to be better for tomorrow.

  2. I enjoyed last night’s workout, but am a little upset at myself for not adhering to the movement standards. My wall walkers were more “belly-bump & slide” than they were walkers. I also allowed my hips to drop at times on the mummy crawls. I usually strive to uphold the movement standards, but my brain receives conflicting messages when we’re racing against the clock in a “for time” environment. It’s a difficult balance.

    On to Open workout 12.3. I sense a little more nervousness about this workout. I think that’s good, though. If you’re nervous, then it means you care. And, it’s great that so many people care about doing their best.

    We work tons of box jumps at CFDC, so I think we’re good there. We’ve worked push press three times recently: the Smackdown, the Smackdown Redux, and the row/PP/100 burpee workout. I think we’re good there. So, it seems most of our nervousness is coming from the toes-to-bar. I’m with you on that one. I’ve never done toes-to-bar at part of a metcon. I’ve only done them post-metcon as a 3 x max reps-type of deal. So, into the unknown we venture. At least it’s great to know that we’ll all be there on Saturday to support one another. Should be another epic afternoon with CFDC!

  3. The above message was from SBV, not MC.

  4. edgy reggie says:

    Quote: “So I guess everyone is all commented out after Tuesday…”

    Ummmm…not really. 🙂

    I took it easy during class last night. I only did half of the run, all of the kettlebell swings (with a 24 kg kettlebell), and three wall-walkers.

    I went to Winnie’s Iyengar yoga class post-CrossFit workout. Last night’s class focused a lot on shoulder stretching and hip stretching; all of that I found useful for this Saturday’s workout.

    I feel ready-to-go with Open workout 12.3. Hopefully, that feeling will carry into the actual workout.

    Best of luck to all my CrossFit DC teammates.

    “One-two-three: CFDC!”

  5. Erica says:

    OMG, as I was reading MC’s message, I kept thinking “WOW this sounds so much like something SBV would say”. Good call.

    I love “grinder” style workouts so last night was rough but awesome. I’m doubting that run was really a mile because I’ve never run that fast for a mile in my life. And honestly, I wasn’t going 100% because I was thinking about what was ahead of me and because my legs are tired from a heavy cardio day the day before. And thanks to Tom A with his false start :)~~~ I used the 16kb kb and cursed through the walk walkers and mummy crawl.

    I am very nervous about the toes-to-bar. Mackenzie, Amelia and I stayed after to work on them. I admit that I did get ONE (as in singles-multiple times), but this is not faring well for me. I love LOOOOONG met-cons; they are a strength of mine, but only if I can actually complete all of the exercises. I’m going to bring my game face, my positive mental attitude, but am predicting lots of swearing and frustrating grunts from me on Saturday.

    I love cheering, but I’m going to have to pace myself for multiple rounds of 18-minute heat AMRAPS…

  6. Dian says:

    Oh jeez, nice shot of my underwear. Making a mental note to wear longer shirts.

    I was really glad to get in some kipping and T2B practice. The T2B were not happening for me last night so I doubt they will be happening after 12, 75lb push presses tomorrow. I’m nervous about the push presses. I can see those starting to fall apart on me since I have a tendency not to keep my weight on my heels and I don’t keep my core tight. Since we have several options on how we get the bar up overhead is there any major drawback to using the split jerk? I think that may be my best bet.

    With the 70 degree weather yesterday I thought we would have a nice long run. My foot and knee felt fine on the run which was a relief. I’m hoping that I can soon put the pain and discomfort I’ve had there behind of me soon. Speaking of pain and discomfort, last night was my first mummy crawl experience and it hurt like hell just as I anticipated.

    See everyone tomorrow afternoon.

  7. Julia says:

    Erica, Dian, everyone – I think all of your comments really illustrate why it’s so cool that so many people are participating in the Open. It’s a chance to try to do things that you never thought you could do before – whether it’s getting a heavy weight overhead 6 minutes into a workout, making it through a wod that is just burpees and nothing but burpees, or getting your toes up to the bar for the very first time.

    Saturday is going to be awesome. See you all at 1pm!

  8. Sara says:

    Erica- the route is slightly under 1 mile at .96 or .97 miles according to the mapping I’ve done in the past

  9. Katie says:

    LOL Dian! I think you’re the only one who noticed that in the photo. :o)

    I had a stressful day at work and was wiped out, and even the warm-up was tough. I did half the run, used 12 kg then 8 kg for the KB swings, held at a 45-degree angle against the wall instead of the walkers, and did two mummy crawls instead of three. It was all difficult, but the one positive was that I was able to do maybe a third of the half-court (a sixth, I suppose?) on the mummy crawls before resting…better than I’ve done before. Also, I didn’t slam my knees down when stopping. :o)

    I’ll be there to cheer everyone on tomorrow, but the baked goods are looking iffy. The Trader Joe’s at 25th & L let me down today — no coconut oil!!! (also no applewood smoked bacon, spaghetti squash, pumpkin, chocolate coconut water, and baking powder??!? I’m displeased.) So we’ll see if I can figure something out…

  10. TomandAmi says:

    This will be a long hard 18 miniutes. I liked Tom’s thought of it being like a 2k row set a consistent but hard pace and try to stick with it then have something in the tank for a final sprint.

    nd I have made a mental note to review the blog photos again for Dian’s underwear.

  11. Dian says:

    @Julia – you are right. I’m very glad that I signed up for the Open. Tomorrow will be rough but I will give it my best shot. This is why I CrossFit. It isn’t easy.

    By the way, Annie T. got knocked down to second place on the leaderboard for 12.3. Which one of the CFDC ladies will knock her down to third place I wonder?

    Looking forward to seeing everyone tomorrow.

  12. Tom Brose says:

    No one should be afraid of tomorrows workout. The Open is making everyone better as individuals, and CFDC MUCH stronger as a community. As long as you put effort in, 12.3 is another victory.

    You’ll hear this a lot from me tomorrow, but the warmup is essential. You should go into the workout with a sweat already going. We’ll have a specific sequence that we want everyone to follow during the heat before you go. Also, we are going to be very specific with whom we think should jump down- not most of you.

    Looking forward to seeing you all demolish 12.3!