Praesent Et Urna Turpis Sadips
July 31, 2012
August 3, 2012

After a leg searing Sunday, Tuesday took things back up top for some pressing work, followed by a good dose or core work in the met-con.

6 x 3 Push Press

After working through a strict-press to push-press-burnout progression two times in the past months, this Tuesday focused solely on the push press. The push press will allow you to move more weight into the overhead position, but it also demands more attention to body position to both get it there and keep it there:

  • dipping by pushing the knees forward only, rather than bending the knees and hips, which pitches the torso forward and causes the bar to be launched forward rather than up; 
  • keeping the elbows in front of the bar when in the rack position so that the body supports the bar, rather than allowing the elbows to drop, which puts the weight almost entirely into the hands; 
  • pushing the bar with the chest to initiate the drive – which really goes hand in hand with keeping the elbows in front of the bar – rather than using only the arms and shoulders; 
  • retracting the head to ensure the bar path is as straight as possible – this will help stop the bar travelling out and around the head, even if unintentional (it’s understandable, as no one really wants to hit themselves in face with a loaded barbell); and, 
  • shrugging the shoulders up (“active shoulders”) and squeezing the glues when the bar is overhead in order to adequately support the weight. 
7min AMRAP of 
5 Jump Squats, 35′ Mummy Crawl, 10 Hip Bridges, 35′ Mummy Crawl

Class near the half-court line with 5 jump squats, then placed their feet on towels and mummy crawled 35 feet towards the end line where they performed 10 hip bridges before mummy crawling back to the mid-court line.

Hip bridges were RX’d as feet on the floor, but could be scaled up by placing the feet onto something – bumpers, plyo-boxes, or bleachers – which increases the range of motion. To perform, press the feet down and drive the hips as high as possible towards the ceiling, pause at the top, and then lower down until the tailbone touches the floor before beginning the next rep.

The humidity seemed to be responsible for some raw palms during the 6pm class, to the 7pm was roundly encouraged to tape up the base of their palms, while the met-con was slightly altered, upping the jump squats to 10 reps and then hip bridges to 15 reps.

Great work. Not quite as fun as last Thursday’s evening classes, but a good time nonetheless. Hopefully everyone is getting lot’s of Olympics watching in, but if you have a couple of minutes, I would highly suggest you check out today’s Mainsite WOD, especially the video demonstration featuring our own Ethan Bronstein and Sara Katz, as well as Coach Mike Choi! WOD for August 1, 2012:
Video Demo with CFDC 


  1. Julia says:

    Video is awesome! Nice work and congrats Sara, Ethan, Mike, Chris, Tom!

    Nice working with Ben and April on push presses, with helpful cues on catching-not-crashing from Chris. And nice (unknowingly) working with Peter on the metcon. A couple lingering questions:

    – push press: how should the setup compare to the setup for front squats? specifically, elbow positioning and hand width?

    – jump squats: in regards to hearing the “heels” cue… When you’re squatting, you want to drive up through your heels, right? (And stay solid, grounded?) But when you’re doing high-rep plyos, don’t you want to jump from and land on the balls of your feet? (And stay light, and on the ground as little as possible?) Or are jump squats different?

  2. Dian says:

    Great job everyone on the mainsite WOD demo. I’m so proud of CFDC.

    I’m looking forward to being back in class tomorrow.

  3. Katie says:

    Congrats to everyone on a great job in the video!! Really impressive form and insightful comments from the coaches.

  4. Erica says:

    Great questions Julia!

    And super impressed by Sara and Ethan. Really, awesome to watch. The coaches were impressive as well. They sounded very knowledgeable.

    Glad to be back after missing two classes. Push presses felt heavy, worked up to my last set at 100#s (3 reps)

    Mummy crawls are awful. I, along with some others, tore my hand open and it’s killing me (and super hot) today. Oooh well. I thought I was feeling better on the mummy crawls (only stopped on the last one), but benefited from the cues of not sagging my hips. They are just an awful movement, particularly for someone like me who struggles with core work.

  5. Andraea says:

    The video rocked! Congrats you guys!

    Last night went better than I thought it was going to since when I showed up my motivation was running low but somehow CFDC always gets me going! I worked with Erica, Amelia, Joanna, and Jess and did my last set of 3 reps at 100lbs. The 100lbs actually felt good and I can’t wait to do these again and go above 100lbs! The final set I felt the rhythm coming together and breathing out and in at the top which really helped.

    Metcon was brutal but good. My wrists were killing me during mommy crawls but they felt better than before.

    Great job everyone!

  6. Amelia says:

    Awesome video. Nice work Sara and Ethan!

    Got 3 at 95 and 2 sets of 2 at 100, but couldn’t get the 3rd on either set.

    metcon: i actually like mummy crawls, but not when they rip my palms open…

  7. TomandAmi says:

    Nice work guys on the WOD Demo. Way to represent Sara and Ethan. And the Oly coaching triplets – Tom Chris and Mike. Making CFDC proud.

  8. Mark Minukas says:

    Way to get the CFDC name out there on the mainsite fellas!

    Re the workout. My stick arms put up 175 x 3 reps (a first for me). Keeping an upright torso was a great help.

    Mummy crawls sound easy, but suck…bad. Interesting metcon – solid core work.

  9. Tom Brose says:

    Great work all around. Upper body strength is definitely improving.

    Julia brought up some great questions. If you aren’t sure of what we mean PLEASE take the time to ask. I’m sure others are wondering the same thing.

    – push press: how should the setup compare to the setup for front squats? specifically, elbow positioning and hand width?

    Elbows need to be in front of the bar, but nowhere near as far as in the Front Squat. To an extent, this will be a matter of personal preference/comfort/flexibility. The key is for the bar to be supported across the shoulders and chest, and to use as a “launch pad”. This optimal position will also keep the bar close to the center of gravity, and allow for a completely vertical dip/drive (not leaning forward).

    Grip width is also to an extent an individual preference. We NEED the hands outside the width of the shoulders, but many stay with that minimum. I feel that most of you would benefit from a wider grip. For anyone who continually struggles to lock out or get the bar back, a wider grip would be a good choice (along with some dedicated mobility work).

    – jump squats: in regards to hearing the “heels” cue… When you’re squatting, you want to drive up through your heels, right? (And stay solid, grounded?) But when you’re doing high-rep plyos, don’t you want to jump from and land on the balls of your feet? (And stay light, and on the ground as little as possible?) Or are jump squats different?

    Yes, yes, no, yes, no?

    Yes, in squatting you want to drive through the heels, and stay grounded. And in jumping, you are going to launch from the balls of the feet, and make contact with them on landing. Where the jump squat is going to be different from something like hopping drills is…the squat.

    As you land, the loading through the range of motion of the squat absorbs the impact. In that sense, its not a true plyometric, relying on the stretch shortening cycle of the muscle. So we are moving through a larger ROM than needed just to redirect the bodies direction of movement. Once we commit to that ROM, we need to maintain the mechanics of the squat to put knee in a safe position, that will also recruit the posterior chain. If you’ve ever tried “Hindu squats”, where the heels stay elevated, even in the bottom of the squat, you’ll feel the difference. I don’t think its a safe position for repeated loading, especially as dynamically as in a jump.

    So as you land (toes first), the weight shifts back as the heels connect while the body lowers via the hips and knee. I think this is a GREAT question, and I hope my explanation makes sense. I’d be happy to walk through this with physical demonstration.

  10. edgy reggie says:

    Cool video (and it was fun to watch the making of it). The coaches are the reason I always say that CrossFit DC is “the one;” this video just reinforces my point.

    On the push press, I worked up to 150# x 3. It felt a little heavy; I think I “muscled up” my first one and did an actual push press on the final two. Nevertheless, I feel as if I am getting better – and stronger – with the push press.

    The met-con was…interesting. At least the mummy crawls weren’t very long. I completed three-and-a half rounds. My tape-less hands are still fine. 🙂

  11. SBV says:

    Love the discussion on push press rack position. This is a major issue for me because it has been the source of a lot of arm pain over the last few years. In fact, Tuesday was the first time I’ve been able to push press in a few months.

    It’s a difficult balance: on the one hand, you want to get the bar up onto your shoulders to allow for maximum transfer of energy during the leg-drive phase of the movement. On the other hand, you want to get the bar into the palm of your hand with your elbows in an efficient driving position to allow for maximum pressing strength. Unfortunately, it’s really difficult to do both at the same time. I used to err on the side of placing the bar high on my shoulders, but it was at the expense of my grip position. The bar was end of in my finger-tips, much like a front squat rack position. That lead to injury because I would end up doing a “skull-crusher” in mid-air to get the bar overhead. Not sustainable at heavy loads.

    Tuesday night, I shifted my emphasis to erring on the side of getting the bar into my palms and getting my elbows into a more efficient driving position. Also, I spent about 30 minutes before class mobilizing my thoracic spine, lats, triceps, and wrists. It definitely paid off because I completed my last three working sets at 185#, a huge personal record for me. And, more imporantly, no arm pain.

    Good luck to all on your quest for finding the proper push press rack position!

  12. Sara says:

    The video turned out great. I love that Mike kept all the coaching points from Chris, Tom and Mike. I noticed a couple things on the c&j that I didn’t like. I jumped back on almost every clean an the last 2 jerks I had a Reuben’s of the arms. That was very awkward for me because I don’t typically train touch & go sets at that weight.

    Tom – those were some great explanations really glad I got a chance to read them. I had a basic understanding of the jump squat mechanics but that really drove it all home.

    I tend to have a much wider grip for pressing exercises than I see any other ladies in our class using. I don’t feel it is because I have limited flexibility but rather I just feel more stable overhead and am able to generate more drive with the wider grip.

  13. Dan Samarov says:

    Awesome job guys!

  14. ELB says:

    Thanks for the support on the video and congrats to Sara. Not happy I failed on one of the sets.

    Was able to get 2 reps at 205 on the push press, but my legs/shoulders took a beating on Sunday.

  15. Katie says:

    Made this workout up the following Saturday…worked up to 55# on the push press, which I was disappointed with. Failed twice on 60#, and I’m feeling sore, so I guess I got some good work in even though I didn’t hit the 60# or 65# I wanted. Not sure why I was able to do 65# a while ago, but only 55# this time…perhaps because I was working alone?

    Subbed plank hold ALAP for the mummy crawls in the metcon…I’m sure that was MUCH easier than the mummy crawls!!