Well, here we (still) are, one day after the world was to have ended. The earth didn’t break open to swallow us whole…
…Brimstone didn’t rain from the sky…
…Fire didn’t consume us…
…and Hell wasn’t unleashed upon mankind.
Although, Katie did bring in her own personal KB to share with the rest of the CFDC community, which – we kid you not – looked like this:
yea…so, that was a little unexpected. Since Katie went through all that work to bring the KB to class, we figured, why not put them to use. Again.
Wall Squats can be ultra frustrating, but they are a necessity for perfecting upright squats, which can be imperative for things like, oh, front squats with large KBs. Stand facing a wall, but about an inch away. You should be in your squat stance, or a stance that is slightly wider than your normal stance. With hands preferably over head, slowly squat down, aggressively driving the knees out and keeping the chest up. Stop when you reach a position of instability. We stressed the key point of not taking an uber wide or awkward stance just to get the depth – force yourself to use good mechanics to achieve the depth.
To kick off the day’s strength work, class started with a review of the KB clean and the KB front rack position. The clean is part swing, part clean, wherein you pull KB up by explosively extending the hips and knees, but keep the KB in close, like a high pull, with elbow out to the side so the KB rotates around the wrist, landing in the crook of the arm between the forearm, bicep, and chest. This – the catch position – is, ironically enough, the proper rack position (elbow out to the side). Tom stressed the need for control, which actually comes from more hip use, rather than less. There’s an appropriate quote out there from KB guru Jeff Martone that goes something like this:
After the review, class began a progressive ladder of double-KB exercises, beginning with Swings, then Front Squats, and finally finishing with Thrusters. The rungs of the ladder were represented by progressively heavier KBs – so, you began your first set of double-KB swings with the two 8kg bells, then moved to the 16’s, and so on, until you could go no higher, and then cycled back around.
A great progression to teach the movement and really get everyone comfortable with the KBs. Which was a good thing, considering we were all about to see a lot more of them for the met-con.
There wasn’t a whole lot of scaling to be done with this one. Everyone began with 3 single-arm KB thrusters per side with their chosen weight, then moved to the center of the room for 12 plank-to-squats (P2S), moved back to the KB for 6 single arm KB swings (athletes could do all 6 on one side and then switch, or could alternate every rep), and finished off the round with 24 side hops over a chalk line (over & back equaled 1 rep). Repeat as many times as possible for 12 minutes.
After a few cool down laps, we had a special flexibility/mobility surprise for everyone – a much needed surprise too.
Class was lucky enough to have Winnie Au come work them through some much needed stretching. Winnie is an extremely accomplished Iyengar Yoga instructor, and she takes her flexibility seriously, blending well chosen positions with direct instructions and a lot of hands-on adjustments. As much as we might push you in your workouts, it probably pales in comparison with where Winnie will take you in your stretching.
The fact of the matter is, though, that this is exactly what all of us (and I do mean ALL) need. If stretching were easy and comfortable, and if only flexibility came with wishful thinking, we’d all be limber as acrobats and gymnasts. Many thanks to Winnie for the great session last night. Here’s hoping we see a few more of those sessions in the near future.
Small class, but huge amount of effort, and larger amount of fun. Who knows what lies in store for tomorrow. See you then.