With Tuesday being an upper-body only focused workout, and one which omitted a met-con, there were plenty of bets as to what Thursday’s class would hold. Quite a few of them were on point too.
To kick things off, each class was given 15 minutes to work through 5 sets of 3-5 front squats. The goal was to work up to a moderately heavy weight – “moderately heavy” because each set of front squats had to be initiated by cleaning the weight off the floor first. Remember to initiate each front squat – as well as any other squat – with the hips. Tilt the hips back first, securing the arch in the lower back, and then immediately drive the knees out to begin slowly lowering yourself. The timing is quite subtle and quick, but the order makes a big difference.
Leading with the hips allows us to maintain an upright torso position with elbows up and forward. Bending the knees first shifts our body weight forward, causing us to round the back and shifting the bar into our hands, which consequently causes the elbows to drop which shifts the weight forward even more (a downward spiral effect of poor posture and positioning). Proper positioning makes a big difference, one that’s much more evident during higher weight, or, higher reps. Enter the un-ironic and completely intended example of the day’s met-con.
The met-con was run in heats starting every 2 minutes, which gave people plenty of time to alter the weights on the bar to suit their needs. The weights were RX’d for guys at 155, 135, 95 and 65, with ladies bars set at 103, 83, 63, and 33. After completing a single max rep set of front squats, lifters dropped the bars and stepped to the other side of the room for the remainder of the workout. The side hurdles were designated as over and back (meaning two jumps – over and back – for every one rep).
While 100 air squats and 50 side hurdles after a max rep set of weighted front squats seems daunting, there was one form-tip to make things slightly easier: butterflying the legs during sit-ups might make the sit-ups harder as it concentrates the work in your abdomen, but it also allows your hip flexors to rest. In a workout like this, where that burning sensation often over-rides any desire to not stop, this momentary rest can make a big difference.
Hope everyone is enjoying the massive amounts of non-snow, non-sleet, and even non-rain we experienced yesterday. See you all this weekend for more of the same.