Friday, December 11, 2015

Becoming a Supple Leopard

I have really been enjoying Dr. Kelly Starrett's Becoming a Supple Leopard.  I have been involved in CrossFit for about 6 months and want to get better.  I felt like my limited mobility was contributing to my slow improvement and tendency towards injury.  In the past 4 months I have tweaked my groin, low back and most recently shoulder.

I carefully read through Principles & Theory and Movement Categories.  Starrett's presentation of the material was excellent.  Although I have heard "bend the bar" or "screw your feet into the ground," I had trouble internalizing the cues.  Further although I know that rounding or arching your back is a bad thing, I never had a "formula" for midline stabilization.

Most importantly, I have a better idea of the hierarchy of movements.  An air squat is a category 1 movement during which I start and end in the same position.  A wall ball is a category 2 movement which starts as a squat and then includes a push press.  A clean is a category 3 movement as it incorporates multiple archetypes and the athlete is disconnected from the ground.  If during my air squat my hips do not go below my knee crease, I will struggle even more with category 2 & 3 movements.

I flipped through Mobilization Techniques and Mobility Prescription much quicker.  As of yesterday, I started my mobility program with 4 minutes of couch stretch, 2 minutes of thoracic mobility, and 4 minutes of anterior shoulder mobility.  I will spend 10-15 minutes per day on mobility.

I want to continue my training specific reading with Rippetoe's Starting Strength and am also considering Paoli's Free+Style.

My long term goals to execute a Cartwheel, Snatch and Clean & Jerk still remain, but I have added the baby steps of improving mobility to get into the 7 archetypes and then work through categories of movement.  I must check my ego at the door and remember the tenants of position, then movement, then speed, then load.

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