30 Jul 2014
The video above is from a leader in backs and biomechanics, Dr. Stuart M. McGill. I first read about Dr. McGill’s work a few years ago and was awakened to it again last month at a movement seminar called The Movement Fix. Are sit-ups or any movement that put’s your lower back through repeated repetitions of extension and flexion really necessary?
Are Sit Ups Bad For Your Back?
Yes, Sit Ups are bad for your back. What? Yes, think of your back, especially your lumbar spine (low back), as a credit card. You can only bend that credit card forward and backward so many times before eventually it snaps. Sit Ups put excessive compressive loading on your spinal discs and can easily lead to disc bulge and disc herniation.
Rowers with no posture or core support end up bending from their lower back rather than pivoting from the hips, which leads to all the horror stories of slipped discs in rowing. This also shows up during any movement that involves a deadlift when athletes aren’t focused on maintaining good posture. In rowing, different coaches may or may not have you reach from the thoracic spine, but a common theme that any coach will agree with is keeping the lumbar region stiff, supported, and protected. The muscles that surround and support the spine are made to brace and resist motion, not create it.
Without core stability it is impossible to transfer the force from your legs to the oar/barbell and move the boat/load at any type of speed. This idea of core stability and the ability to connect your feet to your hands through the core is a skill needed in life and fitness as well. There is no way to do an Olympic Lift like the Clean without having a solid core to work from.
After reflecting on this topic for a couple of years, I’ve decided to eliminate sit ups and other similar movements from my training. Sure I will compete and perform sit ups, but I don’t need them to train day in and day out. I like my back to much. Instead I’ve been playing around with paleo crawls, planks, bird dogs, and curl ups on a regular basis.
If you’d like to chat about this topic or would like to know what I’ve been doing for core stability let me know. I hope this sparks some thought and further questions. Have an awesome end of the week CFB
Hope you had an awesome 4th of July Weekend! Above is a video that got posted on the CrossFit Main Site just over two years ago when I first became one of your coaches. I’m getting pumped because it’s that time of year again. Time for the Renegade Rowing Team to get on the water, learn to row, and come together as a team to hold each other accountable. Next Thursday we will be holding tryouts at Community Rowing in Brighton. If you’d like to learn how to row and do it with a bunch of badass CFB members then the time is now. If you are reading this and you happen to be a CrossFitter from another box, you are welcome to join us, we’d be glad to have you! Please sign up below.
Renegade Rowing Tryouts: Thursday, July 17th @5:30am @CRI
Tryouts Based on your Knowledge of the Following… RRT KSA’s
If you are interested, want to know more about the KSA’s, or have a few questions please let me know ASAP so I can get you fired up to get on the water. I’m working with a couple of people early next week to review basic technique and drills. Hit me up at [email protected] if you’d like to join in.
25 Jun 2014
I’m reposting the link for tryouts just in case anyone missed last weeks announcement. The RRT is a 6 week term, rowing in 8′s on the water at CRI every Tuesday and Thursday morning at 5:30am starting Tuesday, July 22nd. If you’d like to join the team tryouts will be Thursday, July 17th at 5:30am @CRI. Please sign up below.
Tryouts: Thursday, July 17th @5:30am @CRI
Tryouts Based on your Knowledge of the Following… RRT KSA’s
If you’d like to setup a free consultation with me to go over the KSA’s at CRI please shoot me an email at [email protected]
Have you met Dock?
Dock is a new member that just graduated with Fight Gone Bad! Keep an eye out for him and be sure to welcome him to the crew!
(RRT = 6 week term rowing in 8′s on the water at CRI every Tuesday and Thursday morning at 5:30am starting Tuesday, July 22nd)
Tryouts: Thursday, July 17th @5:30am @CRI
Tryouts Based on your Knowledge of the Following…
If you would like to learn these KSA’s and prepare for Tryouts please setup a 20min session with Coach Pat to review what you need to know and work on. Your first 20min session is free and will be on the Dock Box at CRI. Just email Coach Pat to setup a time – [email protected]
Renegade Rowing Team Required KSA’s (Knowledge, Skills, and Ability):
- How to carry and setup equipment.
- Port, Starboard, Bow, Stern
- Port Oar
- Starboard Oar
- Oar Collar
- Teamwork, Following, Rhythm
Stroke Cycle Positions:
- Arms Away
- Bodies Over
- 1/2 Slide
- 3/4 Slide
- Feeling Drill
- Chop Drill
- Release/Catch Placement Drill
- Pause Drill (Single, Double, Tripple Pause)
- Reverse Pic Drill (Focused on Connection)
- Pic Drill (Focused on Swing and Body Preparation)
- Squared and Buried
- Check it Hard and Hold Water
- 1/2 Square @ 1/2 Slide
- Full Square @ 3/4 Slide
11 Jun 2014
Here’s the RRT on Monday finding some rhythm in the Quad…
Do you have what it takes to Race?
Have you ever seen an eight racing at top speed? Are you interested in experiencing that for yourself? Can you follow? Can you push yourself? Can you push others? Do you have discipline? Will you work hard and find a way to push on even when pain and that little voice inside your head tells you to stop?
Then you should tryout for the Renegade Rowing Team.
We’ll be training twice a week starting mid July and racing in September. More details are on their way.
Comment if you’re ready! Tryouts in July!
04 Jun 2014
As new members join the gym I will be throwing out a bit of info on them. Be sure to welcome them and challenge them to burpees or something fun like that! Last week Brianna graduated from private training by crushing Fight Gone Bad. She’s excited to throw down with you guys, so keep an eye out for her!
That’s right, it’s finally warm and nice outside and we’re doing an all out 1k row in the gym! So, what are you going to do in preparation and during the 1k to get through it and back outside? Here is a solid warmup and 3 skills to get you ready and give you something to focus on when that voice inside your head tries to tell you to stop.
Renegade Rowing Club Warmup:
1min – 1/2 Legs Only
1min – Full Legs Only
1min – Legs and Body Only
1min – Full Strokes
1min – Pause @1/2 Slide Every Stroke
5min – 10 Strokes On/ 10 Strokes Off, 15 On/15 Off, 20 On/20 Off
Performing an appropriate warmup for the workout that is set out each day can make or break a performance. Above is the warmup we use fairly consistently in classes at CrossFit Boston and at the Renegade Rowing Club. It’s a good 10min warmup to focus on posture, control, and connection. Checkout how slow the Renegade Rowing Club approaches the catch in the beginning. Executing this drill with control will allow you to really focus on putting technique changes into effect and hitting that catch with good timing and connection.
Please share what you do for a warmup when rowing is involved in the workout. What is your focus?
Posture, Control, Connection … Get Some!
- Posture - When dealing with posture we’re looking for the torso to be stacked and strong at all times, whether you’re in the lay back or swinging forward to prepare for the next catch.
- Control - When talking about control we are looking at the smoothness of the recovery and how the seat moves toward the catch. Does it rush forward for the next stroke? Is there control in the last few inches of the slide to change direction without pushing the boat backwards? I like to think of control as an ability to stop at any point in time and be in a strong position.
- Connection - Last and most important, connection! Is the seat and handle connected and moving together into and out of the catch as if connected by a strap? If you can focus on keeping your hips and hands connected as you apply pressure to the footboards you’ll be able to find suspension and become weightless on your seat. If you want to save some energy and be more efficient during your rowing wods, connection is where it’s at.
If you have any questions or are looking for some more tips checkout renegaderowing.com.
Also, be sure to sign up for the CFB Yoga Launch on Sunday, May 18th at 8:30am! - Sign Up Here (link to CFB Google Form)
This month I’m celebrating my third year as a CrossFit Level 1 Certified Trainer. It’s been a solid three years of learning, growing, and experiencing all that this wonderful world of fitness has to offer. Recently I’ve been bringing a good friend Bob through our Private Training Foundations Course and it’s been awesome watching his hard work, focus, and determination to learn things the right way and his fight for perfect technique. Bob’s graduating with “Fight Gone Bad” this week and he’s going to be joining the morning crew on his days off from rowing at CRI. While Bob may not be one of our youngest members he is young at heart and reminds me of how awesome it is to learn and challenge yourself every single day. I have fun learning new things and I hope you do to. Looking forward to another great year as a coach at CFB!
Here’s what Bob is all about!
Who are you and what are you about?
I became interested in “serious” fitness in 2011 when I began to row at Community Rowing. This is where I met Pat. He was coaching the recreational sweeps program as part of the Institute for Rowing Leadership program he was enrolled in.
Why did you join CrossFit Boston?
I recognized that only rowing (on water and on the erg) was not providing me a whole body workout focused on strength and conditioning. At CrossFit Boston I like the energy level and attention to proper technique.
What are you getting out of the Private Training?
The private training is teaching me CrossFit fundamentals and the different types of WODs at a pace that I can better comprehend. Since I have mobility issues and my level of fitness is lacking, this is helping me prepare for group classes.
What are some of your goals for this year?
To increase strength and mobility.
What are you looking forward to once you graduate to group classes?
To (hopefully) keep up with the class and have CrossFit Boston complement my rowing.
19 Mar 2014
On Tuesday night I had the privilege of watching Neal speak to a group of athletes and coaches at Community Rowing Inc.’s monthly Coaching Colloquium. The topic was Cross Training and he was on fire. Seeing the way he gets himself and the whole room fired up about the possibilities of constantly varied, functional movement, performed at high intensity is inspiring. Every time I see Neal tell his story and share his passion with others it reminds me of why I do what I do. Who is on your team and who inspires you?
Who’s on your team?
Every day you go to work there is a team of people you work with. Every day you go to the gym there is a team of people holding you accountable and pushing you. Every day you go home there is a team there to support you and love you. Recognize your team. Support them by working as hard as you can every single second of the day and you’ll make them better.
Inspire Someone Today!
Whether it’s your training partner, friend, family, or complete stranger, find a way to inspire them and fight for their goals. Help drive their passion and pursuit of a better self. Show them what you take pride in and how hard you work for what you believe in. Find a way to motivate them and do what needs to be done.
If you’re looking for a chance to have some fun with your fellow class mates, meet some new members, and learn something new – sign up for the Partner Mobility Seminar at CrossFit Boston March 29th!
Spring is here, set a new goal, attack it, have some fun.
We have six members of Renegade Rowing and CrossFit Boston competing at CRASH-B’s, The World Indoor Rowing Championships, this Sunday. If you’ve never seen an indoor rowing event it’s pretty epic. Come check it out and cheer on our athletes. The competition is held at the Boston University Agganis Arena throughout the day. Below is a list of our competitors and the times they’re racing. I’ll be on the floor helping push them to new PR’s. Bring a friend and cheer them on!
Bob Ezzell 9:50am
Thor Helgason 10:05am
David Porter 2:45pm
Terese Holm 3:00pm
Nick Anderson 3:15pm
Andrew Morrissey 3:15pm
Good Luck All! Have Fun!