November 22nd, 2011

Pre-WOD Stretching

Just a clarification. At the running class this past weekend (which was amazing by the way- Thanks Dr. Jacob and Brian!) Dr. Jacob made reference to static stretching pre-WOD and how he doesn’t recommend it and alluded to the fact that it can predispose you to injury. This is a philosophy carried by many and has a bit of truth to it. If you have a muscle that is going to be performing forceful intense contractions we don’t necessarily want to static stretch that muscle for long periods of time before the WOD. For instance, if we are doing max deadlifts I don’t feel that lots of static hamstring stretches is the best way to prepare your hamstrings for lifting (unless of course your hammies are so incredibly short that they are inhibiting your ability to achieve a neutral spine in the bottom of the deadlift). What we do want to do is make sure we are mobile enough to achieve proper range of motion and even more importantly put us in proper (read safest and most effective) position. For instance, achieving proper range of motion on the “Toes to Bar” required fairly significant hamstring and glute flexibility. Those muscles are not under serious load during that movement, but are being stretched significantly. Stretching them pre-WOD will make it easier to get your toes all the way to the bar. On any overhead movement (thruster, press, push press, push jerk) it is crucial that we have the shoulder mobility to put the bar over the middle of our feet when we are at the top of the movement without over extending our lumbar spine. This is a serious safety issue when lifting heavy loads overhead. Therefore, we need to stretch and mobilize our pectoral muscles and our lats to allow us go have the shoulder mobility to achieve a safe overhead position. Anyway, those are just a couple of examples of when pre-WOD stretching is necessary. There is some merit to what Dr. Jacob said, but there are also times when it is necessary to stretch before we WOD. Just didn’t want there to be any confusion!

Snatch balance 1-1-1-1-1-1-1

Post loads to comments.

Compare to here.


5 Responses

  1. Thanks for the tips Jeff!

  2. Rest day – but looks like fun!

  3. I couldn’t be more mad at my snatch balance today!
    85, 95, 105, 110 (f), 105, 110, (f), 110 (f) 😦

  4. Overhead still bugs my shoulder and the lift from the back was too painful. I was sad these look like fun, hopefully Dr. J. can fix up the shoulder soon. Sub’d back squats and moved up to 250 lbs for the last 1/2 of series (?) previously I’d only done 185#. Bar looked impressive with all those small weights loaded on. I remember not so long ago when I didn’t have the shoulder flexibility to easily do back squats – yeah Crossfit!

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