Had some good discussions this morning with athletes with respect to recovery and wanted to add a few thoughts and links.
First, Brian’s Overarching Theory of Recovery: Get to the point where you can do all functional movement near flawlessly.
That’s it, that’s the metric. If you can do a squat clean without bending your arms early, if you can get down in that squat with the elbows high and if you can keep your midline stable (meaning your back is “strong”) as you front squat, you probably have enough flexibility to do nearly everything else pretty well. And if you’re not, it’s 50/50 that you just don’t know the movement well enough as opposed to lack of flexibility.
We only need to get over the “Suck Line” as KStarr says. You don’t have to be able to put both feet behind your head, just be able to get down in the bottom of a squat with your torso and arms nearly straight up. If you can do that, you’re above the “Suck Line”.
But if you aren’t near perfect on all these movements (and it’s nearly impossible to be perfect as we traumatize the body daily with our WODs), then here’s a baseline, a few links and some additional resources that will help you out.
As a general baseline for athletes, I’d recommend the following rotation on top of our normal PCF General Warmups, grab a lax ball and/or foam roller and a cloth strap.
2 Minute Upperbody MR
2 Minute Lowerbody MR
1 Minute Dynamic Stretching
3 Minutes Upper/Lowerbody PNF
Mix up the spots you’re hitting for MR and the muscles you’re stretching in PNF. If we scattershot initially, we’ll figure out what’s holding us back the most. As you gain experience, you’ll be able to target not only the areas that are causing you trouble generally, but also be able to give yourself specific treatments pre-WOD to improve for specific WODs.
A combination of Mysofascial Release (MR), PNF Stretching (PNFS), and External Rotation (ER) work is the ideal. Ease into this, as I’ve found athletes have “bigger eyes than stomachs” when it comes to recovery. So you start out saying “I’m going to do an hour a day” which leads you to do nothing for two weeks until I remind you again. Set your goals small: four minutes of MR pre-WOD, a little dynamic stretchint pre-WOD, three minutes PNF post-WOD. After two weeks of this, add some more time and some ER.
Set easy to achieve goals so they become habits. Focus on the issues/bodyparts that suck the most.
For CF Journal Subscribers, you can check out the full video here.
I haven’t found a better resource than Kelly Starrett’s Midline Stabilization Series on the Crossfit Journal. However, you can get a lot from the previews here:
Midline Stability, Kelly Starrett, Pt I …[wmv][mov]
Midline Stability, Kelly Starrett, Pt II…[wmv][mov]
Midline Stability, Kelly Starrett, Pt III …[wmv][mov]
Midline Stability, Kelly Starrett, Pt IV …[wmv][mov]
Midline Stability Part VII, PNF Stretching, Kelly Starrett …[wmv][mov]
Midline Stability: Muscles of the Pelvis, Kelly Starrett …[wmv][mov]
See OPTs video here for some great external rotation movements. For you athletes (guys mainly) with frequent shoulder aches and pains, this will pay huge dividends.
Pick a couple of movements that you think will fit the bill or just grab me at a WOD and talk to me and I’ll do an assessment on you. Remember, the metric is the ability to do functional movements correctly, measure your progress by that.
I’ll probably be doing a Recovery Seminar sometime in the New Year where we’ll go over this stuff in more depth. Some things to keep in mind:
1) Diet, sleep and fish oil are huge part of this. If these aren’t solid, you need to work this recovery stuff even harder. Something else you need to ask yourself is “Am I working out too much?” Crossfit WODs crush you and if you’re diet and recovery isn’t squared away, doing more than 2-3 WODs per week is going to set you back more than it’s going to help.
2) Aside from diet, this is one of the easiest ways to get better faster. This is like being good at Double Unders or Muscle Ups. Since most people suck at those, if you’re good at it, you’re advantage is huge.
3) We sell foam rollers, lax balls and straps. If you want it go here to pre-order or just let a Coach know you want one. They’ll give it to you and you can just have them charge your account or pay cash.
A lot of good consolidated info is here: