The key to getting more gains is longevity! The key to longevity is to not get hurt! The key to avoiding injury is to have a balanced body that performs well!
There is no doubt about it! CrossFit is one of the best training methods for all over fitness and strength. The hard part for any trainer or coach is for people to be consistent with the days that they train so they get the most out of the programming. You can literally have someone not doing a certain movement for weeks at a time if they work shifts or just have a busy lifestyle, that is why it is so important that crossfitters themselves know how to check their bodies for imbalances to avoid getting injuries over the long term! And no, foam rolling is not enough!
Stability training is crucial for your mobility! My simplistic mobility method is all built on stability and balance within your range of motion!
Here are 3 of my favourite movements EVERYONE should test and know how to do:
Stability Tests – The bottoms up kettlebell press
Testing each arm individually is SO important. Holding an upside down kettlebell is a great way to get automatic core stabilisation, you literally cannot do it wrong or you will get a kettlebell in the face.
Make sure you are confident with the movement first of all, then you want to test what you can do with each arm. If you can press a 20kg kettlebell with one arm and barely 16kg with the other then THAT is something you need to work on as that imbalance WILL carry over to your pressing and pulling. Especially when it comes to one rep max time!
You always will have one side that you’ll be more confident with, but the difference should be very minimal. Lifting the same weight on both sides is important, but you should also be able to lift the same weight WITH GOOD FORM on both sides! Getting more proficient at this movement will ace your shoulder strength AND stability!
The bodyweight single leg deadlift
In the way same way that testing each arm individually is important, so is testing each leg!
Pistol squats are an “ok” single leg exercise but they have very little hamstring involved and they’re just too damn advanced for some people. Standing on one leg for extended periods of time should not be an issue for someone, especially if you want to be good at lifting weight or running (ha! Who wants to be good at running).
- Start off in a deadlift position and make sure you are aware of your hamstrings.
- Shift your weight to one leg, take yourself through 10 single leg deadlifts tapping yourself on the middle of the shin
- maintain a flat back and reach with your hips, not your shoulders.
If you can do this easily on both legs for 10 reps without your hips changing position or your foot rotating away out somewhere then you pass!
If not PRACTICE till you can! If one knee always caves in on you and you rotate on one side you could have a hip mobility issue and that could present itself with either knee pain or lower back pain!
Side plank straight leg lift
Your obliques are key to keeping you up! By using the side plank as a test you can start to see if you default more to one side, this can present itself through EVERYTHING that you do! Even chicken winging a bar muscle up.
Weakness on one side of your body can wreak havoc on your shoulder and hip stability. In a lot of cases with people I work with, their joint issues come down to a bracing problem NOT a joint problem!
Imagine your core is a house of cards, if one card is out of place your house will topple, side planks are not just a boring Pilates exercise they are FUNDAMENTAL CORE STRENGTH for everyone! If you attend the CrossFit football course you will be planked to DEATH and be stronger for it!
So, there it’s is! Get off the foam roller, ace these movements, add the bottom up press to your PR list and get stuck in to making your body perform better and get stronger every day! If you are interested in more of my methods I have a video tutorial and guide available from my website, No equipment needed. Nothing fancy. No big words. Just great drills with simple explanations.