Pop a Squat

Friday, February 3, 2012

Everybody register for the Worldwide Reebok Open Sectionals here!

10 Wall Extensions
Bottom of the Squat, 4 minutes
10 Wall Extensions

Warm up:
10 Front Squats with Barbell
10 Ring Rows
10 Overhead Squats with Barbell
10 Ring Rows
10 Back Squats with Barbell
10 Ring Rows

Rope Climbing Techniques, DON’T FORGET YOUR SHIN GUARDS!

Workout of the Day:
For time:
75 pound Back squat, 50 reps
15 foot Rope climb, 5 ascents
75 pound Back squat, 40 reps
15 foot Rope climb, 4 ascents
75 pound Back squat, 30 reps
15 foot Rope climb, 3 ascents
75 pound Back squat, 20 reps
15 foot Rope climb, 2 ascents
75 pound Back squat, 10 reps
15 foot Rope climb, 1 ascent

Cool Down:
2 Rounds for Quality of:
10 Wall Extensions
Bottom of Skin the Cat, 20 seconds
Reverse Plank, 30 seconds

Eddie works on his hip mobility

Earlier this week, to get in touch with my inner paleo man, I decided to go an entire day without sitting in a chair.  The only chair I was able to use is known as the “paleo chair”, or the deep squat made famous by Kelly Starrett’s 10 min squat test.  Here is my favorite video of the test with his aunt, where they both enjoy some wine while squatting.  I am extremely fascinated, and envious, about how comfortable he looks in that position.  Kids are the same way.  To pick something off of the ground, my 3 year old niece will shoot to the bottom of the squat with the feet straight, the knees out, and an upright torso.  She could camp out there all day.  Unfortunately, I have never been comfortable in that position.  In fact, I can only make it half way through the 10 min squat test and my hip flexors and shins are on fire.  I can’t even sit cross-legged on the floor comfortably.

It is pretty well known that sitting in a chair all day is bad for your health.  The NY Times, Men’s Health, and Mark’s Daily Apple have all posted articles on the subject, but it’s hard not to do.  Think about how much time you spend sitting down: in front of the computer or tv, at work, in the car, at the dinner table and restaurants, while you read, recovering after you workout.  In terms of Crossfit, sitting all day seriously impacts your hip mobility by shortening your hip flexors and weakening your glutes.  This is bad because your hips are the primary drivers of your power and speed, and the tighter your hips are the less you will be able to tap into that power and speed.  If you have tight hip flexors you might also have trouble reaching full extension in the deadlift or squat, not to mention at the top of the jump in the clean and snatch.  Hip drive is where the power is at, and is present in the squat and deadlift, Olympic lifts, kettle bell swing, box jump, and even sprinting.  Hip mobility allows you to develop and use it.

The challenge then, to go an entire day without sitting, was an exercise in hip mobility.  The only exception was while driving, but to compensate I forced myself to sit upright and not use the back of the chair.  Here are some of the highlights:

  • Squatting in front of the computer at the morning.  Knees and hip flexors starting hurting after 5 min.
  • Squatting on the toilet seat to go to the bathroom, twice.  TMI, I know.  Check out Marks Daily Apple for more info, and this product if you want to do it at home.  It wasn’t so bad!
  • Eating breakfast, lunch, and dinner on the floor.  I used the seated pike, which I could feel in my lower back, or cross-legged, which I could feel in my hips and knees.
  • My hip flexors cramping up while trying to put my socks on.  I had to take a break before I could finish.  They were on fire from squatting in front of the computer and eating breakfast earlier.
  • Sitting upright while driving felt like the forward pivot at the hips in Alexi’s rowing video.  My mid back was super tight.
  • A woman asking me if I was the waiter at Sauce on Hampton.  We were waiting for our takeout order, I was standing next to the table while Jess and Maru were sitting down.

So, it wasn’t as bad as I thought it was going to be!  I knew that getting into those positions would be difficult and a little bit painful but that was the point.  Ditching chairs completely is impossible in our society, but with enough hip prep, mobility wods, and more time on the floor, hopefully one day I can pass the 10 min squat test with ease!

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