Affiliate Summer Slam Mobility: WOD #3

WOD #3
Lift and Breathe 

  • 600m Run
  • 120 Snatches (40 per mat) – 135/83
  • 1000m Run (includes a sandbag run up Sargon Hill)
  • 120 Clean and Jerk (40 per mat) – 165/108
  • 600 Double Unders (200 per mat)

Workout #3 is my favorite out of them all. With the combination of running, lifting, then running up a hill with a sandbad, lifting again, and then a lot of jumping, you get plenty of everything in one workout.

This warm-up is going to be a little different. You can’t just plan a warm-up at this point because by now you’ve done two other full workouts plus a floater WOD. You are going to be hot, probably a bit tired, and definitely tight in some areas. Because everyone’s body reacts differently, your warm-up is going to be based on how you feel. Ask a few questions to take stock of your body:

  • How tight are your hips?
  • What do your ankles and calves feel?
  • How does your back feel?

Depending on how you answer those questions is going to dictate how you warm up for this workout. 

How tight are your hips?

We need to get them loose, get your glutes firing, and make your hamstrings fully active. We talked about how to get them going in the first article so instead of repeating myself, let me tell you why it’s crucial for this last workout. Every time you take a step, your glutes and lats slingshot you forward. If one of them is not doing their job, you are going to expending a lot of extra energy. 

After you get your hips mobile, performing a few Bird Dogs on each side to get them working exactly as they should. They are simple to perform, the trick is to do them slowly. 

Start on all fours and, while bracing your core, reach your right arm and left leg out at the same time. Hold for just a second or two at full extension and then bring things back together slowly. You can either set them back on the ground or just keep doing reps.  If you keep doing reps, there will be more of a contraction and can help you feel it quicker. Perform anywhere from 5 to 12 reps on each side and focus on squeezing your butt to extend your leg and your back to lift your arm. 

What do your ankles and calves feel?
The best prep you can do for this is to loosen up your feet and lower leg. To do so, get a lacrosse ball and roll the bottom of your foot all over it. Spend some extra time on the ball and arch of the foot but don’t neglect the heel. After that, do the same with your calf BUT work on the inside of it and the outside. 

If you sit cross legged, put a ball underneath your lower leg and roll up and down the length of the lower leg. After that, while still sitting, roll a ball along the top of your lower leg. No doubt you will find some tension in those areas that will make the running that much harder on your body. 

After you roll everything out, walk around a little bit to let your body adjust to the mobility and for you to feel what it’s now like. 

How does your back?

No doubt you are at the least a little tight somewhere in your back. All the bracing and pulling will eventually take it’s toll and your back will start to get tight somewhere. The upper back isn’t a bad place to feel some tightness but we want to make sure the lower back isn’t feeling tight. 

Before this last workout, you do want to make sure it’s strong but mobile. Using the same theories we’ve used before, we are going to stretch one part and roll another part. 

In this case, simply take a foam roller and run it over your back. Be sure to pay a little extra attention to the lower back by doing both sides of the lower back independently. Just tip your body to one side and roll the area between the bottom of your rib cage and the top of your pelvis. These are the muscles that tend to lock up on people.   

After everything is rolled over, do a few hollow holds or ab braces to turn your abs and obliques on. This should disengage the back a bit and bring the tension into the core where it should be to stabilize you. 

After you stand up, do some twisting to each direction and just make your entire body move a bit. It will allow everything to loosen up one more time before the event takes place. 

Give it all you got!
After this workout, the best I can do is wish you luck. I’m sure the final workout that hasn’t been posted will be nasty but you’ve come this far so why not give it one more. 

If you need any help with these tips or need any mobilization work done, come see us at our booth and we will get you fixed up and ready for the fight. 

Stay strong, be safe, and have fun tomorrow. It’s going to be a blast!!

Affiliate Summer Slam Mobility: WOD #2 + Floater

Affiliate Summer Slam is only a few days away and we now have all of the workouts. There are some intricacies to how each one will play out so be sure to look at the FaceBook postings comments to have all of your questions answered. 

The good part of having all of the workouts is you can also start planning your warm-ups. To help you out with it, we have a guide to the most bang-for-your-buck mobilizations for each workout. 

We’ve already posted a warm-up guide for WOD 1 here so this is all about being ready for those heavy cleans, handstands, and rope climbs. 

Workout #2 

The Hang Squat Clean Ladder
:50 seconds to lift
:10 to rotate
Bars 1-3: 3 Reps
Bars 4-6: 2 Reps
Bars 7-12: 1 Rep

Men’s Weights

3 @ 150, 165, 180


2 @ 195, 210, 225
1 @ 240, 255, 270, 285, 300, 315

Female
3 @ 93, 103, 113
2 @ 123, 133, 143
1 @ 153, 163, 173, 183, 193, 203

It’s simple really, a heavy hang clean ladder that you need to get through quickly. Luckily, the warm-up we talked about for the first WOD will serve you will with the heavy cleans you are about to encounter. 

There are a few extra things you can do to be on point for the weights.

Activate: Back and Core

Hanging on to a heavy clean is all about how tight you can get your core and how active your upper back is. If either one of these key pieces are not there, the elbows will drop and you will not be making the lift. By doing some activation sets, they will be fired up and ready to work. 

It’s important to note that activation sets are not working sets. You are trying to squeeze the muscles we are want to work, not beat them into submission. Choose light weights and high sets to get the benefit. 

Upper Back Activation

Band Pull Aparts – Hold a light band at arms distance with your elbows locked out. Set the shoulder blades down (not back yet) and tense your core. Try to pinch your shoulder blades together to pull the band apart. The band should end up at about the level of your collar bone. 

Remember, lighter is better. We are just trying to fire the muscles up, not tax them. If you can get a good solid squeeze each time, you don’t need to be shaking in the process to make it work. 

Alternative Exercise Options – Face pulls with rings, reverse flyes, dumbbell rows.

Core Activation

Hollow Holds – Lay on your back, legs together, looking straight up at the sky. You DO NOT need to put your hands above your head for this to work. That position is a progression and, in this case, I would not suggest doing it here to save your shoulders from doing work they don’t need to. 

Take a breath in, exhale, and THEN come up into the hollow position, trying to flex your abs as much as possible to get you there. Don’t just snap up. Try to squeeze your abs to get you there. Hold the top of each one for 3-5 seconds and then relax for a breath or two. 


Alternative Exercise Options – Handstand holds, L-Sit on parallettes, Dying Bugs, Planks.

Post-Activation


Now that everything is firing, you are pretty much ready to go. Do some LIGHT reps of the hang clean and focus on the pattern and your technique. There is no point in warming up with heavier weights because the beginning of the ladder is your warm up. Don’t waste energy that you are probably going to want for later. 


Floater WOD

6min AMRAP

Max Handstand Push-Ups

Max Rope Climbs 15’

I love seeing competitions that include rope climbs. Most events simply don’t have the space or capacity to make it work but CF Generation is going big.

Handstand Push-Ups

The big thing here is to minimize the amount of overhead restriction you have and keeping your core locked in. Utilizing the Prisoner Stretch, which we discussed in the first article will get you 90% of the way there. To get that last 10%, you will probably need to get into your rotator cuff. 

Because of the nature of our style of exercise, most of us have tension in our rotator cuff that takes away that last bit of motion at the top. Luckily, we can loosen it up somewhat easily. 

Place one end of a long PVC pipe on the ground up against something so it won’t slide, and place a lacrosse ball on the other end. Now, and this is going to sound strange, but you are going to put the ball in your armpit. To access the part of the rotator cuff we are trying to release, the best access is in the armpit. 
When you get the ball in there, you can lean against the PVC pipe to apply more pressure as you slowly move your arm up overhead. You can also internally and externally rotate the shoulder to mobilize it. 

Rope Climbs
Rope climbs involve a lot of biceps and forearms. If you have it, wrap each forearm in voodoo floss and more your hand in every direction you can with your fingers extended. If you don’t have access to any, you can use a barbell to smash the forearm out. 

Place a barbell on the ground and put your forearm, palm up, next to the sleeve at the end. Use your free hand to lift the end of the barbell up and put it on your arm. You can control the pressure by how much you let the barbell settle on your arm. When you find adequate pressure, slowly roll the bar back and forth, stopping at any problem spots that need a bit more love. 


Remember that if you need anything else, come by our booth and we can get you all fixed up. You can come see us before your heat to get you ready or see us after to fix anything you felt wasn’t working properly. We also do Rock Tapping if your body needs any extra support. 

See you at the Slam!

Afilliate Summer Slam Mobility: WOD #1

As expected, the Affiliate Summer Slam is going to make you fight for it. Luckily, I’m sure that’s exactly what you wanted and have prepared for. 

With the workouts being posted, let’s take a second and talk about some ways to mobilize and be prepared for them.

WOD #1: The Grond

The Workout:

40m Grond Carry

300 Box Jump Overs

40m Grond Carry

300 Burpees to a Plate

40m Grond Carry

300 Pistols

40m Grond Carry



The Warm-Up

To mobilize for any kind of carry, you have to think about posture. Keeping posture locked in – look straight forward, shoulder blades back and down, keep your hip somewhat neutral – is how you will be able to walk with that beast for as long as possible. 

For jumping and landing prep (don’t forget that second part), it’s all about making sure the power is coming from the hips and the ankles are mobile and stable enough to take your bodyweight. 


1: Upper Body

I’m going to give you two stretches you can do, one primary stretch and one maintenance stretch you can do throughout the day to keep your shoulders in place. 

Primary Stretch: The Prisoner Stretch 

This is a team competition so why not do a team stretch? For the Prisoner stretch, one person (P1) will sit on the ground and place their hands behind their head. Their partner (P2) will place their shin on the seated person’s back, so they don’t fall over, and then grab their arms just below the elbow. 

(Step 1) While staying in constant communication, slowly pull the elbows back until P1 feels the stretch. When they do, hold that stretch for 8 seconds. P1 should try to stay relaxed, breath, and keep their head up. Don’t let the chin drop on this one.

(Step 2) After 8 seconds, have P1 attempt to push their elbows forward (i.e. do a pec fly) for 5 seconds while P2 holds them in place.

(Step 3) Relax for a few seconds and then repeat step 1. 

(Step 4) Activate the Lats by taking a long PVC pipe, a mobility stick, or something similar, and holding it at arms length with locked out elbows. Make sure your shoulder blades are set down and back and then try to bend the stick. You should feel your lats engage down both of your sides. Hold each twist for a 2-5 seconds and repeat for 5-8 reps. 


Maintenance Stretch: DoorWay Stretch

This is an extra stretch you can do to keep your pec minor from tightening up throughout the day. 

Place your forearm on a solid upright with your upper arm at about 45º and gently twist into it while keeping your shoulder blades down and back. Try to not lean forward at all, just rotate away and keep your head up. This stretch is great to keep the shoulder from rolling forward, making it harder to keep your back tight. If a muscle is pulling you one way (pec minor), whatever is supposed to pull the other way is going to have a lot of issues (your entire back).


2: Lower Body

If you stand up and squeeze your butt, you’ll probably feel your pelvis tuck under a little. This is what we are trying to achieve to make that carry easier. If you go back to normal standing without your pelvis tucked under, there is now a week point in your posture and it will make walking any kind of distance, especially with weight, much more taxing to your body.


Hip Flexor Stretch with Posterior Chain Activation

The hip flexors are generally the culprits that keep your hip from tucking under and staying stable. If we loosen them up, it is less work for our body to do and allows us to activate the glutes that much more. 

The general favorite for most people is to either lay on a foam roller or perform the Couch Stretch, both of which are adequate enough to help the position. I’m going to show you one I think is better though. 

(Step 1) While sitting on the ground, place a kettlebell in front of you with the handle turned off at a 45º angle to the right. 

(Step 2) Locate your right hip bone and go about 2 inches up, and then 2 inches in. This is where you are going to place the handle of the kettlebell. You have two options, you can either lay on your back and go bottoms-up with the kettlebell handle in that place or you can basically do a plank over the kettlebell to get handle in place. 

Place the handle above the ligament highlited. Do NOT place it on the ligament.

(Step 3) Roll over onto your back and perform 5-12 glute bridges, focusing on squeezing your glutes to get your hips up. Don’t think about doing these fast, do them as slow as you need to feel the contraction. Repeat all of these steps as needed. 

Ankle Prep

Remember that we are trying to get mobile and stable here. The lower leg and ankle is going to react to what is happening in your hip so be sure to do the hip flexor stretch and glute activation first. 

For the ankle, we need to mobilize the foot and calf first and then activate the stabilizers. 

(Step 1) Using a lacrosse ball, golf ball, or something similar, stand up and roll the ball all over the bottom of your foot. Spend 10 seconds on the ball of your foot, 15 seconds on the arch, and 10 seconds on the heel. This can be uncomfortable in certain areas because you will be breaking up scar tissue and mobilizing some of the 36 joints in the foot. 

(Step 2) Walk a few steps forward and then a few steps back to let your nervous system reintegrate with its newfound mobility. Then, slowly lift one knee up toward your chest and stabilize on one foot for 5-10 seconds and repeat on the opposite side. 

(Step 3) Do a few slow, controlled air squats so your body is working together. Focus on squeezing your glutes to come up out of the bottom of your squat. After a few of those, do some jumping on a box or just on the ground, with a focus on landing softly. Landing softly will decrease the amount of force and pressure going into your ankles, knees, and hips. 

In the coming days we will post optimal warm-ups for the rest of the workouts. Keep an eye out for those and remember, if you want to fast-track your mobility or get problem areas fixed, come find our booth and bop on the table. We also do Rock Tapping if you have something nagging that needs support. 

See you at the Slam!

New Member of the Family

As we grow and have the ability to offer more, both Megan and I agreed we wanted to help athletes who were serious about getting to their highest possible level. 

We are excited to announce we have sponsored our first athlete, Jill Seamon.

We me Jill while working at CrossFit Ironborough and we could tell right away she was a dedicated, driven athlete. 


I feel like I’ve seen somewhere that you might like ice cream a bit. What’s your favorite kind and when do you like to have it?

I LOVE ICE CREAM. My favorite kind depends on what I’m in the mood for. I love soft serve chocolate with rainbow sprinkles, and the best I’ve ever had is from a place called Dairy Delite in Langhorne, PA. From a carton, Turkey Hill Dutch Chocolate cannot be beat. It’s so simple, but creamy and quality. 

 Anywhere else, the more chocolatey it is and chocolatey things it has in it, the better… flavors like “Double Fudge Brownie”, “Chocolate I Don’t Give a Fork”, or “Triple Chocolate Supreme” are ones I gravitate towards. I get my love of ice cream from my mom and grandfather, who insists that 8:30 every night is ice cream time. I’m not always that exact, but especially in the summer time, I eat ice cream just about every night.
What the first sport you every played? What was your favorite sport you’ve played?



The first organized sport I ever played was softball. It was fun until I decided to give track and field a try instead, then someone put a javelin in my hand and the rest is history. 

My favorite sport, that’s a tough one, I really enjoyed basketball when it was fun. I also have a really good time playing volleyball at the beach with my cousins. I wish I would have played volleyball for real.
What super specific thing are you working on right now?

Keeping my core through endurance gymnastic work, like handstand walking and muscle ups. I need to be better and faster at muscle ups, specifically I’m working on keeping tension on the rings and pulling my “arms to ears” (cue from Nick Sorrel of Brute Strength) so I catch the muscle up higher, making them easier, so I can do more, so I can be more awesome.

You’ve had some really cool opportunities recently to go train with people like Michael McKenna and at the OTC. Can you tell us about that and some of the things you picked up?



[My coach] Mischa was getting her USA-Weightlifting certification with Mike McKenna and was telling him how she has a lifter (me) who has potential, so he told her to have me sign up for the East Coast Gold Classic (ECG Classic) in May. I had to email Leo Totten, the meet director and head honcho of ECG to ask to be added to the list since registration had already reached the cap. 

 He seemed confused, but said he would talk to Mike and let me lift. Like “who is this last minute chick who has never lifted in a meet before that Mike is trying to let in?” 

Well, I snatched 83kg (183 pounds) then power cleaned 103kg (226 pounds). Then Coach Totten understood. He invited me to be part of East Coast Gold Weightlifting team and to come to camp at the OTC in Lake Placid. 

You can read my blog post for all the details about camp. It was awesome experience. 

The main thing they are working on with me is being more patient in my pull, not raising up on my toes too early, then finishing the third pull and pulling myself under the bar. Since I can power clean more than I can squat clean, a big thing for me is to 1. squat more 2. perfect the timing of getting around and under the bar in the squat clean, because ultimately that will allow me to lift the most weight. 

It’s really cool to be around weightlifters; it’s different than Crossfit, but pretty similar to the throwing events (Mike is also a former Blue Hen thrower under Coach Larry Pratt!). Everyone I’ve met on my weightlifting journey has been awesome so far, and I’m excited to see where this aspect of my career takes me.
What non-training activities do you like to do?

I really like just laying on my couch or sitting on my deck haha I enjoy reading, watching my shows, cooking, and eating wings with my friends. I love going home to hang out with my family. Odd hobbies… I play the guitar here and there.  


If you could have one ask of people, what would it be?

I would ask people to be the best possible version of themselves that they can be. It’s not always easy, but if you try to look at life in a positive light and be grateful for all that you have, we can make the world a slightly happier place.


Where can people follow what you’re up to?

They can follow me on facebook, instagram (@jillianjav153), snapchat (@jilliewillie14), and my blog here. The Grid League matches will be streamed live for subscribers at https://gridtv.npgl.com/ 

Here are a few links I dug up on Jill that may also be of interest:

National Pro Grid Leauge profile

A Trainers Guide to Getting Ready

Whether you are leaving home for the first time at the age of 10 to become the best, or a seasoned trainer, there's going to be a lot of traveling during your quest. To be the best, you have to be ready to fight with the best. This can involve dodging attacks, long chases, or extended battle sequences that take a lot of stamina.

To help you on your way, here are 6 ways to help you be ready to go when your Pokèdex beeps.

Destiny waits for no one.


1: You Have To Stretch 

No doubt you have been studying up on all of the tactics needed to capture anything that comes along. With all of the sitting comes tight hips which can slow you down, cause back pain, and even make your feet hurt. Doing a simple lunge stretch for a few minutes on each side before you start your quest can help increase both speed and agility.

Step one leg forward just far enough that you have a 90° angle at your front knee and you back knee. The back knee can be rested on the ground. Square your hips forward, sit up nice and tall, and slowly shift your weight forward while squeezing your butt you shoild feel a stretch in the fromt of your hip.

Do each side for a good two minutes. This may be a little uncomfortable but, depending on how tight your hips are, you very well may need it.

2: Prep Your Feet

Unless you’ve already got your bike voucher, your feet are going to be doing alot of work. Like any part of the body, there are ways to stretch and prepare your feet for the traveling ahead of you.

Before you lace up your shoes, take a firm, round object - a ball no larger than a baseball, a rolling pin, a large dice - stand up, and roll your foot all over it. This will loosen up the 33 joints and the more then 100 muscles and tendons so the foot can move around the way it is supposed to.

3: Stay Fueled and Hydrated

The body is a machine and requires fuel to move. Before you go out, eat a solid meal to keep you ready to go as far and wide as needed. The trick with this is to not go heavy with content. By heavy, I mean limit large amounts of fried food, breads, and dairy. They will slow you down and will limit the distance you can travel.

Instead, think about proteins and carbs. Proteins are what build your system up and generally found in meats of any kind, nut butters, and beans. Avocadoes are also a fantastic source.

Carbs are the body’s primary energy source. These are foods that the body can take and convert to energy right away. Fruits are a great source of carbs as well as dates (Lara Bars are great on-the-go snacks), pasta, and potatoes of any kind. Water is something you will always want to have on hand.

We’ve all been there: Tracking and searching for something and all of a sudden we look up and think, “Wait… Where am I right now?”

It’s fine. Discovering new places is all part of the adventure. The trick to surviving is to always keep some water on hand. Most people have heard the old saying that your body is around 60% water. A fact many don’t know is that water is involved in EVERY process of the body.

Your brain needs water to make decisions, your muscles need it to move you, your eyes need it to move and focus on things going on around you. The better hydrated you are, the clearer you will think, see, and move.

4: Bike to Travel Further


If you’ve reached the level where you can now bike to different locations, there are some special considerations to make it easier to ride longer.

Just like with walking, you will want to stretch out the hips to make sure you can pedal for as long as you need. In addition to stretching your hips out, moving your back and midsection around can make the posture of riding a bike much better.

To move your back and midsection around, a basic twisting stretch is a really easy way to start.

Lay on the ground with your shoulder blades touching the ground and keep them in contact at all times. Pull one knee up and grab it with the opposite hand and pull it that direction as far as it will COMFORTABLY go. Like I said, keep the shoulder blades connected to the ground and just go as far as you can.

It doesn’t really matter how far you can get your leg over, it just matters that it’s headed that direction. When you get it there, just try to relax and breathe as deeply as you can. Just make sure you do the same on the other side and don’t be surprised if it doesn’t go as far or possibly goes further. Most people are not even side-to-side.

5: Take Care of the Little Things 

The devil is in the details. While we all want to catch a Gangar, there are some small devils we don't want around.

Everyone will have a device we need to look at as we search for pocket monsters but looking down for extended periods can put a bit of a kink in the neck. There are a few ways to combat this after it happens but the easiest way is to keep it from happening.

When traveling between stops, look up and see what’s going on around you. A large part of questing is seeing new places and meeting new people. Looking up and around also allows your neck to not get too tight in one position. Look up, left, and right consistently to keep yourself mobile. If you do start to get sore, there are a few tricks you can use to take some of the pressure off.

The first is simply to stand as tall as possible. If you look in one direction for too long (i.e. down), the muscles in the front of your neck will get tight and the ones in the back will get overstretched. If your neck gets sore, lift your chin up and be as tall as possible.

You can think of it as trying to get the crowm of your head as far from the ground as possible. Make sure you keep your chin up as you do it. You can’t be a Pokèmon Master with bad posture. Stand tall and proud of all you have done and will do.

6: Make Allies

Last but not least, make friends as you go. Everything great was done with help. On this journey, there is a good chance you will spot dozens of people doing the same. Say hello, ask them what team they are on, what level they are, any details you find interesting.

Not only will you make new acquaintances, you may end up with important information about a good spot to catch in or potentially gain a traveling partner.


Be safe, but be open to people. Everyone has a story and experience to share. And a good story is always fun to hear.

Happy catching everyone.

It’s Here!

We are excited to introduce the freshly updated Back in Balance website!

There have been so many improvements made but we wanted to introduce you to the ones that will benifit you the most.

We are most excited that you can now schedule right from the website. By clicking on the “Schedule” link at the top, you can select your therapist, the location, and see all of the times available to choose the one most convienent for you. This allows you to book appointments up to 2 weeks in advance from the convenience of, well, anywhere.

While all of the available hours are listed, if you need a time outside of these please feel free to contact us as we may be able to accomidate you.

Take a look around and see what you think of our new style and let us know what you think!

We are very excited to be able to offer you these new fetures and can’t wait to see you in one of our offices, at the gym, or just out enjoying life.