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
40m Grond Carry
300 Box Jump Overs
40m Grond Carry
300 Burpees to a Plate
40m Grond Carry
40m Grond Carry
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.
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
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.
(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.
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!