You can just picture it: you get wrapped up in the excitement of going up to the board to either lay eyes on the WOD for the first time or to check other people’s scores while disregarding pre-wod “personal” time. However, if you avoid tearing into your WOD like a toddler unwrapping gifts on Christmas, you will get more benefits and be able to perform better. Here are 3 things to do before every WOD.
1. Go over the movements and plan a warm-up. This suggestion will vary depending on whether or not your Coach provides you with a warm-up. If your Coach provides you with a warm-up (an appropriate warm-up), you can still get to the gym a few minutes early to work on some trouble spots. If you get to the gym 10 minutes early, you should use the first 5 minutes to perform a general warm-up like jumping rope or rowing. Then use the second 5 minutes to work on a flexibility requirement that is specific to the workout that won’t damage your power output. For example, if the workout had cleans or snatches, stretching your lats and triceps would improve the rack position without hampering power output. Also, if you have a desk job, stretching your hip flexors by doing some reverse lunges would improve almost all movements seen in CrossFit by allowing you to maintain a strong, neutral position without “anterior pelvic tilt.”If you do not have a Coach providing you with a warm-up, it will be your job to think about what muscles are important to each movement in the WOD and to warm them up respectively. For example, doing good mornings without weight will help loosen up the hamstrings and lumbo-pelvic hip complex which is important for any power or Olympic lift. Doing push-ups and raising an arm at the top will help engage shoulder stabilizers which are important for kipping pull-ups and burpees. Related post: 10 Things Every CrossFitter Should Do
2. Refresh your technique on difficult movements. No matter how advanced you are, it is always beneficial to refresh complex technique before ‘3,2,1 GO!’ If the workout involves Olympic weightlifting, doing a warm-up that covers the individual components of each lift will be incredibly beneficial. For example, doing 2 x 5 Hang Clean Pulls, 2 x 5 Hang High Pulls, 2 x 5 Hang Power Clean, 2 x 5 Front Squat, 2 x 5 Hang Clean before a heavy clean session will help warm-up the movement patterns and refresh the technique.If the WOD has a complex gymnastic movement, it is easy to knock out a few practice reps or, even for the advanced athletes, review a few of the progressions you learned before even starting. Refresh how to get your hips to the rings or perform the swing part of the kip in complete control before even going into a muscle-up or a butterfly pull-up.
3. Think about the workout and how you might want to scale down or up. It is preached to hundreds every weekend: CrossFit is infinitely scaleable. Fran can be given to anybody. An 80 year old, deconditioned lady could do, for example, 9-7-5 chair stand-ups (with or with-out help) and assisted seated rows (resistance provided by Coach). Rich Froning Jr might decide to do Fran with 225lbs Thrusters. Both of these are neither the original workout, but it is an appropriate modification of the original workout that suits the goals and needs of both athletes. Decide what movements pose the issue for you and whether you need to scale down or up. If in doubt, always ask your coach, but having a simple understanding beforehand on which movements you would like to scale down or up will help your coach out.
There you go! 3 things that you can do before every WOD! Arriving to the gym 10 minutes early will allow you to really focus on these 3 things, helping improve your times and decrease your risk for injury, improve your technique, and make sure that you are getting the most out of your workout!
Do you have any pre-WOD rituals? Share them with me below by commenting please!