Mastering the Art of Technique- Coach Aly
Mastering the Art of Technique– Coach Aly
Vincent Van Gogh, one of the world’s most well known artists, once said,
“Great things are done by a series of small things brought together.”
I realize that everyone who does Crossfit is not doing it for the same reason. Whether it is for sport, health reasons, stress relief, socialization, weight loss—we all have our purpose for showing up each day. Despite the different motivations for attendance, the thing we as coaches want to instill in each of our members/athletes every time he/she shows up is the same: the quality of your movement is ALWAYS more important than the number on the bar.
Van Gogh put it pretty simply, and we are going to look at 4 ways to help you master the art of technique to assist that number on the bar to grow in appropriate time. If you shift your focus from the number to the quality of your movement, your body will reap the benefits in the long run.
Listen to your coach. We are here to help accelerate your fitness journey, not hold you back. If a coach offers suggestions of going down in weight, to help you focus on your depth, driving your knees out, or keeping your elbows high in that front rack position, it is because we see a weakness in that area of your lift or movement. As you master the small cue that we are recommending, even at a lighter weight, the more comfortable you will be as you begin to go up in weight. If you attempt to jump up weight while ignoring these small pieces of the big picture, your lift or movement will fall apart. Worse yet, you may end up compromising your movement which in turn could result in injury.
Listen to your body. Your max lift from the beginning of the cycle may not be your max when we go to do 80% for 5×5. If you are warming up for to the 80% and something feels off or your body just feels beat up, listen to it! You will yield better results by going a little lighter and focusing on the quality of your movement for 5×5 than compromising your form with broken positioning or failed reps at 80%. It does you no good to hit the 80% if you are left injured because you compromised your form and now must take a week or two off. I know it seems like common sense, but at times, we just need a small reminder to check our pride at the door. We want you coming back each day feeling healthy and ready for what is on the white board.
Check Yourself. As perfect as we want to be as coaches and watch every rep of every single person lifting during our classes, it is just not possible. Our goal is to see each person in the class perform the lift that was prescribed for that day. We typically try to give you one cue or more to focus on for your next set—cues such as stay back on your heels, try and keep your chest up, or focus on driving your knees out when you are driving up out of your squat. Being that we may not see your next set, grab a friend or coach to come back to make sure you are progressing. You could even record video of yourself on your phone. This is a great way to watch yourself perform the movement and see your body positioning that we may be trying to help you with.
Ask for help! If something feels off or if you are just not certain if you are executing the movement with the right form, don’t be afraid to ask for help! Although Crossfit movements mostly focus on being functional movements from our every day lives, they still can feel a bit awkward at times. Your membership fee comes with a coach for every class you take! Get the biggest bang for your buck by utilizing the coaches’ knowledge and tips they have to offer you. Even the smallest tips can make the biggest differences! We want our members to move well so that when you are ready to add 5 more pounds to that bar, you can maintain the proper form.
Even as an experienced coach, I can admit that I do not always have the right answers. I realize that someone who is reading this might be more fit or have superior snatch technique than my own. I am not the perfect athlete or coach, and I freely admit that I am too competitive for my own good. I get caught up on wanting that number to grow, and often times I need reminded that there is no quick fix in attaining perfect form. The only fix is listening to tips and cues from fellow coaches and practicing quality repetitions consistently in hopes that in time that quality becomes habit. Focus on taking care of the little things, and the big things will inevitably take care of themselves. Therefore, whether you are showing up every day to attain that hot beach body, you’re a competitor, or you are coming to blow off some steam from a stressful workday, remember those words of Van Gogh; if you can do the small things properly and consistently, greatness will be the result.
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