Five Crossfit Exercises More and more people are starting to practice CrossFit, either because of the attractiveness of their high intensity programs, because of the uncontrollable variety of exercises or because of the community that has been created around them. Progressing in CrossFit means becoming stronger and stronger, not only at the metabolic and cardiovascular level but also when it comes to being more efficient by performing Olympic or gymnastic lifts. Many of these lifts require high levels of strength in the shoulder joint, since most of them are performed above the head. So, in this article we will see what exercises can help us work the entire shoulder.
The military press is possibly the best or at least one of the best exercises we can perform for the anterior head of our deltoid. In this head, the place where more activation occurs is between 60º and 120º of shoulder flexion, that is, in the middle and final part during a shoulder press.
To correctly perform the military press we must grab the bar with the hands in pronation, that is, with the palms facing forward, letting the bar rest on the heel of the hand. We must have the bar resting on the chest with the elbows slightly forward with respect to it. We inspire and push the bar drawing a vertical path as close as possible to our face. Once the bar exceeds our head, we perform a thoracic extension and place ourselves under it.
In some CrossFit WODs, variants of the military press may appear that are closer to the Olympic lifts such as the push press. The push press is carried out just like a military press but with a slight previous impulse made by means of a knee flexion extension.
In overhead squats technically there is no type of deltoid contraction at any time but we have taken the liberty of including this movement because we cannot claim to strengthen this joint without achieving a good dose of basic stability. Good stability in the scapulohumeral joint is key to good performance and prevention of injuries in one of the most unstable joints.
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When starting the movement, the bar should be placed above the back of our head with the elbows locked and the wrists extended. The weight of the bar should fall on the heel of the hand. At the beginning of the eccentric phase, think about placing your hips on top of your heels.
Once over 90 degrees it is important to arrive with the very compact core since it will be at this point where we will change direction and receive all the weight of the bar on us. To start the concentric phase simply try to climb with the hips and chest at the same time. If you let your hips rise too fast you will lose verticality and the bar may fall.
Another of the exercises that we must include in our arsenal are handstand push-ups. This exercise simulates a press above the head but instead of pushing an object over it, it is we who push the ground away from it. The demand for stability and over shoulder flexion is huge, so this exercise becomes one of the best along with the military press.
The thruster or squat with envy is a compound movement that comes from the Olympic uprising. It is nothing other than the combination of a front squat and a press above the head so we can expect benefits similar to those that any vertical press can offer us.
The bar should rest on our clavicles, with the wrists extended, the elbows parallel to the ground and the core activated. Once we adopt this position, we begin the movement by driving the hips back and accompanying the movement by flexing our knees.
Once the right depth is reached during the squat, we take advantage of the myotatic reflex and bounce up trying to keep our torso as vertical as possible. Once we finish the squat movement, we culminate the movement by pressing the elbows above our head and maintaining a full hip and knee extension.
Although it may not seem so at the beginning, muscle-up requires not only strong dorsals, pectorals and triceps but also deltoids that are capable of withstanding enormous eccentric contractions during shoulder extension.
In the last phases of the exercise we should not perform a movement similar to a dominated one but we should pull the shoulders up and away from the bar, so that we end up performing a more horizontal and not so vertical traction. This movement requires great strength and stability in our shoulder joint.