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CrossFit Gainesville- School Of Elite Fitness

More Hip Mobility Please

Hip immobility can be an issue among a lot of athlete populations. It's been known to plague the performance of athletes from novice to professional. It is important to address this issue not only to increase performance but to prevent injury.

In my time at CFG I have observed a lot of athletes with hip mobility issues. It is definitely a common weakness I see, especially in the masters athletes. Immobility in the hips can originate from a variety of different problems, some controllable and some uncontrollable. I will try to give you some insight on these problems and hopefully educate you on how to recognize and improve your own issues.

Ok, so when talking about hip immobility, I want you to picture someone that has trouble reaching parallel or below parallel in a squat. This can definitely be a sign of some hip mobility issues. However, the squat consist of only one function of the hip musculature (hip flexion). The hips have many different functions. They must be both stable and mobile at different times and in different planes, along with being able to abduct, adduct, extend, and rotate on demand. But when we discuss hip mobility in the context of the squat, what we're really talking about is hip flexion.

So,If you want to have any chance of squatting below parallel with a weight on your back, then you're going to need at least 110-125 degrees of hip flexion. Achieving full squat depth with anything less than full range of motion at the hip requires your body to make a number of biomechanical compromises. Going back to the kinetic chain and following the joint-by-joint approach, when the hip lacks flexion, the joints above it (the lumbar spine), and below it (the knee) will overcompensate to make up the difference. Typically when I see lifters struggling to reach full depth during a squat I immediately think of the posterior chain – tight hamstrings, glutes, lower back, etc. Yet limitations in hip flexion can come from the front or the back, depending on what's being restricted. Hip restrictions come in three main flavors – muscular, capsular, and structural (bone) – each requiring different solutions.

Structural Limitations-
-Occurs when femoral head and neck don't fit properly into acetabulum. (the pelvis and femur)
- Often a Genetic Trait. Thank your parents!
- Can form as a result of increased exposure to activities that promote an anterior pelvic Tilt (hockey, distance running). This can usually cause Janda's Lower cross-syndrome.

Exercises and stretches to improve-
RKC Plank
Glute bridge Lifts
American Deadlifts
Bench hip flexor stretch
Psoas active release

Capsular limitations-Perhaps the least talked about or understood cause of limited mobility is tightness in the joint capsule itself. Like all synovial joints, the hip is encased in a flexible membrane that provides the hip with an additional layer of flexible support. This membrane is referred to as your joint capsule. Although it might not receive much attention, it's one of the most important pieces in the mobility puzzle. When the capsule becomes stiff and tight, it compresses the articulating surfaces of the joint and alters what's called accessory joint movement.

Stretches to improve Hip Capsule joint tightness- Banded distraction stretches:
Bottom-up Hamstring Stretch with Band
Top-down forward bend with band
Squat with band

Soft tissue/muscular Restrictions:
These fall into three categories. First are soft-tissue entrapment issues, where tissue becomes gnarled or stuck together, like in the case of trigger points and myofascial adhesions. Second are problems with excessive stiffness or resistance to changes in length. Finally, problems involving muscle length, where a muscle has actually lost sarcomeres and therefore has become shorter. Restrictions in the hamstrings, glutes, or lower back can all limit hip flexion. I find that a lacrosse ball works best to free-up entrapment issues, while a stretch band works best on length and stiffness problems. One of the best soft tissue activities you can do is the high hamstring smash: The proximal hamstring attachments on the backside of the pelvis exist in an area of high stress and tension in the body, making them prone to stiffness and adhesions. Compound that with the eight or more hours most people spend sitting directly on this area each dayand you have plenty of room for problems to occur.
To free up this area, place a lacrosse ball directly under the glute fold (slightly closer to inside) and then sit on something hard like a plyo block or the floor. Roll back and forth over the hamstring attachment, ungluing the ugly mess of matted down tissue that has likely formed there.

I know this is a lot of information to digest, but I wanted to throw it all out there and if you caught at least a little bit of it then I did my job. If you would like to know more about the suggested exercises please feel free to contact me and I can explain more in depth and/or demonstrate for you.If you know this is a common issue for yourself, an individualized program may be the best route for you in order address and fully repair it. Look out for me and coach Chris's exercise videos as we will be hitting on a lot of these topics and showing the benefit of the exercises. See you in the gym!

Workout of the day

A. Row 100m x2; rest 3 min after each
B. Deadlift; Find 3RM at 2020 tempo - in 15 min
C. 1k row for time;


A. Snatch; One rep every 90 seconds for 12 min
B. OHS; Find 15 Rep Max - 3 attempts
C. 1 min max rep pistols; non-dominant leg, rest 1 min, 1 min max rep pistols dominant leg

The Power of the "Power Position"

This Saturday I will be putting on a clinic on how using the power position can help improve your strength and efficiency in the Olympic lifts. This position is crucial for proper force application during two of the more complicated movements in our repertoire of exercises. This is because when we bring the bar closer to our hips (the power position) we are able to more directly transfer force from our primary movers into the barbell to create lift on the bar, allowing us time to pull ourselves into our receiving positions.

I have come to understand that although this position is crucial for the lifts, it is hard to achieve, especially when first learning. It is not a natural position to stand in and it takes great patience to reach. So as the bar gets heavier, and we become more concerned with completing the lift, we begin to forget the key positions that need to be hit in the process. Now, although at first it may seem easier to rush and miss proper positions, it will ultimately place a greater limit on what we can achieve. And just as with any other skill it takes patience and diligent practice before it can become a habit.

Remember what Uncle Ben told Peter Parker before he became Spiderman:
"With great power position comes great lifting ability..." or something like that.

I hope to see you guys on Saturday!

Kendrick Farris (Olympian '08 & '12) hitting the power position in both the Snatch and the Jerk.


Workout of the Day


A. Jump Rope; 3 sets; 1 min max reps, rest 1 min
Score is highest & lowest
Can be doubles/singles - count total passes
B. 15 min AMRAP;
5x Burpee,
7x Lunges each leg, alternating,
9x Sit Ups,
100m run
Filthy 50
For time:
50 Box jump, 24/20 inch box
50 Jumping pull-ups
50 Kettlebell swings, 1 pood (35/26)
Walking Lunge, 50 steps
50 Knees to elbows
50 Push press, 45/35 pounds
50 Back extensions
50 Wall ball shots, 20/14 pound ball
50 Burpees
50 Double unders


We have all experienced it at one time or another . . .

You know, when you tell someone you do crossfit and they immediately jump to an assumption that you are crazy! That you drag trucks around parking lots for fun! That you are are in a cult!

Well, these are other people's perception of what we do and love so much based on their environment. That does not mean there is no merit, just that there is a gap between the perception of someone who has never experienced crossfit, vs actual crossfit, especially at CrossFit Gainesville :)

Lets take perception into the gym . . . If I re-made the silly CrossFit diagram below with different pictures and titles, what would that look like?

  • What BootCamp thinks a CFG athlete looks like
  • What a CFG athletes think I look like
  • What your Coach thinks you look like
  • What you think you look like
  • What you ACTUALLY look like

As much as we would love all of those pictures to look the same . . . they will probably end up being very different!

So what. . . get to the point Steph. . .

Sometimes it is easy to get caught up in the PR's, the fastest times, or the competition, that we forget to take a look at what we are ACTUALLY doing, not what we think we are doing.

The fastest way to achievement in CrossFit is by taking it slow, and making sure the foundations, form, and energy systems are all build properly before going HAM. If you rush it, which we all do from time to time, you will hit a plateau or get injured, then have to start over from the beginning anyways. It is better to do it right the first time. 

Make sure your perception of yourself, skills, level, and technique are as close to reality as possible. Utilize your class coaches and primary coach to help you see the Actual you, and create the best and most efficient route to your goals!


Workout of the Day


A. Hang Power Clean or Hang Power Snatch

B. CF "Baseline" for time
500m row
40x Squats
30x Sit Ups
20x Push Ups
10x Pull Ups


A. 800m run for time
-rest 5-10 min

B. 1 min Max Rep of each: rest 2-3 min after each set
Muscle Ups
Max Freestanding Handstand Hold

C. Core/isometric Holds; rest a few minutes in between, similar to B:
Max time L-Sit
Max Time FLR on Rings

Page 10 of 469

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CrossFit Gainesville
Located at 1126 NW 2nd St. Suite B,
Gainesville, FL 32601.
Phone: 352-215-8609.