Best drills for better WOD times
Improving your WOD times by doing a lot more WODs is a logical answer. But for those who need a little extra, I put together this simple list of drills which I have found help athletes improve their WODs. The idea is to make you move between many movements with ease, in full range, and with solid technique. Each one of these drills play a significant role in improving all elements of CrossFit workouts.
This is a fantastic movement for your core and your mobility. CrossFitters often find themselves with tight shoulders and hips combined with a weak core. Working sets of overhead squats forces athletes to maintain a perfect squat position, driving the knees wide and opening up the hips to get full range and depth in the squat. It also gets the shoulders open, opening up the pecs and helping improve extension of the spine.
Perform 4 to 6 sets of 3 to 5 reps before wodding for 4 to 5 weeks!
Strong Legs Strong Body : Eccentric Squats
I don’t think eccentric squats need to be frequently done, but I do believe that they should still be practised. We know that strength improves substantially as a result of the eccentric contraction phase, so we should utilize this period when possible.
Stronger legs mean a healthy body, so improving squats is always a priority for wodding better. Eccentric, or “negative” squats are assisted by a spotter. The athlete lifts at %100 – %105 of 1RM, attempting 1 to 3 reps. The athlete then controls the eccentric motion – the descent- and then is assisted through the extension phase.
Try this drill a few times in one week, then lay off for one or two subsequent weeks. Repeat a few weeks as a sort of cycle and be prepared for fatigue!
Setting yourself up with a good pull up program for upper body is equally as important for all ring and bar elements, including toes to bar. Improving strength and ease in chest to bar will help to improve your speed in those gymnastics movements, letting you last longer.
This is a simple power drill. Perform three sets of max reps, as strict as possible. If you find chest-to-bar comfortable for 5+ reps, add weight to your body; even adding 5 or 10 lbs makes a huge difference for strength. If you are unable to do chest to bar, or find one is hard enough, perform “negatives” or “eccentric” pull ups. If you aren’t familiar, pull up a box to set yourself in a jumping pull up position. Then rather than crashing to the box, jump up, touch your chest to the bar and then resist gravity and lower yourself with control, for a count of 5 seconds. It should be a slow and steady, in the exact reverse of a full chest to bar pull up.
This is no drill! But it is an absolute MUST for everyone who wants to lift heavy and move faster. A lack of mobility in the shoulders and hips, and in some cases, the back, is so incredibly limiting, that movements like jerks, handstands, snatch, cleans, front squats, and many others are never performed correctly.
Besides performance suffering, we see over and again the number and type of injuries which arise from limited mobility. This is why we’ve adding improving mobility to the list of drills for better WOD times.