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Darlene doing her 1st HSPU!  In her own words “I’m one tough chick”, we are very proud of you!!!


Pam

Dr. Hawley’s Health Corner – Take care of those wrists!

I hope all of you made it through the storm ok and had a little fun in the process!  When I was thinking about what I should write about this week I couldn’t help but think how much time I was putting in before each class trying to get my wrists loosened up before each workout.  It is easy to forget how important your wrists are until they hurt.  

A person’s wrist is made up of several small bones and several ligaments both of which can be injured pretty easily.  Wrist injuries happen really for two reasons.  The first is you fall on your wrist or something falls on your wrist; the second is overuse.  The overuse injury is usually due to poor flexibility or range of motion of the wrist.  When dealing with those athletes who CrossFit wrist range of motion is of the utmost importance, just think of all the movements we do that require full wrist extension.  You have the power cleans, any lift overhead, front squats, squat thrusters and snatches.  Now you can see the importance of having proper wrist range of motion.
Wrist Range of Motion Exercises: (there are basically two primary movements of the wrist and 2 secondary movements: we will be focusing on the two primary movements)

  1. Flexion – most people have proper flexion (when you bring your palm toward your elbow).  The best way to stretch is to have your arm straight (palm down) grab your fingers and pull back towards your elbow.  Your palm should now be facing backward.  Do this 10 times and hold each one for 5-10 seconds.
  2. Extension – this motion is of extreme importance.  This is when you bring the back of your hand towards your elbow.  The best way to stretch is to have your arm straight (palm down) grab your fingers and pull back towards your elbow.  Your palm should now be facing forward.  Do this 10 times and hold each one for 5-10 seconds.

*A more advanced version of the above exercises incorporate PNF stretches.  PNF stretches are stretches that involve contracting the opposite muscle and then relaxing that muscle into a stretch.   This video will provide a good example of working on your wrist extension.  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9Vh71MlgBFs  Try not to focus too much on the awesome music in the background!

 


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CLASS SCHEDULE WILL BE POSTED ONCE SNOW STARTS – MAKE SURE TO CHECK BEFORE COMING DOWN TO THE GYM, WE WANT EVERYONE TO BE SAFE!

If I was an animal I’d be a bull I think.
Still reading? Thanks. What I mean is if something requires finesse I will not be adept at it. But if will is a factor there is a good chance I can push my way through. Bulls don’t seem very patient and are not in the habit of taking time to think things through. That translates to a negative quality in training. True, having a “never back down from a challenge” streak in your personality can be good for getting you out of your comfort zone and trying new things. My problem, as a bull, is charging into everything head first with almost no restraint. My first and strongest impulse when I’m lifting is to go as heavy as I can…heavier than the last time…even with poor form. This is bad…stupid bull. You can only muscle through bad form to a point. The obvious problem is that you are risking significant injury.  But also, you jeopardize your ability to improve. You will get to a point when you can’t muscle through it, all the mental fortitude in the world can’t move those weights because you didn’t take the time to properly train your body to back up your indomitable will. That’s scary. Makes the hair on my chest stand up…I mean neck…gross. To cheat yourself out of improving because you didn’t slow down and work on your form would be tragic. In an effort to avoid this I’m going to tame my bull side, and try to focus on form. I’m going to try to be more like a fox, smart… and good looking.
Bottom line, don’t sell your ability short by cutting corners on form. Since this is a weakness of mine I take major comfort in the fact that we have helpful, knowledgeable, coaches to work with every day that are sincerely interested in helping us improve.
Is everyone registered for the open??
I thought I’d upload a pic for my profile on there, one of me doing pull-ups, my arms look like they are the length of my entire body. It looks like an orangutan registered for the open.  Maybe I’m not a bull…are orangutans headstrong? We have a love for fruit in common too. How did I not notice these similarities before?? 
Here is a recipe for a quick, fairly healthy, green breakfast smoothie. It is lacking in protein but you could eat a couple eggs on the side or add some protein powder if you’re into that, vanilla would probably work best.

Ingredients:
1 cup frozen pineapple
½ of an avocado
handful of frozen spinach
½  of a ripe banana
2/3 cup of ice (give or take)
1 cup water (also give or take)
1 tbls flaxseed meal
juice from half a lime

Directions:
Take a deep breath, are you ready for these directions? Place all ingredients in a blender. Blend. Done.
I say “give or take” on the water and ice because I don’t measure those things and because it depends on how thick you like your smoothie. If you’re feeling like this isn’t sweet enough you could blend in a bit of agave nectar or something. I didn’t add any sweetener and even the kids pounded it.  


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Dr. Hawley’s Health Corner

Am I jumping correctly?

One of the best ways to prevent lower limb injuries when performing dynamic or plyometric exercises is to focus on your jumping technique and modify it accordingly.  The part of the jump that most people can modify to prevent injuries is their landing.  Most people land with their knees too straight or they land on either their left or right foot instead of landing on them both at the same time.

There are few cues that everyone should be aware of whenever they are going to be adding in jumping into their workout routine.  You must be aware of how much bend you have in your knees when you land, how much bend you have at your waist, are you leaning left or right when you land and when your left and right foot are hitting the ground and what part of the foot hits first.  

  1. Knee Bend (flexion)
    1. Your knee flexion should be more than 30 degrees. If you have ever landed straight legged you know how uncomfortable this can feel.  The more flexion you have in your knees the less force gets transmitted up your spine.
  2. Waist Bend (Trunk Flexion)
    1. The same idea goes for your waist.  More than 30 degrees is optimal.  This allows for proper force displacement.  
  3. Waist Lateral Bending 
    1. A very common issue when someone is new to jumping is that they land while leaning to the left or right.  This not only puts more pressure and force on that side but also makes them very unstable if they are looking to explode into another jump.
  4. Asymmetrical Foot Landing / Bending
    1. This is also extremely common.  It rare that you find someone, new to jumping, that lands with equal pressure on their left and right foot.  This can help predict future injuries so it is important to get this corrected as soon as possible.
  5. As with your waist and your knee’s the position that you foot lands in is also of great importance.  When landing from a jump you ideally want your toes to make contact with the ground first then your midfoot and finally you heel.  
    As you can see there are many things that you need to pay attention to when you are trying to perform a proper jump and more importantly a proper landing.  There are many app’s out there that you can put on your phone that will allow you to video tape yourself and then watch it in slow motion.  The one that I use is called Ubersense – it is currently free and very easy to use.  Download the app and have a friend tape your jumping.  I bet you will be surprised with what you see!
 


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PR’s are all around us! I’ve heard so many people the last week or two rejoicing over beating their old best…it’s exciting. Enthusiasm is contagious and its symptoms include but are not limited to increased energy, difficulty being boring, smiling, elevated levels of motivation and reaching goals with more ease. It may be corny sounding but it is reality folks. GET EXCITED!! Doesn’t matter what it is…get excited about making it to class after a long day’s work, about wearing your new headband, about trying a new post wod shake, about not passing out after Wednesday’s workout. Just get amped. Because if you get excited so does everyone else. Awesome. Even our water cooler PR’d…polished water…what?! So the hubs stated this recipe was average…it is simple, there is not a bunch to it. However, it is tasty and easy.
I’d like to take a moment to applaud the folks at our box, everyone is working so hard. From our coaches to our on-rampers, we have a solid  crew. Proud to be a part of it. This post is all over the place but, also accolades once more to our programming, thank you SCF. Getting stronger and faster is a good feeling. Eating sweet potatoes and meat…that’s a good feeling too.

Ingredients:
2 sweet potatoes peeled and diced
1 small sweet onion chopped
Clove of garlic diced
½ cup vegetable broth
2 tbs apple cider vinegar
¼ tsp nutmeg
1 tbs fresh thyme chopped
Handfull o’ fresh parsley chopped
1 tbls bacon grease
salt and pepper to taste
1 cup roast beef cubed about the size of your sweet potato, or whatever meat you desire…Breakfast sausage, shredded pork, it’s all good.
I used leftovers from the roast I made the night before and it worked very well

Directions:
Heat up your oven safe skillet/pan, melt your bacon grease. Preheat your oven to 375. Toss your sweet potato and your onion in your hot bacon grease and stir to prevent burning, cook until your onions start to brown. Lower your heat and add your garlic. Continue to stir occasionally. Once everything is browned and your sweet potato is starting to soften a little add the rest of your ingredients except the fresh parsley. Stir to mix and place in your hot oven. Should take about 20-30 min for the potatoes to finish cooking and the liquid to reduce. Once it’s done toss on your fresh parsley and pair it with some fried eggs, or eat it by itself as a meal right out of the skillet.


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Sweet potato pancakes with blueberry coconut compote

You know I have to talk about Saturday.
What was your favorite part? Mine was witnessing so many athletes of that caliber in one place, the energy, being astounded at the amount of power being generated by these chicks that appeared so petite, and St. Onge’s beard.
It felt good to be home. Any nerves were basically gone as soon as you started loading your barbell…it was like auto-pilot “I do this all the time.” Makes me wonder if a comp anywhere else would be as great, if in my peripheral I didn’t see Roseanne, Bobby, and Matt walking around would nerves get me? If Jax and Heather and Shannon weren’t cheering me on would I have PR’d my power clean? I don’t know. What I do know is that I appreciate our box even more post comp. What a hard working crew. Thanks guys.
My other thought post comp is OH MAN, I HAVE A LOT OF WORK TO DO. Humbling to see some of those performances! I love that feeling though, I even love when I’m running a 400 as fast as I can and Brittany runs past me while braiding her hair. Literally. She was braiding her hair when she passed me during Mondays WOD. I love that. I also love being coached. Example: yesterday Bobby pointed out that I was in a shrug from my first pull on my clean…so when I got the bar to my hips (and should be shrugging) I couldn’t because my dumb shoulders were already shrugged. I was losing major power taking the shrug out of the movement. I would have never known I was doing that. Don’t be afraid to ask your coaches to watch you, and point out where you can improve. At SCF we have coaches that truly want to help, utilize it.
That was a lot of “loving” things. I better balance it out with things I don’t love. I don’t love injuries, I don’t love how difficult it is for me to handle disappointing others (that just got deep), I don’t love double unders, I don’t love bone-in pork chops and will probably never post a recipe involving them…unless you want one…wouldn’t want to disappoint you. Hah.
For now here is a breakfast option…It’s tasty…and not too difficult. Toughest part of pancakes for me is getting the temp right in my pan.

Ingredients:
For the Pancakes
1 sweet potato baked and skin removed
2 tbls of coconut flour
3 eggs
¼ cup coconut butter (I think you could sub in almond butter if you want)
½ banana mashed
½ cup of almond milk give or take
½ tsp baking soda
dash of vanilla extract
dash of cinnamon

For the Blueberry Coconut Compote
½ cup Fresh blueberries
1 tbls water
1 tbls maple syrup (or sweetener of your choice)
1 tbls coconut butter
shredded unsweetened coconut to garnish

Directions:
Mix all your pancake ingredients together except your milk. Once they are thoroughly combined start slowly mixing in your almond milk. You want this batter to be thin enough to come off of a spoon but not nearly as thin as conventional pancakes. Heat your pan up and grease it with some coconut oil. I like to start with tiny pancakes using less than a ¼ cup of batter, pour it in and spread it out a little. I start small because if my pan ends up not being the right temp and they cook weird at least I didn’t waste a bunch of batter and I can tweak the heat level accordingly. When they start to steam a little and the edges are peeling up fairly easily with the spatula, flip em. Meanwhile in a small sauce pan over medium heat add all your compote ingredients. Stir, mashing some of the blueberries as they heat. Once it’s mixed and you have mashed your desired amount of blueberries turn the heat as low as possible to keep it warm while you finish your pancakes. Serve it up, pancakes topped with compote, sprinkled with coconut.


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To see awesome photos of the event from this past Saturday – click on this link 
Ct’s Fittest, Fastest, Freakiest – tonyspinelli Southington Crossfit Competition – Ct’s Fittest, Fastest, Freakiest

or copy this link into your browser http://tonyspinelli.smugmug.com/Sports/Cts-Fittest-Fastest-Freakiest/27472967_wvwn5X#!i=2329508436&k=F4qFqTP

Thanks again to EVERYONE that made this event so successful, we couldn’t of done it without all our many volunteers, athletes and coaches! Now on to the next….stay tuned!

Dr. Hawley’s Health Corner
Mid Back
– This week we are going to focus on your mid back.  Your mid back is of the utmost importance because it is the link between your neck and your lower back.  Any loss of motion in this region can put increase pressure on either your upper or lower back but more importantly can really limit your shoulder range of motion.  The goal of this blog is to provide you with some tools to loosen up those tight muscles and try to regain that lost range motion.

Foam Rolling / Manual Therapy – One of my favorite kinds of maintenance therapies because it helps get the adhesions/knots out which prevents against injury.

  • Foam Rolling = when foam rolling your mid back your goal is to increase your anterior motion by lying on the foam roller and arching your back backwards.  For this exercise you want the foam roller to be perpendicular to your body, start with the foam roller just under your neck and start working it lower and lower.  It will feel pretty sore and stiff as you get to your mid back so make sure you go slowly and really work for proper range of motion.  
  • Manual therapy = for this region you will need to get two lacrosse balls and tape them together.  Place these on the floor and lie on them so that they are perpendicular to your back with one lacrosse ball on either side of your spine.  For this exercise start just above your shoulders and start rolling down one lacrosse ball width at a time.  To make this more interesting your can start holding weight on your chest (I would suggest start with a ten pound plate and working your way up).  With the lacrosse ball situated on a “sticky” spot in your mid back place the weight on your chest (like a wheel) and now rotate your body left and right.  You will start to feel more motion in your mid back.  Continue throughout the rest of your mid back.

Strengthening/Stablization Exercises – If you take a look at several of the exercises we perform on a daily basis you will see that almost all of them require proper posture and a strong lower and mid back.

  • Brugger Exercises = these should be done 100 – 200 times a day.  It only takes about 2 seconds per rep so it’s not nearly as bad as it seems!    
  • GHD back extension = these are great not only for your lower back muscles but also for your mid back as well.   These should be done a few times a week.  Make sure you start with a number that is hard but not crazy.  Work up to a higher number when you feel comfortable.
    The mid back is very commonly forgotten about group of muscles that is of the utmost importance to not only having proper workout form but also proper posture.  Take some time to work on your muscles and range motion as it will help keep you injury free!