November 18, 2010

Handstand skill

Warmup is 3rds:

200mtr run,15 pullup,30 squat,15 ghd sit-ups(or 30 abmat sit-ups )

WOD is hang power clean 3,3,3,3,3,3,3reps

There is much controversy in the CrossFit community about which lift is more difficult and/or should be used in met-con work outs, the clean or the power clean. Yesterday, we used the clean in a met-con workout. Today, we used a power clean in a strength workout. Our intention behind this was to begin to see the difference between these two lifts.

A squat clean requires and develops coordination, agility, balance an endurance. However, it allows the athlete to get under the weight without necessarily reaching full hip extension and/or truly “finishing” the movement in a full shrug. This can rob the athlete of the full benefits intended by this dynamic and complex movement.

A power clean develops explosive strength by forcing the athlete to fully open the hips in order to clean the weight. The shrug and the core to extremity movement are crucial to the success of this lift. Without them, the weight will be impossible to clean. The downside to this is there is less of a metabolic response. Balance, coordination and agility become much less necessary in a power clean.

Here are a couple of quotes from top Crossfit coach Coach Burgener:

“A [squat] clean is a missed power clean.” he also says:

“…Strength is worthless in Olympic lifting without speed”

Another legend in the world of strength and fitness, Coach Bill Starr says “When an exercise is done in an explosive manner, the muscles and attachments are worked in an entirely different way than during static movements. The quicker, more synchronized motions required in these exercises forces the nervous system to be involved to a much higher degree. This not only produces greater strength gains, but helps improve other athletic attributes, such as foot speed, timing, balance, and coordination, which are easily carried over to any other athletic endeavor.”

These are all very interesting things to think about. Do you think that one ought to do power cleans until the weight is such that you must pull yourself under the bar? What is your opinion?

Mobility WOD