Core To Extremity

29 November 2010

Skill: pistols and KB snatch

WOD: Thrusters 115/95 one thruster at the top of the first minute, 2 thrusters on the second minute, 3 thrusters on the third and so on….

Both the kettlebell snatch and the thruster are great exercises really demonstrating the principal of ” core to extremity.” We talk about core to extremity or hip extension in nearly every movement, in every workout of everyday. But what is meant when our coach yells “core to extremity” or “open your hips all the way at the top?” Sure we get that it means the movement we are doing is originating and powered by the core and finished in the extremities. But why? What does that actually mean? What is happening when we access power from our core? Let get a little deeper with this concept….

“Functional movements originate from the core. This applies to the vast majority of movements described in this site, and especially to movements like the squat, deadlift, clean, jerk, and snatch (just to name a few). These movements are concerned more about moving a large load than they are about working a specific muscle group. The best way to move large loads is to use the largest muscles possible. Smaller muscle groups jump into the action after the bigger muscle groups are finished. This gives the large muscle groups optimal force transfer through the limbs and gives the limbs a stable platform from which to move.

When someone pulls with their arms in a clean or snatch before they have fully extended their legs, they are violating this principle. Similarly, on a thruster, if you press with the arms while still coming up from the squat you commit the same core-to-extremity violation.”

This brings us to “Core to Extremity Violation(s)”

“Core To Extremity Violation.”  Functional movements, when performed correctly, use the strongest body parts first and move outward to the weaker parts of the body in sequence.  In other words, when you perform a clean or a jerk, you want to use every inch of your hip (core) range of motion before you begin to move your arms (extremities.)  When the extremities move before the core finishes, you put a weak link in the kinetic movement chain and the speed/power of the movement is limited to the weaker part of the body.  When the movement is coordinated in the correct order, the body is able to express the full potential of the strongest body parts.  If you begin to pull your arms on the clean before you finish hip extension you have committed a core to extremity violation.  The same is true for the push press if you begin to press the bar overhead before your hips finish extension.” CrossFit Sacramento

Mobility WOD