The Best Exercise You’re probably Not Doing for Your Elbow Health


Still have that nagging elbow pain that won’t go away? It can prevent you from even picking up your coffee cup if it is really aggravated and will keep you out of exercising for days.

This type of pain often occurs as inflammation due to overuse of the forearm muscles (think scrolling your phone, computer work etc). The symptoms of “tennis elbow” or “lateral epicondylitis” can be mitigated with ice or NSAIDs, but your goal should not be to deal with the symptoms.

Prevention is always the best measure and there are exercises you can do that will act as a rehab and prehab. Here are the best exercises you’re probably not doing for your elbow health. Adding this exercise in to finish your workout is a great way to combat elbow pain and prevent it from coming back! Enter the Zottman curl.

The Zottman Curl:

The Zottman curl is one of the best and most efficient exercises that you should be doing if you care about performance in grip heavy workouts with rope climbs, kettlebell swings, and deadlifts. This is also a great movement to prevent elbow pain from occurring. (Especially now with all of the dumbbell work you are doing!)

You won’t need much weight to start (especially if you’re rehabbing an injury). These curls are extremely humbling and are very challenging on the biceps and extensor muscles in your forearms if performed correctly.

Start with a pair of dumbbells and a supinated grip. Perform a bicep curl and pause in the top position or :01-:02 with your biceps fully contracted. Slowly rotate your hands into a pronated (palms down) position before lowering the weight. In the bottom position rotate your palms back to a supinated position before performing your next rep.

Pro tip:
Performing these from a tall kneeling position on both knees will help you activate your core and glutes simultaneously and prevent you from cheating on the curl.

Perform 3-5 sets of 8-12 reps of this exercise with a light to moderate load. You should be able to perform these curls at the beginning or end of your workout 2-3 days each week. Give the Zottman Curl a try and bulletproof those elbows today!

No better time than the present to take care of your body. Let us know if you have any other areas bothering you that you need assistance with! Coach@CrusherCrossFit.Com

Work, Play, Compete, or Live Forever


If you are thinking about trying out a new training routine it’s important for you to consider your goals versus the goals of the program.

Most folks who participate in CrossFit and other HIIT styles of training may not know or understand the different styles of training available and who they might be best for. Some gyms offer a wide variety of classes to address the different needs of their members while others pride themselves on a particular specialty.

Put some thought into which camp you fall into when selecting a training program and you’ll be most likely to maximize your results and achieve your goals. Most folks fall into one of 4 camps.

1.Work
2.Play
3.Compete
4.Live Forever

Work
Let’s start with folks who train for work. They may have physically demanding jobs that require their bodies to perform for the execution of the job or to keep them safe. Law enforcement, firefighters and rescue personnel, and members of the armed forces all need to be in shape to keep them safe and performing at a high level. Other folks may have physically demanding jobs that require them to have strength and endurance for. Maintaining a high level of fitness let’s construction workers, landscapers, loggers, and other active professionals do better at work.

If you fall into this category it is important you find a training routine that supports your job performance. Workouts should be varied and keep you balanced. It’s also important that the workouts address the demands you will face on the job to help prevent injuries. Beware training programs that overwork you and leave sore or unable to perform your daily duties.

Play
If you fall into this category you know the importance of getting daily exercise, but you want it to be as fun as possible. Training should be engaging and allow you to connect with others who have the same goals as you do. You may lose interest doing the same routine over and over again so it’s important that you find a training program that mixes things up and keeps you engaged.

Compete
You train to make you better at a particular sport. Whether your sport is running, biking, skiing, soccer, or even CrossFit your training routine should be specific to the activity you are trying to excel in. Workouts need to consistently train the movements patterns you will experience in your sport to improve performance and reduce injury risk.
A great coach will know the volume of training needed to help you improve and how to plan out a training schedule for preseason, in-season, and off-season training cycles. Make sure you are training for the demands of the sport and not just following a powerlifting or bodybuilding program that doesn’t line up with your goals.

Live Forever
You train because you know it’s important for health and wellness. You’re not looking to compete but to enjoy your life and your family. You may not have a physically demanding job so you need a balance of cardiovascular and resistance training to keep you feeling good and moving well. You may also be looking for nutrition advice and other best practices to ensure you have a long and high functioning life.

If you fall into this category make sure you are training with the minimum effective dose in mind. You should leave most training sessions better than you went in.

Want to get started training, but still not sure how? Talk to one of our coaches about which of our programs might be best for you and we can answer all of your questions!  Coach@CrusherCrossFit.Com

COVID-19 and 5 Immune Boosting Nutrients


#CrusherNutrition has partnered with our team at Healthy Steps Nutrition – to put together a list of 5 essential nutrients, to support your immune system.  During this time – one thing we can control – is what we put down the hatch!  To help protect from illness and boost your immune system, include the following in your diet.  If you need help with your nutrition, and guidance with these steps – email Jen@CrusherCrossFit.Com for more information!  We are here to make humans healthier and happier.

 

    1. Protein
      Protein plays a role in the body’s immune system, especially for healing and recovery. Eat a variety of protein foods including seafood, lean meat, poultry, eggs, beans and peas, soy products and nuts and seeds.
    2. Vitamin A
      Vitamin A helps regulate the immune system and protect against infections by keeping skin and tissues in the mouth, stomach, intestines and respiratory system healthy. Get this immune-boosting vitamin from foods such as sweet potatoes, carrots, broccoli, spinach, red bell peppers, apricots, eggs or foods fortified with vitamin A.
    3. Vitamin C
      Vitamin C helps protect you from infection by encouraging antibodies and boosting immunity. Include more sources of this healthy vitamin in your diet by consuming citrus fruits such as oranges, grapefruit and tangerines, or red bell pepper, papaya, strawberries, tomato or foods fortified with vitamin C.
    4. Vitamin E
      Vitamin E is an antioxidant that neutralizes free radicals and improves immune system function. Obtain adequate vitamin E in your diet with consumption of fortified cereals, sunflower seeds, almonds, vegetable oils, hazelnuts and peanut butter.
    5. Zinc
      Zinc helps the immune system work properly and assists with wound healing. Zinc food sources include lean meats, poultry, seafood, milk, whole grain products, beans, seeds and nuts.

Additionally there are other nutrients that may influence immune response and play a role in a healthy immune boosting diet, including vitamin B6, folate, selenium, iron, as well as prebiotics and probiotics.

*Disclaimer: obtaining these nutrients from foods is preferred, so be sure to speak with your healthcare provider and/or a registered dietitian nutritionist before taking any immune-boosting supplements.

Ashley Osterman
Director of Nutrition Education
Healthy Steps Nutrition

Should Kids Lift Weights?


Weight training and High-Impact training for kids.

Don’t worry, I am not going to get technical with stats and percentages. I’m going to make this simple and relatable for everyone. How many times have you heard…”Kids should not use weights…it will stunt their growth”…Countless times I am sure. I can find countless articles that contradict that and on the flip side I can find articles supporting that. As a parent of two boys who do Crossfit I can tell you I am 100% confident in having them use weights. 

But let’s define “weights”, and more importantly “weights” when it applies to our program. Age appropriate weights is how I’ll describe it.

  • I want you to picture an 8 year old girl holding a set of 2lb-3lb dumbbells doing some shoulder presses.  Now picture a coach beforehand demonstrating proper movement. Can the child demonstrate proper movement without weight? If so, then let’s see how they perform the movement using a very light load. If they can they get to use that weight for the workout. If not, they don’t use a weight. 

Simple as that in our program. The coach dictates what weights are used because we all know little ones, they will grab the heaviest weight they can. It’s in their nature to do that. Weights used are earned through demonstration of movement. The Crossfit Kids training program does not advocate maximal lifts for kids and preteens. We do however advocate supervised low load weight training.  Something to keep in mind however, is how heavy is your child’s back pack?  What types of things do they move around and life on a daily basis?  I will say, much heavier than what we have them lifting in class.  And we are teaching them how to lift those things with proper form.

When our youth are playing their respective sport the force applied to their bodies during play is far greater than those we use in our program. Our application is also done in a controlled setting with no outside variables such as sport. The unforeseen variables in sport pose a far greater risk of injury. Making your child’s muscles and joints stronger will help prevent injury on the field and in everyday life. Helping them move better through proper range of motion will benefit them for their entire life.

Along with age appropriate weight training we also add in high impact training which has huge benefits for your child. These are movements like running, box jumps, and broad jumps just to name a few. Read this article for benefits of high impact and weight training in our youth.

 

http://journal.crossfit.com/2016/11/crossfit-kids-research-brief-bone-density.tpl

Any application of load in any exercise program for anyone needs to be done so correctly. Especially in our youth and our coaches are trained to do so. Explanation, demonstration, correcting of faults, and “earned” loads will keep your child safe and that is Crusher’s number one priority. 

Looking for a place to keep your child active?  Athlete or not –  we would love to help.  Our program is designed for any child of every level.  Email Geo@CrusherCrossFit.Com for more information!

 

Coach Geo

Guess What? Your Coach Noticed.


I had an athlete approach me recently, expressing concern that a peer in class had repetitions that did not meet movement standards.  This person was not upset because of what the scoreboard said, but they were frustrated because our workouts are so much more than what the whiteboard says.  Our workouts are hard work.  I  have always said “How you do anything, is how you do everything.”  I had a conversation with this person about ensuring we are only worrying about ourselves, and our own workouts.  As the conversation progressed – I realized this was a deeper issue than just a few no reps. And I completely understood.

I get it.  You want to beat that person who you always compete with in class.  Or you don’t want to finish last place.  Or you want to come across as this major BEAST during the WOD.  It seems powerful and amazing right?  Well ok – there is more to it than this.  You need to hold yourself to a higher standard.  If you are starting to move so fast just to get the rep done, that your form is shot or you are not completing the full rep – are you really winning?  Are you really working closer to being a healthier version of yourself?  If you clearly have the ability to do things right, and you choose not to, then you are doing yourself a disservice.

What I mean here – “How you do anything, is how you do everything.”  (Not just at the gym.)  If your integrity to your ownself in the gym is lacking – what does it look like outside of the gym?

Why do we perform these types of workouts anyways?  To be the best we can be – the best version of ourselves – healthy… and the list goes on.  What is the purpose if we are shaving reps, moving poorly, and letting our integrity go out the window?  Are you really reaching those goals?  What is this doing for your mind?  Which also transfers outside of the box.

You also have your peers – the one to your left and to your right – who are counting accurately (well except when you have WOD brain and miss 1 of the 300 reps during Cindy).  But for the most part, intentionally counting accurately.  Or the ones who are listening to the coach with movement standards… not letting speed get in the way of form.  FOR TIME or AMRAP does not mean move like trash.  There is next to no value in going fast and moving poorly.  These peers see you (Yes they do, even if you think they don’t) and they get frustrated.  They are working so hard, yet see you cheating.  Cheating yourself, and cheating the camaraderie you all have in your class session.

I found this article on the crossfit journal that I found super interesting – take a peak.  http://journal.crossfit.com/2016/07/an-open-letter-to-cheaters.tpl

Let’s all strive to be the best versions we can be.  Be Honest.  Work Hard.  DO YOU!  Don’t worry about beating someone other than yourself.  Competition is good and healthy – as long as you can leave your ego at the door and maintain integrity.   Reminder of our Rules of Conduct at Crusher – and honestly, these can also go out to real life as well!

“Be Honest with YOUR FELLOW ATHLETES & YOURSELF.

Abandon your ego. No one cares if you finished first or you finished last,

but everyone will be upset if you cheat.”

4 Ways to Save Your Joints


When you are dedicated to your training and putting in the hours to achieve your goals then there is nothing more frustrating than joint pain and inflammation. It almost feels like your body is punishing you for working hard. No fair, right!

Rather than make excuses about your pain or backing off on your training you may want to consider some new techniques to mitigate the damage from these patterns of overuse.

1. Focus on form
2. Make intensity your new volume
3. Recover Harder
4. Hit the Supplements Aisle

1.Focus on form
If you are training often and hard then even the slights inefficiencies in your movement can turn into nagging injuries over time. Before you put in all that hard work you owe it to yourself to work with an experienced coach to refine your movement. You will make progress faster and stay healthy in the process. Slow down, not every day is a competition.

2. Make intensity your new volume
Sometimes the body simply needs a break from volume. All athletes in any sport go through periods of alternating intensity and volume throughout the year. They have different rhythms and protocols for preseason, in-season, post-season, and off-season training. Try backing off on the volume of your training and focusing on higher intensity pieces instead. For lifters, this could mean performing fewer sets or reps and using a higher load, shorter rest times, or a faster tempo. Runners might try lower mileage with weeks and adding a sprint workout 1-2 times per week instead.

3. Recover Harder
Training hard without the proper recovery techniques is bound to beat you up and becomes unsustainable long term. Make time for massage, foam rolling, stretching, yoga or mobility sessions, sleep, and any other recovery methods that can improve your performance. Sometimes the most beneficial thing you can do is stimulate your parasympathetic nervous with these recovery techniques to let your body’s natural healing mechanisms kick in.

4. Give your body what it needs to repair itself
There are tons of great supplements that can help with joint health. Fish oil and omega 3’s provide a healthy inflammatory response in the body amongst many other health benefits. Glucosamine and Chondroitin provide the building blocks for joint repair. Tart Cherry Juice extract has been shown to reduce muscle soreness after a workout. Give those a try to start!

Don’t let joint pain stop you from moving and doing the things you love!

5 Tips to Help You Change with the Season


As the weather turns colder, many of us tend to let our health and fitness routines take the back burner for a few months. Whether you are feeling rundown or beat up from two CrossFit Open cycles in one year or just trying to escape the holiday season without eating too much pie. It is important to recognize what the change in season can mean for you in your training and health.

The winter months bring about changes in our training routines, daily habits, and nutrition. Rather than take a hit and accepting that this is a time to let yourself slide (because you’ll make it up and get back on track in January) what if this year you made a plan to do things differently.

“You must take personal responsibility. You cannot change the circumstances, the seasons, or the wind, but you can change yourself. That is something you have charge of.” -Jim Rohn

Here are 5 Tips to Help You Change with the Season!

  1. Eat more vegetables and healthy fats.
  2. Go for a walk during the daytime.
  3. Break a sweat every day.
  4. Stay Hydrated.
  5. Structure your day for success.

Eat more vegetables and healthy fats.
During the summer months, there seems to be an abundance of fresh fruits and vegetables around. In the winter we tend to shift towards more comfort foods, foods that are preserved or packaged and are easy to prepare. Focusing on incorporating more vegetables in your diet will help you get the essential vitamins, minerals, fiber, and micronutrients that you need. Omega-3s found in fish oil can help with skin health, heart health, and has been shown to support

Go for a walk during the daytime.
Getting outside for a walk during daylight hours can be extremely beneficial for your body and mind. Even if we can’t get Vitamin D from the sun during the winter months we can still benefit from its exposure. Walking can help improve metabolism, boost mood, and be a much better pick me up for your energy than coffee. Doing it in sunlight is proven to be one of the best ways to combat Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) that gets people run down in the winter months.

Break a sweat every day.
Prioritizing fitness may actually be more important in the winter than the summer. We naturally find ourselves more active during the summer months, enjoying the weather at the beach or on a hike or a bike ride. In the winter we tend to hole up indoors. Those hours of walking are replaced with hours of Netflix bingeing and lo and behold we start to get soft and complacent.

Stay Hydrated.
In the winter months, you may never feel the need to quench your thirst as you do on a hot summer day. Most folks tend to stay on the dehydrated side. Sweat also evaporates in the cold dry air, so many people are less likely to replenish fluids after exercise. Be sure to set daily hydration goals for yourself. Setting alarms on your phone to get up and grab a drink of water is a great way to accomplish this.

Structure your day for success.
One of the best ways to take charge of your health during the winter months is to plan out your day. Set yourself up for success by incorporating healthy habits and avoiding the detractors is key. Plan to have a big healthy salad before showing up to the holiday party where you know there will be tons of desserts. Book a fitness class, yoga session, or plan to meet a friend during a time you would normally just watch TV or surf the internet.

If you want to stay in control of your health this winter and have questions about how to eat, train or plan let us know!  Coach@CrusherCrossFit.Com

3 Exercises to Fix your Lower Back Pain


The body thrives on balance. Our muscles and joints are happiest when they are getting equal and total range of motion. The spine is no different and since it’s range of motion is smaller than most other joints, imbalances can be felt more intensely.

The spine requires the stability of the supporting muscles that surround it to keep up upright and mobile. When a link in this system is weak, the body will compensate in order to expend the least amount of energy. 

A common issue seen causing that dreaded lower back is due to tight hip flexors, tight spinal erectors, accompanied by weak abs and glutes, also referred to as the lower cross syndrome. The tightness of the body in one area causes another area of the body to become weak. 

“Pain is inevitable. Suffering is optional.” – Buddhist Proverb

 

So how do you fix or prevent this? Here are three things you can do today to make sure your glutes are firing, your core is tight, and your hips and back muscles stay strong but supple.

  1. Single leg glute bridges, to strengthen the core & glutes. Aim for 3 sets of 15 on each side. Plant the bottom of your feet and palms firmly on the floor. Stack knees above ankles. Lift one foot off the ground and perform a single glute bridge with the other, pressing firmly into your palms, shoulders, and foot to take any pressure off the neck. Try to get the hips as high as possible, then lower to the ground.
  2. Couch Stretch, loosen the tight hip flexors Aim for 2 minutes on each side. Using a couch or a bench, get into a low lunge in front of your object of choice, and the goal of this stretch is to use the front leg to support your weight as you put your back foot on a couch or bench and get your knee as close to the couch or bench as possible to stretch the hip of the back leg.  
  3. Supine single-leg twists to loosen the tight muscles in the lower back.

Lay on your back, hands out to a T, and legs together, bring your right knee up to your chest and let it fall to the left side of your body. Try to keep the spine stacked in a straight line. Repeat on the left leg, bringing left knee to chest then letting it fall to your right, knee resting on the ground or a block. Spend at least a minute on each side.

Incorporate these exercises and stretches into your routine to help ease and prevent lower back pain. As always if anything causes pain, don’t do it and always consult your doctor before trying new things.

Meet Connor – Teen Athlete!


Teens Athlete Spotlight (November 2019)

 

Athlete – Conner Epping

Age – 15

Member since – March 2017

 

I want to introduce you to one of our amazing Teen athletes, Conner Epping. He puts in the hard work and he is an absolute joy to coach. Conner is part of one of our many families who “Fitness” together here at Crusher CrossFit. His parents Alanna, Joe, and sister Brenna are all part of the Crusher Family. Recently they were seen doing the “CrossFit Open” together as a family in the same heats. Very cool and very inspiring to see as they pushed through very tough workouts along side of each other while the Crusher community cheered them on. 

I recently sat down with Conner for a little Q&A

 

Why did you start CrossFit? My Mom and Dad started and they would talk about it at home. I knew they loved it and they inspired me and I gave it a shot.

Do you enjoy CrossFit? I love it. 

Why do you enjoy CrossFit? It helps me mentally. It has made me more confident. Both in the gym and at school.

Were you nervous to start? Yes, very. But not anymore. I look forward to coming now and challenging myself.

Do you play a sport? No. Crossfit is my sport.

Do you think CrossFit helps you in your academics? Yes, it has taught me to focus more. It also helps with my headaches and anxiety. I feel much better when I come to class.

Have you talked to friends about CrossFit? Yes. My friends Joey and Trevor joined. I like when we all can work out together. It’s fun.

What is your favorite movement? Rowing

What is your least favorite movement? Burpees. I hate those things. (“Conner, I feel your pain here man” – Geo)

Do you like working out with Mom and Dad? Yes, they inspire me to try harder. It’s pretty cool.

Do you plan to continue with CrossFit when you become an adult? Definitely. 

Do you like your coaches? Yes, they are fun and they help me with each workout. They give me scales and tips to get through the workout.

As a coach of Conner I can tell you this kid is awesome and we are the lucky ones that get to coach him. The Epping family continues to inspire all of us and we look forward to seeing them all continue their fitness journey with us. 

 

If you feel encouraged to try something new like Connor did, email me at Geo@CrusherCrossFit.Com – I would love to help.

 

Coach Geo

 

Avoid this BIG Mistake on Thanksgiving…


Thanksgiving is here… and the common theme is being discussed.  “I am going to fast all day to save up my calories for the BIG meal!”  Or, “I am skipping breakfast and lunch so that I can indulge at dinner.”

Guys and gals… Don’t do it!  Big Mistake!  Skipping your meals or “saving up” for the big meal is going to seriously back fire on you.  You will end up being so hungry by the time the food arrives, that you will in turn over eat, and regret your decision.  I do understand that there are some people that do well with intermittent fasting.  If you are trained in this and know what you are doing, than more power to you.  But for the rest of us, treat it like any other day.

Here are a few tips to keep you in check this Thanksgiving, but still enjoying some of your favorites:

    • Eat breakfast that includes a healthy amount of protein – this will help you curb your appetite during the day.  It would be great to eat a well rounded breakfast with some healthy carbohydrates (fruits, veggie, steel cut oats etc) and a healthy fat (avocado).
    • Get a quick workout in and start your day right.  Crusher has classes at 8am and 9:30am!  Come on in!
    • Water is your friend.  Stay hydrated a lot of water.
    • Start your big meal with a salad or vegetables.  Do not start with bread or or the heavier foods.  If you start with the salad or vegetables, this will help you with overall caloric intake.
    • Chew your food and enjoy the conversation of those around you!  This will help you not rush into it and shove your face without realizing you are full.
    • If you are full – put your fork down.
    • Plan for the day after – have healthy meals prepped and a workout class scheduled.  This will help keep you in check and back on track.  These big holiday meals are the exception – they aren’t a rule.  Meaning, we get one, and then back on track.