Health & Wellness Blog

AZ Method – Building a Strong Foundation

 

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AZ Method – Building a Solid Foundation

To achieve our goal of sustainable, balanced fitness for our athletes it is important we provide our athletes with an environment to achieve just that.

This means we need to program intelligently and educate our athletes with ‘the why’ behind our programming.

The biggest mistake an athlete can make is attempt the more advanced movements too early in their career before the foundations have been laid.

There are 3 fundamentals to focus on before anything else:

  1. Be able to handle your bodyweight well before adding load
  2. Have good mobility
  3. Adequate structural balance

With CrossFit there is so much we have to fit into our program across the week it is challenging to fit the structural balance work; accessory exercises and mobility work.

The purpose of this program is to give you a structural balance template to get done on your own outside of CrossFit. Then compliment the program with Yoga and arriving to class 10mins early and or staying 10mins after class to work on your mobility.

Programming:

Adding load to the barbell before an athlete has the mobility to achieve the positions of the movement safely, with full range of movement along with the strength to handle their own bodyweight is setting the athlete up for failure somewhere down the line.

For example we’d much rather you master 10 strict push-ups with perfect position than achieve a heavy 1rm bench press and there’s no point trying to complete a 60kg back squat if you struggle to achieve full ROM with bodyweight squats or find split squats and step-ups difficult to maintain a stable pelvis and neutral spine.

This program provides you with fundamental bodyweight exercises to practice, the loaded exercises incorporated are mainly unilateral (single limb movements). The main focus of this program is to strive for perfect positions rather than the load lifted. STRIVE FOR STRICT TECHNIQUE ALWAYS.

Always remember how well you can move with neutral spine, regardless of how many reps or the load, is what sets you up for a healthy body.

 The quality of the movement over quantity should always be the focus!

The best way to achieve this is by improving mobility to ultimately achieve full ROM without compensating somewhere in the spine. Once mobility has been improved we then want to focus on any weak links in the chain by establishing and then strengthening our stabilisers – This approach lays the foundation allowing you to achieve the best strength gains safely by now being able to train the joint through the new full ROM with the big bang for your buck compound lifts.

Click here for DIY Mobility

The major stabilizing muscles are:

Shoulder:

Rotator cuff

Stabilises the glenohumeral joint by pulling the head of the humerus firmly into the socket (scapula)

Scapula stabilisers

Stabilises the scapula by pulling it firmly into the spine and ribcage

Focus initially on the lower trap and rhomboid muscles,

Hip:

Click here for a STRONG, healthy back – Through the magical GHR

Erector spinae (lower back)

These muscles are imperative to have strong before completing heavy squats and deadlifts from the floor. When it comes to touch n go reps this where our 2min sorenson hold comes in. This demonstrates adequate endurance in the spinal erectors.

Gluteus Medius

Stabilises the pelvis.

A stable pelvis should always be the focus over the load lifted with lower body movements. Common faults to look for is the dropping on one side, knee collapsing in or weight shifting to one side. This often means you need to incorporate more strength work for the gluteus med and abdominal muscles.

Gluteus maximus

The prime mover in hip extension. Athleticism is improves through powerful hip extension.

Strong glute max muscles help to stabilise the pelvis and take the load off the lower back and hamstrings.

If you are an office worker or are seated for long periods throughout the day tight quads and hip flexors will more than likley be an issue for you. Seated positions will rotate the pelvis forward placing the glutes in a weakened position.

Lower abdominals

The lower abs stabilise the pelvis and help to prevent anterior tilt. This helps to keep the pelvis in a position where the glutes can function correctly.

The glutes set the position, the lower abs stabilise the position. 

Knee:

Vastus medialis (VMO)

This muscle prevents unwanted movement of the knee cap and stops the knee and ankle from rolling in.

Tight quads and ITB can pull the knee cap away from the centre of the knee. Mashing the outer quads and ITB along with strengthening the VMO and gluteus med can help prevents this.

Hamstrings

Strong hamstrings are also important for hip extension, which is a movement we use in every day life but also a lot in CrossFit. It is important the hamstrings are strong unilaterally.

The hamstrings cross both the hip and the knee meaning the need to be strengthened using both hip extension AND knee flexion. This is why the GHR is such a great machine.

Click here for GHR Exercises

Ankle:

Poor mobility in the ankle joint can impact everything up the chain. This is probably the most important joint to strive for adequate ROM.

Poor ankle mobility will cause compensations somewhere up the line.

Hip Focus

Mobility: Refer to mobilitywod poster

2 x 10-15 e.s reps

A1: X Band Walks

A2: S.L or 2 Legs Hip Extensions on Bench

B1: Box Step-up

B2: S.L RDL

B3: Elevated split squat

C1: GHD Variations relative to level

Shoulder & Scap Focus

Mobility: Refer to mobilitywod poster

2 x 10-15 e.s

A1: Lower trap exercise

A2: Scap Push-ups

A3: Hanging scap retractions

B1: Face fulls

B2: Ring rows

C1: Push-ups 5-10 reps.

Midline Focus

Mobility: Refer to mobilitywod poster

A1: Hollow body

A2: Arch Body

B1: Gymnastics side bridge

B2: Prone hollow body hold

B3: ½ Knee band or cable rotations

C1: Hanging strict knee raise

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