WODdoc Episode 101 Project365: Creating A Stronger Bottom Position

Today, I had the honor of traveling out to CrossFit Port Washington. Nice little box located on the north shore of Long Island. They were having the “Ladies of Long Island Athlete Showcase” to celebrate their one year anniversary. Ended up getting to work with Francesca Emanuele, she is one of the coaches there. Also, a serious competitor. Past member of Team Dynamix who if you didn’t know went to the Games last several years. So needless to say she is a powerhouse.

One of their showcase events was max squat clean. A common fault during max effort cleans is to  collapse through the upper torso when hitting the dead bottom portion of the the squat. Sometimes referred to as “getting smashed or squashed in the hole.”  Of course, there is not just one flaw here… most likely, the pull is not caught high enough therefore the bar sits forward on the lifter and contributes to the torso collapse… But, we are going to address that another time.

Today is about preparing the torso to except these max effort loads. A lot of time when a lifter gets squashed in the hole it’s simply because the load was too heavy and their torso could not stabilize it. After all, the bottom of the squat is an awkward position is practice stability. So here is how we do it. Set up the rack so the bar sits at shoulder level during your deepest squat position. Load your bar to your max effort lift (this is obvious after warm-up). Set-up as shown in the video. Attempt to lift the bar one inch off the rack. Hold for 3 seconds if you do. If you don’t budge the bar it’s ok. What we are trying to do is acclimate your torso to the extremely heavy load in a safe environment. Perform 1 to 3 reps.

Now there is no guarantee you will get out of the hole but chances are you will not fail the catch!


Today’s WODdocket:

1. Practice 1-3 reps as explained and shown in video.