WODdoc Episode 102 Project365: Improve Your Grace
Stopped by CrossFit Steam today. Awesome box out near me in East Rutherford, NJ. They were having their Barbells for Boobs event and I wanted to jump over and show some support. Of course, for these B4B events there is always some form of Grace. We ended up doing “Helen Meets Grace at the Bar,” which is just Helen followed by Grace. Brings me to my point….
Today, I got asked a lot… how do I improve my Grace time? I have 2 quick tips here. Take note that if you are some Dan Bailey beast-like animal with a 1 minute Grace, you are most likely muscle cleaning everything so it doesn’t matter. That being said, Dan Bailey beast-like or not… there is a speed to energy expenditure ratio (“Cost to Benefit” so to speak) in every movement. Not sure muscle C&Jing Grace is the way to go for the average box troll.
Onward… Listen, Grace is going to burn you out no matter what… that’s what it is designed to do. But, for a better Grace time we need to prevent (the best we can) shoulder fatigue. I see two huge faults during Grace all the time. They are intertwined but I will talk about them separately:
1. Reverse curling the bar – As leg drive diminishes with fatigue, athletes tend to use excessive shoulder activation to pull the bar onto their front rack, instead of driving through their heels and catching in their front rack. Reverse curling is bad for two reasons. One, it wastes precious shoulder energy, because of the amount of effort needed to pull the bar onto the front rack. This is energy that is needed to help stabilize the shoulder during the jerk portion of the movement. Second, it is slower because, now the athlete must re-dip to jerk the weight vs catching in a high power position and driving straight into the jerk
Our cue here is: Fast Elbows
2. Remember your legs. This goes for both the pull portion and at the catch portion. The less we utilize our legs the more our upper extremities have to work. Poor leg drive at the bottom leads to the reverse curl we just mentioned. Forgetting to catch in the high power position increases the distance the bar needs to travel to get into the front rack. Longer bar travel ==> Higher energy expend per rep ==> Longer time per rep.
Our cue here is: Remember your legs
1. Practice 5 incorrect reps.. wait 1 min… Perform 5 correct reps. Which is faster? Which takes more energy?