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Before MMA hopped onto the scene, people feared the largest man in the room. Perhaps they felt the sheer size of the man warranted the assumption that the largest was therefore the most lethal. Today’s astute fight fan has changed this mentality, and no longer should you fear the largest man, but rather, you should fear the man with the most messed up ears. What is still consider grotesque in most circles, is often worn as a badge of pride by many wrestlers, mixed martial artists, jiu jitsu practitioners and boxers. It is often assumed a fighter with ruined ears has shown longevity in their given sport. And while some fighters seem more vulnerable than others (similar to how some people are riddle with cavities, while others have never had one) the method by which we fall victim to cauliflower ear is always the same.
As an owner of a CrossFit gym, one of the most common questions I am asked is “How do I cut down on my body fat”? This is a fair question, as studies have shown that carrying an excessive amount of body fat is one of the leading causes of diabetes, heart disease, cancer and death in the “Western” world. Today I want to focus on some very basic points, and for many of you these will only serve as reminders.
It’s said that an Olympic Wrestler doesn’t use a single move in the Olympics unless they have drilled that move at least 10,000 times. Nothing is different in any of the martial arts. If you want to throw a Oomapolatta against a black belt you better have drilled that move a few thousand times, otherwise he’s just going to pass your guard for all your trouble. While there is no replacement for sparring and live grappling, drilling is twice as useful. For every hour spent grappling, you should be spending 2 hours honing your technique, speed, conditioning, smoothness and power in every movement.
At some point over the course of history our great ancestors learned to stand upright, why we stopped doing that is cause for alarm. Lucky for you, it doesn’t have to be this way. For this reason, I challenge you to read the rest of this article with good posture. That means 90 degrees at your hip, 90 degrees at your knees, with a neutral spine and neck. As athletes and CrossFit gurus, we put a heavy emphasis on neutral spine during our lifts, but as soon as we hit the seat of our car to drive home we abandon these principles, and hunch over. All of us have the flexibility, strength (deep down) and endurance to sit upright, but we need to put added awareness into maintaining this posture throughout our day-to-day activities.
Many athletes struggle more with the muscle up, than they do just about any other technique in a CrossFit facility. While technique is the most valuable tool an athlete has at his disposal, the development of the muscles used in this workout will assist the athlete in exploding above the rings, and having the kinesthetic muscle awareness to maintain proper technique. Many workout regimens I have seen are ineffective while others are dangerous. Today we are going to break down some vital workouts that, when used effectively, can help you achieve a perfect muscle up.
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