Tuesday 12/11

As many reps as possible in 12 mins of:
3 Hang Power Cleans, 155/105 lbs
3 Bar Facing Burpees
6 Hang Power Cleans, 155/105 lbs
6 Bar Facing Burpees
9 Hang Power Cleans, 155/105 lbs
9 Bar Facing Burpees
12 Hang Power Cleans, 155/105 lbs
12 Bar Facing Burpees
Continue adding three reps to each movement until time expires.

From Coach Luke

Internal Rotation vs External Rotation

There is a huge debate in the CrossFit/ Weightlifting world about whether athletes should use internal or external rotation in movements like the snatch, and the overhead squat. There are very high-level athletes on both sides of this argument, and therefore there is such a huge debate on which the correct way is.

Where I believe this issue starts is with the terminology and what “internal rotation of the shoulder” means. Internal rotation of the shoulder is done by rotating the arm toward the front of the body, while external rotation of the shoulder is done by rotating the arm toward the back of the body. At the end range of internal rotation, the palm of the hand will face toward the back of the body (elbow pointing up, thumbs pointing down). The opposite happens with external rotation where the palm faces up or maybe even a little backwards depending on the persons mobility. If we think about the angle that the wrist and hand are forced to be in while holding onto the barbell overhead, one can conclude that internal rotation of the shoulder puts more stress on the wrist as well.  

CrossFit teaches external rotation to its coaches attending the Level 1 or Level 2 seminars, which is why you hear coaches at the gym give cues like “armpits forward”, or “elbow pits toward the ceiling.” This position allows the athlete can keep the shoulder blades retracted, which also helps keep the arm in good spot in relation to the scapula and creates a situation where the load is not placing any undue stress on the shoulder joint. Thinking about this from another angle, try to keep an active shoulder while internally rotating the shoulder. What is the feedback you get from your body? Most likely it feels a lot less natural than keeping an active shoulder with external rotation, not to mention that it creates the opportunity for the load to place more stress on the shoulder joint, which of course could lead to a less stable overhead position, and of course a greater risk of injury.

Hopefully this helps you understand what the coaches in class are talking about when they say keep an “active shoulder” or Keep your “armpits forward”. If any of you have any further questions or need further explanation on this topic, feel free to talk to any of the coaches at the gym and they will be more than happy to answer any questions you have.

Categories: WOD

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