Category: Sports Applications

Posted on June 17, 2008 in Sports Applications



Just thought I would let you know about a little PT session we had. We played Hoover Ball with a 12lb TKO medicine ball, 5 players per side, 6 games to 10 points. It took 55 minutes and everyone was wiped out.


SSgt Frank Ollis

U.S. Marines

We found Hoover Ball when we were on the Internet looking for something more competitive and sporting for the medicine ball. It has a distinguished history , looked promising as a conditioning tool, and sounded fun so we suggested it on the WOD page and got the response above from Frank Ollis.

We know Frank well enough to know that if he thinks it's tough, it's tough.

The game is officially a game of catch played with a medicine ball under a volleyball net on a tennis court and with tennis scoring.

Read the full article in PDF

Posted on June 15, 2008 in Sports Applications

bike shadow

Last month, we looked at ways to get up onto some objects that you might find in your path. Now, it's time to come back down. We will be using some of the same techniques that we used to ascend the obstacles, and some more of the static skills from part 1 will come in to play as well.

Just as with getting onto objects, be sure to master these techniques from very low obstacles to start. A curb works well. You want to make sure that you have the skills down pat before attempting higher drops. Also, keep in mind that landing on hard surfaces is less forgiving than landing on softer ones. As you take these skills to higher or more unpredictable objects, you will crash now and then. Prepare yourself accordingly. Learn to bail when things go awry. Don't go down with a sinking ship! You'll usually know that you are in trouble the moment you drop.

Try not to ride over your head. If you are not feeling comfortable with a line or drop, it is best to wait until later when you have the skill or confidence. Freezing or panicking in the middle of a line is a sure recipe for disaster (see video). Stay as relaxed as possible.

Read the full article in PDF

Posted on November 18, 2007 in Sports Applications

crossfit to go

Since January, I've been on thirty-nine flights. The madness started with a writing assignment to cover cat skiing in southern British Columbia: ten days. Three weeks later, I was called to hop a few planes to a Canadian mountain range called the Monashees for a backcountry skiing photo shoot for Mountain Hardwear with a few other athletes: nine days. Two weeks later, I left on a month-long assignment for National Geographic Adventure in northern Norway, where I retraced the steps of a WWII escapee on skis across Lapland, about ten degrees north of the Arctic Circle: twenty-nine days. Ten days at home, then I jetted to Nepal for a month to write dispatches for on Ed Viesturs's historic mountaineering ascent of Annapurna, making him the first American to climb all fourteen of the world's 8,000-meter peaks: thirty days. No rest for the weary, but I like it that way. I like to pack it all in; it feels more efficient that way, like I’m getting things done. Unfortunately, with that "efficiency" that I fiendishly suck energy to achieve, thirty-nine flights in no way augments my level of fitness. CrossFit does.

Read the full article in PDF

Posted on October 28, 2007 in Exercises | Kettlebells | Sports Applications


The most strident objectors to the kipping pull-up advocated by CrossFit have been the kettlebell swingers. They despise our "sloppy" pullups. Other communities have been confused by kipping but are ultimately receptive to it after an explanation of our reasons. The reaction of the Kettlebell community has been to call us a cult.

I know how much they love swinging kettlebells, so here is my attempt to show that their flavor of Kool-Aid is really not that different from ours. The trajectories of the kettlebell swing, snatch, and clean are eerily similar to the trajectory of a kipping pull-up. Both use horizontal displacement to generate momentum along an arc that ultimately produces vertical displacement. In simpler terms, the backswing adds power to the movement. My grandpa had a good term for this motor recruitment pattern. He called it "the old heaveho."

Dragon Door's brochure claims, "Amazingly, the Russian kettlebell will make you good at many things you have not practiced. Gireviks report on our Strength Forum that they run faster, bend sixty-penny nails, bench or deadlift heavier, etc., just from lifting kettlebells. The only time they see the barbell, a nail, or running shoes is during the test!"

I put emphasis on the heavier deadlifts because it goes to show that the ballistic loading of kettlebell swings can improve your limit strength. If you look at Dragon Door's testimonial page, you will find no less than eight happy customers who report new personal records on the deadlift following a period of nothing but kettlebell work.

Read the full article in PDF

Posted on August 29, 2007 in Sports Applications


How did you first become exposed to recovery and regeneration techniques?

My first focus on the recovery process was from my high school swim coach Peter Foley. He explained to us, the team, how to be a total athlete for 24 hours a day, not just 2. A total athlete was a person that organized their lifestyle to get a full night's sleep and not eat junk food. He understood the reality of the situation with student athletes not learning ways to juggle what I call the four S's. The four S's are Sleep, School, Sport, and Social.

If you distribute the hours among priorities of needs over wants, you can have it all in life. This process worked for me and I transformed myself from a neophyte to a part of three state championship swim teams. By just learning how to construct a foundation of principles and guidelines on doing the basics and being consistent, I could expand the individual basics and become more precise and more aggressive with modalities later. Don't build on quicksand by rushing to get into supplementation and soft tissue therapy.

Read the full article in PDF

Posted on May 30, 2007 in Sports Applications


In my article in last month’s journal, I described our baseball team’s strength and conditioning training this past fall. This month, I will outline an entire year of our women’s basketball training, taking into account the demands and interruptions of student athletes’ schedules.

Before I delve into describing the team’s the training regimen, here’s a little background information. This off-season began on the heels of our first Big West Conference tournament championship and the team making it to the NCAA tournament for the first time in school history. The best news is that we did this with mostly freshman, two sophomores, and two seniors. Way back in August 2005 I knew we had a special group that would one day be conference champions, even before I had ever seen most of them dribble a basketball. The crop of frosh that year were athletic, hardworking, and coachable. I knew our outstanding basketball coaches would be able to take these young women to the top.

Our trip to last year’s NCAA tournament was a short one, as we drew #1-seeded UNC in the opening round. We simply were unable to compete with their size, athleticism, and skill. The head coach came back and asked me if we could put 20 pounds on all the players so we could be more competitive the next year. I told him that 20 pounds of muscle would be essentially impossible for our team, but that 10 was an achievable goal.

This entire article is available in the CrossFit Store.

Posted on May 15, 2007 in Sports Applications


Sprinting is a skill. It is beautiful, violent, functional, and potentially destructive if conducted in an unsafe manner. It can bring glory to an athlete or be a factor in the survival and success of a warrior on the battlefield. At its simplest, it is a means of getting the body from one point to another in the shortest possible time, yet it is also a very complex, specialized motor skill that requires a high degree of coordination. Broken down into its fundamental components, it can be thought of as repetitive maximal force efforts; as such, it clearly exposes any muscular imbalances that exist in an athlete.

This entire article is available in the CrossFit Store.

Posted on May 13, 2007 in Sports Applications


One of the major differences between swimming and land-based sports is that breathing in the water is a skill, and a fairly advanced one at that. In recent weeks, since opening a new Swim Studio in New Paltz, NY, I’ve spent many hours teaching in an Endless Pool, where proximity to my students has allowed me to observe the extent to which breathing comfort is essential to their progress and success. This has convinced me that, until breathing becomes routine, effective focus on other aspects of the stroke is impossible. But once students master breathing, other skills follow much more rapidly.

Breathing is such a natural activity that we seldom give it a thought. The only time we even become conscious of it is when we’re breathless from exertion or, well, panic. Or, in the case of swimming, sometimes both at once.

This entire article is available in the CrossFit Store.

Posted on April 22, 2007 in Sports Applications


The first several parts of this series on functional bike maneuvers will be directed toward anyone looking to improve their technical riding and will not be discipline-specific. Later installments will present strategies for improving riding performance for those already skilled on a bicycle.

In this series we will be looking at functional skills drawn from primarily from mountain biking, bicycle trials, and BMX freestyle. For our purposes, we’ll consider only the skills that help you navigate your environment smoothly and efficiently or that allow you to ride terrain that you otherwise couldn't. Hopping over a log or jumping down a set of stairs would be considered functional; doing a 360-degree spin in the process wouldn't. (This doesn't discount the value of learning skills such as a 360, as pushing your level of technical skill development will only improve your overall ability as a cyclist.

However, the 360 is not needed to clear the stairs, so it would be outside the scope of these articles.) Since this series won't be riding-style specific, we’ll be looking at functional skills that can be done on almost any kind of bike. Moves that require BMX bikes with axle pegs or trials bikes with bashguards won't be considered here. Basically, we will be borrowing the useful skills from across a range of biking styles.

My riding background is primarily in BMX, though I have competed in trials riding and done some mountain biking as well. My specialty has always been BMX flatland or ground riding. It is possibly the least functional of all the riding disciplines, but it does allow you to develop a very high level of balance and bike control.

This entire article is available in the CrossFit Store.

Posted on April 14, 2007 in Sports Applications


Slacklining (slacking) is borrowed from the climbing population, where it’s often prescribed as active recovery after a hard day of mountaineering. A slackline is a lead of nylon webbing strung between two fixed objects. Upon looking at a slackline setup most people think “tightrope walking”. Actually it is quite the opposite. While a tightrope does not sway or move, a slackline does. Known to recoil, sway madly and bounce with every step or transition – it has been likened to surfing. These characteristics focus on movement, not musculature. Bringing focus to stabilization in the most destabilized environments. Think hula-hoop on crack. This simple device can help to improve coordination, agility, accuracy, concentration, and balance. I have personally seen a slackline humble the freakiest balance junkies.

Potency can be adjusted for all skill levels. Tension on the webbing can be varied to manipulate line response time – the looser the line the slower the feedback. We employed ski poles, human shoulders, and crash mats to get even the most balanced-challenged on the line. Baby steps are important. It is amazing to witness the smile on someone’s face when they discover that the line responds with bounce and recoil against weight transfer. They just keep coming back!

This entire article is available in the CrossFit Store.

Posted on February 24, 2007 in Sports Applications


The world’s best swimmers move through the water with grace, economy, and flow, while novices are awkward, clumsy, and inefficient. But the rest of us can learn to swim well if we take the time to master swimming as an art before tackling it as a sport.

How many land-based athletes have concluded that swimming requires some exotic or elusive kind of fitness after an experience like this: Joe, who can breeze through a 5-mile jog without breaking a sweat, decides to try a pool workout one day. Within a few minutes, he’s panting for breath and wondering, “How will I ever get in a decent workout if I can’t even make 100 yards without dying?” Experiences like that convince many adult athletes that swimming is only for those who swam competitively as kids and leave them suspecting that the time and effort required to master swimming may not even be worth it.

But mastering the “swim challenge” is decidedly worthwhile. Not only is it ideal as a restorative, general fitness workout for virtually any aging athlete; learning to swim well also gives you the option to try triathlons or Masters swimming. And I’ve yet to meet an otherwise well-rounded athlete who could not learn to swim well enough to stay fit or tackle a triathlon. All they have to do is discard everything other aerobic activities such as running have taught them, as soon as they enter the pool.

Read the full article in PDF

Posted on February 16, 2007 in Sports Applications


In the past six months or so I’ve noticed more conversations about how having a solid strength and power base really drives top performances on the CrossFit storms (the named benchmark workouts, also known as “the girls”) and some discussion on what is the best balance between strength workouts and circuit-type work, etc. I first came across CrossFit about three years ago and immediately began implementing ideas I learned from Coach Glassman and others in the CrossFit community into my job as the head strength and conditioning coach at the University of California, Riverside. With the strength and power discussions heating up and the recent emergence of the CrossFit Total, I thought I’d share an example of how I have incorporated CrossFit in the training of the athletic teams here at UCR.

This article describes the training that we on the strength and conditioning staff did with the position players on our baseball team during the fall off-season. (Next month, I will discuss the specifics of how we used CrossFit in training the women’s basketball team.) The pitching coach is very conservative, so the pitchers do a separate program consisting mostly of squats, some plyometrics, and medicine ball work. I will say, though, that out of seventeen pitchers, thirteen back squatted 300 pounds or more, with seven guys squatting over 350 pounds.

Read the full article in PDF

Additional Resources


Category Archives

» Seniors and Kids, by Greg Glassman - February 03
» Beginners' Workout, by Greg Glassman - May 03
» Virtuosity, by Greg Glassman - August 05
» Foundations, by Greg Glassman - April 02
» Killer Workouts, by Eugene Allen - May 05
» Why Fitness, by Greg Glassman - July 04
» What is Fitness?, by Greg Glassman - October 02
» CrossFit PT, by Greg Glassman - December 04
» The Lifting Shoulder, by Greg Glassman - September 05
» Breakfalling, by Tom Crubaugh - March 05
» Skill-Based Warmups for Groups, by Tony Budding - September 06
» Weight, Velocity & Volume in Medicine Ball Training, by Jim Cawley - October 06
» Metabolic Conditioning Glossary, by Pukie & Greg Glassman - June 03
» Performance & Health, by Tony Leyland - March 07


» January 2007 CrossFit Journal
» February 2007 CrossFit Journal
» March 2007 CrossFit Journal
» April 2007 CrossFit Journal
» May 2007 CrossFit Journal
» June 2007 CrossFit Journal
» July 2007 CrossFit Journal
» August 2007 CrossFit Journal
» September 2007 CrossFit Journal
» October 2007 CrossFit Journal
» November 07 CrossFit Journal
» December 07 CrossFit Journal
» January 08 CrossFit Journal
» February 08 CrossFit Journal
» March 08 CrossFit Journal
» April 08 CrossFit Journal
» May 08 CrossFit Journal
» June 2008 CrossFit Journal
» July 2008 CrossFit Journal
» August 2008 CrossFit Journal


» CrossFit North's Annual Championship, by Tyler Hass - November 04
» Pullup Challenge, by Greg Glassman - November 04
» Reading Between the Lines, by Dave Castro - August 07


» What is CrossFit?, by Greg Glassman - March 04
» Understanding CrossFit, by Greg Glassman - April 07
», by Greg Glassman - December 05
» The Business of Guerilla Fitness, by Doug Chapman - March 07
» Interview: Coach Greg Glassman, by Greg Glassman - March 03
» Ergometer Scores and Hall of Fame Workouts, by Greg Glassman - December 02
» How Fit Are You, by Greg Glassman - April 03
» Tabata My Job, by Joshua Newman - November 05
» Theoretical Template for CrossFit's Programming, by Greg Glassman - February 03
» Forging Mental Fitness, by Jim Decker - November 06
» Evidence-Based Fitness Discussion, by Greg Glassman, et al. - January 07
» On Being a Trainer, by Greg Glassman - August 07

CrossFit Games

» Reading Between the Lines, by Dave Castro - August 07


» The Garage Gym, by Greg Glassman - September 02
» Garage Gym II: The Revolution, by Greg Glassman - July 05
» Strategic Shopping: Outfitting a CF Gym on the Cheap, by Eddie Lugo - June 06
» Personal Equipment, by Mark Rippetoe - October 06
» Plyo Boxes, by Lincoln Brigham - September 06
» Two Training Aids, by Greg Glassman - September 03
» Really Cool Homemade Parallettes, by Greg Glassman - September 03
» History and Use of Stall Bars, by Larry Harmsen - April 06


» The Muscle-up, by Greg Glassman - November 02
» The Overhead Lifts, by Greg Glassman - January 03
» The Pullup, by Greg Glassman - April 03
» Three Important Ab Exercises, by Greg Glassman - May 03
» The Slow Lifts: Bench Press, by Mark Rippetoe - June 06
» The Power Clean, by Mark Rippetoe - August 06
» Medicine Ball Cleans, by Greg Glassman - September 04
» The Kettlebell Swing, by Greg Glassman - September 04
» The Slow Lifts, by Mark Rippetoe - March 06
» The Dumbbell Lunge, by Mike Rutherford - October 06
» Suitcase Deadlift Dumbbell Style, by Mike Rutherford - March 07
» Calisthenics, by Roger Harrell - May 06
» The Push-up, by Greg Glassman - March 03
» The Odd Lifts, by Greg Glassman - January 03
» The Clean, by Greg Glassman - July 03
» The Glute-Ham Developer Situp, by Greg Glassman - October 05
» Kipping Pullups, by Greg Glassman - April 05
» Functionality and Wallball, by Greg Glassman - August 03
» The Deadlift, by Greg Glassman - August 03
» Swingers and Kippers, by Tyler Hass - April 05
» Dumbbell Vertical Press, by Mike Rutherford - January 07
» On the Safety and Efficacy of Overhead Lifting, by Rippetoe, Kilgore, Starrett, et. al - March 08
» The Dumbbell Bear, by Mike Rutherford - June 07


» Metabolic Conditioning, by Greg Glassman - June 03
» Metabolic Conditioning Glossary, by Pukie & Greg Glassman - June 03
» Putting Out Fires, by Lon Kilgore - March 07
» What About Recovery?, by Greg Glassman - January 05
» An Aerobic Paradox, by Lon Kilgore - December 06
» Anatomy and Physiology for Jocks, by Greg Glassman - August 03


» The Back Handspring, by Roger Harrell - July 06
» The Swing, by Roger Harrell - August 06
» Ring Strength, by Greg Glassman - July 04
» Gymnastics & Tumbling, by Greg Glassman - February 05
» The Freestanding Handstand Pushup, by Roger Harrell - June 06
» The Handstand, by Greg Glassman - January 04
» Stretching and Flexibility, by Roger Harrell - January 06
» Gymnastics Hurdle, by Roger Harrell - November 06
» The Front Handspring, by Roger Harrell - December 06


» Kettlebell Clean, by Jeff Martone - March 07
» Kettlebell Basics: Drills for Improving Your Swing, by Jeff Martone - November 06
» Improving Your Swing Part 2, by Jeff Martone - December 06
» One-Arm Swings and Beyond, by Jeff Martone - January 07
» Kettlebell Clean Combinations, by Jeff Martone - April 07
» A Performance-Based Comparison of Kettlebell Methods, by Steve Cotter - July 07
» The Turkish Get-up Part 1, by Jeff Martone - May 07
» The Turkish Get-up Part 2, by Jeff Martone - June 07
» Swingers and Kippers, by Tyler Hass - April 05


» Police Training, by Greg Glassman - March 03
» Combat Calisthenics, by Tony Blauer - July 06
» The Grinder: CrossFit Operations Order #1 "CHAD", by Greg Glassman - July 06
» The AOFP CrossFit Austere Program, by Greg Glassman, Wade Rutland, JT Williams - August 06
» Canadian Infantry School Austere AOFP Program Results Briefing, by Wade Rutland, JT Williams, Jeff Bird - August 06
» A Concept for Functional Fitness, by USMC - January 07
» The CrossFit Insurgency, by Scott Satterlee - July 06
» CrossFit, Stoicism, and an American Prisoner of War, by Andrew Thompson - December 04
» Monster Mash, by Capt Andrew Thompson, November 04
» Training in Austere Locations, by James Decker - March 06
» The Grinder: CrossFit FRAGO #8, "SHANE", by Greg Glassman - March 07


» Working Wounded, by Greg Glassman - May 05
» CrossFit Shoulder Therapy, by Tyler Hass - October 05
» CrossFit Induced Rhabdo, by Greg Glassman - October 05
» Trigger Point Therapy, by Christian Lemburg - September 05
» On Recovery, by Robb Wolf - January 05
» The Yin and Yang of the Back, by Michael Rutherford - December 06


» The Triangle, by Becca Borawski - November 06
» The Left Hook, by Becca Borawski - March 07
» McCarthy's Ultimate Training Academy, by Becca Borawski - January 07
» CrossPit Basics, by Tony Budding - April 06
» Fight Camp, by Becca Borawski - December 06
» Surviving in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, by Becca Borawski - April 08


» Glycemic Index, by Greg Glassman - November 02
» Fast Food, by Greg Glassman - December 02
» Fit to Eat: Pick of Summer Dinner, by Benjamin Sims - August 06
» Getting off the Crack, by Nicole Carroll - October 05
» Fit to Eat: Spring Dinner Menu, by Benjamin Sims - May 06
» Fit to Eat: Summer Picnic Menu, by Benjamin Sims - June 06
» Fit to Eat: Spicy Summer Barbeque, by Benjamin Sims - July 06
» Fit to Eat: Autumn Dinner, by Benjamin Sims - October 06
» CFJ Issue 21: Zone Meal Plans - May 04
» CFJ Issue 15: Nutrition -Avoiding Metabolic Derangement - November 03

Olympic Lifts

» Learning the Olympic Lifts: The Stance, by Mike Burgener & Tony Budding - November 06
» Pulling Positions for the Snatch, Mike Burgener with Tony Budding - March 07
» Skill Transfer Exercises, by Tony Budding - May 06
» The Scoop & The Second Pull, by Greg Glassman, January 06
» The Burgener Warmup, by Mike Burgener & Tony Budding - January 07


» Parkour Basics: A Compendium, by Jesse Woody - November 06
» Tic-Tac & Wall Run, by Jesse Woody - August 06
» Parkour Part 3: Jumping, by Jesse Woody - July 06
» Parkour, by Jesse Woody - March 06
» Underbar and Gate Vault, by Jesse Woody, October 06
» Parkour Basics Part 1, by Jesse Woody - May 06
» Basics of Parkour: Environmental Awareness and the Roll, by Jesse Woody - April 06


» A New, Rather Long Analysis of the Deadlift, by Mark Rippetoe - November 06
» CrossFit & Powerlifting, by Jason Bagwell - May 05
» Popular Biomechanics, by Mark Rippetoe - March 07
» Slow Lifts 5: The Deadlift, by Mark Rippetoe, -July 06
» The Deadlift, by Greg Glassman - August 03
» The Slow Lifts 2: The Squat, by Mark Rippetoe - April 06


» On Being a Trainer, by Greg Glassman - August 07

Rest Day/Theory

» Science and the Rest Day Discussions, by Jeff Glassman - November 07


» Strategies for a 7 Minute 2K on the Concept II Rower, by Greg Glassman - November 02
» Rowing Technique, by Angela Hart - October 06
» What's Your Power IQ, by Angela Hart - December 06
» Using Erg Data to Fine-Tune Your Training, by Judy Geer - March 07
» Rowing Workouts, by Angela Hart - May 07
» Row Fast: How to Prepare for an Erg Test, by Peter Dreissigacker - February 07
» Indoor Rowing: Damper Settings & Intensity, by Peter Dreissigacker - April 07
» Ergometer Scores and Hall of Fame Workouts, by Greg Glassman - December 02

Special Populations

» A CrossFit Grandma, by Mary Conover - October 04
» "The Girls" for Grandmas!, by Greg Glassman - October 04
» High School Phys Ed., by Tony Budding - October 04

Sports Applications

» UC Riverside Baseball Fall Conditioning, by Josh Everett - February 07
» Why Swimming is Different, by Terry Laughlin - March 05
» Slacklining, by Michael Street - November 04
» Bike Control Basics: Static Skills, by Scott Hagnas - October 06
» Inside-Out Breathing, by Terry Laughlin - December 05
» Speed Development, by Karl Geissler & John Baumann - March 06
» U.C. Riverside Women’s Basketball Off Season Conditioning, by Josh Everett - March 07
» Recovery and Regeneration Interview with Carl Valle, by Tyler Hass - January 05
» Swingers and Kippers, by Tyler Hass - April 05
» CrossFit to Go, by Lindsay Yaw - June 05
» Bike Control Basics Part 3, by Scott Hagnas - December 06
» Hooverball, by Greg Glassman - February 03


» Science and the Rest Day Discussions, by Jeff Glassman - November 07
» On Being a Trainer, by Greg Glassman - August 07


» The CrossFit Total, by Mark Rippetoe - December 06
» Interval Generator, by Greg Glassman - June 03
» Fooling Around With Fran, by Greg Glassman - March 05
» The New Girls, by Greg Glassman - November 04
» Ergometer Scores and Hall of Fame Workouts, by Greg Glassman - December 02
» Benchmark Workouts, by Greg Glassman - September 03
» "The Girls" for Grandmas!, by Greg Glassman - October 04
» Team Workouts, by Greg Glassman - October 03

CrossFit is a registered trademark of CrossFit, Inc.
original site design: