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The CrossFit stimulus—constantly varied high-intensity functional movement coupled with meat and vegetables, nuts and seeds, some fruit, little starch, and no sugar—prepares you for the demands of a healthy, functional, independent life and provides a hedge against chronic disease and incapacity. This stimulus is elegant in the mathematical sense of being marked by simplicity and efficacy. The proven elements of this broad, general, and inclusive fitness, in terms of both movement and nutrition, are what we term our CrossFit Essentials.

The musculature around the hip includes some of the largest and most powerful muscles in the human body. The extension of the hip can move thousands of pounds, propel the body up and over obstacles equal to or greater in height than the body in motion, and move the body at speeds greater than 25 miles per hour. But running, jumping, and lifting are just a few of the hip’s unique abilities.

Read MoreHip Musculature, Part 1: Anterior Muscles

Non-sugar artificial sweeteners (NAS) have been alternately hailed and demonized as the sweet, low-calorie saviors of the diabetic and obese on the one hand and destroyers of health on the other. Mary Dan Eades, MD, surveys the medical literature and discusses studies that have found an association between artificial sweeteners and Type 2 diabetes (T2DM). She then summarizes current hypotheses for the mechanisms behind the association, from the disruption of the gut's microbiome to the amplification of glucose and insulin signaling.

Read More Do Artificial Sweeteners Contribute to T2DM?

The Sots press (named after Viktor Sots) is often incorporated as a skill-transfer exercise to build confidence and positional awareness in the receiving position of the Olympic lifts. The movement demands a high degree of mobility and coordination. It is traditionally performed from the front rack but can also use the back rack as shown. Start with very light loads and strive for flawless positions before increasing the weight.

WatchThe Sots Press

This series tackles the problem of constructing a formal definition of modern science, developing a definition that meets the needs of practitioners. This definition and its implications are useful, maybe essential, to any individual seeking to understand reality in terms of cause and effect.

Read MoreModern Science, Part 1

In the generally accepted model for Type 2 diabetes (T2D), excess calorie consumption is thought to lead to obesity, which then causes insulin resistance. Here, Malcolm Kendrick, MD, shares evidence that contradicts this model, instead suggesting insulin is itself obesogenic, which means reducing insulin levels may aid in weight loss and reverse Type 2 diabetes. He calls for a reevaluation of the standard of care for T2D patients and recommends lower carbohydrate consumption, exercise, and stress management for those suffering from the disease.

Read MoreDiabetes, Part 3: Insulin, the Obesogenic Hormone

Movements of the hand are, by nature, complex. Even muscles attaching at the shoulder affect the orientation of the hand in space. If we look specifically at the intrinsic muscles of the hand — i.e., those that have both attachments within the carpals, metacarpals, and phalanges — we find a number of small muscles that control thumb and finger positions.

Read MoreWrist Musculature, Part 3: The Hand

Michael Eades, MD, revisits a seminal study from 1992 by Samuel Klein and Robert Wolfe on the metabolic effects of carbohydrate restriction and fasting. Klein and Wolfe determined their results “demonstrate that restriction of dietary carbohydrate, not the general absence of energy intake itself, is of fundamental importance in the adaptive response to short-term fasting” and claimed their study “underscores the importance of carbohydrate intake for normal fuel homeostasis." Eades explains why their findings led him to different conclusions but confirmed that he was “on the right track using a low-carb diet to help ... obese, diabetic, and otherwise metabolically deranged patients.”

Read MoreRevisiting “Carbohydrate Restriction Regulates the Adaptive Response to Fasting”

After mastering the basics of the handstand push-up, the range of motion can be increased by elevating the hands and allowing the head to pass below them. This can and should be approached incrementally until the athlete has developed the capacity to lower and return from a position where the shoulders are in line with the hands.

Watch The Kipping Deficit Handstand Push-Up

In 2015, Richard Feinman, Ph.D., and 25 other expert researchers and clinicians wrote a review recommending carb-restricted diets for the treatment of Type 2 diabetes. Feinman notes that the paper’s points have never been refuted but have “largely been ignored” by the organizations that produce guidelines for diabetes patients. Meanwhile, the medical establishment continues to favor low-fat diets and harbor “disdain if not genuine hostility for low-carbohydrate or ketogenic diets.” As a result, Feinman claims, “the diabetes epidemic has not improved and may have gotten worse.”

Read MoreDiabetes and Carbohydrate Restriction: Where Are We Now?

A dumbbell clean with a moderate load is one of the most metabolically demanding movements. The large range of motion, number of major muscle groups involved, and quick cycle time create the potential for very high power output. The dumbbell clean is less technical but paradoxically can feel more difficult than its barbell counterpart. This is due to the coordination needed to control both dumbbells independently, a staple benefit of dumbbell training.

Watch The Dumbbell Clean

The wrist includes a complex aggregation of muscles that drive movement about its joints. The posterior muscles of the wrist are generally used for extension but in a few exceptions carry out an additional action. The wrist extensors are found on the posterior arm, opposite the flexors on the anterior side. These muscles can be attached proximally to the humerus, radius, or ulna and distally to the carpals, metacarpals, or phalanges.

Read MoreWrist Musculature, Part 2: Posterior Muscles