Spring is upon us, and that often means you’ll see a little less of me in the gym.

I’m in the garden.

But don’t think I’m not working out.

You know my mantra:  CrossFit is life.  And nowhere in life will you practice more functional movement that you learn in the gym than in the garden.

Weeding = squats  

Any knucklehead will bend over to weed, and then end up with back pain for the next week.

When I weed, I get into a good squat.  I concentrate on keeping my weight centered with my whole foot. 

When squatting is too much, I kneel and sit back on my calves, stretching out my quads.

So often in CrossFit, we concentrate on large muscle movements, core to extremity.  But weeding is an opportunity to work your hand muscles, including grip and pincher strength.  (I promise you, my hands and forearms always hurt the most after a day in the garden.)

Pulling stumps and large weeds = sumo deadlift high pull

Nothing is more frustrating than a volunteer tree or bush that’s well rooted in your garden.  Your sumo deadlift high pull skills will help you here.  Get a wide stance, drop into solid deadlift form with your weight in your heels, activating your hamstrings.  Grab the stem down low with both hands, between your legs.  Remember: you’re using your legs to pull out the root, not your back.

Mulching = deadlifts or cleans . 

Once the area is clear, it’s time to mulch.  Moving 30 bags of mulch to the back yard is a workout on it’s own.  I’ve always found that cleaning the bag up into my arms is a smarter way to save my back than just deadlifting it and carrying it.

Throwing mulch bag = wall balls

Very, very heavy wall balls.  This is the only time I’m going to tell you that throwing weights is a good idea.

Farmer carry = duh

Good form. Tight, strong core. Walk tall. Balance yourself with equally heavy items in each hand. I see my neighbors drag pots from the car to the back porch, just asking for a back strain.

Snake = box jump  

I mean, we may live in the city, but we do live right across from Rock Creek Park.