squatFor some, one hour of CrossFit a day is not enough. On more than one occasion, I’ve suggested a little homework to someone during class. Nothing too complicated. Usually just air squatting, maybe overhead squatting with a broom handle or even some couch stretching (to help with the squatting).
The usual response is a nod accompanied by a smile and a polite, “Okay.” While I see you smiling, I know you’re thinking, “Mmm hmm. Yeah, no.” Whether you do your homework or not is up to you, but I’m certain you will get more out of your workouts if you’re more secure in your squat.
Virtuosity, according to Crossfit founder Greg Glassman, is “performing the common uncommonly well.”
Squatting is pretty common in many cultures, just not ours. All of us were able to squat beautifully as children, but as we got older, we stopped playing in the sandbox and now spend most of our time sitting at a desk or lounging on the sofa and our squatting muscles forgot how to squat! However, it’s nothing that can’t be improved with a little extra practice.
It’s easy to lose sight of what Crossfit is meant to be . . . fundamental movements (albeit intensified) and those fundamental movements build upon the basics (common). Many of us would prefer to spend more time on the more complex and interesting movements we do, but before anyone can master or become proficient at OLY lifts or even wall balls, we must be able to perform a very good squat with no weight. There’s no way around this. If you can’t squat correctly, you can’t snatch, clean or wall ball correctly. When you’re in the midst of an intense WOD, if you don’t have those fundamental foundational (common) movements secure in your personal toolbox, you open yourself up to injury or at the very least, inefficiency.
We all get excited when we PR a lift or beat our previous time on a benchmark WOD, but how did that lift look or feel? Were your reps reputable? Steve often encourages us to “PR every day!” which doesn’t always mean more weight or a faster time. Sometimes it might mean, “Hey, my Karen (150 wall ball shots) time was 30 seconds slower, but I squatted all the way down and hit the target every single rep!” or maybe you only snatched XX#, but it was beautiful and smooth from start to finish. Increasing weight and strength is tremendous and we want you to challenge yourself. But without question, we would rather have you walk away from a class knowing you performed a lift or movement that day with improved form.
Make virtuosity your PR goal – master the common and build from there.