Fitness gear and your body mechanics

Sometimes looking into the amount of Fitness gear one could purchase can be overwhelming! 

From shoes, wrist wraps, knee sleeves, belts, jump ropes, to the latest shorts and shirts, it can all add up to a pretty penny and leave athletes thinking; "what do I really need, and why?"

As you evolve in your Fitness Journey, we always get questions on the what/when/why as it relates to gear. 

Here's a little insight for a place to start; 

  1. Wrist wraps - used to provide support to the wrist joint during heavy lifting and/or excessive (high rep) flexion at the joint. Wrist wraps do NOT 'fix' wrist injuries or pain, however, they will provide support when/where needed. If you're just starting our program, it's common to feel some wrist pain from the added stress on the joint if you have not done excessive rack position barbell work, spent time upside down in a handstand, and been in loaded positions with your wrist joint in flexion. It takes time to build the strength and stability in this small joint. Don't wear wrist wraps all the time, only from time to time when needed for extra support. 
  2. Knee sleeves - used to provide warmth and support to the knee joint. From thick (7mm) to thin (5mm), you can find them in almost any design and color you prefer these days. Most sleeves are made with neoprene which trap body heat and keep the joint warm and lubricated for smooth flexion and extension of the joint. Knee sleeves have quickly become a bit of a fashion statement in the CrossFit world. Don't get me wrong, they definitely serve their purpose (I personally have 2 sets), but, they shouldn't be worn everyday for every workout you do that involves a squat. They are also NEVER to be used as a bandaid to protect your knee pain. If you have knee pain, be sure to talk to a C5 Coach about your symptoms so we can direct you on the path to a healthy, pain free knee in lieu of covering it up with a knee sleeve and hoping it goes away.
  3. Belts - used to provide core support/stability for heavy lifts. In simple terms, you need to develop core stability and strength without a belt before you start wearing a belt. Can you hold an FLR in the rings for 60sec in a rigid position? If not, you haven't earned the right to wear a lifting belt yet. Get your core stronger first, then we can talk about a lifting belt. A basic guideline for 'when' to wear your belt; when lifts are above 80% of your 1rm, it "might" be time to wear it for safety depending on the individual. 
  4. Jump rope - don't have your own, simple, get one, ASAP! If you plan on following the C5 program, you will need to learn to jump rope. Want to compete in the sport (at any level), you will need to do double unders. You will NEVER learn if you don't practice consistently with a rope that is properly sized for your specific mechanics. 
  5. Lifting shoes - this is a BIG ONE! One of my favorite quotes from powerlifting guru, Louie Simmons; "Don't have $100 shoes and a 10 cent squat." Point being, make sure you have quality squat mechanics FIRST. Build stability where it's needed, gain mobility where it's needed, then we can talk about lifting shoes. The reality is this, if you have poor squat mechanics, you haven't earned the right to lift heavy loads while squatting. If you're choosing to do it anyway, you WILL get injured somewhere down the road. Fancy shoes will NOT save you from your poor mechanics. Don't get me wrong, lifting shoes will most definitely help put you in a better position for squatting. But, they don't "fix" your mechanics. You must invest the time and energy to correct poor mechanics if you want to continue squatting and lifting heavy. Unsure how to go about this? Talk to a C5 Coach immediately so we can clear the air with what your squat 'should' look like. 
 Which squat position looks most like yours? The person on the left has GREAT squat mechanics; upright torso, neutral head, knees behind toe line, hip crease below knee, majority of the bodyweight towards the heels. The person on the right has NOT SO great mechanics; chest facing the floor, poor shoulder position, cannot get hips below parallel, majority of bodyweight in the ball of the foot...etc. 

Which squat position looks most like yours? The person on the left has GREAT squat mechanics; upright torso, neutral head, knees behind toe line, hip crease below knee, majority of the bodyweight towards the heels. The person on the right has NOT SO great mechanics; chest facing the floor, poor shoulder position, cannot get hips below parallel, majority of bodyweight in the ball of the foot...etc. 

If there was one thing that I could recommend to everyone, it would be to work on proper body mechanics. Move well. Perform well. 

Then, we talk about additional gear to purchase to help support your goals. 

Make it a great week of Fitness friends!! 

~Chad 

 

A1. 4x6 seated DB Arnold press @21X1 (HAP)
A2. 4x1 rope pull w/knee raise
*rest 90sec
 
B. obtain a 20rep max BS in no more than 2 sets.
*suggested prep; 1x5 (light-mod), 1x5 (heavier), 1x5 (heavier), 1x20, 1x20
*rest/walk 3-4min b/w 20rep efforts.

C. 10min cooldown + foam roll legs

A1. 4x6 seated DB Arnold press @21X1 (HAP)
A2. 4x2 rope ascents
*rest 90sec
 
B. obtain a 20rep max BS in no more than 2 sets.
*suggested prep; 1x5 (light-mod), 1x5 (heavier), 1x5 (heavier), 1x20, 1x20
*rest/walk 3-4min b/w 20rep efforts.

C. 10min cooldown + foam roll legs