While CrossFit focuses on PR’s and making gains in weight, speed, and time, yoga emphasizes accepting where you are, listening to your body, and having respect for what your body needs.
Proper alignment and form became the most important part of both yoga and CrossFit for her.
Here is just one example of how we’ve applied what she’s learned in yoga to a lifting movement in CrossFit — a squat clean:
A CrossFit athlete attempting a clean is typically instructed to:
- Have proper Grip
- Maintain a straight (or neutral) back
- Use force to rip the bar off the ground
- Open hips
- Shrug hard
- Pull the elbows high
- Drive under the bar
- Stand up without losing integrity in the back or allowing the knees to collapse inward
However, with the increased awareness she’s gained through her yoga practice, we’ve learned there are several more fine-tuning adjustments an athlete can use to get even more from their lifts and maintain proper alignment to prevent injury.
1. It’s not just about keeping a straight back. An athlete can prepare his entire body before the lift to work in concert in bringing the bar off the ground. Begin with bringing awareness to the ribs. Be sure they aren’t thrusting out to keep the back straight; instead, use the muscles in the back to keep your alignment.
2. With your hands on the bar, turn your elbow creases forward, pushing the shoulders down and back creating more stability around the spine.” Continued…