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Thursday, July 9, 2009

Crossfit: Start 'em young.
Curtis in the middle of "Nate" with good form on the HSPU's

400m Run

50 Squats

4 rounds for time

Today's a repost from Kelly Starrett of San Fransisco Crossfit. He's a Doctor of Physical Therapy and crossfit's guru of rehabilitation. Their blog is an excellent resources for smart stretching, philosophy of crossfit and other such things. He write's about wrists in this one:

"Hey Kelly,I injured my wrist at the bottom of a squat clean, and wonder if that's something common enough to warrant a blog post...I know a lot of people who've had trouble with the same kind of thing. What's the best bet for building up (or regaining) wrist strength/flexibility, etc.? My wrists are definitely the weak link for me in several exercises.Thanks again,-BK

It's true. The receiving position of full clean can be brutal on your wrists, not to mention front squats and the worst of all, thrusters. It's not uncommon that athletes end up with some sort of wrist tweak from one of these movements from time to time.There are a few things that you can do to PREVENT significant wrist hurtage.

1) Warm up your wrists! These poor boys are the linkage between your 400lb front squat and your hips. Be cool and show them some serious love before you start red-lining. Think of your wrists as conduits for some very high tension wires. Most of the time for wrist neutral activities, you can count on your wrists not needing much care and feeding, but as soon as you even start thinking about some high speed wrist extension some alarms should start sounding.

-Be sure your core temperature is up. If you have a sweat going, chances are you're wrists are warm enough too. Cold tendons, confined tendon boxes (wrists), and at high speed is uncool. Very un-dude.

-Start your wrists slowly (not dynamically) into the position of emphasis. You'll probably notice that just getting into a front squat rack position is a little tough on your wrists. So don't go jamming them into a challenging position with an additional speed insult. Doode, be cool.

-Give your wrists some slack. Make sure your thoracic spine is mobile enough that you don't challenge your wrist positioning unnecessarily.
-Be sure to release any hook grip you may employing. That hook grip wonder is really expensive when you use it at the receiving position.

-Make sure your other soft tissues support a more wrist neutral position. So, stretch arm flexion limiting structures like your triceps and lats.

-Move your grip a little wider out. Too many people use too narrow a grip. This narrow grip reduces your shoulder positioning options and makes for a tougher wrist position. Widen your grip and let your elbows come out to at least a 45 degree angle from your body if you are tall or if you are a little wrist compromised.

-Try wrapping your wrists (check for an old post about homemade wraps) or using a more serious wrist wrap from http://www.prowriststraps.com/.

-Do you work on strengthening your grip? It's obvious, but under-untilized. At the end of every work out work on your grip. Ask your coach how or google "grip strength" and "milo".

-In light movements that don't require a perfect rack like the thruster, drop your elbows down a little, just be sure not to drive them into your legs when you are at full compression at the bottom of your squat. Elbow-knee contact will break your wrist so if you are going to be risky, don't be that guy.

-Practice receiving the bar at the shoulder rack position while changing the position the bar rests in your hands. You may have to fingertip it, but either way, one centimeter in your palm either way can have a significant effect on yourwrist position. Cleaning is a high skill activity, there are some small details to which you will have to start paying attention.

-If your wrists are manky, clean just the bar at least 30 times before you even dream of putting weight on that thing.

-I know a bunch of people that use a more dangerous open grip in situations like the press and thrusters to unload the wrist. This is more dangerous, but it works. Heck there is recent video of bench pressing beast Dave Tate using the open bench press grip. (And he's no ass-sponge)Do you have a wrist tweak? Don't talk to me until you've started icing that thing at least a couple of times a day. And, if you do have wrist issues, choose your extreme wrist extensions wisely. Handstands and push-ups might be need to be done in a neutral position on dumbells or paralleletts. Your wrists might only tolerate so much silly bull-shite in one day. If you are having a continued problem, go see a good physio.

Above all. Be nice. You will miss your wrists when they are gone.

Kstar "

Wise words from Kelly, See y'all at the gym.


  1. I really enjoy this blog. I check it habitually because of all the useful information and awesome motivational quotes. Thanks for sharing!

    -Jordon Schultz

  2. Great workout today guys! Took your advice afterwards and grabbed a cold soak. Brutal...but effective. Keep up the good Blogging Paul!

    See you Sat...