Thursday, June 30, 2011

Think about your hands

Before I get started, I have a few things I'd like to get off my chest:

#1- I have omitted bacon and heavy whipping cream from my diet for two weeks and I'm beginning to think I may actually die. If my blog suddenly shuts down, you know why.

#2- Starting next year, I am going to be offering seminars and certs in Europe. So if you're a European Crossfit gym owner that is Striving to be Fergilicious, I'm your girl.

#3- I got this super cool new purple water bottle that I love SO much that I'm actually drinking water throughout the day. I literally have to pee 18 times an hour, but my body feels amazing. If you don't drink enough water, buying a totally retro drinking device will solve most of your physical, and possibly mental, problems.

#4- I have a new cue that I learned that I would love to share with you all..


What the french toast does that mean?

Often times, when we are snatching and cleaning, we focus so much on two things: The jump and the turnover. But what about everything in between?

After we jump, we know that we're supposed to pull our bodies down and around the barbell all while getting our elbows high and outside to keep it close (seriously, read that sentence about 5 times). AND we know that we are supposed to turn the bar over with an attitude that says "I ain't no little sissy girl". But, sometimes we're so focused on this position:

and this position:

that we forget what the bar is supposed to do as it passes by our face.

Now, if you're anything like me... your face is your money maker (TOTALLY KIDDING... my face is NOT my money maker... it's my intelligence and charm that bring home the bacon...that I can't eat right now...;( ) and you do NOT want a barbell smashing into and ruining the one thing that helps you make a living. SOOOO.. what we tend to do is swing our arms around our face and lock them out overhead. Don't do that.

If we swing the bar around our face? Where is the momentum going at the end of the lift? BACK! and that is only if we turn the bar over aggressively. If we swing the bar around our face and DONT have an aggressive turnover, then we lose the bar FORWARD. We want the momentum to be going STRAIGHT UP as it passes our face and on the turn it over so that the bar lands perfectly in our strong overhead position. So, if you are missing the bar in front of you or behind you, listen up!

Here is how we fix the problem:
Think about your hands!
As your sitting here reading this blog post, here is what I want you to do...
1.Put your arms in a scarecrow position so that your elbows are high and outside and your arms are at a 90 degree angle.

2.From there, pull your hands up higher until they reach your armpits, and allow your wrist to flex (fingers pointing down) so that your elbows are still higher than your wrist.

3.Now, keeping your wrist flexed, pull your hands higher and higher and higher (right along side your face and over your head) until your arms are locked out (fingers still facing down)

4.Last, flip your hands over fast and tight as if you were turning a heavy weight over.

(No, that exercise was not a joke to get you to do something extremely weird whilst sitting alone in front of a computer while I'm secretly recording you and updating the video on youtube.)

That is what I want you to do with a barbell!! Did you feel how you had to really activate all those muscles to get your hands to stay in close to your body and pulled all the way over your head? That extreme activation is why we forget to keep the bar close to our face when we are moving FAST with WEIGHT.

So, next time you are snatching, think about what your hands are doing:
They are pulling back off the ground, they are moving straight up the side of your body (all the way to your armpits) when you jump and pull yourself down, they are continuing straight up the sides of our face (as we continue to pull ourselves down) until we are JUST about locked out, and then they punch to the ceiling for an aggressive turnover!


Thank you for your time and patience and I look forward to writing again if this heavy whipping cream and bacon hiatus doesn't crush my soul.

Ps... The same exercise can be done with the clean. Pull the hands up your sides, to your armpits, to your shoulders and then pull your elbows around.. landing in a front squat rack position. Be careful not to turn the hands over too slow on the clean when you are getting your hands up and elbows around. I tend to see people pause with their hands at their shoulders AND THEN get the elbows around. DONt DO THAT. Make it one fluid motion.


  1. Also!! If you are looking for a seminar to attend, I will be traveling to Atlanta next weekend (the 9th)!

    Check out the link below for details!

  2. very cool, never thought about my hands like that, . . . now can you come to Crossfit Pittsburgh and do a seminar? I did an Oly cert with your father two years ago, and was not really all the way there to get the most out of it, I need another round with at least one of the coach Bs

  3. You should come to Sweden or Denmark. You should come to both.

    Come to Copenhagen Denmark or Malmo Sweden I want to attend one of your seminars or workshops.

    Great post :)I will never stop eating bacon though, that just seems insane.

    /Elizabeth in Sweden

  4. My coach has been telling me I don't get my elbows high enough so this post really helps me out! Thanks!

  5. Great tips and of course I was sitting in front of my computer moving as instructed!Ha! you got me!
    Once again you deliver quality, concise coaching tips wrapped in hilarity.

    Im with Elizabeth, the bacon thing...No Bueno!

  6. I have another good hand tip. If you're wearing a singlet a a lifting you should wait to put chalk on your hands until after you adjust your package. Crotch chalk is scandalous!

  7. So people that see me lift say that I need to "get faster." Just saying this, though, doesn't help me out at all. My brain doesn't seem to communicate "get faster" very well to my muscles. So, in my strive to be fergilicious, how do I get faster?