Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Bumper Plates and The Atomic Sit Up

Every time you can think of a different way to use the equipment that is already in your gym, you save money and add interest and challenge to your programming.  Winner.

When you imagine a new, inventive way to get your athletes moving, it challenges not only their bodies, but also their minds.  Keeping workouts varied with the same grab bag of movements can get stale for you and for them over time.  Instead, add a new twist to a well known movement.  It can be just the right amount of change that can add a spark to the workout and keep everyone mentally engaged as well.

We've seen a few new movements recently that add a great twist on the old standby - the situp. Both of them are much more challenging, require a bit of technique but can be done with the tools that are already in your gym.  Someone ring the PR bell.

The Sit to Stand and Atomic Situp are two great exercises that add a great twist on the old favorite.  If none of your athletes have ever tried either of these, you just might catch them smiling as you demonstrate.  That's a good thing.

Most often, you might dial in an exercise like the sit-up into your programming as a warmup but seldom during a WOD because it lacks in difficulty for intermediate to advanced level athletes.  For those athletes it can be more of an active rest period than not.  To crank the difficulty up, you might use movements like knees to elbows and toes to bar.  Both of those movements are great and add challenge and variation.

Here's two more movements to add to the pile.  They are easy to teach and add that interest and challenge that your athletes are after.  Both the Sit to Stand and the Atomic Situp have the same general movement.  In the Sit to Stand, the athlete begins in the situp position with the goal of moving their body to standing without using their hands to lift them off the floor.

To make the movement easier, bring the knees to the chest in the beginning of the movement and as the feet are brought to the floor, reach the arms forward through the knees to develop momentum.  That will help in getting the hips off the floor.

To add difficulty, program the Atomic Situp.  The movement is the same as the sit-to-stand, but the athlete now uses a bumper plate which must be moved throughout the same range of motion.  Adding an overhead squat at the end is a nice variation as well.

It's these types of movements that will challenge your athletes, keep your programming varied and interesting and uncover weaknesses.

And the best part about these exercises is that you can work them into your programming with the equipment you already own.