Embrace the Basics

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Originally Published on my home gym’s website (but still good to remember):


Yesterday in training we had a session of hollow rocks or hollow holds depending on where you were at.  As I drove home from class, I was reminded at how often we neglect the basics and how much they have to offer us as athletes.  Everybody wants to get the muscleups and heavy snatches, but what are the pieces that lead to that. We must embrace all the elements that make those movements possible and focus as much on proper technique in those as we do on the advanced movements.  I will give everyone some insight into the coaching side of things.  It is harder to teach the basic movements than the advanced ones, for a very simple reason:

Everyone believes they know how to do simple movements correctly, and they KNOW the hard ones are hard.

That is not mind-blowing news.  How many times though has your coach taken you back to the basics to diagnose your faults or difficulties in the advanced movement?  Think about learning to perform a kipping pullup, or toe to bar and having all the pulls removed and all you are allowed to do is demonstrate a controlled swing. If you want to excel at the complicated things you must excel in the basic ones too.  They are the foundation of all that follows, so don’t neglect them.  There is a reason that a house has a foundation poured and is reinforced by steel.  There is a reason it is framed with 2x4s and then walls attached to that. It is for this very reason that we require demonstration of movements at every workout.  This is why we ask you to show proficient movement before we bring in the speed component and intensity.  There is a huge process that is going on in making connections in the brain about how to move safely, efficiently and ultimately effectively. So as you go through even the most basic of movements, take a minute and notice all that is going on with each one.  Take time to see the difficulty that is truly involved in a perfect pushup or perfect squat.  There is a lot more going on than you think.  Engage with the movement.

PERFECT Practice Make Perfect Performance!