The CrossFit Open begins this week, so I’ve put together one last set of tips and techniques for a few movements we haven’t covered in detail yet: chest-to-bar pullups, toes-to-bar, bar-facing burpees, and handstand pushups.
Even though these are all simple adjustments you can make to how your execute these movements, the overall impact on your performance can be significant.
For pullups and toes-to-bar, the key thing when doing singles is to eliminate the negative (or, eccentric) portion of the movement. Once you get your chest to the bar or your toes to the bar, just drop.
This simple strategy conserves energy, reduces grip fatigue, and helps avoid hand tears. We also employ a three-part cue for our athletes to ensure that they follow this strategy and meet standards on each rep: Jump, head through the window, and touch. Like some of our other cues, it seems simple; but having this drilled into your head can help keep you on track and moving forward no matter how addled and exhausted you get.
For bar-facing burpees, the trick is to eliminate steps. With our technique, you basically take a big step forward as you rise from the floor. As you’ll see in the video, this makes the movement much simpler and faster.
The only caveat is that you must have adequate hip mobility to pull this off effectively. If you do not, you’ll have to modify the technique in some way. As with the other techniques we’ve shown in these videos, you’ll want to have this engrained in your brain so that you execute consistently under the pressure of competition.
Last, there are some fine points to executing handstand pushups efficiently. First, the mechanics for kipping this movement should already be practiced and mastered. To that proficiency you want to add the tips shown in the video: kick straight up and reach with your heels.
First, kicking straight up means you avoid dragging your heels along the wall. This is obviously far more efficient. Then, you’ve got to lead with the heels as you hit the wall. If you point your toes, your heels will be lowered and you’ll likely have to push up along the wall to achieve a legitimate rep. Watch the technique in the video, and this will be become very clear.
And that’s it—the Open is here! I hope these videos will help you, and I wish you all good luck!
Don’t forget nutrition! Learn to fuel for competition: