WOD 11/15/08



Barbell Row

Do 7 sets of 5 reps – both exercises.

These are strict shoulder presses.  No use of the legs to drive the bar, this is shoulders only. Start with the bar resting across the top of the chest at the clavicle. Grip should be shoulder width and elbows are pointed down and angled slightly back to help the upward drive. The bar should travel directly upwards with you moving your melon out of the way to allow the bar to travel directly to the overhead point. I tend to imagine the bar coming up at a slight angle and driving through my chin. Trick being I need to move my chin out of the way. Lockout at the top and come back down to the same start position. It’s imperative you get that full ROM, back to the starting point.

Barbell rows are not done very often in CrossFit circles. They tend to be thought of as a bodybuilding movement, but I tend to disagree. Rowing motions are multi joint and work a range of muscles across the upper body, back and arms primarily. This motion is critical to our pulling strength and this is the reason I like to do the row occassionally. I would argue that they are a functional movement which can compliment many of our other exercise and functional real-world activities.  

The one downside to the row is that at heavy weights it can be a bit tough on the lower back. Positioning here is crucial. You should lean over slightly, a tad more than 45 degrees or so, retain a strong lordotic arch in the lower back and hold your core very tight. Feet should be directly under the hips, and a very slight bend in the knees. The bar should be held by the arms, hanging directly below the shoulders. Pull the bar directly up into the lower chest area – I tend to aim for the rib cage/zyphoid process area. The lats, rhomboids, and traps should be contracted hard at this time. Lower gently and repeat. Don’t use the upper body to pull the weight up, so no heaving upwards with the back. This is one exercise where I will use lifting straps to help retain my grip strength and a weight belt helps keep the core nice and tight as I am leaned over. Do not let the lower back get rounded over and don’t go so heavy you are heaving the weight around. Nice quality reps over a full ROM to gain the most in strength and physical adaptation.

I would hope you are doing the full CrossFit Warm-up prior to each workout, regardless of what it is. The CFWU is a multi-joint warm up hitting all major muscle groups and major joints. It can be a workout in and of itself and you should break a sweat after doing 2-3 rounds of it. This warm-up makes sure you are fully ready to go – it’s a good 10 minute insurance policy against injury and preps the body for what is coming.


2 thoughts on “WOD 11/15/08

  1. Steph

    I only have the barbell here so my 7X5 was done w/45lbs bar =3:01

    That got my heart pumpin and I thought since tommorow is a rest day I would throw in a workout I saw on the oneworld website:
    20 pushups, 1sit up
    19 pushups, 2sit ups

    Now I feel sweaty enough to shower and head to the mall for a little cool down! They opened a Louie Vuitton you know! 😉

  2. Rick

    CFE WOD, and then this little sissy poo-pah shoulder work, c’mon man!

    Of course jokes on me. It always seems to be on me, what the….!

    Neck, all three shoulder heads, traps, and pride—> hurtin!

    “Louie Vuitton”? Is that an Italian restaurant? Lets go!

    Off to watch UFC. I love to watch others kick the crap out of each other.

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