Three Activities to Improve Your WOD Performance
Has your WOD performance plateaued, or do you feel like something's missing from your training regime? Sometimes it's a good idea to mix things up a little bit, and introduce new activities to plug the gaps in your current routine. Here are three activities that can provide specific benefits inside the box:
Does your core strength let you down? A lack of midline stability will affect almost everything you do in the box - it's the foundation upon which most lifts and movements are built.
Pilates might be a firm favourite with the ladies down at your local globo-gym, but don't be fooled by the stereotype. There's a lot more to it than having a lie-down and a little stretch. In fact, when it comes to building core strength, there's nothing quite like it.
It was developed by Joseph Pilates, who also emphasised the importance of the mind-body connection. Focus and control are both essential - how else would you be able to hold a plank for over 5 minutes?! For this reason, the benefits of pilates to your WOD performance go far beyond those associated with increased core strength.
Just like CrossFit, pilates can be dangerous when the movements are performed incorrectly. To start with, find yourself a local beginner's class, with a good instructor.
A word of warning, though: if you thought Annie-abs were bad, you might want to prepare yourself for the 48 hours after your first session!
A swimming event is almost guaranteed at the CrossFit Games, having featured every year since 2011. It's also increasingly common at competitions across the UK and Europe, but still catches many top athletes off guard.
But it isn't just the elite that should consider a regular session at the pool, the rest of us could benefit too - as swimming is one of the most effective ways to improve endurance. If you're training regularly in the box, the low-impact nature of swimming will compliment your routine. Your joints and muscles are protected, to some extent, by the water - so you can introduce an additional workout, whilst minimising any risk of injury.
To get the most benefit, add some high-intensity pool workouts to your routine. CrossFit Endurance have plenty of ideas to get you started. Make sure you spend some time on your swimming technique too - the more efficient you are, the more you'll benefit.
Mobility is one of the most talked about functional fitness trends, and with good reason. Most of the problems we face in the box can be vastly improved - or fixed altogether - with a decent mobility regime.
When you have restricted range of motion, and you're not spending enough time on your mobility, it's no secret a weekly yoga class could make a huge difference to your performance.
A few minutes of gentle stretching or foam rolling before a WOD just won't cut it.
As well as improving flexibility and range of motion, research suggests yoga reduces the stress hormone, cortisol.
Chronic stress negatively impacts performance and slows down recovery. If you're serious about improving your WOD times, this is something you need to address - particularly if you're prone to bouts of stress.
These are our top 3 suggestions for Outside the Box activities to improve performance.
What are yours?
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