When I first started CrossFit a few months ago, I couldn’t even do an overhead squat with PVC pipe. My mobility was that bad.
It wasn’t the squat. I could go below parallel on both back & front squats. That wasn’t an issue.
It wasn’t the arms overhead part. I could do hundreds of pass-throughs with PVC pipe, and even snatch a light weight.
It was the combination of both movements at the same time. My body just didn’t like that.
My coach, Trey, told me over a group dinner one night, “Keep working on your mobility, and we’ll have you overhead squatting in a few weeks.” While his timeframe might’ve been a bit ambitious, he was certainly right about one thing: mobility was key.
Mobility is obviously an important part of CrossFit for many reasons, and it helps with just about every movement you can think of. But it was this movement in particular that got me obsessing over my lack of mobility.
So naturally, I went all O.C.D. on the M.O.B. Stretching the heck out of every muscle, tendon & joint that I knew existed—and occasionally a few that I didn’t. Yoga poses twice a day. Band stretches before & after each class. I took kettlebells to my hip flexors until my face couldn’t hold the grimace for a second more.
Today’s WOD looked like this:
Burpees Over the Bar
Not only was I going to find out if I could do my first overhead squat. I was going to find out if I could do A LOT of overhead squats.
I think it helped that it was 80 degrees outside, and 79 degrees in the gym. And the fact that I had 25 minutes to warm-up & work on mobility. But I grabbed the 45lb bar, and gave it a shot. Boom! Nailed it.
I only made it into the round of 9 before our time cap, but that’s still a heck of a lot of overhead squats, especially for someone who had zero under his belt before today’s WOD.
Bottom line in all of this:
It doesn’t take long. It just takes consistency.
Identify a weakness.
Commit to working on it a little bit every day.
And then pat yourself on the back for doing what you couldn’t do a few months ago.
Oh… and then continue to work on it, because the work doesn’t stop here.
Sure, I could now overhead squat 45lbs. But you better believe I’d love to be able to throw some weights on there next time.