We learn to squat before we do a clean, strict press before push press and pull up before kipping pull ups. Why? Because when you perform the common, uncommonly well, you build a strong foundation and avoid injury. If you can string together 5 kipping pull ups but struggle getting a single strict pull up, then your foundation is crumbling, warning signs are blaring red, and your body is not thanking you. A designated strength program can fix that.
CrossFit Hellbox developed a great pull up program for those struggling with this movement, and here at D5, we are using it for our athletes too! This program focuses on the dead hang, the ring row, the segmented & eccentric pull up, and the barbell assisted pull up, along with some important accessory work. It is vital that you test yourself initially so that you can track your progress at the end of the 12 week cycle. To create objective results, testing requires the athlete to record/ video their attempt at a strict pull up and a max time chin up grip hang (supinated grip and holding chin over the bar). As with all motion, stay focused on maintaining great technique and a controlled pace. 2019 is the year for YOU to get YOUR first strict pull up!
When is the last time you felt the ground beneath your feet? Fact is, a lot of us probably can’t recall when we went without socks or shoes other than inside our homes. What if I told you that your health could benefit from going barefoot outside? Let’s discuss some of the health benefits of ditching the footwear and exposing those toes!
Our bodies are about 60% water, which is very beneficial when it comes to conducting electricity. The earth's surface has a negative ionic charge and is constantly generating electrons, so when our feet make direct contact to earth's surface it can become a natural antioxidant and help to neutralize bad free radicals. When we neutralize positively charged free radicals, we can reduce general inflammation, detoxify the blood, and sync our internal clocks, hormonal cycles and psychological rhythms.
There are also significant strength benefits you gain from walking around barefoot. When you don’t have shoes on to protect your feet, your feet have to work harder. Hard working feet help strengthen, stabilize and stretch the muscles, tendons, and ligaments in your lower body. Strong, bare feet that are exposed to the natural elements generate increased proprioceptive feedback to the brain, creating a strong base of support, core and hips, and effectively leading to a more upright posture. Who doesn’t need that??
Another great benefit of going barefoot is increased mindfulness. When you walk around without shoes on, you are more aware of your surroundings. This awareness helps you focus more on the here and now. If you are not ready to jump fully into the barefoot life, we really love Vibrams, as a great shoe alternative!
Get back to being outside with no shoes on. Literally get outside and connect to mother nature. Feel the sun above you and the ground below you. Just 30 minutes of going barefoot outside in grass, sand, mud, gravel, shrubbery (you get the point) can change your body’s chemistry and will help build a healthier mind, body and soul. Keep it simple and BE MORE HUMAN!