Nuno getting some help from Super-Friend, Mobility Guru Kelly Starrett

Pre-Workout Skill Honing
Written by Nichole DeHart

Okay, I have a confession. I am somewhat neurotic. I love writing to-do lists, crossing things off my to do lists, scheduling every minute of my day and trying to be as productive as humanly possible throughout the day (I often fall well below my standards of efficiency). If you know me well, this isn’t a confession. You have probably already diagnosed me with many neuroses that revolve around my love of being productive. Sometimes my love of productivity will even be applied to other people (I can be a little overzealous). Case in point, this article.

I often see people arrive for a training session 10-15 minutes early. This is a substantial amount of time in one’s day that can be filled with all kinds of things to make you a better person (besides lifting heavy weights, which automatically makes you a better person). I see many members use this time to mingle, roll out, etc., which is fantastic. However, I often see people unsure of what to do before class begins and hesitantly stand by the door, wishing they hadn’t arrived so early. Well, I am here to help make your day even more productive with a few things you can do with that 10-15 minute timeframe! Get out your note pads and get ready to write a to do list on self-improvement before your training session!

1. Address your business! Everyone has their own mobility issues and it is important to address them. If time allows, we will often mobilize a particular joint at the beginning of class. However, if you are looking to improve your performance, increase your range of motion or just have less pain, then take some time before class to address your particular issues. Here are a few drills that can be helpful to many CrossFitters:
* Hamstring Flossing
* Shoulder Internal Rotation Drill

2. Practice your jump rope skills. It is hard to get better at a skill, like double-unders if you have limited time to practice. If improving your double-unders is one of your goals, then carve out a few minutes before class to work on them.

3. Work on your pull-ups. If you are working toward getting a strict pull-up, check out George’s pull-up program here. This is a 3-week program that will help facilitate you towards your goal of getting a strict pull-up. If you’re working toward kipping pull-ups, understand they are a skill that definitely needs to be practiced. Practicing your kipping pull-ups in the middle of your workout, while fatigued, is probably not the best idea. Take some time before class to work on the movement. If muscle-ups are your weakness, apply the same principles.

4. Work on your gymnastics. Lets be honest, if you haven’t done gymnastics since you were in the womb, then this is probably an area that you should work on. Gymnastics covers a broad scope of movements, ranging from hollow rocks to L-sits to toes-to-bar. Carl Paoli has done a fantastic job of putting up informative instructional videos for many gymnastics movements. Check out his blog,, to find something that is appropriate for your athletic ability to improve upon.

These are just a few ideas on how to spend your 10-15 minutes before class starts. There are tons of other things that you can do before class and we would love to hear about them. How do you spend your time before your training sessions?

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Nick Louiz
Nick Louiz
March 14, 2012 11:28 am

does it make sense to do a quick 15 minute ab workout before? Or should that be held off until after the workout

Tom Secher
Tom Secher
March 7, 2012 2:27 pm

found it, no need for the help

Tom Secher
Tom Secher
March 7, 2012 2:17 pm

new to invictus crossfit, i dont understand the figures after the @ on some programes such as the 31A1 in: Monday – Three sets of: Negatives x 5 reps @ 31A1 (A = assist), rest 90 seconds

can you explain them please

March 6, 2012 9:10 am

Awesome – thank you!

March 5, 2012 4:50 pm

Thank you for sharing these great ideas, Nichole. By chance, was a link meant to go along with the reference to George’s pull-up program? Now that is something I could get behind!

Mary DeHart
Mary DeHart
March 5, 2012 2:15 pm

Thanks for the ideas Nichole, and I didn’t know you had a problem at all of always trying to be super productive. Yeah, right!