Workout of the Day:
Three sets of:
Back Squat x 5 reps
Rest 90 seconds
Ring Rows x 10-12 reps
Rest 2-3 minutes;
and then,
For time:
20 “Clusters” – Clean & Thruster (135/95 lbs.)
50 Burpees
Wall Slide by Invictus FitnessWall Slide by CrossFit Invictus

Healthy Shoulders
Written by Nichole DeHart

Shoulders deserve a good amount of attention. They have a fairly demanding job to uphold everyday. Muscles associated with the shoulders carry out, but are not limited to, positioning the pectoral girdle, helping to move the arms, forearms and hands, helping to extend the neck . . . and many more. Unfortunately, the likes of the trapezius, rhomboid minor and levator scapulae don’t get nearly as much attention as their sexy counterparts, like the rectus  abdominis. I would like to change that.

Good shoulder mobility is critical to your shoulder health. The shoulder joint consists of the humerus, scapula and clavicle, which are attached by five articulations and a system of muscles, tendons and ligaments. The shoulder joint is a ball-and-socket joint and has the highest range of motion with six movements (flexion, extension, abduction, adduction, external rotation, internal rotation). On the flip side, the shoulders also have the highest risk of injury (bursitis, tendonitis, rotator cuff damage, etc).  Improving shoulder mobility can help decrease the risk of injury associated with the shoulder joint.

We throw around the term mobility often, but what does it actually encompass? Being mobile literally means having the ability to move freely. Increasing your mobility when it comes to anatomy means increasing the range of motion to that particular joint. Our goal is to increase the range of motion/mobility in the shoulder joint as well as prevent injury.

To reduce your risk of shoulder pain and increase mobility, start incorporating some mobility exercises before you begin your workout. Here are five exercises that can help safeguard your shoulders as well as improve your mobility.

1.  Foam Roll the pecs and lats

Check out this post for instructions on how to roll out the lats:  https://www.crossfitinvictus.com/2009/06/23/wednesday-june-24-2009/

To roll out your pecs lay face down on the ground with the foam roller under one side of your chest. Roll over your upper chest from the sternum to the shoulder. Remember, the more uncomfortable the foam rolling is, the more that muscle needs to be released.

2.  Y’s, T’s and W’s

Check out these posts for instructions on how to perform Y’s, T’s and W’s.

To perform your Y’s: https://www.crossfitinvictus.com/2009/12/09/thursday-december-10-2009/

To perform your T’s: https://www.crossfitinvictus.com/2009/12/14/tuesday-december-15-2009/

To perform your W’s: https://www.crossfitinvictus.com/2009/12/23/thursday-december-24-2009/

Wall Slides (or Floor Slides if you are really tight)

Wall slides are shown in the photographs above.  But if you’re really tight, you might need to start off with floor slides.

Floor Slides: Lie on your back with knees bent and feet flat on the ground. Arms should be at a 90 degree angle with wrist and elbow making contact with the ground. Slide your arms upward, maintaining contact with your forearm, wrist, back of your hand and the ground the entire time. Lower your arms when either the wrist or elbow loses contact with the ground. Repeat for 8 – 10 repetitions.

For Wall Slides, follow the instructions for floor slides, except you will set up against the wall with your feet about 1 foot away from the wall.

Scapular Retraction

Any movement that strengthens your serratus anteriors, which will help stabilize your shoulders. This includes scapular push ups (arms remain straight as you squeeze your shoulder blades together then push them apart while). You may also do this exercise with a band in a standing position. Wrap the band around your back and at the end of your hands. With arms straight, squeeze your shoulder blades together then push them apart. Check out Mark’s posts about strengthening your serratus anteriors: https://www.crossfitinvictus.com/tag/prehab/page/2/

Dumbbell External Rotation

External Rotation by Invictus Fitness
Seated on the ground, bend one knee with the foot firmly based on the ground. Bring elbow up to the knee with a dumbbell in hand (the non working arm can help secure the body in an upright position). Pull the working shoulder back and down as you lower the dumbbell until your forearm is well below parallel. Return your forearm to the starting position, never allowing your shoulder to slump forward.  A slow, controlled tempo for this exercise is highly recommended.
External Rotation by CrossFit Invictus

These are only a few of the numerous exercises one may do to increase shoulder mobility.  To explore this topic further, check out the Mobility Blog that Kelly Starett updates with daily mobility workouts. His site is: http://mobilitywod.blogspot.com/

If you have other specific questions about your own shoulder health, feel free to ask any coach for further instruction on other shoulder mobility exercises.

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Ross Blake
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Ross Blake

CJ.

Firstly i wanted to say how much i love what you do. Your programming, your blog and your info sharing is a very valued part of the fitness community. Thankyou.

I’m planing on running some testing at our box this coming wkd. Some ATP stuff then skill stuff and then I was hoping to round out the morning, with your approval, the 10min capacity test.

Let me know if thats cool.

Healthy regards

Ross Blake
B32 CrossFit
Australia

CJ
Admin
CJ

Hit it Ross! The ten-minute capacity test should be a fun time. Please let me know how it goes.

Nuno Costa
Member
Nuno Costa

Hey Ross,

I’ll be heading out to coach CFE cert in Perth, Australia next month – is that in your neck of the woods? Anyone from your box going?

Nuno

Michele Vieux
Admin
Michele Vieux

Great job to Shaver today! He rocked out the burpees WITH his boot foot and still finished first!

Roque
Guest
Roque

That is my one legged husband…

Nuno Costa
Member
Nuno Costa

an inspiration – shaver has been coming in on a regular basis even with his boot!
He’s been dedicated to not let his blown Achilles get in the way of continuing on this healthy lifestyle path – admirable!

Dani
Guest
Dani

Awesome post Nichole! This is my biggest issue and my top priority right now. Great read! I will try to emulate your enthusiasm the next time I do DB external rotations. 🙂

CJ
Admin
CJ

How are the clusters and burpees going today? I believe I will have the pleasure of watching some of the kids at CrossFit NYC do this workout today. Good times.
I fly back tomorrow. It’s been a great trip, but I am looking forward to getting back to the Invictus gang.

Thom
Guest
Thom

No better way to start off the week then with heavy squats, a few clusters and A LOT of burpees…

Cynthia
Guest
Cynthia

My glenoid cavity often gets in a compromising position.

Thijs Moonen
Guest
Thijs Moonen

Good read.

Jami (the Finnish Kelly) told me my Rhomboideus could be more flexible, going to add those stretches.

Never saw those Wall slides before 🙂

Chanel Call
Member
Chanel Call

Nichole makes it pretty clear that stretching is a BLAST! look at that smile!

Price
Guest
Price

Love the big smile – classic Nichole! 🙂

nichole
Member
nichole

Thanks Cal!

Jim Martin
Member
Jim Martin

Holy-Moly Frank, If I get my elbows as high as my ears I think I am having a Mobile Moment! Thanks Nichole, I guess I better head back to the foam rollers…

Calvin Sun
Member
Calvin Sun

Serratus anterior actually causes the shoulders to protract, NOT retract. Think about it, if the origin of the serratus is on the anterior surface of the upper 8 ribs and the insertion is on the anterior surface of the medial border of the scapula, retraction of the scapulae would require the serratus anterior to relax and lengthen. This is not to say you shouldn’t do scap push-ups. In addition to scapular protraction, the serratus anterior also assists in rotating the scapula upward in movements such as overhead pressing. Without this upward movement of the glenoid cavity, the glenohumeral joint is… Read more »

Matthew Dusa
Member
Matthew Dusa

Chicks dig huge Serratus Anterior.

sage
Guest
sage

Not only are you size fetus, but you’re a smiling size fetus

Michele Vieux
Admin
Michele Vieux

Nichole is ALWAYS excited and happy. That’s one of the reasons we love her.

Pat
Guest
Pat

Seconded!

Courtney J.
Guest
Courtney J.

I love how excited and happy Nicole looks to be doing the dumbell rotations!

courtland
Guest
courtland

looking forward to this wod … very informative post about an issue that I need to treat more regularly.

FAQ - Workout of the Day (WOD)

What does WOD mean in CrossFit?

WOD stands for Workout of the Day. Most CrossFit gyms post one workout each day for their members and online followers to complete. Invictus currently offers THREE free programmed WODs each day (shown above)... and even more personalized and online supplemental programs through Invictus Athlete.

Which program is right for me? Can I move between them?

One thing that sets Invictus apart from other CrossFit gyms and online training programs is that we recognize everyone has different fitness goals, abilities and needs. Be sure to pick which programming is right for you so you can get a great workout that meets your needs.

What does 30X0 mean? (How to read the WOD)

Another thing you might notice that’s different about our programming is that we use ‘tempo training’ - almost always in the Fitness programming and in various cycles for the Performance and Competition programs. Those extra numbers (ex: @30X0) might seem confusing at first glance but you’ll totally get how it works and why we like to use it after reading this. Trust us, you’ll soon witness the many benefits firsthand. Learn more about tempo training.

I need help with some standard movements and warm-up ideas!

Whether you’re new to CrossFit or have lots of experience with the WOD, our coaches will help you get the most out of every workout. It doesn’t matter if you struggle with a particular movement or if your goals are pushing you toward the higher skilled and more elusive movements, our professional coaches support everyone with advice and feedback.

They have worked with all athlete levels and know what it takes to get people moving to the best of their abilities. Whether it’s burpees, double-unders, muscle-ups, or tips for the Assault Bike - we’ve got a coach who can help you.

Don’t worry, we’ve got your warm-ups covered, too. Our coaches are constantly learning from other modalities and love to use what they learn in innovative warm-ups focused on both preparing for the workout at hand and maintaining the body for a pain free life. Check out this full body routine to keep your joints functioning and free of inflammation. We also post warm-up suggestions in the Workout of the Day for each of the programs that are tailored to that day’s movements.

Workout on your own and don’t have much time for your warm-up? Here’s a couple of quick and simple ones for your shoulders, squat day, deadlifts, and everyone’s problem area, the thoracic spine.

What if I can’t lift the weight or do the movement as prescribed?

Scaling is part of the beauty of CrossFit because it enables workouts and programming to be tailored to anyone’s ability. When it comes to weight, you can and should ALWAYS scale the weight down if it is unsafe for you to lift it, or if it changes the intended stimulus of the workout.

Here are some rules of thumb for scaling weight in metcons (lifting for time). For gymnastics movements, there are some simple scaling solutions as well. If you are unsure, reach out to your Invictus coach! We are here to make sure you get the safest and best workout possible - proper scaling allows for that.

How many days per week should I train? / How many rest days should I take?

At Invictus, we offer programming 6 days a week, Monday-Saturday and we realize not everyone’s schedule - or training needs - are the same and therefore, you must use your best judgement and listen to your body when it comes to deciding how often to take a rest day.

If you have been doing CrossFit for a while now, you recognize that our program excels due to the high intensity component. With that being said, one thing you have to keep in mind is that you can’t sustain that high intensity every single day; otherwise your body ends up breaking down.

You can learn more about how often someone should take a rest day in this article.

What does EMOM stand for?

EMOM stands for Every Minute on the Minute. When you see that come up in a workout, you have up to one minute to complete the exercise required. Normally what’s prescribed won’t take the entire minute so you also have whatever is left of the time to rest until the next minute starts and you do the next set of prescribed work. And so on.

What does AMRAP mean?

AMRAP means “As Many Rounds (and Reps) as Possible” in a certain time period. For example, the workout might say...

AMRAP in 10 minutes of:

30 Double-Unders
20 Pull-Ups
10 Thrusters

So you would keep going through the cycle of those three exercises until the 10 minutes is up. Your score is the number of complete rounds plus any extra reps you did. So if you did four complete rounds plus 15 Double-Unders in the fifth round, your score would be 4+15.

What does OTM mean?

OTM stands for “On the Minute” and is the same thing as an EMOM. When you see that come up in a workout, you have up to one minute to complete the exercise required. Normally what’s prescribed won’t take the entire minute so you also have whatever is left of the time to rest until the next minute starts and you do the next set of prescribed work. And so on.

What does NFT mean?

NFT stands for “Not for Time” and means that you shouldn’t rush or try to go fast, but instead, focus on technique, skill, form or whatever you are working on for that movement.

How heavy should my first set be?

You might also be wondering where to start your first set if, for example, the workout of the day calls for 5 sets of Deadlift x 5 reps. Is the first set a warm-up or is that the first working set? Here’s our recommendation for how to properly build to your starting weight and what we consider warm-up sets and working sets.

How can I figure out my 1RM?

We frequently use percentage references in prescribing the number of reps to perform, so it’s essential that you have a good idea on most of your maxes.

Let’s say it’s been awhile since you have attempted a 1RM; maybe you had an injury a few months ago, or maybe you just somehow keep missing the 1-RM test days, or maybe you just forgot to write it down in your log book. If you have a multiple-rep max, you’re in luck. There’s actually a simple equation you can use to calculate an estimated 1RM based on the max number of reps you can do at a given weight.