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Guide to Foundational CrossFit Moves: Part 3

For the third part of this series, we will look at the deadlift, sumo deadlift high pull, and the medicine ball clean. All three of these exercises utilize proper hip hinge and help to strengthen the core, glutes, and hamstrings. (Videos are from the official CrossFit exercise library.)

The Deadlift

The deadlift is a compound exercise working all the major muscle groups, making it an essential for building strength. The movement also helps with functional fitness. After all, we all have picked up objects from the floor, and the deadlift actually hones our ability to do just that – only we train to pick up the heavy things others may struggle to move. Here are some hallmarks of the deadlift’s form:

  • Hip-width stance
  • Hands just outside of hips
  • Full, firm grip on the bar
  • Shoulders slightly in front of the bar
  • Neutral spine
  • Hips and shoulders rise at same rate
  • Bar moves over the middle of the foot
  • Heels are firmly planted
  • Complete at full hip and knee extension

 

Medicine Ball Clean

One of the major benefits of practicing the medicine ball clean is how it enforces proper form for three Olympic lifts without adding load – the deadlift, front squat, and clean. With putting all three of these movements together, the exercise adds agility, coordination, flexibility, and speed into the strength-building mix. CrossFit also notes these aspects to the exercise:

  • Shoulder-width stance
  • Palms on the ball and positioned between the feet
  • Knees in line with toes
  • Neutral spine
  • Explosively extend hips, shrug shoulders, and then pull arms under to bottom of squat
  • Heels remain planted until hips and legs extend
  • Ball moves over the middle of the foot
  • Complete at full hip and leg extension with the ball in rack position

 

Sumo Deadlift High Pull

This advanced variation of the deadlift improves coordination while increasing power and strength. It is also a great exercise to build a firm booty, but it works the legs, shoulders, and biceps as well. According to CrossFit exercise standards, strive for:

  • Slightly wider than shoulder-width stance
  • Hands inside legs with full grip on the bar
  • Knees in line with toes
  • Shoulders slightly in front of the bar at set-up
  • Maintain a neutral spine and keep heels planted until hips and legs extend
  • Hips and shoulders rise at same rate
  • Extend hips, shrug shoulders, and then pull the elbows high and to the outside
  • Bar moves over the middle of the foot
  • Complete at full hip and knee extension with the bar pulled under the chin

Photo by Pricenfees

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