How does you air squat look? As humans, we are predisposed to have a competitive spirit. It is natural to want to go a little faster or a little heavier during a Crossfit workout. As people, we like to have “wins.” We want to have a faster time or go RX in a workout and PR on a lift, and we feel invincible. After all, progress is the name of the game and for us to get in better shape we have to incrementally increase some factors. The problem then lies in that at times the competitive spirit gets the best of us and that can actually affect our progress. We have to have the basic components of movements before we can move on. I had to recently understand this. After a couple of injuries and repetitive movements my air squat has been compromised. As frustrating as it is to go back, it is often very necessary.
When I started working out I had no idea what a clean or a snatch was, which is funny because I will talk your ear off about these things if you give me a chance now. Olympic Weightlifting and Crossfit involve a lot of varieties of squats. For the past few months I had noticed imbalances in strength which were affecting me when I would perform any of these movements. As much as it pained me, I had to take a step back and took out anything high skill and just worked on strengthening my imbalances and doing a lot of air squats. Your body might develop some pain or maybe unusual tightness that is unexplained. We ask our bodies to do a lot but when it is telling us something in the day to day things we do with it, we need to listen and take a step back. I knew that if at some point I want to get better or progress I had to get back to the basics and make sure those are sound, even if it means not getting better for a much longer time. How can I get a heavier clean or snatch if my air squat sucks?
Please keep that awesome competitive spirit alive. I love to see it at the gym and I’m the first to push you all in going faster or going a bit heavier, but I will never let you compromise your progress if the basic movements are not fully there for a “win.” No one really wins at that point and especially not your progress. If for whatever reason you need to take a step back or several steps back, know that it’s more than fine. It is necessary sometimes. Check your air squat; see how it looks and then gauge how you can proceed along so that you can let that competitive spirit out.