We’re fast approaching the end of our first 8 week cycle. This Saturday will mark the second to last week of the current programme, which means it’s time for another midline sesh.
Expect all sorts of plank variations plus a pranayama and more postures to get those deep core muscles such as the transverse abdominis to work. Yay!
Click here to learn more about the role of the diaphragm in regards to your core strength.
Workout of the Day – Friday
CROSSFIT OPEN 18.2
The workout is released by CrossFit HQ sometime in the middle of the night, so we will just have to wait until we wake up to find out what it is. You will be able to find the workout on the CrossFit Games website.
Workout of the Day – Saturday
TBC based on what Open 18.2 involves.
Workout of the Day – Sunday, Weightlifting Club
A) Snatch + Overhead squat: 8 x 1+1 @ 75-80%
B) Back squat: 5 x 1 @ 80%
C) Reverse grip bent over row: 3 x 8 @ by feel
D) Plank holds front + sides: 3 x 20 secs per side w/20 sec rest in between
We’re in week 6/8 of the current cycle, which means the focus this week will be on arms & upper body again. During Saturday’s yoga practice, we’ll be flowing our way through a few progressions towards bakasana, the crow pose. Arm balances are of course an excellent – and ninja – way to build strength in the arms and wrists, but also to improve your proprioception and fine motor skills.
To allow us humans to walk upright and support much of our weight on our two legs, the hip joints are designed to be robust and stable. The shoulder on the other hand is extremely mobile, and therefore requires support from the surrounding soft tissues – muscles, tendons and ligaments. Because the joint is so unstable, shoulders are prone to pain and injury. This needs to be considered when practising any arm balance, as it’s easy to just collapse into the pose, without considering the necessity of having to lift up through the midline. Abdominal strength is required in order to stabilise the torso and allow the pelvis and legs to come off the ground to achieve this type of posture. In other words, you’re equally going to have to work those abs in order to take flight.
Muscles are strengthened in the range of motion in which you work them, and in true CrossFit spirit, we want to keep things constantly varied – it’s good to mix things up and move in different ways, so come on down and channel your inner ninja.
If you are not sure what the CrossFit Open is, take 1 minute and 40 seconds and watch the video above!
…It’s ok, we can wait….
The CrossFit Open is for EVERYONE and with both RX’d and Scaled versions of the workouts even the newest of CrossFitter’s can get involved.
Here are just some reasons EVERYONE should do the CrossFit Open!
Reason #1 – CrossFit is for everyone!
If you are doing CrossFit then you know that absolutely anyone can do it. The Open workouts are programmed so that anyone can take them on regardless of their ability, and anyone will find them challenging, whether you’re fresh from Fundamentals or a seasoned Thames athlete.
CrossFit HQ also release scaled versions of the Open workouts to better suit the needs of the fresh faced CrossFitters out there.
So you can’t use the ‘I’m not ready‘ excuse, in all reality none of us are ever ready for the minds of Dave Castro and his workouts!
Reason #2 – It’s fun!
The Open always brings out the best of people, whether its during the workouts or when you are on the sidelines showing your support.
It doesn’t get much better than going head to head with your friends and blasting through a workout being cheered on by those around you. The energy at the gym often inspires people to get some big PB’s, get their first muscle-ups or finally manage some double unders, so what have you got to lose?
Reason #3 – You might meet some new cool people!
If you are tempted to skip the CrossFit Open workouts and stay at home, you aren’t likely to find any new cool friends. Nope, the cool kids are hanging out at the gym on a Friday night.
Reason #4 – It’s a chance to test yourself and your fitness!
The CrossFit Open workouts give everyone an extra push into the realms on intensity, and we often find we all have another level or two when it comes to pushing ourselves in a workout. Not only do you get to test yourself, but you can see how you stack up to CrossFitters around the world and who knows,you might surprise yourself.
Reason #5 – …because it’s THE CROSSFIT OPEN!
If you do CrossFit, then joining in the CrossFit Open is a rite of passage, this is the ultimate way to experience what the wonderful world of CrossFit is all about.
The Open at Reebok CrossFit Thames
We like to shake things up a little and this year we doing these a little differently.
For us, the Open is about getting together with you best training bud’s, crushing a workout and having a good time (whether you register for the Open or not!).
Each week we will have a theme which you can choose to get involved in and we will be holding a post-wod party after the morning, afternoon and evening classes.
So whether you train with your girl squad at 6am or enjoy a late evening bro-sesh everyone can get involved and enjoy the Open.
This year the Open kicks off on February 22nd with the following schedule:
Workout 18.1 – Feb 22-26
Workout date: Friday 23rd Feb (all classes) Theme of the workout: Pretty in Pink
“Pink is not a colour, it’s a culture”…said somebody famous at some point in time.
Even better than that the colour pink plays a huge role in psychology. Pink is a sign of hope, it calms and reassures our emotional energies, alleviating feelings of anger, aggression, resentment, abandonment and neglect. So if we see a sea of pink at the gym it can make us all feel a little more jolly.
Studies have also confirmed that exposure to large amounts of pink can have a calming effect on the nerves and create physical weakness in people…so if you want to beat your buddy in the Open workout distract them with all the pink you have!
Workout 18.2 – March 1-5
Workout date: Friday 2nd March (all classes) Theme of the workout: Smoothie Bar
Anyone who is evenly vaguely health conscious loves a Smoothie bar. So if you need a pre-wod energy boost or a post-wod protein refuel we have your back.
Smoothies are all the rage right now and there are loads of benefits to smashing a fruit and veg filled glass of good stuff.
Firstly they are a easy way to boost your fruit and vegetable intake and are great for getting a variety of produce into your diet. They are high in fiber and a smoothie can deliver an extra boost of vitamins, minerals and phyto-chemicals (if you includes the fruit skins and pith). Add some yogurt or milk and you can get a great calcium kick too!
Workout 18.3 – March 8-12
Workout date: Friday 9th March (all classes) Theme of the workout: Total Blackout
Workout in the DARK!
Well that’s what we thought, but Coach Hannah’s idea had NOTHING to do with potentially causing a mass casualty incident with by trying to do thrusters and pull-ups in the pitch black.
It’s simple, the theme is black, do with it what you will.
Whilst we may not be working out in the dark…we may have some disco lights?!
Workout 18.4 – March 15-19
Workout date: Friday 9th March (all classes) Theme of the workout: Be your own Superhero
We all have our heroes, whether it’s Thor, Superwomen, your favourite CrossFit Games athlete or the teacher from school who inspired you into the career you have right now. This week we want you to honor your Super-hero!
Workout 18.5 – March 22-26
Workout date: Friday 21st March (all classes) Theme of the workout: End of Open Party
The last workout of the Open Season means it’s just a straight up party. Wack on the disco tunes (Taylor Swift, obvs), hit the final Open workout (full throttle, don’t hold back!) and then sit back with a beer or two and celebrate the end of Dave Castro’s 5 workouts from hell.
We’re in week 3 of our current 8 week cycle, which means it’s time to get to work on that midline strength. When we talk about core strength, we don’t typically mention the diaphragm, the primary muscle of respiration – yet it is located right at the centre of the abdomen.
The diaphragm is a dome-shaped sheet of muscle and tendon and separates the chest (or thorax) from the belly. In very simple terms – the diaphragm contracts during inhalation, which causes air to be drawn into the lungs, and relaxes during the outbreath which forces the air back out again.
Now, what does the diaphragm have to do with core strength? For starters, it attaches to a number of stabilisers, such as the ribs, sternum and (lumbar) spine. In terms of surrounding muscles, imagine your abdomen like a pressurised container – with the pelvic floor being the bottom, the deep abdominals and back muscles forming the sides, and the diaphragm acting as the lid on top. If any of these components don’t work optimally, the container will start to lose pressure and weaken the base – your core.
The diaphragm also connects to the thoracic and lumbar erectors, the QL (the ‘back muscle’) as well as the psoas (main hip flexor) – all of these are involved in moving the spine, and giving it stability. Conversely, this means that impaired function of any of these muscles will lead to a knock-on effect. Our pranayama (control of breath) practice in this week’s class will be bhastrika, which strengthens the diaphragm through the forceful in- and exhalation through the nose. This will generate a little bit of heat in the body to prepare you for the main sequence, which as the theme suggests will feature
a bunch of postures working those abs.
We believe in a well-rounded approach to fitness, and as such we offer a weekly
yoga class specifically designed to complement your training at the gym.
To get the most out of your workouts and maximise those gains, adequate recovery provisions are essential – our qualified yoga instructor takes you through a one hour practice that will leave you feeling more supple, as well as deeply relaxed.
A yoga class is more than just a mobility session – the practice of yoga asana (the postures) and pranayama (breathing exercises) aims to gently bring you into a parasympathetic state, thus promoting recovery.
For more information on the correlation between training and the state of your nervous system, please click here.
– Need more reasons as to why you should make a regular yoga practice part of your
– Improve proprioception (i.e. joint position and motion in space) and body
– Develop an awareness of what it means to move well and within a healthy
range of motion for your body, and how to work with restrictions and compensatory patterns
– Prevent injury
– Learn to breathe mindfully and practice different techniques, including abdominal breathing, which you can then apply in your workouts, for example during lifting sessions
This class is suitable for everybody including complete beginners – no previous experience necessary, and no, you do not need to be able to touch your toes!