6/8/15 ParaWOD: battle rope swingin’, dippin’, and benchin’ your face off

Monday offered up a full Crossfit experience:

Warm-up: at your own pace

  • Band pull-aparts
  • First rib shoulder smash – let’s spend some time here.

If you use a wheelchair, or even if you spend a lot of time at a desk at your job, chances are that your shoulders over time have developed a tightening in the neck area where we have our first rib. What is a first rib? It’s way up there in a place where you probably didn’t even know you had a rib. It also gets pinched over time, which prevents arm raising abduction from its full range of motion. So what we do to mobilize the first rib is to apply a Mobility WOD technique (bookmark that web site; it’s invaluable for self-treatment) and drive a weighted bar onto the first rib. Here is what it looks like:

Bad news – this hurts like the dickens, as it opens up the shoulder area. Good news – it works, and it works fast, which you can see as you test and re-test the motion. Try it with the taped up tennis ball for extra bounds of fun/pain.


A: Bench Press – Pause on the Chest(2s); 5×5


In the words of Coach Tyler, “Bench More!”

This time around, the focus is on a slower repetition and control. Get to a weight that is about 80% of your 3 rep max, or in other words something you won’t have difficulty getting 5 reps out of. Then, we’re going to use the negative motion to slow things down (count 2 seconds) and then pause for 2 seconds at the bottom. After the pause, explode upward and re-start. Five reps, five rounds. As you slow things down, you will really feel the movement engage a lot of muscles you don’t even think about during the bench press.

B1: Dips @ 31X1, 3×6-8
B2: Pull-ups @ 21X2, 3×5-6

We got this one as well. Alternate between a dip (Matador, parallettes) and strict pull-ups (bar, rings), using the pausing effect to prolong the agony.


3 movements, AMRAP for 10 minutes.

1) Time for some battle rope! It is like double-dutch for the para-athlete.


It doesn’t really matter which movement you do, so pick one. The reason why this movement is great for the para-athlete is that it forces us to really concentrate on our core strength and balance. Swing too hard, and we will topple right out of our chairs. Get the rhythm right, and your muscles will engage and counter-engage appropriately, improving overall balance.

2) 150 meter row

3) KB press, 7 reps per arm

Once you’re comfortable with handling the rope as well as the transitioning, this is a workout where you should be able to get at least 3 rounds complete.

April 17, 2015 WOD: pushing, pulling, dipping, pressing

Today’s workout was comprised of 2 phases, which focus on strength and strict movements.

  • Bench press, 5 rounds, 8 reps per round (max reps final round), superset with ring rows (8-12 reps)
  • NFT 5 rounds of…
    -7 Muscle Ups or Tough Variation (working on this as a skill)
    -7 Burpees with 1ft target

This is a good workout that requires minimal modification.

Phase 1

Floor press adaptation. I worked up to 155lbs, concluding with a max of 10 reps in round 5.

Ring rows – 10 reps per round, finishing with 12 on final round.

Phase 2

In the past I have used banded muscle-ups to get that kind of volume. This time around, I adapted with Russian dips, which is a good approximation for the muscle-up transition, which is often the most difficult part of the movement for both para-athletes as well as able-bodied athletes.  The lower you can get into the dip, the greater the approximation to the transition phase of the muscle-up. Seven per round for 5 rounds.

Instead of a burpee, the goal was to get some vertical pressing in. For this, I adapted with kettlebell presses, doing 7 per each arm for 5 rounds.