BEWARE: Dead End Movement Ahead

I lose sleep at night over very few things. One of them might seem odd to someone who isn’t a coach, but bear with me. You see, there are specific instances where movements, in and of themselves, might be leading you astray.

To be honest, a guiding concept in the gym for us is skill transfer. In fact, it’s skill transfer that allows the amount of variance in our training to be effective. It’s the reason why athletes can learn so many different skills so quickly. Without it, we’d be doing a less-than-functional-movement oriented version of walking around the gym from machine to machine doing exercises that have no connection to one another.

Take your push up, for example. As long as you can do a set of fifteen push ups any old way, there’s little incentive to change your behavior. This is a movement dead end. The photo above of the ring row is another wonderful example. Thankfully Sarah (pictured) is moving beautifully thus avoiding a movement dead end. However, if she didn’t have the vertical forearm position that she has and she was bicep curling the rings to her chest (which would create an angle less than ninety degrees at the elbow), she would technically be doing a ring row each time the rings touched her chest, but the opportunity for her to properly transfer this skill to other pulling mechanics around the gym in other areas would be lost.

Luckily, we have an effective way to expose these dead ends and it comes in the form of complex movement. If you have a dead end push up, you won’t understand the handstand push up. You’re movement patterns will be punished. If you have a dead end ring row, you won’t understand the muscle up and, again, you’re movement patterns will be punished.

Simply put, it’s not what you do, but how you do it. Sometimes you’ll need to add movement standards in order to avoid these dead ends. Luckily for you, you have a coach to help you with that. Now it’s up to you to heed their advice.

Logan Gelbrich


7/13/18 WOD

Complete 3 rounds for quality of:
8 Decline Ring Rows
10 Deficit Push Ups
12 Hollow Rocks

Then, EMOM 18
E: :20 Max DB Thrusters (45/25)
O: 5 Weighted Strict Pull Ups

**Score is lowest thruster round