Toggling Tension

Full-send efforts are simple and fun. (Okay, “fun” TBD, but stay with me.) Just think of a max effort sprint, shouting at the top of your lungs, or even something like a full-flame stir fry – you know, like when you’re in a hurry to cook your dinner and the hell with burning the onions with your stove turned all the way up, because you’re hangry(!), and it cooks faster. No strategy is needed for any of these efforts other than to put your foot on the gas, and all the way

But how’s your ability to pace? Better yet, how effective are you in turning tension on and off – in a way that also promotes maximal efficiency for completing the task at hand?

Enter the skill of toggling. Back in October at the Trunk Stability Seminar with Dr. Ulm, this term came up in reference to one’s ability to quickly turn a core brace on or off – a critical component for maximizing  trunk stability. 

To quickly demonstrate this principle, consider how strongly you would brace your core for a 1RM deadlift, relative to how not so strongly you need to brace your core while walking. Not only would it be inefficient to brace your core as tightly as possible while you walk, it would just be plain awkward. (Go on, run the thought experiment…) Alternatively, consider how much smoother kipping pullups or kettlebell swings might be if you were to more specifically fine-tune your core tension up and down throughout different parts of either dynamic effort. 

What I find most useful about toggling isn’t so much about improving your conditioning times, but rather, helping you do MORE with LESS effort, capturing the significance of a skill that can objectively improve what is often chalked up to as finesse in sport. 

Oh and not to mention – the application of toggling transcends well beyond physical fitness. Consider common discourses in interpersonal relationships – managing autonomy versus connection, novelty versus routine, expression versus privacy. It’s never one OR the other. Rather, life is nuance and toggling is a skill that improves how well you can navigate that nuance. 

Cheers to better managing the spaces between..

12/14/21 WOD


Complete 5 rounds for quality of:

5 Deadlift 
8 Copenhagen Plank (each)

Then, complete 3 rounds for time:

1 Bull Run
30 Alternating DB Reverse Lunges(50/35)
15 Axle Bar Inverted Rows


Sumo Deadlift

Then, complete 2 rounds for time:

50 Wall Balls
20/16 Cal Bike
50 KB Swings (53/35)
30 Up Downs

Then, complete the following in as few sets as possible:
60 Medball Hamsting Curls