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152. Medicine Ball Clean

152. Medicine Ball Clean

Today is just what you guys asked for! Another movement episode. Ackerman and Fern break down the Med Ball Clean. It’s one of the most undervalued and underutilized movements. Even though it’s one of the nine functional movements and it’s given a lot of time during the Level 1 seminar. Ackerman and Fern break it down, by the progressions, major faults and cues. They talk about the transfer of skill between med ball clean and how it’s one of the most soul-destroying within a workout. And there’s even a little challenge for you guys at the end of the podcast. 

Timestamps: 

(3:46) Why people hate the med ball clean
(5:44) Why the med ball clean help withs the barbell
(7:11) “Just give me some weight and I can do this right”- Ferns respond to this comment 
(9:32) First thoughts on the Med Ball Clean 
(12:35) Easier to develop a movement pattern
(14:06) Specific progression – Deadlift, Deadlift + Shrug, Front Squat, Shrug + Pull Under, Full movement.
(20:46) Ackerman’s mix up on this level 2
(23:35) Major Faults 
(25:21) PVC pipe drill for the Medball clean
(27:06) Favourite Cues
(32:28) Athletes not listening
(37:21) Advice
(40:41) Ackerman’s Challenge 

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Medicine Ball Clean .mp4 transcript powered by Sonix—the best audio to text transcription service

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Ackerman:
What is the most Hated movement in all of Crossfit?

Fern:
Me personally.

Ackerman:
Well, I guess I could have made that a little more clear because there's all sorts of types of Hate.

Fern:
Creation skills.

Ackerman:
What movement gets the most hate?

Fern:
Well, one of them we've already talked about is the Sumo Deadlight high Pull that gets a lot of hate. The other one, I think is the med ball clean. People just really like to poop poo on the med ball clean.

Ackerman:
Why do you think that is?

Fern:
Because I think it's goofy. They're like, why are you doing this when you could just go to a barbell?

Ackerman:
Do you think that's what it is? You think that's what it comes down to?

Fern:
I think so. I mean, I just I think people think it's a silly idea. How come I don't think it like I've never heard like a legitimate argument against it other than just like somebodies opinion that it's stupid.

Ackerman:
Right. I guess. And in hearing you say it like that, I'm thinking to myself, how come other movements don't get the same hate as the medball clean? You know, for example, the Dedalus press has become this like movement that everybody loves. It's like angels, you know, shine down on the devil's press. But really, it's like, OK, hey, why don't you do a burpee and then do a clean and jerk?

Fern:
It's a devil's press.

Ackerman:
Right. Exactly. So my point is, as you're saying that I'm like the med ball clean gets all this hate because you can do with the barbell. But just about any movement that's been created since 2011. It's just somebody taking a normal barbell movement and changing it.

Fern:
Correct.

Ackerman:
So the med ball clean needs to stop getting hated on. I would agree. Well, I don't let's let's talk about it. What's.

Fern:
So how do we stop people from hating the medball clean?

Ackerman:
I think it starts with a with I think there's two things. One, the people that hate on it give them a medicine ball clean workout and show them how much you love. Smash them.

Fern:
So just the. The physical stimulus is one it's hard to match, to be honest with you.

Ackerman:
Every time I do, I mean, because here's the reality. It's a light load. So it's not often that you go low rep on the med ball clean. Like, you know, if you remember. Yeah. Yeah. Met ball clean in a workout. You're probably at a minimum doing 70.

Fern:
But typically I think you would see them in something that looks like twenty five to 50 reps programmed in like one set.

Ackerman:
In one set. Right. I've done I remember one of the last times I did was a 50, 40, 30, 20, 10 med ball cleans and then I think it wascal Row. So it's like the.

Fern:
Thats disgusting.

Ackerman:
One hundred and fifty and there's other workouts. So I mean, there's very few movements that can mess you up quite as well as the med ball clean and it's that fast, aggressive double squat, especially if you're doing it right.

Fern:
Yeah, it's a double squat, which I think is the real and. The it's high intensity because you can move faster, so I'm getting that double squat, but I'm doing them very, very quickly. So in a barbell I'm typically moving slightly slower. So the the effect doesn't hurt nearly as much. Well, we'll go on a barbell. I'm not going to have a set of 50 squawk lines like that's like Ribery really going to see that.

Ackerman:
Right. And then a typical air squat. You can really let Gravity do the work for you on the way down. And while you can on the men buckling, oftentimes you're trying to get to beat the ball down and you're also trying to land in a more solid squat because you have this load, you know, be at 20 or 14. So you can't just lad Lena land like a pile dog poo. You've got to land pretty solid.

Fern:
Yeah. Now let's just get to brass tacks. Here's why I think people hate them.

Ackerman:
Let's hear it. What does that mean? Brass tax?

Fern:
Let's get down to it points to the point.

Ackerman:
You don't even know what that means. And whoever in our media group puts a fernism up.

Fern:
That is a that is an actual phrase.

Ackerman:
And I know it's a phrase. But typically when people use phrases, they know what it means.

Fern:
It means get to the point.

Ackerman:
But why? I understand you understand what it means.

Fern:
Now I understand.

Ackerman:
Where did the expression brass tax? How did that become? Get to the point. I don't know.

Fern:
I do not know the genesis of the statement, but that does not mean I don't know what it means.

Ackerman:
Well, let's try to only use statements that we understand going forward and best hour of their day

Fern:
This the pot calling the kettle black.

Ackerman:
All right. Let's get down to brass tax and talk about why the med ball clean gets hated on?

Fern:
I Think it's. I think most people would do not like it. And it gets heat on because people don't know how to teach it.

Ackerman:
Oh, do you think.

Fern:
People generally hate things they don't understand?

Ackerman:
Do you think the average coach knows how to teach the snatch?

Fern:
I think they think they know how to teach the snatch. And nobody bothers to learn how to teach the med ball clean. So it's just this stupid. They're like, oh, that's dumb. And then fail to acknowledge the fact that it has a lot of utility. But then when we ask somebody to teach the med ball, clean generally does not go well.

Ackerman:
Right. And. Really, it should be one of the movement's Crossfit, coaches have the most confidence, and because we give you a very specific progression at your Level 1 and level attitude and find it online. There's plenty of videos floating around that you know of. I'm sure there's ones of us teaching it as well. But if we can get people to understand, hey, if you can coach that better, you can actually coach the barbell better.

Fern:
Well, there's also some inherent things that the med ball will force that the barbell might not and typically will not. For instance. Because it's an odd object and I can't tip like I can't actually bring it close to my body, it's just inherently Ford of the Front, the center of mass of the metabolism, naturally forward of the frontal plane. It forces me to learn how to move my elbows kind of back in a round where if I just do that, that curl with a barbell, like I can kind of get away with that without having as much deviation from from a plane, but with the metabolically and that gets exacerbated. So I think you can really teach some good mechanics with the med ball clean because in order to do it properly you have to do it right. You know, you have to think about what should happen with the elbow. Once I get to a full extension, when I start to pull underneath, when it's done correctly, the elbow should pull behind the rib cage and then underneath into a fallback position where if I just do a curl, the elbow will stay glued to the rib cage and my hands will just move forward with a barbell. I can kind of get away without doing that really well because it's closer to the frontal plane.

Ackerman:
What do you say to people that would then say, well, because it's like you can get away with bad form and never really learn how to do it? Well.

Fern:
Well, that's just as ridiculous as somebody who says I need heavy weight to do this, right?

Ackerman:
Actually, a conversation about that this past weekend at a Level 2 and yeah, you know, you hear that a lot. And I said, well, what do you tell athletes? Well, let's talk about that for a moment. People take their level one and level two and we work on PVC for hours. And often every weekend someone will inevitably say, well, just give me some weight and I can do this right. What's your what's your response?

Fern:
So, well, first, we have to define what we're talking about, what what. What we're not talking about is somebody who's physically limited in mobility. So we're not talking about somebody who physically cannot put the barbell in the front rack. What we know, there's people that just cannot get into that position. They're just restricted for whatever number of reasons. Well, we are talking about as people who are maybe going to a snatch progression like we would do at the level one course and consistently pulling early on the PDC pipe. So bent elbows before we get to extension and which to which people would say, well, if I if have a little weight on the bar, then I will pull early with my elbows, which is probably not true. We already know that. But my contention is always if you need weight to not do something incorrectly, then you don't understand the mechanics of the movement.

Ackerman:
Absolutely. And if you are relying on weight to make you move better, that just shows you a deficiency.

Fern:
Yeah, this Go a head.

Ackerman:
The more you add, the more weight you need to do better, the worse you actually move the father you are.

Fern:
That will probably not an accurate statement anyway. Like if we were to actually watch you load yourself as typically and we know based on intensity that mechanics breakdown as we either a go fast or add more volume or add more load like typically that to some degree. Maybe it will potentially force somebody into a better position, but that's not them being in a better position like that's an outside force putting forcing them into a better position. Maybe.

Ackerman:
Right. And then eventually, like you're alluding to at some point, doesn't matter. Form is going to go because it's too heavy.

Fern:
Exactly. So that's a that's a real. It's just this rabbit hole that people like to to to point out they're just as an excuse to not get better at a movement. I just need more weight. It's literally never the case.

Ackerman:
So let's dive back into the medicine ball, would you? What are your first thoughts? I mean, you probably got introduced to it like I did the across and maybe even at your level one. What were your first thoughts?

Fern:
I was like a lot of people. I felt the same way about. I felt the same way about the medical claim that I felt about the Sumida type on the pushchair, which is generally what I genuinely wanted to avoid it because I was extremely deficient at teaching it.

Ackerman:
I'm looking at it more from just a movement perspective, like I'd never thought anything of it because I found this Crossfit, thing and I was like, cool, this is one of the movements we do.

Fern:
Well, that's one of the movements that you we can probably all agree like did not exist prior to Crossfit,. Like most other things we know, like Crossfit, didn't invent the push up or the squat or the muscle up like they were existant. Crossfit, created the methodology, but the metabolically clean I'm pretty sure was not a thing.

Ackerman:
I'm sure people were, you know, obviously cleaning out the objets or maybe sand bags, but no one actually classified it as this is a specific movement.

Fern:
Yeah.

Ackerman:
And you know, I think that part of the reason people. Dislike it is because we classify it as one of our nine foundational movements. But keep in mind, with those nine foundational movements, the point is that they lend themselves to so many other movements. So you're getting better with that. You know, we can be very specific and say, OK, instead of the metal plate, it's a clean and jerk. But we're saying, hey, the medball clean will lend itself to the clean and jerk as well as other movements out there, as well as just get people generally prepared for life.

Fern:
Correct. And it's it. Yeah. And and again, I think the way we discuss it at the Level 1 courses that we're using this because A, you can typically get lighter than a barbell. So factoring this people that a barbell is not in the cards, they're just not prepared to start moving a barbell. And some people might scoff at that. But you can't move an empty barbell. Plenty of people who see them all the time.

Ackerman:
Or it's intimidating for them, even if they can move it. Yeah.

Fern:
So think about your soccer mom who's never touched a weight in her life. The med ball clean is a probably a better option, and I can get I can get the lightest med ball they make is four pounds. Like, I have a bunch of those in my gym, we use them all the time. So you can buy those lighter med balls and I can really hammer the technique. And then slowly start progressing on the load so I can go from four to six to eight to 10 to 12 to 14. And then eventually I get to a 20. And then you'd even go at that point, which I could do a 20 pound med ball or even a 14. Now I can. Now it's a safe assumption that like moving to a training bar, whether it be fifteen or twenty five pounds, is is feasible, but it doesn't change the mechanics of the movement. And that's always the kind of weird. That's that that's always been weird to me as like, what? Why not have the at ball like I don't have to worry about like this super high elbow front rack position. It's not a heavy enough load that I have to worry about, like realistically any sort of safety issues. You know, like nobody's going to blow their back with a four pound medball, you know?

Ackerman:
And I think because of everything you're saying, it actually is an easier movement to develop movement pattern. You know, you hand someone a 15 pound training bar, their first time cleaning. They're definitely not going to open their hips like one hundred percent certain there's no hip extension, but the men clean and slight enough that I can get them to stand up and still pull under and beat. Like you said, we don't to worry about this rack. So you can still catch the ball where if you don't pull under fastened with a barbell. You see people, your wrist will get stuck. We're just not going to get your elbows or they're not going to know how to loosen their grip on the bar. So the net buckling allows that big hip extension, but then still allows them to get into a solid receiving position.

Fern:
Yeah, and it's also one of those things where if I can if I can teach that speed of pulling down absent of load. Like I can I can isolate that particular aspect of the movement. We're so we're so he does have to worry about the weight because typically when you're learning those movements, it's hard to pair two pieces together, which is, hey, I have to get my elbows around quickly, move my feet and pull underneath the ball, which is I don't have to worry about the weight. I can kind of get in the beauty of the memo as you can get your hands completely wrong. And it's not really going to be a big issue.

Ackerman:
Right. That's my point.

Fern:
The barbell is gonna be problematic if the hands are wrong. So I can just focus on just pulling underneath. What options are like that front rack position, but also like apps into the loads so I can really isolate be pulling underneath.

Ackerman:
So let let's dive into we're at the level one we do. We teach the medicine ball playing every weekend. There's a very specific progression associated with that. Let's let's talk about the progression. Let's talk about what you and I look for in each step of the way. You'll give people listening, hopefully an avenue to become a better. Medicine ball clean. You know, coach, if you will. But then also let's throw out a little workout at the end to challenge our listeners and we'll give a little prize away. So got it. Step one of the progression deadlift. So we we just say literally deadlift. We've gone through the deadlift. We're gonna do this in my deadlift at this point. So feet are just outside the ball. Hands on the side of the ball, deadlift or stand, whatever word you look like you say to get them moving. What's your use if you had to say I'm looking for one thing during this step of the progression? What are you looking for?

Fern:
For the medical claim specifically? Just that the arms stay long. Like I want straight arms because typically this is not a movement. We teach.

Fern:
First, like it's a it's a third the second or third order movement. So I'm gonna have taught probably the deadlift first. Just like a barbell deadlift. But even if it is a deadlift or even if we're starting there on the deadlifting, we're just gonna skip a PVC Pipe. I just want straight arms. Typically, if I get somebody, I think everybody's on board with a, you know, neutral spine is a good thing. Like, you typically just don't see a lot of, you know, rounded backs these days in the deadlift. So I'm just looking for straight arms, like the way you say straight arms.

Ackerman:
Where do you look to me when I have step one of this progression on the deadlift? I'm looking for that powerful hip extension. Are you assuming because we've already tied them to DLF, you're going to get that?

Fern:
Well, no, I'm not looking for powerful hip extension because it's weird to not extend your hips in a deadlift.

Ackerman:
I agree, but that's my focus, so I'll I'll tell people if we're gonna deadlift, I do talk about arms or say a budget, squeeze your butt as hard as you can. So now I know. I want them to really just feel that movement pattern. Then the other thing I'll typically say along with that is flex your triceps. I flex you and triceps.

Fern:
So I want the elbow locked out. Let me backtrack. So I'm gonna get them and set up very quickly. And then we've talked about how quickly we want to try to get people into the deadlift. It's like straddle the ball. Bend over, push your knees forward to your eyes and your chest are facing forward. Stand up. And in that stand up. Same thing do doing the Detlef I'm looking at primarily hips and shoulders like this. And typically there's gonna be a squat here setup in the deadlift because the I don't want to navigate the knees anymore and the balls typically lower than what a load of a load of barbell would be. You're gonna get your hands on it. So I'm looking for what is that setup look like? It's gonna be a little bit squat here, meaning the hips are gonna be slightly lower than they would be typically. And then from there are the hips and shoulders moving at the same rate.

Ackerman:
Yeah. And like you said, it's very it would be highly unusual for someone not to stand on top the top of their Detlef. But for me, it's more about re-enforcing I need you to feel that hip extension. So as we move on to the next step and then ultimately the full movement, they're used to it. So then do you have any other cues you might use for straight arms? I always like to make the joke. We wake up in the morning to flex our abs, then we flaps our triceps. Yes.

Fern:
I want you to think of flex your triceps. And again, that's an action. We'll keep you like. Most people understand that that is extension of the elbow. Like flex your triceps keeping flex the entire time.

Ackerman:
Yeah. And like Coach Burgner says, when the arms bend, the power ends. So we want to keep those arms nice and long. So from there we go from step 1 being the deadlift step to the deadlift shrug. Where are you specifically looking on that step of the progression?

Fern:
The only thing I'm worried about this portion is the sequence. I want to ask the end up. I want to see hip extension or the butt squeezing and the knees extend hard. And then I want the shoulders to shrug. That's the only thing I care about in this portion. And I'll tell people, I don't care if it's super segmented. I want to see squeeze, shrug. And I want to see it in that sequence and only in that sequence. SQUEE shrug, squeeze shrugs. We shrug.

Ackerman:
Do you have them go a little slower? First, see you right at full speed.

Fern:
It's typically like normal speed. I don't typically give them a speed. I'll just say I don't really care how fast you do it. I just wanted to be squee shrug. The sequence is all I care about. There's a sequence that needs to happen that that quarter extremity, if you will, hips then shoulders.

Ackerman:
So from there, what are some of the major faults you might see going on during that set the progression?

Fern:
A lot of shrugging early, so people will be shrugging before they extend the hips.

Ackerman:
When you when you say that, that's hard to see. Mm hmm. So what do you look for specifically to see if the coach is listening to this? That's very tough because now we're moving fast. Eventually they will stand up. So it's like a millisecond to see that. What what do you pick up on when when someone shoved an early.

Fern:
So. Well, I guess it's tough. Here's what I would say is like first you need to see what it looks like done correctly. So this is where I would tell people, slow it down. So typically, I wouldn't necessarily put a speed on it. But if you want to see it done correctly, slow it down. So just go, hey, guys, we're gonna make this very segment and I want you to stand up. You're gonna squeeze your butt and then you're going to shrug and then we're slowly going to speed that up. And then typically what I'll see is if if anybody if you play an instrument. Right. So regardless of how fast that transition happens from hips to shoulders, it's still a distinct one, too. So if it looks like a one and and there's no discernible kind of. Separation between extension of the hip and the shoulder. Then it probably happened early. The chances are pretty high.

Ackerman:
Yeah, I think I like that slow. I mean, really, that's a great fix for so many faults, right? Hey, slow down. Or like our new shirt says, do that, but better? Yeah. So I like that we go from the Deadlift – shrug. Why do we then go to the friend's club? So we go deadlift, deadlift, shrug, front, squat, a wife people often and. Well, why was squatting you? What's your answer to that?

Fern:
We have to we have to train and analyze the position that we're going to. Like, what's the end state or the end state is to catch in a squat. We have to see that SWAT, absent of adding speed and pulling underneath it first. So I just want to see like can we see the things we want to see in the squat? Are we getting arched up heels in that movement? And if not, I need to sort that out before I add like a more dynamic piece to this, which is like get to the top, shrug really, really hard and then pull underneath as fast as you can into this front squat position.

Ackerman:
And that's exactly what I tell people. I'm like, hey, you're about to have them pull under a load being four pounds or twenty. Let's make sure they don't look like a soup sandwich down there. Let's make sure they look solid. Yeah. Little known fact at my level. To Santa Cruz, California, 2008. Back then, you had to teach two movements and I had to teach the the sumo deadlight high pull and the medicine clean. And I went out of order on the medicine ball clean. I went pull under then front squat. And the look of disdain I got from Nicole Carol was all I needed. Did did to know No, I messed up, but I still passed.

Fern:
But I was surprised. Same look I got from all the Red Shirts when I mess up the progression my internship.

Ackerman:
That story still floats around, by the way.

Fern:
I mean, it's it should I'm going to that that I deserve that,.

Ackerman:
Isn't it? Isn't it funny like how you learn things over that member that night before I had to teach that, like just studying the progression. I couldn't remember three steps, you know? I mean,.

Fern:
It's a panic attack.

Ackerman:
Yeah. And now it's like you can wake me up in the middle of the night and be like lots of progressivism that looks like blood.

Fern:
Oh, yeah.

Ackerman:
Know, we've just said it so many times.

Fern:
Yeah. You got to iron out the squat because then we're gonna add speed to it. Right. Because the next step is that shrug and pull under. So.

Ackerman:
So let's just go. We have deadlift. Deadlift shrugged front squat. Final step before the full movement is shrug and pull on.

Fern:
This is where I think if you put the appropriate amount of focus. This is where you can get good movement. But it this is also the part. If we watch. A mobile clean happened in a workout that gets almost a bastardised, but like this, the part that gets mailed in. So if you watch typically people want to metabolically and workout, there's one tempo. They stand up and then they pull underneath and a real lazy fashion. And it's this. It's like if in no way would they be able to do that with a barbell. Like if you're looking at the speed and tempo, like if that was a barbell, there'd be a massive problem here. But because it's light, they can get away with it because it hurts people or don't want to do it. So this is where you get to emphasize the plunder, which we need to do, because all of those crappy reps on a on a med ball clean will then transfer to a less than ideal movement when I get to Abbado. So I want to enforce good movement.

Ackerman:
I need the analogy I always make as I tell you, if I need you to pull under and catch this like it's your best clean. You need to be that rock solid. Like if I took this ball from you and handed you two twenty five, would you still be able to stand up? That's that's a solid you need to be so in this step. I mean this is also referrer to. It's kind of like the meat and potatoes of the metabolic rate is where the magic happens. What are you looking for and what are some of the major faults you see?

Fern:
Two things that I'm particularly looking for. There's three things that will typically happen. One of them I'll kind of put to the side and address later that's bent all those. So I'll kind of just check that box. I'll I'll note it if I see it, I'll come back to it. But it's not my main focus. But the two things that I want to see is like, are they at the top of the shrug? And then are they actually pulling or are they falling? Right. So pulling and falling or two different things. We both know that, you know, objects fall at the same rate. So if I'm higher than the med ball, which I am, my shoulders are higher than the med ball at the top of that shrug and I fall. They're physically impossible for me to get underneath that load. So I am one of them to pull. So I want to shrug with straight arms and I want them to pull underneath as hard as they can, which most people don't understand what pulling is. So then we have to go through drills to get them to actually pull our knees.

Ackerman:
So what are some of the drills that you might use if someone is pulling early?

Fern:
If they're pulling early with your arms? Correct. Yeah. I'll just pause them in that big shrug at the top. Like for an extended period of time, you know, I'll just be like, hey, shrug. I'll pause. Was immediately see that their elbows are bent. I'll tell them to bend, to straighten the elbow and then I'll call it on, they'll call the next round. But sometimes, as you know,.

Ackerman:
One of the questions I typically ask my group, Sarah, you know, who can better in more than they can swap. And usually, you know, 50 percent of the people can do that, which is a problem. I said this is what you need to work on. And you could do it with a barbell. You know, we refer to it as a tall, clean,.

Fern:
Tall clean, yupe.

Ackerman:
Right. So you can still do that. But people just you know, they like we've said earlier and they pooh poohed this metabolically and yet they can power clean more than they can squat, which means you're just lacking in this step of the progression.

Fern:
And again, going back to training the speed absent of the of load. So the problem with the tall clean is there is a barbell there and seen some people struggle managing the barbell while just focusing on the speed. The med ball, that's much simpler to do because again, I can get really, really light loads. And sometimes people just need a frame of reference. Like for what? Like how fast they need to go, so there's a. I'm pretty sure there's a video on in the journal somewhere of this drill. But I use it pretty frequently and it only takes about one or two reps of this for people to understand, which is. When you get to this point, the progression, I'll say, all right, you're gonna get two commands. Also shrug and then I'll say go when I say go. I'll have a PVC. by my hand. I'm gonna drop the PVC. pipe. Everybody should be in the squat before the PVC pipe hits the floor. You only have to do that for one or two reps before because that instantly creates this sense of urgency. Like I have to go fast in order to beat this thing. And the reality is it's not really hard to beat it to the position. If I pull, but simply having that frame of reference to say a lot to move faster than that. OK, that that changes things dramatically versus just like, hey, be faster. We'll be faster than what? Be faster than a falling object.

Ackerman:
Yeah. People always think they need to. Like you said, not open their hips to beat it. When in reality a powerful hit central. I'll buy you more time to get under that object. Yeah. So. So at this point they've have to the progression. They're at the full movement in the demo. It's funny how we see people like everything's going well, well, well. And then all this unfoldment hip extension disappears.

Fern:
It yeah, it is the thing that goes away like coaching the medical cleaning that should that could be your sole focus is like hip extension.

Ackerman:
So so let's let's dive into it. Let's let's talk about some of our favorite cues and let's break them up. Categorically verbal, visual and tactile what. What are some of your go to verbal cues when someone's not opening their hips?

Fern:
Squeeze your butt.

Ackerman:
Yeah. I mean, that's really the most obvious. Get tall.

Fern:
Yeah, it all jump higher. Squeeze your butt. I learned this from Coach Wilks years ago. Who's Kane-Willis as a male Olympic like literally an Olympian weightlifter. But I used to train in their garage years ago and he like showed me this thing, which I bring up pretty regularly at seminars, which is it's. Anatomically impossible meaning like it cannot be done, you cannot squeeze your butt cheeks with a flex to dangle. Right. So that's it. Like a way to get people. That's a way to get people to coach themselves is if they're like. Am I getting to extension? I don't know. You tell me, are you squeezing your butt because you're not squeezing your butt? You're not getting a hip extension because those two can't happen independently of each other. So.

Ackerman:
I find when someone's not having their hips for me, tactile cues it probably the best that or slowing down. Going back to I'll do like a deadlift squeeze that. But as far as you can now hit that position again.

Fern:
So typically I would like try to go in very quick succession of squeeze your butt then I'm going to show them, hey, your shoulder is way over here. I want you to look like this and I'll exaggerate. I'll typically tell them I want to I want them to pull their shoulders back more, even though I don't actually want them to do that little problem, just get them to extension. And then lastly, I'll use that tactile cue, you know, putting that hand behind the shoulder, having them pull back to that position.

Ackerman:
hip extension.I'll tell you what, I don't love that cue. And I know it's kind of become like the go to tactile cue for the med ball played for a while. It was in the level one participant guide or maybe part of the test quest might be a practice test questions. This happened like it's one of those stories we're like. What's the right cue, the one that works? I don't remember where and I don't remember who was remember is a level one and it was a dude and they just couldn't open his head. So I just walked up behind them. And I'm one of his medical claims. I had my hand on his shoulder and then his low back and just like give him a pop, know two different directions. And he was like, oh, my God, I've never felt that before. And I don't even think about it. I mean, in retrospect is probably a little dangerous. You got to be smart with it. And I still use it to this day. But now I'll be smart enough to say, hey, Don, this next rep, I'm going to give you a little pop, go a little slower. And then you also need to be aware. I'm not slamming their hip while slamming their shoulders and trying to break their back. But it's you know, most people aren't missing hip extension by a foot. They're missing it by a half an inch.

Fern:
Well, the other the other issue with it is. You can get your shoulder back while not being at hip extension or not at extension. So especially with a bad knee with a bit. So that's what is going on. That is a beanie.

Fern:
I can get my torso upright with a bit knee, which is also not extension. So you just have to be careful of that is like I'm going to give you this tactile. Q But I sort of have my eyes at a different position to verify that I actually get what I want. So I'm doing two things at once. I'm waiting to sense that tactile cue while simultaneously visually checking the hip many, which is also a benefit of doing the medicine ball.

Ackerman:
I wouldn't feel a I would have nowhere to really stand if someone was using a barbell.

Fern:
Correct.

Ackerman:
But also I wouldn't want to hit somebody during the middle of a barbell clean even if it was only forty five pounds and just, you know, Very hard to see. It takes time of reference that actually Todd gave me. Todd has been on the show many times is if you kind of look at them from the side and you imagine the front of plane or even hold PVC there. You know, often we just look for a hip extension. Getting tall. You'll also notice lack of hip extension, like Fern said, often includes knees forward of the front of plane or button saying back. Yeah. So you have a few other options to look for if you really can't just tell if they've stood up tall again.

Fern:
Yeah. Then the knee is typically easier to see, but with the with the caveat of it is possible to have hip extension with me flexion. What. And it is possible to have hip flexion with knee extension. What I would tell you is that they're both just very weird. It's weird to do them in that sequence like you have to actually try to make those two things happen. So it can happen. But typically when people struggle to see hip extension, I'll just move down a joint, have them focus on the knee, at which point that becomes blatantly obvious that we're not getting to extension. And now we can devise a plan. And again, now gives me two body parts to talk to. I can talk to the hips. I can say squeeze your butt or I can say, you know, extend your knee, you know, flex your quad. You know, both both actionable, both specifics, specific. But I like the frontal plain reference. And then what I'll have people do sometimes is and this is kind of like cheating if people struggle with the frontal play or like getting too extension. We may have talked about this before, but there's no shortage of straight lines in a gym.

Ackerman:
Right.

Fern:
Can we have it yet? I can use an upright on a pull up bar or something behind them or a doorframe or rafter or something in the background. And I know that's a straight line. So if their body doesn't get lined up with whatever it is in the background, I know that didn't get to extension.

Ackerman:
What are your thoughts on this? One of the one of the participants this past weekend at the level two, it was more in reference to, hey, if I tell somebody, you know, as a female and I think oftentimes females have all they don't have a harder time, but maybe it's a little more challenging for them to get some men to listen to them.

Fern:
You know, we have a real scenario. I mean, I'm all right. But it's real.

Ackerman:
Yeah. And, you know, she said, what would you do if these people aren't listening? And I said, I video them and show them that they're stupid and doing it wrong. But. Interesting topic. But where do you fall on that? In this scenario of I can't tell. Should I film it? I think there's this. I just think there's a stigma associated with I can't see it, so I have to film it. But what's your opinion?

Fern:
I think there's a time and a place for it. I don't think it's. I don't think it's incredibly practical. If I'm coaching a class with multiple athletes.

Fern:
You know, I don't want have my phone waving around because it's it's really hard for me to film something and coach it and pay attention to other people.

Ackerman:
True. So maybe no in a class enviornment

Fern:
I'm definitely not saying it has no place or definitely place where I can do things in slow motion. I can I can pause. I can put I can draw on it. There's a lot of utility to doing photos and film. Probably not in a class, though.

Ackerman:
But if you're trying to develop your eye, hey, you know, film it, you can scrub it, slow it down and you'll you'll see whether or not someone gets tall again. You know, the. Example I would use is I had a woman, Alice, at North Naples, Crossfit,, and we were doing, I believe, dumbbell snatches. And I was seeing that she wasn't breathing, but she just wasn't getting it. And then when I filmed her, showed it to her, it made sense to her. So you can use it as a coaching tool for yourself, but also as a coaching tool for your athletes. Yeah, I don't think I just don't think there should be. If you're trying to get better for your athletes, it's not a bad thing.

Fern:
Yeah, I also think. When people struggle to see that movement, it's I think people are just on their other stuck on maybe in like part of your job as a coach is to get off maybe. And then but because what people everybody kind of universally understands is good movement. Right. Like, if you were to watch somebody do a movement and they did it well. People are like people would pretty much agree like that was correct.

Fern:
So then to try to clean this up, then anything that's not that needs to be corrected. Right. To make it very clean. You'd like. And this is the old adage. And remember who I would attribute this to. But good movement is obvious. I said that it definitely wasn't you. If it came from a smart person. But I don't know who said it, but it definitely wasn't either one of us. Like we stole that term from somebody. It was just like a good movement is obvious. Like good movement is obvious. It's just as obvious from one hundred yards as it is five feet in front of me. So if it's not that, you might not understand like what's going wrong with it, but we know that it's not that good a movement that we're looking for.

Ackerman:
Yeah. And I think a follow up statement on that would simply be if there's doubt. There's no doubt.

Ackerman:
Right, if you're unsure, like Fern is saying, you're unsure for a reason, and if you're unsure, even if all you do is say squeeze your butt. Maybe you get a little bit better, I mean, there's nothing wrong with throwing the queue out even if someone is doing it pretty well. You know, again, when you have level twos, you have lots of references. And this weekend I coached the medicine ball clean as the group demo. And one of the participants specifically said when Jason would tell someone to do something, I would naturally do it. And same thing, needle by Fern to squeezes but. even if he's already getting hit, big session, chances are somebody else in the room. Is gonna squeeze it harder. And that's a topic for another podcast, but we got to talk about empty reps at some point. Yeah.

Fern:
Yeah. Which is. And but that that very regularly happens in the med ball clean because people are not sure where to look or they're not sure what's going on or this or the the. The classic. I don't know if it's gonna work. And the reality is, nobody knows if it's going to work like we don't know. Yeah, we don't know if it's effective until we put it out there and then get something back. Always. They always think about the Will Ferrell from that. What's the ice skating movie Blaze a blaze of Glory. Nobody knows what it means, but it's provocative and it gets the go and right. It's like just put the cue out there and then determine whether it changed the movement or not. So it's like the the prerequisite of knowing whether this is gonna be successful or not is is not required because you can't it's not a thing.

Ackerman:
You know, and here's what I'll tell people with a menacing look. Clean is complicated. It's dynamic, it's fast. It's all these things. And for that reason, look for one fault, you know, use the progression. I would tell you, you know, go back, relisten. Or maybe you took some notes, but. Right. I'll tell you one more time. Deadlift Detlef. Shrug. Front squat. Shrug. Pull under full movement. Use that progression. Look for everything that friend and I discussed along the way. And then when you get to the full moment. Just focus your eyes on one body part the hips and knees of the butt and then go from there. But if you're trying to see everything, you'll see nothing. So I think that really. Ties a bow on the medicine ball clean and I wanted to throw a challenge out. Tell me if you like this.

Fern:
I wanted to give one more thing, though, so I'd like to kind of elaborate a little bit on what you were just talking about, which is. In order to be effective as a coach and this is something that we in our life are in our lesson plans that we're writing for affiliate programming is that we started putting in there. So once you get to that WOD portion of the workout water, my focus points, right. I need to have predetermined things that I'm focusing on for each movement. So if you're coaching a med ball clean, make it very simple. Two to three things per movement that I have in a workout that those are the things that I want to hammer home. Right. So I have three movements and I have three points of performance specific to those movements. That's nine things that I'm just gonna hammer to death in whatever that time frame is for the workout. So for the med ball clean, just make it simple. I want full hip and knee extension. I want the arms straight and I want people pulling underneath quickly. And the beauty of that is like those are the transferable skills to other things. But if I walk in and vote and those are the three things that I'm walking in, then I'm focusing on all the sudden I start coaching, I start correcting a lot more rather than trying to see thing. And I know this was kind of gotten off a tangent, but this is specific to the med ball clean go in there with a predetermined like these are my objectives. And if I forfeit everything else for these three, that's OK. I'm going to get I'm going to get hip extension or improved hip extension. I want them to do it with long arms and I want them to pull underneath the med bill because I know people are gonna mail in.

Ackerman:
And the truth is. You can't see more than those things and your athletes don't have the bandwidth to work on more than those things. Like you said things.

Fern:
What are the three things for the moment like those are the only three things I'm worried about and that is when.

Ackerman:
It's going to be unique to the best. Our programming is that it is going to develop you and your coaching staff. You know, we get asked all the time, why should I switch to your programming? Will one, we are the only program that's going to be available on multiple platforms. Pretty freaking cool.

Fern:
Yeah. So but again, it's designed about it's designed it's designed for the coaches in mind. Like people are gonna get fit right in programming for ten years. Like programming is programming just like it's gonna make people fits can be classic Crossfit,, but it's designed with coaches in mind. The lesson plans stuff in there. And things like this for the med ball clean. We're gonna give you the focus points for that. Once we say three, two, one, go because you're gonna see med ball cleans in there and then people who don't understand it will understand it after the workout. They're gonna understand why we do this. It sucks.

Ackerman:
Yeah, so let's sort of challenge my challenge, Tony, if you like it. Hmm. One hundred and fifty medicine, but cleans for time first.

Fern:
Disgusting.

Ackerman:
How about this? Post a video of yourself doing one hundred and fifty minutes McClain's or a picture of you in the aftermath or somewhere during it. Tag best hour of their day and we'll pick a winner. Doesn't matter. Best time. So long as you complete it, we'll pick a winner random and we'll send them one of our brand new do that. But better shirts. Yeah.

Fern:
And then what we'll tell you is we'll watch the video and our coaching advice to you will be do that bit better, do that better.

Ackerman:
All right. It's a big week for us for in our first episode of Best Hour of their day Dropping In came out earlier this week. We've got another podcast we had Zoe on earlier in the week phenomenal interview with her.

Fern:
Yeah, it was good.

Ackerman:
In the coming weeks, we've got John Berardi from Position Nutrition. I've got Eric Hyndman coming on Christmas Abbot. I know you've got a follow up with Amy Hollingsworth on the certifications and all that. Good stuff. So we've got some great you know, we were scrolling through the episodes prior to recording and I was like, man, I don't think there's any Crossfit, podcast that is a better guest list on us in twenty nineteen.

Fern:
Oh, the other ones are Michelle Moots from HQ talking about some of the underserved classes they're running there. And then another one, Tyson Old roided and talking about some of the documentaries and what affiliates can do to kind of start developing better content in their boxes. So yeah, lots of good stuff coming in then more more of us two idiots.

Ackerman:
And for an entire actually gonna head out to California at HQ to work with Michelle Moots. And I think that's gonna be a great opportunity to bring back to the podcast. Guess what some boxes can do to really help serve that underprivileged. You know, as Coach Glassman called that he was like the overweight and out of shape community out there, because really, if you own a box, those are the people you need to get into your box.

Fern:
Yeah. And then what? When the Wod on the Waves come hang out will be fun.

Ackerman:
Well, we got so much going on. Yeah, I used the cold best hour. We've got some great stuff. We're gonna have some private classes going on on one on the way, some coaching development with us. And I spoke to Connor Murphy I think was yesterday. And he's in charge of it. And he's just telling me how much awesome stuff is going to be going on. So whether you want it last year or not, I would highly recommend that you guys take our best hour to lock in some private time with us. And it's kid friendly sofamily. Yeah. He was just saying we're going to some kids classes. Somehow I got suckered into helping out with that. Probably because you're a small child. I think that was it. I don't know if it was asked me to coach it or be a part of it.

Fern:
You're going to be you're going to be the demo for the kids classes and everybody's gonna be like one. Is it small boy? Have a beard.

Ackerman:
Mommy do I have a beard? All right, that's it. We've gone off the rails, so going into all week and we've got some great guests coming every almost every day really on any podcast platform, best hour of their day and look for the programming. If you have questions on it, email us or DMs. We'll get back to you promptly and and show you why you need to switch your box to the best hour of their day programming.

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