1) The Turkish Get-up
This movement is great for numerous reasons. The Turkish get-up is a requires that you fully engage your entire body in order to complete the movement. So, you are not isolating any particular body part, instead you have to coordinate yourself through the movement. This allows you to work on coordination, strength, and flexibility. The Turkish get-up also is a great movement to use as prehab or rehabilitation. As you go through the movement you are forced to use your stabilizer muscle in order to control the kettle bell. These are the same shoulder muscles that we tend to see get injured. So the next time you want to increase your shoulder strength and stabilization, grab a kettle bell and do some Turkish get-ups.
2) Barbell Hip Bridges
This movement may look strange, but it works. The goal of this movement is to target the glute muscles. It not only strengthens the glutes, it also adds stabilization and can be used as an activation exercise as well. Our lifestyles have caused us to decrease the strength of our glutes and sometimes deactivate them. This is because of the amount of time that we spend in a seated position. When we sit for long periods of time we end up shortening our hip flexors and overuse them. In contrast, our posterior muscles become lengthened and weakened due to the lack of use. In order to get those muscles firing again we can use exercises such as the barbell hip bridge. Warning: If you are going to do this movement please use one of the black pads to have some cushion between your hips and the bar.
3) Farmers Carry
Does this sound familiar? “Man I could have gotten done at least a minute earlier if I could have only held onto that bar”. If you have said those words before, then I highly recommend that you start practicing the farmers carry. This exercise can be done with farmers handles (located in the triple) or it can be done with kettle bells. To get the best stimulus I would suggest using the farmers handles as you are able to load more weight and they force you to stabilize each handle. This exercise is great for grip strength as well as midline stabilization. You may not think this movement involves a lot of core work, but I challenge you to carry a moderately heavy weight without stabilizing that midline. So there are two great perks to the farmers carry. You not only get to work on grip strength, you also get to improve your core strength as well.
I know these movements are not typically incorporated into our daily programming, but they are great exercises to incorporate into your routine. So if you have some extra time before or after a WOD, try these movements out and you will see just how they will make you a better cross fitter.