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The power clean is a powerful movement that is transferable to a bunch of different sports and even everyday life. It’s a functional exercise you can use to develop power in your running, pushing, hitting, and pulling. Almost everyone can benefit from incorporating the power clean. Noah Ohlsen shares some tips and walks through how to power clean.

how to power cleanHow to Power Clean: A Step-by-Step Guide

  1. Set feet just under your hips with shins about an inch away from the barbell.
  2. Get tight. Instead of going down to into the position to pick up the barbell and then trying to get tight, Noah likes to get tight before starting. Before grabbing the bar, set your back in a good position by engaging your lats, keeping your chest up nice and big, and then push your hips down into the position.
  3. At this point your lats should be pulled back, hips are just above your knees, and shoulders are slightly in front of the barbell.
  4. how to power cleanPlace hands on the bar. An easy way to know where to place your hands is by using the texture on the barbell. Go about a thumb away from the smooth part of the bar.
  5. Create a hook grip with your hands.
  6. Lift the barbell off the ground and bring it up towards your hip, keeping it close to your body.
  7. Once the bar gets between your knee and hip, quickly jump the bar up to your shoulders, pulling your elbows through to the other side.
  8. Simultaneously, your feet should land on the ground in the squat position.
  9. Drop into a mini squat
  10. Push up to stand

Lesson Tips from Noah Ohlsen

In addition to his step-by-step guide, Noah Ohlsen has another helpful tip for the power clean. On the step where you jump the barbell to your shoulders, Noah recommends aggressively squeezing your butt and belly. This creates speed to help get the bar moving. Check out some more tips from Noah and other Marc Pro athletes here:

mobility exerciseDo you incorporate mobility exercises into your training routine? If not, it may be time to reconsider. Mobility exercises can help improve flexibility, decrease soreness, relieve joint pain, and prevent injuries. When your body is able operate efficiently, you can then perform better.

Noah Ohlsen shares his favorite mobility exercise to help with lower body mobility, specifically to help him with the pistol squat. This exercise can help improve mobility in the lower body and open up the joints for a better range of motion.

Materials Required:

Mobility Exercise Steps:

  1. Wrap the resistance band low around a rig or something similar that can hold resistance
  2. Put the other end of the band around the top of one of your ankles where the shin turns into your foot
  3. Step as far forward as you can with the foot that’s in the band
  4. Lean forward so that your knee is overextended past your toes. Your position should be similar to the bottom position of the pistol squat. In this exercise, it’s okay to let your heel pull off the ground.
  5. Once in position, use the weight to add pressure on your quad. You can also rock back and forth to get extra range.

If you’re an athlete or lead an active lifestyle, taking measures to ensure your body stays healthy is essential. Mobility exercises like Noah’s are a big component of that. Allowing your body the proper recovery is another important piece of the puzzle. During activities, such as running, weight lifting, or even just sitting at a desk all day, muscles break down and become overused.

To keep our bodies in a healthy state, recovery from those activities is key. Marc Pro is the most effective recovery tool available. Full disclosure, Marc Pro is the company that wrote this article. But, we stand behind our product and are confident in the results it provides. Marc Pro is proven by over 100 pro teams, countless elite athletes, and thousands of everyday athletes.

build strength for the handstand push-upEven for Crossfit Games athletes, the handstand push-up isn’t a piece of cake. In past years, the handstand push-up was a known weakness for Ben Smith. To turn his weak link around, Ben started utilizing exercises that focused on building his strength for the handstand push-up.

The first step is being able to complete a handstand push-up, which in itself requires a lot of strength and coordination. Once that’s accomplished, athletes can then work on building enough strength to complete multiple rounds and excel at the movement. Ben Smith shares his favorite exercise to build up strength for the handstand push-up.

build strength for the handstand push-upExercise to Build Strength for the Handstand Push-Up

  1. Grab a barbell or a dumbbell for this exercise
  2. Start in an overhead position
  3. Keep midline tight
  4. Lower the weight down to your nose while keeping your elbows in front of you (just like they would be in a strict press)
  5. Once the weight reaches nose level, push back up and out of it.
  6. Repeat

This exercise will help build strength in the triceps and shoulders, which will translate really well over to the handstand push-up.

Building Strength through Better Muscle Recovery

Another technique to help your body get stronger is by incorporating Marc Pro into your training routine. Marc Pro is an EMS device that provides athletes with the ability to recover faster and recover fully. By improving the post-workout recovery process, muscle tissue is able to fully rebuild from the damage that was just done. Better recovery leads to numerous other benefits as well such as injury prevention and improved performance. Unlike other devices, Marc Pro uses a unique technology that won’t fatigue muscles or cause tissue breakdown. To learn more about how Marc Pro can help you, visit our “What is Marc Pro” page.

triathlonOpen water swimming is very different from swimming in a pool. You have to be much more aware of your surroundings and ready for other factors that may be present, such as currents and waves. Pro triathlete and Ironman champion Heather Jackson shares some of her tips for preparing for an open water swim. The best thing to do is practice as much as you can in open waters before race day, but if you don’t have access to an ocean or lake practicing these tips in a pool works too.

Open Water Swimming Tips

1. Sighting Technique

Depending on the type of water the race is going to be in, different sighting techniques will be required. Sighting in calm, lake water is going to require a different technique than swimming in rough, ocean water. Swimming out in open waters requires you to scan above the water. Unlike typical pool swimming, you can’t rely on looking at the bottom to guide you. Even if you’re only able to practice the technique in a pool, this is a good skill to master before race day so you can be sure to stay on course while maintaining efficiency in your swim.

2. Get Used to Your Wetsuit

If you’re not used to swimming in a wetsuit, it’s a good idea to practice in it before race day. Wetsuits can often feel constrictive. Even Heather says that she can feel a little claustrophobic in one. The more comfortable you can get with the feel of swimming in a wetsuit, the better.

3. Don’t Think About What’s Below

Heather’s biggest open water swimming tip is to not think about what’s below you. Out in the open water, there is going to aquatic life present. If you, like Heather, are not a fan of the wildlife in the open waters, it’s a good idea to mentally prepare for any sightings or encounters that may occur.

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squat cleanBack squat. Squat clean. Clean and jerk. Scott Panchik explains the connection and shares some tips for improving your squat clean. Conquer the squat clean and your clean and jerk will reap the benefits.

Tip #1: Work on your back squat

Back squats help simulate the position you will be in when receiving the bar in a squat clean. Every time you back squat, you’re in the same position you would be in if you were in the bottom position of a clean. By working on your back squats, you can improve your squat clean at the same time. Just be sure that your back squat stance is the same as the end position stance in your squat clean.

Tip #2: Incorporate pause squats

If your range of motion allows you get into a lower position to catch the bar, you will be able to increase the weight on the bar significantly and be more comfortable when pushing up out of the squat position. One way to improve range of motion is to implement pause squats. To do this, take the bar off the rack, step back, do a back squat. In the bottom position of the back squat, pause and hold for 2-3 seconds, before exploding up. Improving your range of motion will give you more time to get under the bar when doing a squat clean.

Tip #3: Use the right squat clean stance

As you go into the clean, your feet will have to move. This movement requires your feet to jump from one stance to another. The end stance should be in the same position as they would be while doing a back squat. When choosing your initial stance, make sure your feet are inside the position where they would be at the end. Try to create a larger gap between the start and end stance. The more distance your feet have to travel, the more time you will have to get under the bar.

squat clean

Along with practicing each movement, it’s also important to allow your body the proper recovery in between training. Recovery plays a key role in injury prevention and promoting good biomechanics. Plus, it’s during the recovery process that muscles rebuild and get stronger so you can get the most from the workout you just did and be ready to give 100% at your next training session. Marc Pro provides athletes of all sports the ability to recover fully and recover faster. Less down time means more of doing what you love.

For more tips from Scott and other CrossFit Games athletes, visit our “Training Tips” page.

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Conquer the Handstand Pushup with Noah Ohlsen

Handstand pushups are a tough movement to conquer. It’s one of the few exercises that require you to be inverted. CrossFit Games Athlete, Noah Ohlsen, shares his tips for how to do a handstand pushup.

handstand pushupStep 1: Practice Inverted Position

Before attempting a handstand pushup, it’s a good idea to get familiar with being in the inverted position. Noah recommends using the following exercise to get comfortable kicking up onto your hands and putting some weight on them:

Step 2: Establish a Strong Starting Position

handstand pushupOnce you have Step 1 down, you can then make your way over to the wall. The start will be the same as the previous motion, but now you will have the wall to catch you. After kicking up onto the wall, it’s important to establish a strong starting position. This means that you’re pressing through your hands, everything is tight and engaged throughout your body (you’re squeezing your ribcage and butt so you don’t end up in a hyperextended position), and you are reaching tall while keeping your feet together.

After a strong starting position is established, it’s then time to lower your body and get your head onto the mat with a slow, controlled movement. In this position, you want to make sure that your hands and head form a triangle shape. Similar to pressing a barbell, you’re not going to press directly in line with your head, so you want your hands to be slightly out in front of your head. While lowering your body down, keep only your heels on the wall until your head gets to the floor.

From this position, you can then go into a strict or kipping handstand pushup. The next part will vary based on which movement you are doing. Either way, make sure you stay engaged and press through until you get back up into the top position.

Step 3: Develop the Handstand Pushup

Strict Handstand Pushup

There’s not a lot of technicality with a strict handstand pushup, you will just keep the same position you are in and then push your body back up. However, Noah says that the one thing that has helped him a lot is having his hands turned outward. He shares that this hand positioning allows for a more efficient lock out. Try this on your next round of handstand pushups to see if this strategy works for you.

Kipping Handstand Pushup

For a kipping handstand pushup, after you complete Step 2 and are in the head-on-floor position, you will then take your feet off the wall and make your butt and low back the contact point on the wall. Then tuck your knees down to your elbows, build up some tension, and then just like a cannonball think about kicking your legs and pressing your arms up. This will help pop your body out of the bottom of that handstand position. Once you start getting better at this movement, try tucking as you lower your body. This will allow you to cycle the handstand pushup a lot more efficiently.

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Mastering the Ring Muscle Up with Scott Panchik

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