Balance in exercise and in life is extremely important and every single person needs balance in both! Just walking, getting out of bed, and going up and down stairs requires balance and those are things that everyone does. Did you know that falls are the leading cause of injury and death for older Americans? Working on improving your balance can help prevent injuries and help you live longer.
On the other hand, balance in life is extremely important as well, or what is called 'work-life balance.' Many people try to do it all and juggle so many things at once that they run themselves to the ground. Life is so short, and finding balance in life will help you prioritize your own well being and live a more fulfilled life!
Join us this month as we dive deeper into all things balance!
Workout of the Month:
12 Days of Christmas
Follow the reps just like you would 'The 12 Days of Christmas' song! See below for the movements and have a jolly time with this one!
In CrossFit, most of the movements we perform are what we call 'core-to-extremity' meaning the movements originate from the core and then move outwards to the smaller muscle groups.
Flexibility in the calf is essential for all running sports. It reduces the chance of straining/tearing the calf muscle during a match or whilst running. However, the calf muscles are important for so much more than just running.
Here's what you're getting this month!
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Fitness books love fad diets, creative exercise regimens, and, most of all, catchy headlines and marketing. But real success in fitness, sports, work, and life all begin with understanding and optimizing the human balance system. Proper balance is the key to unlocking your full athletic potential and can quickly help you become a faster running, smoother pivoting, better aiming, throwing, and hitting performer, with far lower risk of injury. But there’s a dark side to the story of balance. Over the past decade, deaths by fall have doubled and falls have cemented themselves as the leading cause of concussions nationwide. Luckily, your body’s balance system works like magic once its hidden potential is unleashed. The path to unleashing your Balance of Power lies within these pages and when you finish this book, the skill will stay with you forever.Get the Book
Flexibility in the calf is essential for all running sports. It reduces the chance of straining/tearing the calf muscle during a match or whilst running. However, the calf muscles are important for so much more than just running. Your calf muscle supports you when you stand and enables you to move your foot and your lower leg. It propels (pushes) you forward when you walk or run. It also allows you to jump, rotate your ankle, flex your foot and “lock” your knee. Because of this, you can see why it's essential to prioritize calf mobility in training!
There are two main muscles which make up the calf. These are:
1) Gastrocnemius – this starts above the knee and attaches at the back of the heel via the Achilles Tendon. It helps with propulsion (heel raise) as well as knee bending.
2) Soleus – this starts below the knee and attaches at the back of the heel via the Achilles Tendon shared with gastrocnemius. This muscle is important for propulsion upwards and forwards, and balance. It is the most commonly strained (as many as 95% of calf strains are soleus strains). Running is the main cause of calf strain.
Follow these exercises below this month to work on improving your calf mobility!
For time, complete the following reps in the order as you would follow the classic Christmas song 'The 12 Days of Christmas'...
For instance, Start with 1 Sumo Deadlift High-Pull (SDLHP). Then do 2 Thrusters and 1 SDLHP. Then 3 Push Presses, 2 Thrusters, and 1 SDLHP.
1 Sumo Deadlift High-Pull (75/55 lb)
2 Thrusters (75/55 lb)
3 Push Presses (75/55 lb)
4 Power Cleans (75/55 lb)
5 Power Snatches (75/55 lb)
6 Kettlebell Swings (53/35 lb)
9 Box Jumps (24/20 in)
12 Overhead Walking Lunges (45/25 lb Plate)
Read more below on how to become more balanced in your daily life!
The Top 8 Benefits of Balance Training
[Source: Primal Play] Balancing is a fundamental aspect of any movement we perform. Indeed when standing on two feet, we're maintaining balance, even if we're not consciously aware of it. Balance is also one critical skill we tend to lose as we age, so maintaining it is crucial. It's a use-it-or-lose-it proposition. Read more to find out the benefits of improving your balance!
The Evolving Definition of Work Life-Balance
[Source: Forbes] The term “work-life balance” has yet to lose its buzz in the last few years. Maintaining work-life balance helps reduce stress and helps prevent burnout in the workplace. By creating a work environment that prioritizes work-life balance, employers can save money and maintain a healthier, more productive workforce. But what exactly does work-life balance look like?
In Crossfit as with Life: Balance is Key
[Source: meetmindful] CrossFit can sometimes be dangerous, yes. But so is skiing, lifting, running, and getting out of bed if you really get down to it. Personal trainer and CrossFIt enthusiast Andrew Vandermeer dives deeper into how it all comes down to balance and the mind-body connection.
How to Turn Busy into Balance
[Source: Tedx Talks] Balance is what makes us more fulfilled. It's easier to be busy. Balance takes work and it's not something you can pick up at the store. It's a pratice. It's like riding a bike. Balance requires dynamic awareness so you can move forward. Enjoy this Tedx Talk from Sara Cameron as she uncovers how we can be more balanced in our lives!
Because of the confusion about what the core is, many people think that core strengthening means just doing ab workouts. While it does equal some ab training, it also equals training your hips, training your back, and learning how to stabilize the core musculature. In CrossFit, most of the movements are what we call 'core-to-extremity' meaning the movements originate from the core and then move outwards to the smaller muscle groups. There are many benefits to improving core strength including:
1. Stabilizing the lower back
2. Enhancing flexibility
3. Helping with balance
4. Supporting better posture
5. Supporting better exercise form
6. Increasing stability
7. Making everyday movement easier
8. Helping to reduce or prevent pain
There are many more benefits to improving your core strength, this is just a start! Perform the strength exercises below this month to work on your core strength!
50-40-30-20-10 Reps For Time:
As we work on calf mobility this month, we are putting those calves to the test with a classic Lady WOD!
Clarence got into fitness and coaching because he was living an unhealthy lifestyle. He weighed over 365 pounds and had been diagnosed diabetic. He was told that he needed a lifestyle change or his health would steadily decline. One day he decided to take control of his life and health by taking a Lifestyle Balance class at Wind River CrossFit and this helped him lose over 60 pounds in three months. The rest is history! He currently coaches at GP Fitness in Arapahoe, Wyoming while he is working on getting his CrossFit Affiliation started.
What Clarence has to say about balance...
"Balance has helped me immensely in my life. I lived my life unbalanced for the first 27 years of my life and I was on the unhealthy side until I found the correct balance that worked for me. I started getting more active, eating better, and found a balance between both which helped me get healthier. This also helped me live happier and motivated me to pursue my goals. I finished school, I got certified as a Personal Trainer and CrossFit Coach, and I was more open to meeting new people and learning new things whenever the opportunity was presented."
"During those tough times where I just wanted to give up or where everything felt chaotic, what helped me stay balanced was what I learned from my coach, and that was to stop, take a few breathes, re-center myself and focus on the goal/task then get back into it. Like anything else, if we keep pushing we're going to break eventually but if we take the time to step back and refocus then we'll look at it differently and find another approach that'll help us make it through."
Vicky was involved in sports and fitness her whole life. Once she went to college, got married, and had a child, her fitness took a back seat and she no longer prioritized her fitness and diet. She had gained weight and developed depression. Around the time her son turned 3, she decided she needed to make a change.
She started out working out on her own and eventually worked out at the YMCA doing group fitness. Her and one of her friends from the YMCA started doing some Spartan Races for fun. From there, they decided to join CrossFit Kokomo part time to get stronger for Spartan race obstacles. She didn't intend to do CrossFit long term but she loved it!
What Vicky has to say about balance...
"Since beginning my fitness journey several years ago and joining CrossFit I have had to balance so many aspects of my life. I’m a full time operating room nurse who also takes weekend calls so I have had to learn to balance my career with being a mom and wife. Along with balancing those aspects of life, I also meal prep for me and several friends and workout 6-7 days a week."
"Navigating through life, I have found how crucial it is to have a work/home life balance. Balancing a career, being a mom, being a wife, enjoying hobbies, and time with family and friends can be difficult but well worth the balancing act. Giving all parts of my life equal importance helps prevent stress and burnout in one area, like my career. Being able to balance my hobbies of fitness and cooking along with being a working mom and wife helps with my mental and physical health along with being just a happier, more positive person overall. I feel I’m a better wife and mom if I’m happier in life and I have a positive home/work life balance."