WOD – 140416
200m Run Forwards
200m Run Backwards
3 X 5 Bench Press
4 Rounds for time of:
21 Sumo Deadlift High-Pull (95/65)
12 GHD Sit Ups
The air squat, that’s functional.
By Courtney Shepherd from CrossFit Verve
We put a lot of emphasis on the squat, not just because it’s a foundational movement but because it is a functional movement. That’s a lot of “F” words to describe the air squat. Your next question may be “what makes a movement functional?” There are several characteristics that make a movement functional:
1) Functional movement is natural. What I mean by that is we don’t have to be taught functional movement. When you were a kid did you ever sit down? Then moments later did you stand back up? That was a squat. Do you remember your parents teaching you how to sit down and stand up? Most likely because they never had to, we figured it out all on our very own.
2) Functional movement demonstrates universal motor recruitment patterns.Meaning it’s unavoidable movement. Try sitting down without bending at the knees, not possible. Squatting requires multiple joints, multiple muscle groups engaged to be performed.
3) Functional movement is safe. Even at post 1 rep maximal loads.
4) Functional movement is essential. You need functional movement to get through the day. Getting out of bed in the morning, sitting on to and getting off of a toilet, sitting down in a chair at our work desk. The loss of functional movement is called decrepitude and is the reason people find themselves in nursing homes.
5) Functional movement is compound yet irreducible. I can not break a squat up into pieces. I can not do leg curls, calf raises, thigh abductors, thigh adductors, and at the end have a better squat. Because of characteristic #2 in order for my squat to improve I must do squats.
6) Functional movement demonstrates the importance of core to extremity. When we warm up the squat we address initiating with out hips first. This engages our bigger muscle groups first. I want my biggest muscle groups engaged before the smaller ones, they do more work.
The most definitive characteristic of a functional movement is that it allows us to move large loads, a long distance, quickly. In the air squat that large load may first be your body weight. As we build strength we may be able to support loads for back squats and front squats.
The point is that an air squat is not just an air squat. It is the foundation for many additional movements. Building strength in the mechanics of an air squat has transferability. An air squat is also a functional movement. Performing functional movements is a necessity in life. In short, squats are good for the soul, like chicken soup.