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How to Climb a Rope Like a Navy SEAL

Original image courtesy of The Art of Manliness


Here’s a helpful post from guest-blogger Apprentice Coach May!

As part of our CrossFit training, variety is of importance. And with the ropes dangling right next to us in every class, it’s enticing to give them a go!

Unfortunately, rope climbing isn’t quite something which you can figure out and get right down to doing just by staring at the rope for awhile… Luckily, one of my favorite sites, the Art of Manliness, posted an article a while back on rope climbing. So here, I would like to share with you the first step for conquering the climb.

The Break and Squat Style

The article described various different techniques people use to master the rope climb, and not just any people either; The navy SEALs practice these techniques! Out of the methods given, the author recommends what he thinks is the best technique. This is called the “Break and Squat” style.

If you’ve been to class with rope climbing as either a Buy-In or Cash-Out before, you’ll realize that the underlying concept is the same. Which is to say, you put your legs to work! Your legs have big, strong muscles, so that makes sense. To elaborate, the concept is to pull your legs up, get hold of a good “grounding” with using the legs,  and stand up.  This focuses on mastering the movement by primarily using your leg muscles, rather than by “pulling up” using mostly your arms, and maybe your back.

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The Break and Squat technique offers simpler footwork and little coordination, so it’s much easier when you’re trying to get started.

I hope this information will encourage people to practice the art of rope climbs!  Climbing the rope also makes a great warm-up before class, and most importantly has practical application for when the Zombie Apocalypse comes. 😉 (You don’t want to be caught in a mob of zombies and not be able to climb to safety, trust me!!)

– May

Reminder: Regionals meeting is tonight at 7:30pm.  There will not be a scheduled workout tonight, but if a coach is sticking around, you can do a workout or work on some skills.  See you then!

Today’s Workout

Buy In – 5 x 3 reps of strict pullups increasing intensity each set (add weight or decrease rubber band assistance)
* Make sure to take adequate rest between sets

WOD – AMRAP in 20 minutes

In teams of 2:

  • 150M row
  • 3 Man makers (20/35)
  • then tag your partner

Zone 3 – scale man makers weight as needed (only 3 reps, so make it challenging)
Zone 2 – scale man makers to 3 pushups and 3 ring rows
Zone 1 – scale as needed, consider 10-15 minutes

*Partner 1 completes row and man makers, then partner 2 completes the exercises.  Keep rotating for 20 minutes

Cash Out – MWOD
* Roll out low back and hamstrings
* Stretch out hamstrings, chest and back with rubber band

Workout of the Day

  1. Steve Soley03-28-12

    man makers = barf

  2. Sean03-28-12

    I was just commenting today about how much man makers suck…….I must be physic

  3. Jim03-28-12

    You are the most physic man I know Sean.

    • Sean03-28-12

      Never have been good at spelling….

  4. kbrandsma03-28-12

    First speed workout of the year — this Thursday, 29th! Meet at 5:15 in front of Chintz and Co on Store St (by Craig and Tisha's place. 15 min warm-up there, then we'll head across the blue bridge and run some pieces on the Goose. We'll be done in a hour!

    • Craig R03-28-12

      I have to go to school after work that night, but if I can get done both early enough I'll wander over.

    • Jackie03-28-12

      I'm in!

  5. Dub03-28-12

    Gonna do this workout at 6:30 (before the 7:30 meeting tonight) if anyone's interested…

    • Deanna Whiteley03-28-12

      It is supposed to be my rest day today but yesterday should have been because it was not productive, so I may wod then 😉

    • Adam03-29-12

      I'll be there for 6:30 as well. Will be there a little early to do some weighted hill intervals if anyone's interested. 545ish

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