Part 1: What are High Support Positions? (& why they matter)
Part 2: What allows for the expression of elite fitness? (Movement & Mobility)
Part 3: How can you develop high-support positions? (Principles)
Part 4: How do we apply these principles to a developing athlete? (Programming)
Part 1: What are High Support Positions? (& why it matters)
Every movement follows a pattern…
High Support Position → Quick Transition → High Support Position
Think about where you could “press pause” and maintain a position for a period of time…
• C2B (1): Hang
• DU (1): Grounded
• Running (2): Left foot figure-4, Right foot figure-4
• Jerk (2): Front Rack & Overhead
• Thruster (3) Squat, Front Rack, Overhead
• Burpee (3): Lying Prone, Hands & Feet in Contact, Standing
• HSPU (2): Tripod, Lockout
• Cycling, Rowing, Skiing, Bodyweight-supported cyclical: Infinite
2 High Support Transitions, 1 Transition
(therefore, faster but you can’t lift as much)
• Floor (transition) Overhead
Clean & Jerk
3 High Support Transitions, 2 Transitions
(therefore, slower but stronger)
• Floor (transition) Front Rack (transition) Overhead
Variations within Standardized Movements
• RMU: Dip is required, so 3 High-Support Positions, 2 Transitions
• BMU: Dip is often skipped complete or minimized to a degree that it’s not longer a high-support position. Therefore, 2 high support positions with 1 transitions = faster and more sustainable.
Part 2: What allows for expression of elite fitness? (Movement & Mobility)
“What separates me from an elite athlete?”
People run into 2 potential problems (often coupled together)…
- Your positions aren’t high support (broken lines, not relying on largest, strongest musculature)
- Your transitions are slow
Often results in “muscling through reps.” | Why Avoid This?
• Not athletic: Carrying too much tension, not just what is needed
• Not efficient: Slow is Smooth, Smooth is Fast
• Not sustainable: Local > Systemic Response
• Not expressing potential: Skill limiters
A person with poor positions can’t rely on them, so the problem gets worse. A person with good positions is forced to rely on them so they get stronger.”Ben Wise
The role of mobility in this…
1) Tight person: lacks range: can’t dynamically claim a neutral high support position
2) Lax person: lacks stability: can’t find tension in positions
3) Functional person: stability & range | can dynamically claim high support positions and knows how to organize their joints quickly into those positions. AKA. Motor Control
Part 3: How do you improve your high support positions & transitions between them?
Principle #1: Spend time in positions
Positional Holds (see Part 4)
Principle #2: Prioritize Quality > Quantity
Functional mobility work by definition is improving positions”Ben Wise
Principle #3: Focus on Gymnastics & Weightlifting (GW)
The event “21-15-9 Complex” from the 2014 CF Games showcases a progressing WG couplet with classic movements. It’s a great way to showcase high-support positions.
Part 4: Programming
Samples pulled from…
Compensation Patterns & Learning (or) Failure
Programming Workouts for Athletes that will have binary result…
…They will reach a high level of movement-specific fatigue in a workout and…
- …they try even harder to muscle through reps and fail
- …they will reduce local muscular work, find tension in high support positions and rely on prime movers in large muscle groups, namely the hips…and make it through the workout
Most of the time this will result in failure.
Occasionally, it will result in a breakthrough performance.
Be very carefully programming this type of work for athletes.
• Distribution of muscular work, high-support positions, GW
3 Rounds, Rest 1:1 between
25 Unbroken Push-Ups
15 Unbroken Push Jerks at 155/105lbs
Every 30s for 10:00
-1 Power Clean at @87%
EMOM 20: 3 Bar Muscle-Ups
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