CrossFit founder Greg Glassman developed “The Ladies,” a collection of exercises designed to check the power, endurance, velocity, and energy of CrossFit athletes. They’re all brief, intense, and difficult — and so they’ll undoubtedly expose your weaknesses.
The unique ladies, launched in 2003, had been “Angie,” “Barbara,” “Chelsea,” “Diane,” “Elizabeth,” and “Fran.” A number of months later, “Grace” and “Helen” joined the repertoire, and “Karen” was added as a part of the “New Ladies” launched in 2010. There are greater than 20 Lady WODS now, and most of them have their very own variants. WOD stands for “exercise of the day.”
Right here’s every thing it’s worthwhile to find out about Karen.
The Karen Lady WOD
The exercise: 150 wall-balls for time. 20 kilos for males, 14 kilos for girls.
Rating: Karen is scored “for time,” which implies you full the exercise as quick as you may.
Tools Wanted: Drugs ball (additionally known as a “wall ball”)
Degree: Karen is a superb exercise for inexperienced persons. Whereas the rep quantity is excessive, the exercise consists of 1 extraordinarily purposeful motion that each one athletes ought to grasp. The loading can be comparatively gentle.
The Karen WOD is straightforward however surprisingly difficult. In actual fact, it’s so easy that many CrossFitters assume there’s no method that Karen might be so troublesome — till they do it. Listed here are 4 health advantages you may anticipate from Karen.
In response to science, there are excellent rep ranges for power, hypertrophy, and endurance. On the whole, constructing power requires heavy masses and decrease reps, whereas endurance requires lighter masses and extra reps. Muscle hypertrophy falls someplace in between. At 150 reps utilizing a 20-pound or 14-pound drugs ball, Karen trains the kind I muscle fibers that depend on cardio metabolism.
Secondary to muscular endurance, Karen additionally builds energy. You’ll want to make use of energy out of your quads, hamstrings, and glutes to forcefully drive out of the underside of the squat and throw the medication ball to the goal. The facility out of your legs ought to give the ball sufficient momentum in order that your shoulders don’t really want to work very onerous.
Although Karen isn’t a very lengthy exercise, it requires many reps with only a few and really brief relaxation intervals. Ideally you wouldn’t relaxation for greater than 10 seconds between units whereas finishing the Karen WOD. Your coronary heart price will rise dramatically and also you’ll in all probability really feel the acquainted build-up of lactic acid, however you’ll be all the higher for it afterward.
To get higher at squatting, you should apply squatting extra usually. Karen is a superb WoD for squat apply, as you’ll carry out 150 drugs ball squats. Holding the medication ball will show you how to hold your torso upright and your core engaged, two frequent faults within the squat.
With only one motion to recollect, Karen is among the less complicated exercises in CrossFit. You gained’t want to make use of a lot brainpower to recollect rounds and reps, such as you would possibly in The Seven hero WOD. Right here’s what you want and methods to full the Karen WOD.
Tools and Setup
For the Karen WOD, all you want is a medication ball (additionally known as a “wall ball” — that is completely different than a slam ball) and a wall or wall-ball goal. I additionally advocate utilizing a small whiteboard, chalk, or tokens (no matter your gymnasium offers) to tally your reps.
How To Do a Wall-ball
- Arrange: Place your drugs ball on the bottom a few foot in entrance of the wall or wall-ball goal. Stand together with your toes in your regular squat stance (about hip to shoulder-width aside).
- When the clock begins, decide your drugs ball off of the bottom, holding it with each arms on both facet and squat down low. Attempt to get your hips beneath your knees.
- As you begin to come out of the squat, use your hips and glutes to forcefully prolong your hips and rise onto the balls of your toes. You need momentum right here.
- As you straighten your legs, throw the medication ball as much as the goal, which is often 10 toes for males and 9 toes for girls.
- Preserve your arms prolonged to catch the ball because it bounces off of the wall or goal. This completes one rep.
- To begin the subsequent rep, descend right into a squat after receiving the ball.
All exercises and actions current alternatives for errors, and as such, alternatives for studying. Right here’s what it’s worthwhile to find out about frequent errors within the Karen WOD.
Doing Too Many Reps Unbroken
CrossFit athletes are inclined to need to go tremendous quick on a regular basis. That’s nice, however it is best to positively sluggish your roll with regards to Karen. In the event you go too quick proper out of the gate, you would possibly burn out midway by way of. As an alternative of simply attacking as many reps unbroken as you may, strategize. Strive units of 20, 15, or 10 with transient breaks of 5 to 10 seconds in between.
Not Reaching Correct Squat Depth
Until you’ve got an harm that stops you from squatting, it is best to attempt your finest to achieve full squat depth. Usually, meaning your quadriceps must be parallel to the bottom, however some CrossFit coaches would possibly encourage you to squat deeper.
Different Squat Method Errors
Moreover reaching correct squat depth, it is best to hold these key factors of efficiency in thoughts for the squat: Preserve your torso upright; chest excessive; core engaged; eyes ahead; and heels on the bottom. Repeatedly deviating from any a type of factors can result in dangerous squat habits, which can lead to harm over time.
Not Utilizing Legs to Propel the Ball
For most individuals, the legs are essentially the most highly effective a part of the physique — it might be a disgrace to not use that energy to avoid wasting your arms and shoulders from fatigue. Throughout Karen, while you ascend from the squat, powerfully drive your self onto the balls of your toes and totally prolong your hips. This momentum ought to make the medication ball really feel nearly as if it’s floating up for a cut up second.
Not Reaching Wall-ball Goal
The usual CrossFit wall-ball goal heights are 9 toes for girls and 10 toes for males. No less than half of your drugs ball should attain the goal. If lower than half of the ball reaches the goal, or the ball doesn’t attain the goal in any respect, your coach might “no rep” you, which means that rep didn’t rely towards your complete reps. This in all probability gained’t occur in typical CrossFit class settings, but it surely positively occurs in competitions and within the CrossFit Open.
Modifications and Variations
The Karen WOD solely consists of 1 motion, however don’t be fooled into considering that this exercise can’t be scaled or modified — it might. Right here’s methods to scale if for health ranges, accidents, and being pregnant, plus some enjoyable Karen variations.
Scale back the Reps
For many CrossFit inexperienced persons, 150 reps of something is lots. 150 reps of a total-body motion that mixes power and cardio is a distinct beast. If the prescribed rep rely appears like too many, scale Karen to 100 wall-balls or 75 wall-balls.
Scale back the Weight
Possibly you’ve got nice endurance however you aren’t but as sturdy as you’d like. No drawback! Scale the medication ball weight. The prescribed weights are 20 kilos for males and 14 kilos for girls. Males who’re simply beginning out would possibly need to scale to 14, 12, or 10 kilos; girls would possibly need to scale to 10 or 8 kilos.
Scale back Weights and Reps
If each the rep rely and weight appear too difficult, you may scale back each to fulfill your health stage. Speak to your coach about the easiest way to scale.
All that stated, a newbie model of Karen would possibly appear to be this:
75 wall-balls for time, 10-pound drugs ball.
Scaling for Accidents
Wall-balls require full vary of movement all through your complete physique: You’ll want to completely flex and prolong your knees, hips, shoulders, and elbows. In case you have a present or prior harm affecting any of these joints, it’s possible you’ll want to change the wall-ball motion. Strive these scaling choices.
Squat to field wall-balls: For these with knee or hip accidents, squatting to a field might present some consolation and stability. Place a field 2 to three toes away from the wall or goal, and use it as a information for squat depth. This will likely take a couple of apply reps to get used to.
Drugs ball squats: In the event you can’t throw the ball overhead, simply squat with it as an alternative. You’ll maintain the medication ball in entrance of your chest, with one hand on either side. This can really feel like a entrance squat.
Thruster with a PVC pipe: This can be a good scaling choice for somebody who can squat and prolong their arms overhead, however can’t throw the medication ball. You’ll entrance squat with a PVC pipe and, as you rise up, push the PVC pipe into the overhead place.
Scaling for Being pregnant
For essentially the most half, the scaling choices for accidents additionally work for girls who’re pregnant. It’s best to at all times scale back the depth of the squat to accommodate your stomach, and ensure your actions are sluggish and managed. All the time seek the advice of your doctor or obstetrician earlier than exercising whereas pregnant.
Variations of Karen
Ever because the Ladies exercises got here out within the early 2000s and 2010s, CrossFit coaches and athletes have created variations of the WoDs to maintain issues enjoyable, fascinating, and difficult. Listed here are two variations of Karen you may attempt.
“Karen Meets Grace”: The Grace exercise is one other robust Ladies WoD that consists of 30 clean-and-jerks for time (prescribed weights 135 kilos/95 kilos). “Karen Meets Grace” combines the 2: First you’ll full Karen’s 150 wall-balls, after which instantly observe with Grace’s 30 clean-and-jerks. This mash-up isn’t for the simply intimidated!
Associate Karen: That is merely Karen with a associate. You possibly can follow the prescribed 150 reps and cut up them equally (75 wall-balls every), however when you’re up for a critical problem, do 150 wall-balls every for a complete of 300. Most CrossFit coaches advocate switching after each 10 or 15 reps to keep away from complete fatigue.
Security and Precautions
In comparison with CrossFit exercises with heavy weights, technical lifts, and gymnastics actions, the Karen WOD is comparatively protected. Nevertheless, it is best to nonetheless take sure precautions earlier than any exercise. Preserve the following tips in thoughts earlier than trying Karen.
Heat Up and Cool Down
It’s best to at all times prime your physique for train by warming up. Full a basic warmup that consists of sunshine cardio, akin to jogging, rowing, or biking, and dynamic stretching. Then, full a particular warm-up that can get your physique used to the motion it’s about to finish 150 occasions. Follow some body weight squats, drugs ball squats, and overhead presses.
After the exercise, spend at the least 5 minutes — however ideally 10 to fifteen minutes — cooling down. With a full-body flush that features sluggish monostructural motion (strolling, biking, and so on.), foam rolling, and static stretching, you may promote blood circulation and scale back the depth of delayed-onset muscle soreness.
In the event you’re new to CrossFit, don’t do an excessive amount of too quickly. Ask your coach about scaling the exercise to your health stage. Equally, when you’re injured or pregnant, modify the exercise so that you don’t injure your self.
Put on Protecting Clothes If Wanted
The Karen WOD includes 150 squats and overhead extensions, which could be an excessive amount of stress on the physique for folks with dangerous knees or elbows. Compression clothes assist tremendously to offset the strain in your knees and elbows, so take into account carrying them when you’re involved about ache throughout or after the exercise.
Hydrate Earlier than and After
Karen, on common, is barely a 5 to 10-minute exercise, however you may nonetheless lose quite a lot of physique water by way of sweating. That is very true when you full the exercise at a CrossFit gymnasium that isn’t air-conditioned. To fight dehydration, drink at the least 16 ounces of water earlier than the exercise and replenish with an electrolyte drink while you’re carried out.
Every part You Have to Know About CrossFit Lady Exercises of the Day