Open and Closed Torque Systems And the MWod Leopard Test
Today’s episode is a discussion about why we tend to see different kinds movement errors when we ask athletes to perform work on a single leg, on rings, or with dumb bells or kettle bells. Most of the the formal movement training that goes on in a good strength and conditioning program is based on bi-laterally closed torque systems, like trying to break the barbell in the bench press, snatching, pull ups or squatting. Good strength coaches from the dawn of time have also realized the importance of exposing athletes to movements like weighted step ups, dumb bell based movements, and pistols because they impose such different motor control demands on the athlete and ultimately make better athletes. While our experience is not any different, we do find that when we focus on torque development in our traditionally closed torque movements (creating torque bilaterally off of a fixed object or plane) we don’t have to perform as much open torque work. However, we have noticed that unless we go out of our way to makes sure athletes are exposed to these movements, they will forever have unexplored and missing corners of their movements. To this end, we are pleased to announce the MWod Leopard test. It’s simple, can you overhead squat? Good, now overhead squat with two kettlebells or dumbells (1.5/1 pood or 50/35′s) The difference in the difficulty is the direct result of your capacity to create torque in your hips to keep your torso upright and your inability to hide this deficiency with a closed torque barbell system. It probably also might show you how far away from full range of motion your shoulders really are. How hard is it to just keep both of those kettlebells over your head?
Tweet photo of successful Leopard Test to @mobilitywod #Leopardtest.
The Leopard Test
Fu is a full Leopard btw.