Written by Kent Aitchison on February 18, 2024

Horizontal Pulling: The Missing Piece in Many CrossFit Programs

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In the realm of CrossFit, where the pursuit of vertical pulling achievements like mastering pull-ups and muscle-ups is relentless, there lies an often-overlooked aspect of training that is crucial for achieving true athletic balance—horizontal pulling. This component is vital for counteracting the muscle imbalances that can arise from a focus primarily on pushing and vertical pulling exercises. Horizontal pulling exercises are indispensable for fostering a well-rounded strength and conditioning program, promoting shoulder health, and enhancing overall functional fitness.

Why Horizontal Pulling Matters

Horizontal pulling movements are key to developing a balanced musculature across the upper body, providing stability to the shoulder girdle and reducing the risk of injury. Exercises such as ring rows, bent-over rows, Gorilla Rows, banded rows and supine pull-ups target the posterior chain in ways vertical pulling cannot match. They ensure the engagement of the rhomboids, lats, and posterior deltoids, crucial for maintaining proper posture, enhancing functional strength, and supporting a healthy and balanced shoulder complex.

Inverted Rows (Supine Pull-Ups): A Sample Stellar Horizontal Pulling Exercise Often Missing from CrossFit Classes and Competitions

The Path to Balanced Strength and Conditioning

Incorporating horizontal pulling into your CrossFit routine goes beyond mere exercise variety; it's about adopting a strategic approach to foster a resilient and well-rounded physique capable of tackling any fitness challenge. Regular inclusion of these movements not only promotes holistic strength development but also plays a crucial role in preventing overuse injuries and laying a solid foundation for both immediate CrossFit achievements and sustained long-term health.

At TCSC, we're committed to ensuring a balanced training regimen by consciously incorporating horizontal pulling movements into our class programs—SIXTY, ENGINE, and LIFT + MOVE—each week. This commitment to balanced training is designed to address common imbalances and contribute to your overall athletic development. However, for those looking to further enhance their muscular balance and functional capabilities, considering additional work outside of class sessions can be immensely beneficial. Our BOLSTER program is specifically designed to complement your weekly training by targeting these often overlooked areas, ensuring comprehensive care for your body's needs.

Renegade Rows: Occasionally seen in TCSC Classes and the 'BOLSTER' Program for Core and Horizontal Pulling

Introducing NOW! Programming's "BOLSTER" Program

Understanding the importance of balanced training, NOW! Online Programming proudly introduces the "BOLSTER" program. Designed to address the common imbalances encountered in traditional functional fitness programs, BOLSTER specifically targets areas often neglected, including horizontal pulling. But it doesn't stop there; this program is a comprehensive approach to enhancing joint health, core strength, and incorporating movements that ensure your fitness journey is as robust and injury-free as possible.

Take Action: Strengthen, Balance, and Bolster Your Training

If you're ready to enhance your functional fitness experience with a program that addresses the critical aspects of balanced training, join us in the BOLSTER program. BOLSTER is the perfect 15-20 minute daily add-on to any class or fitness program, designed to complement your existing regimen by focusing on those often overlooked but crucial aspects of training for a well-rounded approach to fitness.

Sign up now for a 7-Day Free Trial of NOW! Programming and gain access to BOLSTER among our six comprehensive programs designed to elevate your fitness journey. Don't let imbalances hold you back—let BOLSTER be the key to unlocking your full potential.

NOW! Programming Information and Free Trial Link

SAMPLE BOLSTER DAY (Video Descriptions included in App)

Horizontal Pulling/Core

3 SETS
30sec Supine Pull-Up Iso Hold (at Top/Chest-To-Bar)
12 Supine Pull-Ups
60sec Ironman Hold
-Rest 30sec b/t Exercises, 90sec b/t Sets-

Lower Bolster

3-5 SETS
60 Glute Bridge Hold
5-10 Controlled Reverse Nordics
100ft Reverse Sled Drag

No Sled:
Segmental Wall Sit (20sec Above Parallel, 20sec At Parallel, 20sec Below Parallel)

NOW! Programming Information and Free Trial Link

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