Last Thursday the world celebrated International Women’s Day – a time to celebrate the women in our lives and recognise the ongoing fight for equality and fairness experienced by women around the world.
It’s also a time to value the strength of women – both mentally and physically. CrossFit 4504 is filled with amazing, strong women and we’re proud to say how honoured we are to have them as part of our community.
Women’s fitness has changed dramatically over the past century. From the early 1900 minimal movement machines –
To the phenomenal movement of today’s CrossFit WODs –
It’s fair to say that today’s women in fitness are totally badass!!
Strength training for women is no longer about just being buff or skinny. It has become more about gaining confidence, building strength and proving that women really can do anything. We’ve had many wonderful women walk through the doors at CrossFit 4504 who at first had very little belief or confidence in what they could achieve. Speak to these same women 6 or 12 months later and they themselves are amazed at their success. Success, not only in the form of the results they are getting through their training, but also in their personal lives as they realise that YES they are strong, YES they are capable, YES they are in control of what happens to them.
It’s such an empowering feeling. Just to know that you have the strength to pick a heavy item up on your own. To be able to hold something over your head and realise which muscles are being used – because you’ve performed such movements in CrossFit classes. To carry all those fucking grocery bags inside in one go!!
The women in our community have our support. They also have the support of the men in our community who are ridiculously proud of what our women are achieving – and hats off to our guys for being genuinely supportive, amazed, and even envious at times.
The older we become, the more important strength training is for our health. Women can lose up to 5% of their lean muscle tissue per decade starting in their 30s. If you can begin strength training NOW, in a safe environment, your body will thank you in the future. The more muscle you build, the faster your metabolism becomes. This makes it easier to maintain a healthy weight range. It also reduces the risk of diseases such as diabetes, heart disease and osteoporosis – which are all risks to women as they age.
Movement is important, but so is correct movement. CrossFit 4504 focuses on correct movement and technique. This will help your body in the future and help prevent joint and muscle issues.
There are 3 movements which we love to see our women getting stronger in. These movements involve entire groups of muscles and will help our women to improve in all facets of CrossFit.
The squat is an exercise which involves the entire body. Want to build muscle and become more toned? Then squat. Want to lose weight or find the meaning of life? Then squat!!
While the squat is something which is at first a natural movement to most humans, it becomes a movement that is quite often performed incorrectly. So many times, we see images of people squatting which make us cringe. Rounded backs, knees tracking in, butt winking – all NOT great techniques in performing an effective and safe squat.
Squats work your whole body. Obviously your legs are working, but your back muscles and core are also working hard to stabilise you and your arms are keeping a barbell or dumbbells in place. The athletes at CrossFit 4504 are coached in correct technique before being allowed to squat with weight. This is very important in preventing injury. Squats are hard work, but do them properly and your body will thank you in years to come.
The Holy Grail of lifting and strength training, the deadlift is one of the best exercises around to improve your athleticism, fitness, strength and muscle density. Much like the squat, however, the deadlift must be performed properly. We don’t want the women of CrossFit 4504 to end up looking like a one-humped camel or the Hunchback of Notre Dame. So once again we focus on – technique. Technique. Technique. A broken record, we know, but we actually care whether or not our athletes are able to walk in 10 years’ time. Weight lifting will always come with associated risk of injury, but if movements are performed with correct technique, these risks are greatly minimised. We have some badass weightlifting women at CrossFit 4504 and we’re proud to say that our injuries have been very minimal. Our members know that the moment their form breaks down, our coaches will let them know and their weight will not increase. If their back is rounding or their hips and knees don’t move together, then a coach will indicate that their weight may be too heavy.
The deadlift is vital in training total body muscle. All muscle groups are utilised in the deadlift, but particularly the posterior muscles of back, glutes and hamstrings. The benefits of a good deadlift session assist the CrossFit 4504 women in all facets of their life – even mentally. Get your head around lifting over 100kg from the floor and you can accomplish anything!!
Think about pull-ups, push-ups, handstands and wallballs. Anything which comprises an overhead movement. Strict press is essential in building strength in assisting these movements.
Overhead movements are among the hardest for athletes to master. Yes, you are using your arms and shoulders to move the barbell, but you are also using your core, your glutes and your legs. The strict press is a great starting point in learning to lift overhead. CrossFit 4504 trains in strict press so our members not only get used to holding weight above their head, but to increase their strength in other areas. A strict press will not only develop the upper body strength and core stability of our athletes, but will give our members the confidence to progress to more technical overhead movements such as push press, jerk, snatch and overhead squats.
Establishing a foundation on which to build is important to us at CrossFit 4504. Our ladies lead from the front and have built up substantial strength through their shoulders and midline. The difference it has made to their overall CrossFit training is amazing.
The women of CrossFit 4504 truly are some of the strongest we know – and not just physically. Their CrossFit training has helped them to become mentally stronger and manage their emotions, thoughts and behaviour in ways that will see them successfully make it through all that life will throw at them.
Thank you to the wonderful women who are part of our community – you are STRONG, you are FIERCE, you are BEAUTIFUL.