Crossfit Open 17.1 Shoulder Warm-up to Prevent Injuries and Perform Better

The Crossfit Open 17.1 this year starts off with Dumbbell Snatches and Burpee Box Jumps-Overs. You should not take Dumbbell Snatches lightly, especially at 50/35 lbs. To perform dumbbell snatches right, you must have both full shoulder range of motion and shoulder stability. If you are lacking in these areas, you could injure your shoulder leading to common injuries such as Shoulder Impingement or Rotator Cuff tears, none of which are very fun. This is why I’m going to tell you a Crossfit Open 17.1 Shoulder Warm-up to prevent injuries and perform better.

Shoulder Range of Motion

Full shoulder ROM (Range of Motion) is important to keep this weight in line with the body and overhead. Before doing the wod, be sure to mobilize your Lats (Latissimus Dorsi) to allow for full motion. Kelly Starrett of Mobility Wod has a great video that will get you feeling loose here.

In the video (1:15) the banded overhead shoulder stretch, Lat roll-out, and Lacross ball lat smash (I think that’s what it’s called..) is demonstrated. Perform all of these for 2 minutes each and see the gains.

Shoulder Stability

Muscles and tissue surround the shoulder joint which is like a golf ball on a tee. The ball can fall off the tee when the muscles surrounding the joint are not activating. You know that feeling when you feel like your shoulder is going to pop out of socket, that is the feeling of the ball falling off that tee! Perform Supinated band pull-aparts, Pronated band pull-aparts, and shoulder external rotation to get the rotator cuff muscles moving. Check out the video here for the demo. Perform each exercise 20 times for 2 repetitions. You should feel a muscle burn when performed with a light resistance and you should feel stability!

Don’t Forget Your Hamstrings!

What people are complaining about the most during this workout is hamstring tightness! There are 150 snatches from the ground with a dumbbell half the height of a barbell meaning you will have to bend over real low if you don’t use your legs. To get your Hamstrings and Low back ready, I recommend Dr. Quinn Henoch’s video showing active straight leg raises. While lying on your back, raise both legs to the ceiling and actively push your low back on to the floor. The key is to maintain that activation of your low back while you lower one leg and feel the tension in the opposite leg. I do 2 sets of 5 for each leg.

What about the Box Jump Overs

Since there are no rebounding box jumps, I’m not afraid of people tearing Achilles tendons which is my biggest fear with box jumps! Before doing the wod, perform 200 single unders to warm up the calves and 20 burpees and you are all set. Since Box Jump overs do not lead to many injuries, I am going to leave you with what I tell all my classes, “DON’T MISS THE BOX!”

This is not a complete Crossfit Open 17.1 Shoulder Warm-up but it highlights the major areas to work on. If you do have shoulder pain and achilles pain, please see a physical therapist. At Newcare Physical therapy, we specialize in Dry Needling which speeds up recovery so contact us for an appointment.

Michael Wang

DPT, MBA, DN Cert.
Dr. Wang earned his Physical Therapy Degree from Emory University School of Medicine and has been practicing Sports Physical Therapy for the past 5 years.