Curls For the Girls

I did some barbell curls the other day. (I made sure to wait until everyone had left the gym).

Holy crap did my wrists hurt.

Julien Pineau from StrongFit has some interesting ideas about CrossFit and how the amount of time athlets spend in a pronated grip position leads to weakness and dysfunction in the elbow and shoulder, and that including supinated, neutral and open hand positions in training can go a long way in both increasing performance and preventing injury.

While I include these different positions in programming, and especially in the last 8 weeks of structural balance work, the pain was a signal that there obviously was a weakness here.

The chin-up or supinated bent row have the grip in this position, but the direction of the force is still loaded directly through the hand and in line with the wrist, in other words, the weight isn’t trying to break the wrist position.

This swole-speriment fits well with some things I’ve been hearing and thinking about – the dysfunction of functional movement.

While it’s easy to fall into one definition of “functional” movement – large, multi-joint movements that produce a large amount of work in a short amount of time – I think the paradigm needs to shift back into the idea that all movement is functional, because all movement performs a job – moving the body or an external object.

That doesn’t mean that there isn’t a hierarchy here – if you’re stranded on a desert island and can choose only one movement pattern to live with the rest of your days, bigger is always better.

But intentionally neglecting certain movements because they for “beach muscles” is still neglecting movement, which will always lead to dysfunction in some capacity.

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