Knees-to-Elbows: Finally Getting the Hang of It

Before today, I was not a fan of the knees-to-elbows. To be fair, we hadn’t spent much time together, and I’m generally wary of people and things that I don’t know too well. This morning, I did a few things for the first time – including opening my heart to knees-to-elbows – and as a reward, my workout butted right up against being awesome.

So… what was different?

1. I jumped up to grasp the pullup bar, instead of using a box to get up there. I know this probably sounds like a big fat nothing. But I never thought I could do it before. I’m not sure I ever even tried, really. But CrossFit Austin has a lower bar for us wee people, and it was super freaking fun to jump up and grab it. I know! For most people, no brainer. For me, new!

2. I kinda sorta got the hang of using more of a kip on the knees-to-elbows. Don’t anyone get too excited: I haven’t yet actually made contact between my bony knees and knobby elbows, BUT I’m feeling less unnerved by and spazzy about the movement. Win!

3. Usually when I do box jumps, I jump up and step down. That whole springs-in-the-feet, jack rabbit thing was lost to me. Until this morning. I jumped up and jumped down on all them. It was way more fun and way harder than usual.

And to think: I almost turned off my alarm and went back to sleep this morning. THIS is exactly why thinking in the morning before CrossFit class is verboten. Alarm, dress, drive, move. No thinking in that list.

400m run
butt kicks, high knees, lunges
PVC pipe OH squats
clean warmup: various breakdowns of parts of the clean, 15# bar

Work to heavy but manageable weight in the clean, then…
clean cluster :30 rest between reps – 65#
increase weight
clean cluster :40 rest between reps – 75#

5 rounds:
6 knees-to-elbows
15 unbroken box jumps
rest 1:00
My time: 8:12

Also worth mentioning, 75# is not a PR on the cleans, but this morning I wasn’t afraid of them, nor was I cursing them. This is a BIG step in the right direction.

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  • Carley says:

    Nice accomplishment! I got toes to bar today, not pretty ones but my big toe touched the bar every time!!!

  • Anonymous says:

    It was a lovely day when I realized that I could kip to get knees to elbows or toes to bar (or almost to bar). Coach always told me to rotate my hips, but it's not a natural movement in the middle of a killer WOD, unless you kip.

    Box jumps are still hard for me, but I have made peace with them, and now, just push through with the jump up and off motion, instead of stepping up or down… no matter what my time is on the clock. It makes me feel better about being me. Great job! ~Karyn M.

  • Stephanie Vincent says:

    Hey my morning WOD had KTE this am too. And i am not a fan either…because its one of those exersizes that im so limited in my ability to get any range (HSPU even the most scaled feel this way to me too) that i feel like I am not actually doing the workout. I still can't hold my weight up for very long on a bar unassisted so my kte after one or two start to look like tuck jumps holding onto a bar.

    However this AM i decided to try a way I came up with the scale (maybe its not so unique but non of my coaches ever heard of it) I put both feet in a band. Kipped and brought my knees up on the outside of the band. It worked. The movement was still difficult but not defeating. I believe doing full range always gets us closer to the next step, which brings us closer to the RX.

    oh KTE.

  • Melissa 'Melicious' Joulwan says:

    Hey, Karyn! I haven't tried toes to bar yet — guess I need to swallow my pride and try that next. I think I have to say goodbye for good to stepping down off the box, now that I've proved to myself I can do a WOD jumping the whole time. Don'tcha love the way CrossFit both builds confidence AND keeps us humble?!

    Stephanie, nice way to use the bands. That's awesome! And yes, "Oh KTE." They are buggers.

  • Ehsa says:

    "thinking … is verboten. Alarm, dress, drive, move. No thinking in that list".

    Shazam! You have just revolutionized my mornings! No more debates with myself! Love it!

    Great line … thanks!

  • Melissa 'Melicious' Joulwan says:

    Ehsa! I had to use that technique AGAIN this morning. I woke up late (what is it with me and my alarm these days?!) and had to totally go into auto-pilot. If I'd started questioning whether or not I'd make it to class, I would definitely NOT have made it.

    As it was, I was three minutes late and had to do a 9-burpee penalty. 🙂