You knew they were coming. You knew they were going to happen. And here we are. Open workout 21.2 is a repeat of 17.1, and it’s a spicy one.
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It’s definitely not a sprint, but time is still of the essence. So, let’s talk about how you can tackle 21.2 and knock out those dumbbell snatches and box jump-overs in the most strategic way possible.
5 Tips for Open Workout 21.2
1. Pacing Yourself is Going to be Vital
Notice that the reps for the dumbbell snatches increase as you go. The opposite is often true, but this workout is going to get harder as you go. As the fatigue and pain settle in, you’re going to have more reps to collect.
So, don’t come out of the gate too hot.
Most of us aren’t Justin Medeiros. He blew through 21.2 during the live announcement, demolishing his time from 2017 and setting the bar ridiculously high. Some of us expected him to fizzle out, but he proved us wrong. He somehow managed to start off at a mind-blowing speed and actually maintain that speed!
But that’s Justin Medeiros. The rest of us are probably going to be moving a lot slower, and that’s just fine.
The point is to aim to start with a pace that you can hold steady through all of the reps. In the beginning, it’s going to feel too slow. You’re going to feel like you should move faster, just because you can.
But you’ll be glad that you paced yourself later on, when you’re trying to get through that round of 40 dumbbell snatches (which is where this workout really starts).
2. Use Your Legs for the Dumbbell Snatches
Some athletes have the tendency to keep their legs mostly straight when they lower the dumbbell to the ground and instead rely solely on hinging at the hips.
This means that your back is doing the majority of the work.
If we weren’t talking about so many reps, it would maybe be another conversation. However, you’ve got far too many reps to knock out to use only your back. Your legs can do a lot more work, a lot more safely.
Help the dumbbell meet the ground by bending your knees to get there. We saw Medeiros do this. You’ll likely get through the reps faster; and as an added bonus, you’re going to save yourself a ton of soreness in the days that follow this workout.
As a side note: Even though you will still need your back, remember your form! Although you’re going to be exhausted and in pain, don’t let these reps get sloppy. A rounded back is almost a guarantee for DOMS and even injury. Keep your core engaged and active.
You probably picked up on this already, but we want to highlight that dumbbell snatches aren’t all about strength. You shouldn’t be muscling up the dumbbell. Remember that you can drive a ton of power through your hips. Think of popping the dumbbell into the air.
3. Stay Low on Top of the Box
Remember, we’re talking about how to get through these reps efficiently and save yourself time and energy. Standing up straight at the top of the box will use up more of your time and energy. You can shave some off by not extending all of the way at the top. This also means that you stay closer to the ground.
This was another tactic we saw from Medeiros. On the top of the box, his knees were bent and his head was actually around hip-level. It undoubtedly contributed to his impressive time.
4. Hit the Deck Fast
A burpee sort of, kind of, in a way includes a push-up — in the sense that you get in that position, lower yourself to the ground, and push yourself up.
But take note: While it might look like a push-up, it shouldn’t feel like one!
When you’re hitting the floor, don’t do a super slow negative and rely on upper-body strength to get you there.
And similarly, don’t execute the second half of a push-up to get yourself back up.
This is going to suck up precious energy and time, and your arms and shoulders will be absolutely fried. We’re not saying that you should flop down on the ground like a fish. Rather, just think of moving quickly. Don’t focus on using your strength to execute the burpees. Imagine feeling light and springy. Lay down, stand up, repeat.
5. Remember That You Can Switch Hands at Any Point
When dumbbell snatches were first introduced in the Open, the movement standard said you had to switch hands when the dumbbell was on the ground. This was to ensure people were executing the movement safely and fairly.
HQ did away with that standard. Now, you can swap hands whenever you want.
Many of us will still switch when the dumbbell is on the ground. However, some people will feel more comfortable switching near the top or even on the way down.
Do a few warm-up reps to see what feels the most natural for you, because this will likely work in your favor once it’s go-time and will help you save precious seconds.
This workout is pretty grip-intensive. And while burpees don’t have you necessarily holding anything, your hands still make contact with something: the floor. The wear and tear is going to add up. Consider using tape, chalk, wrist wraps, or grips to protect yourself and hang onto that dumbbell.
Your lungs are going to be on fire with this one, but it’s all in good fun! Go in with a positive attitude, do your best, and you’re already a winner.
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