This video series provides a fresh look at skill-transfer exercises and midline stability, combining the powers of Kelly Starrett and gymnast Carl Paoli. Both San Francisco CrossFit coaches add their expertise to refine basic CrossFit movements with the aim of improving power output.
In Part 6, Starrett and Paoli coach the bar dip. They prepare using “The Position,” the same foundational form used for movements from kipping pull-ups to bench press.
Paoli demonstrates getting organized and spinning his “elbow pits” forward, just like the externally rotated arm used for overhead movement.
“If he’s not organized, he’s already preloaded this tissue and put the shoulder into a bad position,” Starrett says. “So he started from a bad position; he enters the tunnel of movement in a bad position.”
Starrett’s cue for the proper dip position is “turning out,” which spins the elbow pits forward and creates torque. For movement set-up, he looks for that turning out and an organized, unbroken midline. That is The Position.
“If I want to protect my athletes and unwind the nervous system, I have to get into a good position,” Starrett says. “I know that this position facilitates the safest, strongest shoulder.”
He adds: “The most effective way to generate force is also the safest way.”
Additional reading: Dips: The Forgotten Shoulder Exercise by Bill Starr, published Jan. 14, 2011.