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Kendra Can by Mike Koslap - CrossFit Journal

Kendra Can

By Mike Koslap

In Coaching, CrossFit, HD Videos

March 30, 2014

Video Article

The tool bag contains, chains, straps, pipe, carabiners—all the things that help Kendra Bailey do CrossFit on her terms.

Born without her left arm below the elbow, Bailey, a trainer at CrossFit Rubicon, has been on a journey of experimentation and adaptation as she finds new and better ways to access CrossFit.

“It’s a constant change. It’s constant evolution. Over time we’ve changed a few things about different elements of the tools,” Bailey says.

With prosthetic technology not quite ready for the challenges of many CrossFit movements, Bailey and other adaptive athletes have found their own ways to bypass obstacles. By using a strap to connect her arm to a length of chain fitted with a short pipe, Bailey is able to literally chain herself to a barbell for remarkably smooth cleans. She uses other devices to perform pull-ups and double-unders, and she’s always trying to find ways to add more movements to the arsenal.

“You keep trying until you find something that works. And if it doesn’t work, scrap it and move on to the next thing,” she explains.

According to Bailey, some movements, such as muscle-ups, aren’t available, but she qualifies that statement: “We don’t have the technology yet.”

Video by Mike Koslap.

5min 23sec

HD file size: 99 MB
SD mov file size: 37 MB

Please note: For smoother viewing of HD videos, please download the entire file to your hard drive before watching it (right-click and choose Save Link As...).

Additional reading: CrossFit Walter Reed by Dillon Behr and Brian Wilson, published July 25, 2012.

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3 Comments on “Kendra Can”


wrote …

OMG!! I was born the exactly the same way no difference. This is the first time I have ever seen anyone come up with such creative ideals for someone like ourselves. I like to workout from time to time myself and would like to brench press. I can't figure out what to make or how to make something that would give me the correct length and for my arm to set on or in as well as hold the bar at the top. You are truly a remarkable person for not letting that stop you. I watch a lot of crossfit videos trying to figure out different ways I could do some of thos things since I was born the same way you were. You are over coming the impossible keep it up. Unbelievable story keep up the hard work good luck in the future!!


wrote …

Absolutely amazing and once again giving us no excuse to get in there and work hard to achieve. An inspirational story! Everything is possible if you only have the will to make it happen!

God Bless
Glen Whitner


wrote …

Kendra, you are so inspiring. I can only imagine how helpful what you have invented will be to wounded warriors, and others who were born without hands/feet. God bless you for just being a powerhouse!

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