CrossFit Squat Fail & Dinner Fun

Morning friends! You know what’s awesome? Even though it’s only Tuesday, it’s actually more like Friday, because tomorrow is a holiday from work for me! Woohoo — can’t wait to sleep in. :)

Last night, Matt and I hit up Crossfit Dupont for their 6 p.m. class. The WOD (workout of the day) was a weighted squat, where you hold a barbell on your upper back/shoulders and squat down. Here’s some guy who is not me doing it nicely:

Squat 2

Photo source

Unfortunately, I determined last night that I’m basically incapable of performing this move because I have such tight shoulders — I literally can’t get my arms and hands back far enough to hold onto the bar behind me. I had the same problem the one time I tried to attend a Body Pump class — it’s really painful (in a bad way — not in a “this hurts but I’m going to push through because it’s challenging” way) because I just lack shoulder and back mobility. :( I’m tight/inflexible to begin with and I’m sure all the running has made it worse. Sigh.

I attempted the squat last night but it just wasn’t going to work, so the instructor had me do some squats holding a dumbbell in front of me instead, plus some shoulder stretch moves to work on flexibility. I was pretty bummed and felt silly since everyone else could do it no problem. Sigh. I’m going to seriously need to work on shoulder mobility if I want to keep doing Crossfit, apparently. Has anyone else had this problem?


When the squats were finally over, I was happy to see that the rest of the workout I could do with no problem. :)


I <3 kettle bells. Our workout was that starting at the top of every minute, we did five burpees, then as many kettle bell swings as we could. We kept repeating this until we had done 100 kettle bell swings! While your partner went, the other person counted for them.


It was fun and HARD — we were all sweating up a storm!

After CrossFit, I raced home to shower and change and head back out to meet my high school girlfriends for a late dinner at Rustico in Arlington.



I <3 these girls — Dinah, on the left in the photo above, is in town visiting (she left us for grad school and now a job in California — sniff, sniff), so it was wonderful to see her again.

We all started with drinks — Prosecco for me!


And shared two pizzas and a pasta dish. First, a simple margarita — this was really delicious — lots of basil, my favorite!


Plus a cool “Greek” pizza — with baba ganoush as the sauce and a Greek salad as the toppings! Such a fun idea — my only request would have been more baba ganoush! It got a little soaked in and you couldn’t taste it as much as I would have liked.


Lastly, we shared a ravioli dish with peas and mushrooms — major yum.


But of course the best part of dinner was the company. :)

I’m off to work — I’m spending this week and next at my dietetic hospital internship working in the ICU — so far it’s been interesting and sad.


  1. 1
    Bridget says:

    I don’t do weighted squats in Body Pump because I have a bad knee, so what I do instead is squat with the bar held vertically in front of me, with one end on the floor. This provides balance and also can take some of my weight if my knee is feeling weak. I don’t know if it would help with Crossfit, but it might be useful if you ever try Pump again!

    Enjoy your day off tomorrow!

  2. 3

    OMG that pizza looks soooo good. I haven’t had one in ages. Anne, I do k-bells and I love it and it is hard. I had to stop k-bells for about 4 months b/c I injured my shoulder. I am back doing them. Boy, I can sure tell the difference. I am 62 and I actually got rid of my “angel wings”. K-bells for ladies my age is a must. I can wear sleeveless dresses and tops now. I loved your post today very informative.

  3. 5

    That pizza looks really good.

    I have tight shoulders too (well actually just my right side). From all my years of swimming you’d think this wouldn’t be a problem, but the truth is I wasn’t trained properly to do the butterfly, and no one corrected it until it was too late. So, I have a bum rotator cuff that makes doing things like barbell weighted squats very painful.

  4. 7

    Ugh. Sorry about the tight shoulders. I find I’ve become SO much less flexible since I started running. Reading this makes me wanna hit the kettle bells harder.
    Yummy food!

  5. 8

    You will gain the shoulder flexibility! Crossfit will actually be really good for you because it will help you to build it! I love all of the extra mobility and flexibility work my CrossFit adds in daily and it has really helped me out! That partner WOD sounds so fun! Partner ones are my favorites!

  6. 9
    Sarah @ Run, Write, Conquer says:

    The back squat is my absolute favorite and strongest movement. I do have trouble keeping my elbows down due to shoulder inflexibility, though. I’ve been experimenting with a wider grip to fix this. Keep up the mobility work and you’ll get it!

  7. 11

    Thoracic spine mobility. Try this:

  8. 13

    Maybe incorporating some yoga shoulder stretches into your routine each day would help? I had bad mobility in my right shoulder from multiple injuries but some time and serious stretching has worked wonders!

    That pizza looks SO good!

  9. 15

    I’m sorry about your limited shoulder mobility! I know you are a yoga person, but I’d really recommend practicing several times a week to increase the flexibility and mobility in your upper back, shoulders, and neck. It’s made a HUGE difference for me.

    • 16

      Yeah, I might try to step it up and see if that helps… or just do some stretching on my own at home more frequently, specifically for shoulders/back!

  10. 17

    Hey Anne! Despite your tight shoulders, you looked like you were kicking some major butt on the kettleball swings last night–I saw the last bit of your guys’ class before going to the 7 pm one. I’ve heard about a Mobility WOD site that has great workouts for mobility/flexibility–I’ve been meaning to give it a try. Maybe it could target your tight shoulders? Years of playing softball left my shoulders super loose, thank God, but on the other hand I died yesterday with the kettleball swings. Terrible. Hope to see you at CF soon, I’m hoping to go to the Hero WOD on Wednesday, but also terrified!

    • 18

      Aw, thanks! Stupid shoulders… but I <3 kettlebells for some reason. I think we're going to the Hero WOD today, too - see you there! :)

  11. 19

    I have super tight shoulders as well. I have no idea how people can clasp their hands behind their back when putting one above their shoulder down their back and one behind their back and up. I haven’t ever tried a weighted squat with a bar behind my head but I’m honestly not sure I could do it, either. Don’t get too discouraged, at least you kicked butt on the rest of the WOD!

  12. 21

    Just keep practicing and do your stretches! You might notice that CF is not a proponent of distance running because of the lack of flexibility. Do you practice with a PVC pipe instead of the weights? There’s always some movement that causes everyone problems!

  13. 23

    Those pizzas and raviolli look fantastic!! Thats so frusterating about your shoulders! You’ll get there! One of the things we do at my CF Box to loosen our shoulders is a partner walk through. So you jump up on the pull-up bar and hang there, then your partner places their hands on your back just below your shoulder blades and pushes you through so you’re hanging with your body out infront. Your partner holds you there for 10-20 sec (or as long as you can hold on haha). You just kind of relax your arms (although still holding on to the bar) and it’s great for your shoulders. I tried finding a video with no luck. Some people at my box also use the thick bands on the pull-up bars and wrap the other end around their wrist … kind of like this but I’m sure your coach knows :)

  14. 25
    Stepfanie says:

    Hey, Anne.
    You should try these two yoga poses:
    Garudasana (Eagle Pose)
    Gomukhasana (Cow Face Pose)
    Focus on the upper body aspect rather than the lower body. Cat and cow stretches, while simple, could also help. Let me know if you need more! I can show you a few when I’m in DC–maybe we could catch a yoga class?

    • 26

      Ah, yes, I know those two! I always have trouble with them in class – especially Cow Face! I can do it on one side but not the other. Let’s definitely catch a yoga class while you are here – and I would love more tips when I see you, too! :)

  15. 27

    I have the same problem with squats! I always have to modify and use a dumbbell in group exercise classes. I wish there was a way to fix it!

  16. 28

    Do you think massages would help your shoulders? I’ve never done kettle bell swings but will try them whenever I get a gym membership. :)

    I’m very interested to hear another update about your internship–even if it is sad.

  17. 30

    I have a really tight back/shoulders, so I feel like I’d have a similar issue… Good for you at least trying though. Everyone has to know their own body!

  18. 31

    oh gosh, those pizzas look amazing!!!

  19. 32

    This is completely off topic – but I just came upon your website through some other blogs and was reading some posts and stumbled upon some wedding posts -I am getting married the day before you!!! Great season/month!! Best of luck to you. Where did you end up registering? My fiance and I just started this process about two weeks ago!

  20. 34

    You’ve been talking about Crossfit Dupont so much that I had to try it! I was in the beginners class last night and thought I spotted you, but didn’t realize it was you until I read your post today. I would have said “HI” but you were very into the workout. Maybe next time!

  21. 36
    Lauren K says:

    Ironically, I was doing a class yesterday and we did a flexibility range of motion test on our shoulders and it reminded me of my shoulder issues! Growing up a swimmer and a few dislocated shoulders later, I opted out of surgery and basically quit long-term swimming!

    Yesterday in my “complete flexibility” class we actually used the foam roller on our shoulders. I would really recommend it! You sit on your butt/low back with the foam roller behind your shoulders and roll with your arms crossed, arms in a T, and arms up above your head. Ouch! But so good! Even laying on your back with the foam roller down your spine and arms in a T works great! Good luck, i’m working on the same thing too :)

  22. 38

    My problem is my balance. When he weight starts to get at all heavy I feel like I am going to tip over, get really worried, and freak myself out. Front squats are the worst for me.

    • 39

      Do you do yoga? It has really helped with my balance – maybe that would help? Heavy weights will probably scare me, though, too – maybe it just takes getting used to/more confident with them!

  23. 40

    How annoying about the shoulders.. Maybe try pilates? Supposed to be good for strengthening isolated areas of the body.

    Dinner looked delicious, I love a plain margarita with lots of basil!

  24. 42

    Sounds like a lovely afternoon; good workout, good food, good friends!
    Fun fact: The pizza you had is the margherita pizza (not margarita after the drink), named for Italian royalty, who requested a dish that reflected Italian national colors: green (basil), white (mozzarella), and red (tomato sauce). A delicious and historical dish!

  25. 44

    I LOVE Italian food but haven’t really found anything amazing in D.C. Any good recc’s? :)

  26. 45

    Can you clasp your hands behind your back and then bend over at the waist and have your arms/hands (still clasped) go over your head? If not, you could try practicing that to help with the shoulder tightness. I’ve known a few guys who had tight shoulder issues, but you’re the first girl! (Please don’t take that the wrong way!)

    • 46

      Yikes – just tried and not even close – my arms can’t even move past the vertical position when I’m bent over. I’ll practice that!

  27. 47
    Elizabeth says:

    I really like Rustico – I haven’t ever been there when they had the outdoor section open.

    If you haven’t been before, Lyon Hall in Clarendon is really great – I love it for brunch!


  1. […] we moved on to back squats for the strength portion of class. Some of you guys might remember that when I first started crossfit back in the summer of 2012 my shoulders were so inflexible that I coul…. Well, I’m happy to report that I can now do this! It’s still tough, and I still need to be […]

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