John walks Luke through what the Power Athlete team expects out of their athletes when they perform Weighted Barbell Step Ups with their training system.

The objective is to reinforce posture and position that is favorable to sprinting.

This movement is programmed in today's CrossFit Football's Collegiate and Professional Strength WOD:

Weighted Step Ups 8, 8, 8, 8 (8 RT/ 8 LT)
Close Grip Bench 3 RM , 1 x max reps @ 80% of 3 RM

Weighted Step Ups 8, 8, 8, 8 (8 RT/ 8 LT)
Close Grip Bench 3 RM , 1 x max reps @ 80% of 3 RM


Luke Summers
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Luke Summers

Luke has been training athletes in CrossFit, Weightlifting, and Olympic Lifting since 2007. He spent 6 years pushing pencils in “Corporate America,” spending 3 of those years moonlighting as a Strength & Conditioning Coach before and after work. Luke was an athlete his whole life and played multiple sports, but his primary focus was football.He played up through college until a neck injury forced him to hang it up. He travels with the CrossFit Football staff and has coaches a variety of athletes from amateur to professional levels in football, baseball, and track.
Luke Summers
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Posted in Blog, Featured, Video Blog | Tagged , , , | 12 Comments


  1. A couple things to note that you may not see from the video:

    – Feet about shoulder width apart, maybe a little narrower for balance
    – Feet forward on step up, and “landing”
    – Traveling foot should remain dorsiflexed from the point it leaves the ground, to the top of the high knee, and back down to the ground. Don’t give up on dorsiflexion and “reach” the foot to the ground.
    – On the eccentric / lowering portion of the lift, the objective is to lower as slow and as controlled as possible.

    Good luck!!

  2. Ingo B

    Luke, you have a brother named Chael Sonnen?

  3. dredlocked

    Game changer. These were way harder today than the 7RM shitty ones I did last week.

    Just for my own understanding (and since I’ll probably have to explain it to some curious person) what’s the purpose of bringing the non-weighted leg to parallel at the top of the box. I know the goal is to benefit sprinting but just don’t understand the movement enough to see where that plays in.

    • Dred,
      If you tilt your head so it looks like i’m leaning forward (or if there’s technology to take the picture and tilt it) that’s the posture we should have as we accelerate. See drawing found on google images below:

      @Ingo mentioned it on the CFFB Comments, but to take it a bit further people have a bad habit of over extending when they sprint, or do anything. I couldn’t find a pic of that happening with sprinting within 5 searches, so i quit. What did find is this babe. Imagine that this babe is running and compare the pelvic tilt. Left = hot but bad… Right = still hot but good.

      There’s all sorts of ways to develop the ability to mobilize the hip in a neutral position (pillars, GHD hip extension, etc) but what’s interesting is that there are A LOT of athletes that can mobilize in a vacuum, but have a hard time coordinating combos:


      If you load the spine at the CT Junction aka base of the traps with a barbell, and can train the coordination of mobilizing the hip with these primal movements then you will develop the skill to do so while “moving” and will be more powerful in your sprint and jump because we will have better transference of power with a rigid single joint from the hip up.

  4. dredlocked

    @ Luke: got it, makes total sense. Thanks for the response. Turned the picture below and, funny enough, #6 looks like the step up…

    Just had an epiphany reading your response to Ingo about my sprinting, lunging, lifting, etc. and back issues. Just when I think I understand things my mind gets blow. Love this stuff.

  5. Dennis Dolan

    I always cue the athlete to keep a near vertical shin when pushing up and lowering, forcing excellent posterior chain firing, decreasing the load on the ACL and patellar tendon and posibility of valgus movents.

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