Yes, it's true. I started a blog with two highly feared words when it comes to Crossfit. For most of us muscle ups seem like a dream away...and well, handstands are that dreaded move that our coaches think can easily be accessed by a “wall walk”(a.k.a. death trap), in which we pray our feeble arms will hold our weight long enough for it to count, before gravity takes over and brings us crashing back to earth. I mean there has to be a reason why we squat so much and we strive to have quads for days right? Those muscles seem large and equipped to hold us up and walk around. When you think of using your shoulders, arms and hands instead for activities....#nothankyou
SO WHAT IS ALL THIS GYMNASTICS BUISNESS ANYWAY?
As much as we all love throwing weights around(yes even you women...don't lie...it's empowering), there will always be some form of gymnastics involved in the workouts, skill work or warm up. Why you might ask. Well “gymnastic” movements are a very fundamental part of Crossfit. All handstands aside, other gymnastics movements you might not have even realized, include(but are not limited to):
-Toes to Bar
and of course Handstand Push-ups, and Muscle ups.
So even our awesome idea of back squatting for that butt or quads originates from being able to air squat properly, or you could say from understanding a basic gymnastic movement used in Crossfit.
SO LETS UNCOVER SOME TRUTH AND BENEFITS TO UNDERSTANDING GYMNASTICS.
All “advanced” movements in gymnastics, just like in weightlifting or most anything else really, can be developed by understanding some basic movements.
Ever wish you could be stronger at your push-ups, or start working on kipping toes-to-bar and kipping/butterfly pullups? Ever wish you could ditch the box, ab mats, or pull up bands? The great news is YOU CAN!
Most of the bar work we do in Crossfit during WODs derive from two movements that can change your life....
Arch & Hollow (ever wonder why we practice holding them during the week?)
Want stronger push-ups?...Work through some plank holds to better understand the position at the top of a push-up and did you know holding planks work many muscles at once? Squeeze, stay tight and you'll be working your core, glutes, quads and more all in one movement.
And what about HSPU and walking on your hands?
The simple secret is to get comfortable upside down. Practice getting your feet off the ground and some weight in your hands even if it looks like a kindergardener...hey we all have to start somewhere and everyone can remember the first time trying to figure out how to snatch...you want to bar to do what again?
The great thing about gymnastic movements and static movements (positions that you hold without movement,i.e. Handstand HOLD, arch HOLD...), is that you can do these movements anywhere really. Hold some planks in your living room, or have a little Tabata(:20 on, :10 off x8) arch and hollow session. Find some grass in your back yard on a nice sunny day and try to see if you can get both feet off the ground and weight into your hands for even just a split second. Practicing simple movements even like the arch and hollow outside of the gym can drastically change your body's understanding of those positions and help your working movements in the gym become easier and more consistent.
So I've given you the information to use outside of the box to help with some of the dreaded gymnastics moves...but a lot of times it takes more than just information online.
LUCKY FOR YOU...
At Mighty Warrior we offer a class specific to these movements. And yes we call it gymnastics because well, it wouldn't be fair to call it anything else because it IS gymnastics. However, it ISN'T what you grew up to know as gymnastics. We DON'T usually spend time working on cartwheels or back flips (although I'd be happy to help you another time). What we DO work on is those simple drills and positions that will help you to become a better all around athlete. On any typical Wednesday we are working through archs and hollows with different drills and exercises. We also spend some time here and there hanging from the bar and really getting a feel for what our body should be doing during these movements. We break down the handstand along with working on proper body position(without even getting upside down sometimes). And then we take some time to try getting that weight into our hands, strengthen our shoulders for future movements and work on getting comfortable being upside down. Yes, we do work on muscle ups and I can't wait until more people are doing them, but most of our work right now is on the drills needed to strengthen the different movements during the MU that is specific to you.
MORAL OF THE STORY???
We can all remember the first time we went to Crossfit and learned all these new movements, and there might have been real fear that we wouldn't be able to do it. And then something magical happened and we finished the WOD and proved our fears wrong. And as we all continue to work on the movements, we get better. Don't sell yourself short. Pur gymnastics class at the box provides a very useful hour to spend the time needed on these movements to really understand and become better at them. YOU CAN DO IT!!!
Hope to see you on Thursdays at 5:30
Come one, come all. Is CrossFit really for everyone?