Today's Technique Tuesday video is from our very own Coach Noah. Coach Noah is our resident expert in gymnastics and bodyweight movements. He is offering a special 8 week gymnastics specialty course to help you take your gymnastics skills to the next level. Today he is giving us a sneak peak at his pistol progression.
Gymnastics are a key component of our CrossFit training. Gymnastics is the CrossFit term for any movement where the aim is control of your body. Coach Glassman outlined the role of gymnastics in CrossFit as follows:
"Our use of the term 'gymnastics' not only includes the traditional competitive sport that we’ve seen on TV but all activities like climbing, yoga, calisthenics, and dance where the aim is body control. It is within this realm of activities that we can develop extraordinary strength (especially upper body and trunk), flexibility, coordination, balance, agility, and accuracy. In fact, the traditional gymnast has no peer in terms of development of these skills.
The starting place for gymnastic competency lies with the well-known calisthenic movements: pull-ups, push-ups, dips, and rope climb. These movements need to form the core of your upper body strength work. Set goals for achieving benchmarks like 20, 25, and 30 pull-ups; 50, 75, and 100 push-ups; 20, 30, 40, and 50 dips; 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5 consecutive trips up the rope without any use of the feet or legs. At fifteen pull-ups and dips each it is time to start working regularly on a “muscle-up.” The muscle-up is moving from a hanging position below the rings to a supported position, arms extended, above the rings. It is a combination movement containing both a pull-up and a dip. Far from a contrivance the muscle-up is hugely functional. With a muscle-up you’ll be able to surmount any object on which you can get a finger hold – if you can touch it you can get up on it. The value here for survival, police, fire fighter, and military use is impossible to overstate. The key to develop- ing the muscle-up is pull-ups and dips.
While developing your upper body strength with the pull-ups, push-ups, dips, and rope climb, a large measure of balance and accuracy can be developed through mastering the handstand. Start with a headstand against the wall if you need to. Once reasonably comfortable with the inverted position of the headstand you can practice kicking up to the handstand again against a wall. Later take the handstand to the short parallel bars or parallettes without the benefit of the wall.
Walking on the hands is another fantastic tool for developing both the handstand and balance and accuracy. A football field or sidewalk is an excellent place to practice and measure your progress. You want to be able to walk 100 yards in the handstand without falling.
Competency in the handstand readies the athlete for handstand presses. There is a family of presses that range from relatively easy, ones that any beginning gymnast can perform to ones so difficult that only the best gymnasts competing at national levels can perform. It is not unusual to take ten years to get these five presses!
The trunk flexion work in gymnastics is beyond anything you’ll see anywhere else, the basic sit-up and “L” hold are the staples. The “L” hold is nothing more than holding your trunk straight, supported by locked arms, hands on bench, floor, or parallel bars, and hips at 90 degrees with legs straight held out in front of you. You want to work towards a three minute hold in benchmark increments of 30 seconds – 30, 60, 90, 120, 150, and 180 seconds. When you can hold an “L” for three minutes all your old ab work will be silly easy.
Every workout should contain regular gymnastic/calisthenic movements that you’ve mastered and other elements under development. Much of the rudiments of gymnastics come only with great effort and frustration – that’s O.K. The return is unprecedented and the most frustrating elements are most beneficial long before you’ve developed even a modicum of competency."
If you're ready to take your gymnastics skills to the next level, enroll in Coach Noah's 8 week gymnastics skills clinic.
Power to the People Deadlift Day 9
3 x 6 Turkish Get-Up
then, for time:
42 Box jumps 24/20”
30 Box jumps 24/20”
18 Box jumps 24/20”
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