The ultimate guide to gymnastic training for CrossFit.

Hopefully you can find yourself within this blog and I have outlined some simple progressions that will see you progress. I like to think I have found some simple measures and drills when implemented consistently which can deliver progress time after time. I hope I can do the same for you. download (2)However, the common theme here cannot be escaped, no matter your level the better and stronger your hollow positions then the more efficient kip you will have, combine this with strong straight and bent arm pulling strength then you have to the tools to excel. Your hollow and arch positions are the two positions you will hit dynamically when doing any type of gymnastic movements so the better you are here the better your skill will be. Essentially imagine having a shit squat position, never working it but trying to improve your snatch, its not going to improve until your squat does. So here we go;

Pull ups

0 Pull ups Implement 3 sets DAILY of 5 reps with a 5 second negative. Effectively, use a box or jump your chin over the bar and slowly control your decent all the way down to a full lock out over the course of 5 seconds and repeat for 5 reps per set. Superset with static hollow holds, arch, rolls and rocks on the floor and then bring those positions through the dynamic movement of the pull through or kip swing working on tight hollow positions. 3-5 pull ups

2013 Open workout descriptions with Julie Foucher
2013 Open workout descriptions with Julie Foucher
Complete as many strict controlled pull ups as possible and when you fail around 3-5 finish the set off 5 with a slow negative as above. Superset with static hollow holds, arch, rolls and rocks on the floor and then bring those positions through the dynamic movement of the pull through or kip swing working on tight hollow positions. 5+ Pull ups Start your journey of kipping pull ups. Start as you mean to go on with good movement patterns and ensure your good hollow positions carry through. You are never good enough that you don’t need to work the hollow positions on the floor so continue to implement these as well are strict pull ups. 10 + Pull ups You should be on your way to nailing kipping chest to bar pull ups. The hollow position and a tidy kip is essential here. Also, continue to work your static holds and strict C2B pull ups also.  Finally, its time to learn how to butterfly. Kipping is dead in competitive CrossFit so learning to butterfuly is critical. 15+ Pull ups Bar muscle ups no problem. You should have the strength to easily hit bar muscle ups, ring muscle ups, strict muscle ups and much much more. However, your job is now to improve those muscle ups. You need to be exceptionally strong in hollow positions, I recommend hollow rolls for this and weighted pull ups for less then 5 reps.

Muscle Ups

Bar or ring these rules apply. FalseGripMuscleUp-582x319Have you 12+ strict pull ups and are you strong enough to practice these? If not go back and build on the previous steps and know your place. Time spent failing here when you don’t have the skill is utterly pointless. I cannot understand practising a skill you are not strong enough to complete. Assuming you have the strength lets move forward.   0 Muscle ups – you keep chicken winging This is a kipping issue, your very slow on your transition. Two drills to develop this. 1)      Middle drill – in a false grip pull to 90%  so your shoulders are just below the rings, then do a mini kip and try just pull your shoulders over the rings – do not dip out of it but repeat. It’s a small movement, but extremely powerful to learn the transition which I feel movements on low rings do not do as well. 2)     Come back to a bar and practice pull throughs, can you get your shoulder to the height of the bar with straight arms? No then your kip is not yet good enough, continue to work your hollow positions statically on the ground. A few muscle ups – but only in a false grip with no true lock out. This is a common issue with two solutions 1)      You have insufficient wrist flexibility. Get into a false grip and externally rotate and get comfortable hanging in this position firstly. If you can’t hang in this grip, how can you kip from it? 2)      Come back to bar muscle ups and nail them with confidence and then treat a ring muscle up EXACTLY as you would a bar and pull the exact same way.   5+ Muscle ups 1549495_504680262155_5911180859153362729_nExcellent work. Keep up the good work. To improve from here you need to perfect your kip, really develop your hollow positions further so there is no break in your midline and implement a lot more pulling work such as strict muscle ups and lots of EMOM muscle ups for 1-3 reps to get in high volume.

Toes to Bar’s.

download (3)0 T2B Work those hollow positions on the floor as in above and get these positions to transfer over to a good kip. The skill transfer is what leave people down not the skill. Also work strict knee raises hanging from a bar, slowly as possible pull your knees to your chest ensuring to tuck your bum into the air also and slowly lower and repeat for sets of 10. 1 T2B + mini kip + 1 T2B etc This is extremely common, you have a good positions and lovely kip and you can nail a T2B, but as soon as your feet touch its job done and your legs swings down and you loose control. You need to work the static holds more, but a key drill is hanging leg raises with as much control as possible, this will give you the feedback you need so then when you are doing T2B you are in control of the movement throughout. As soon as you touch your toes to the bar its only half the job you must come into a tidy hollow arch with control so you can transition immediately into hollow and repeat. 10+ T2B Now this is time to work strength endurance and implements 100s of v-sits and accessory work to finish sessions and give you the strength to hit 30+ reps.

Handstand Push Ups

0 HSPU (kipping) img_2292-e1388956867177If you cant kip a HSPU then you are not strong enough to do these. Can you do 7+ strict ring dips? If so you should be able to do these and it’s a timing issue with you kip, if not then get stronger first. If it is a kipping issue, your kip needs to be as follows.  Also, if this is the case and its not a strength issue, start working your skills from a few ab mats and build to the floor as you develop these skills. Hand position – similar to a strict press, your head needs to be in front of your hands creating a triangle. Action – Kick into a Handstand hold, control decent until head touches the ground. Bring knees to chest so your shins are vertical (this is critical) bum touches the wall. Drive your hips off the wall as fast as possible keeping legs straight and press at the same time similar to a push press. If your feet hit the wall to low and you couldn’t lock out, your shins where not vertical at the bottom position and you are possibly too close to the wall. 5+ HSPU (KIPPING)   Great your own your way to developing this. Now you need to get strong so implement strict HSPU from different heights while working your kipping from deficits so its more powerful .   Continue in this fashion of building strength and movement together and you will be hanging out 20+ strict HSPU in no time. I hope this has helped. Any questions dont hesitate to ask and finally check into our 90 seconds videos every Wednesday for video demo’s. Also, if this was useful please give a like and share and give credit to the original source.

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