Important Gymnastics Movements and Principles for Crossfit Beginners

Gymnastics skills are vital for Crossfitters and an awesome way to build better health, flexibility, and toned muscles.

Like in any sport, starting as soon as possible is essential. This especially applies to gymnastics where flexibility is key and if you make your body accustomed to the moves from an early age, you’ll have an easier time. There’s no starting age when it comes to gymnastic training, but starting before the age of 18 can be a huge advantage.

Improve your flexibility

Flexibility is an incredibly important part of gymnastics, and goes hand in hand with gymnastic strength. It’s a great way to visualise these two elements as interconnected when you train. You should start working on your flexibility right from the beginning.

Some really easy ways of improving flexibility are:

  • Neck rotations – stretch your neck by rotating your head
  • Shoulder stretches – pulling one arm across your chest will really help make your shoulders more flexible
  • Chest – by putting your hands behind your back and then pushing them up you will be stretching your chest
  • Back – get into a push-up position and then push while keeping your hips down

Practice forward rolls

If you’ve never tried gymnastic movements before, this is the most basic one you should start with. It will help a lot with learning how to use your body’s flexibility and will show you how it feels to be upside-down. Simply crouch, keep your hands in front of you on the floor, then tuck your head in and just roll forward.

Hollow hold

The hollow hold exercise might look easy at first sight but in fact it is one of the most difficult ab/core exercises around. It is the fundamental core gymnastics exercise for developing mid-line stabilization. The hollow hold or hollow body is important key exercise for other gymnastics exercises such as handstands.

Hollow rocks

The Hollow Rock is another core exercise which recruits muscles deep in the core which are often missed during more traditional ab and core workouts. Hollow rocks support your mid-line stabilisation and ultimately also the spine.

Supermans

The counterpart of the Hollow position is the superman, also called the arch. It is a great way to strengthen your lower back and tone your glutes. The superman is the starting position that allows us to generate the power and momentum we control in the hollow.

Kipping swings

A gymnastics exercise consisting of two basic positions: a hollow and arch. This skill is important to master because later you will use it to generate upward momentum for pull ups and muscle ups.

Practice with a handstand

Yeah, things get serious quite fast. But that’s the way it goes with gymnastics and even if your goal is not to compete in contests, this move stands at the base of a lot of gymnastics moves. Until you get some practice, you should do it against a wall. A helpful trick is to keep your shoulders against the ears and the chin to your chest.

Don’t think about getting hurt

Indeed, gymnastics movements involve risk, however, if you keep your mind busy with this thought, you will never be able to relax and have the flexible body needed for such exercises. Of course, falling is always a possibility but just like any other sport, you need to get up and keep going to reach your goal.

Diet matters

Obviously, you need to help your body move the way you want to and that can be done by having a healthy diet. Eating a lot of fruits, vegetables, lean meat, and whole grains will help. Besides, you need to avoid sugar, processed foods, sodas, and basically everything that might make you feel heavy and drained of energy.

Keep your body and harmony balanced

No matter how well you train or how healthy you eat, your mind and body need to be in harmony and have a good connection in order for you to be able to pull off all those complicated moves. Yoga or dance lessons can help a lot in that direction.

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