What is CrossFit Gymnastics?
In CrossFit, body weight movements are considered gymnastics (e.g. air squat, push-up, pull-up, e.t.c) We are taking skills from the sport of gymnastics and applying them to workouts. In CrossFit, the gymnastics label is applied to any exercise in which you move your body through a range of motion (ROM) or extended range of motion (EROM) without an external load. Isometric holds are also considered gymnastics.
CrossFit uses Short Parallel bars (“parallettes”), the floor, still rings, pull-up cars, dip bars, climbing ropes, and other equipment to implement gymnastics training.
Why do we do it?
Gymnastics is one of the three foundational modalities of CrossFit. If gymnastics movements are performed properly, they influence every aspect of your life and have a dramatic effect on your fitness. Gymnastics assist in development of many of the 10 components of fitness: accuracy, agility, balance, coordination, cardiovascular endurance, flexibility, power, speed, strength, and stamina. Nothing beats gymnastics in terms of developing the four neurological components of the 10: Coordination, agility, balance and accuracy. Furthermore gymnastics training produces impressive strength gains without requiring an external load.
Gymnastics is a cornerstone of CrossFit, along with weight-lighting and monostructural metabolic-conditioning movements. It is an essential element in the Theoretical Hierarchy of Development of an athlete, the CrossFit “Pyramid”. The hierarchy reflects foundational dependency and time ordering of development as follows: nutrition, cardiovascular efficiency, body control, external-object control and sport specific application. According to the hierarchy, you can only maximise competency in one category if you have laid the foundation in the category before it. This hierarchy puts a larger emphasis on gymnastics proficiency, body control, before weight training and sport.