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An Elite Gymnastic's Coaches Influence on CrossFit Performance

We recently covered the strength differences between that of a CrossFit athlete and an elite gymnast, but behind the athletes are the coaches and that is the focus for today.


Elite gymnastic coaches are responsible for producing arguably the ultimate bodyweight machine, the Olympic gymnast! But how does that coaching type lend itself to CrossFit and more importantly how does this make them an asset to a CrossFit athlete? Let’s discuss.


CrossFit is a sport based on high volumes of work and efficiency in completing that work. It is a mixture of other different speciality sports such as Olympic Weightlifting, Swimming, Running and Gymnastics amongst others.


To gain this efficiency in volume, classic gymnastic techniques have been adapted to allow for more work to be completed over a larger amount of time. Let’s delve in a little deeper and give an elite coaches perspective.













Pictured above are two elite gymnastic skills taken from the internationally recognised gymnastic manual which lists all gymnastics skills. Do they look like anything you may have seen in a CrossFit environment?


The bar muscle up is a modification of the glide kip, the skill pictured on the left. The kipping ring muscle up is a modification of the front uprise, the gymnastic skill pictured on the right.


An elite gymnastics coach would recognise the modifications made to the skills in a CrossFit environment instantly and know how to teach them highly effectively. This is because they have taught the base skill for their entire career. Understanding the biomechanics, strength and flexibility requirements in all areas of gymnastic skills is second nature to an elite gymnastics coach and they are programmed with the desired pre-requisites and drills needed to teach them correctly.


To conclude then, why is an elite gymnastics coach your go to? Its almost too simple, no one understands gymnastics techniques better than an elite gymnastics coach. The role of an elite gymnastics coach is to be a problem solver, to modify ideal gymnastic techniques to suit different body types and to maximise performance by combating poor form.


In a sport such as CrossFit where athletes specialise in not specialising, introducing an expert coaches influence in key areas may prove highly beneficial to the CrossFit athletes learning.


Gymnastic coaches therefore may not be able to give you ideal snatch corrections, but if you’re looking for your first bar or ring muscle up, or want to be more efficient at these movements, they are without a doubt who you need to see! .




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