Gymnastics: The Foundation of Movement and Strength at CrossFit Sanitas in Boulder

One of the most fundamental aspects of working on gymnastics and body-weight movements is the building of body awareness: the understanding of what the body is doing from fingertips to toes, whether the body is upright, inverted or somewhere in between. It’s about being able to control your body rather than having your body control you.

If gymnastics movements are performed properly, they influence every aspect of your life and have a dramatic effect on your fitness and lifestyle.

Imagine what improved body awareness and control could do when applied to other CrossFit movements involving objects such as barbells and kettlebells.

Join us for CrossFit Gymnastics (included with your membership):

  • Mondays & Thursdays at 9:30a and 6:30p
  • Sundays at 11:30a

In our gymnastics program I will be implementing a program focusing on three things

Mobility: A person with great mobility is able to perform functional movement patterns with no restrictions in the range of motion (ROM) of those movements. There are a host of possible muscle imbalances that cause mobility issues but these problems can be fixed with a combination of strength in body weight movements and soft tissue work ( stretching). We’ll be strengthening the muscles that are weak and stretching the ones that are too tight.

Core Strength: What is “the core“? It’s not just your abs! Your core is comprised of the hips, the shoulders and everything in between. By having a strong core you strengthen the connection between your upper and lower body. The benefit: the body works more effectively to generate strength, speed and power. In the words of Beau Dorning, no one ever has complained about being too strong, too fast or too powerful. Woooooo! ( with 6 O’s)

Variety of Movement: Athletes have different goals. For some, the goal is to live a more comfortable and healthier life. Others might want to get stronger so they can perform a handstand push up. Some athletes simply want to dominate workouts. Regardless of the goal, the skills and drills basic or otherwise, allow all athletes to improve in a safe and effective manner

Here is an example of how the next few weeks will play out.

  • Muscle up Monday, mobility, skills and strength drills to get a virtuous muscle up. Whether you want to get your first muscle up/pull up or you want to have the strength and skills to achieve linking multiple muscle ups.
  • Thursdays handstand development strengthen the core, mobilize the shoulders and develop balance in the handstand.
  • Sunday will mobilize the hips and shoulders and perform corrective exercises to get you ready for the week of training ahead.
Week Monday Thursday Sunday
1 Practice: Review Toe Nail Spot

A: 10×1 Toe Nail Transition

B: 10x ME Ring Pull Up Hold *This means pulling all the way to sternum and holding, not just chin over rings, and in false grip

B: 10x ME Ring Support, bottom. *Hold the deepest part of your dip unassisted. Focus on good shoulder position. Scapulas down and back

Alternating Tabata Hollow / Arch Holds (8 x 20:10)

Scapula Push-ups (retract/protract) 5 x 20

Handstand shrugs (stomach to wall) 3 x 10

Balance drill – 5 – 10 mins practice

Handstand negatives (deficit or short rom)15 x

Dynamic warm up focusing  on hip and shoulder mobility.

Corrective exercise for shoulders

Ring flies 3×10

Wall pull downs, Y to W

3×12 keeping three points of contact

2 Review and practice Toe Nail transition

A: 10×1 Toe Nail Transition

A1: 4×4 Russian Dip on Boxes

A2: 4×3 Ring Pull up negative (false grip)

5 sec hollow hold + snap to V-sit 3 x 10

50m floor sliders

5×5 L or tuck to press stand (paralette or box)

3 x max effort wall handstand hold – back to wall

Hip and shoulder mobility

Incline row to external rotation

3x 12

Turkish Get-ups 5 x 3 / arm with med ball

3 Practice: Gymnastic swing with momentum and pull to hips

A: 10×1 Toe Nail Negative *Slow as possible

B: 7×1 ME Hollow Body Ring Pull Up (False Grip, ring to sternum)


5 inchworm (each rep: 5 push-ups, 10 scapula push-ups, 10 sec extended plank hold) quality movement… avoid fast, shitty reps/positioning

Balance drill – 5 – 10 mins practice

10 min Handstand walk.

Thoracic mobility drills. Corrective exercises for  the shoulders

Cuban press 3×12 repetitions

Side lying external rotations

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