Formerly I said that Artistic gymnasts were the fittest female athletes.
No more. In 2010 the top CrossFit women are more “fit” than the best Artistic girls.
That’s quite new.
CrossFit is a strength and conditioning fitness methodology that promotes broad and general overall physical fitness. CrossFit combines weightlifting, sprinting, and gymnastics. CrossFit says that proficiency is required in each of ten fitness domains: cardiovascular/respiratory endurance, stamina, strength, flexibility, power, speed, agility, balance, coordination, and accuracy. …
Gymnastics coach and judge Jeff MacRae took me to a regular CrossFit workout at his gym in Charlottetown, PEI.
Conveniently, CrossFit PEI is located right beside his gymnastics club.
Jeff’s only recently taken up the sport yet qualified to National Championships for the first time in 2010. (Inconveniently Crossfit Nationals conflicted with Artistic Gymnastics Nationals.)
Jeff is certified as a “gymnastics expert” in Crossfit. Indeed he’s scheduled to teach several “gymnastics” workshops across Atlantic Canada.
Crossfit is booming. If you’ve not yet checked it out yourself, stop by your local club. My preconceptions that it would be dangerous, participants using bad technique, turned out to be unfounded. Jeff cannot recall a serious injury at his program over the past 2yrs.
This book is geared towards MAG though it’s useful too for CrossFit and other strength sports, for both male and females.
… Building the Gymnastic Body allows you to go deep within the world of gymnastics strength training. Extremely comprehensive and detailed, with nearly 200 exercises (many of which have never been seen before by the general public) and well over 500 photographs, it is a complete developmental template for building the essential foundation of strength required for all gymnastics success. Whether you are a competitive athlete looking for an edge, a fitness enthusiast or just beginning a healthier lifestyle, Building the Gymnastic Body is the answer you have been searching for.
CHAPTER ONE – Gymnastics as Conditioning
CHAPTER TWO – General Information, Tools of the Trade – 9, Basic Gymnastics Terminology – 11, The Selection of These Exercises – 15, Handstands & Press Handstands – 16
CHAPTER THREE – Basic Strength – 21
CHAPTER FOUR – Fundamental Static Positions; L-sit – 26, Straddle L – 30, Manna – 35, Back Lever – 41, Front Lever, Planche – 49
CHAPTER FIVE – Upper Body Pressing; Fundamental Bodyweight Exercises, Push-up Variations – 61, Dip Variations – 68, HSPU Variations – 76, Multi-plane Pressing Variations – 83
Coach, Judge and Baseball nut Jeff Macrae sends us this link:
The CrossFit Games are now on in Aromas California and there are some BEASTS of athletes there. The individual competition started today with the athletes performing 5 workouts today and the top 16 moving on to the finals tomorrow where they have to complete 3 more! It’s pretty intense and the competition itself has grown immensely as this is only the 3rd year for it. There is even talk of it being televised on VS. next year.
As Crossfit advances as a sport, I’m seeing more and more similarities between their conditioning and gymnastics. In fact, many of the best Crossfit coaches do a lot of gymnastics conditioning.
From one article:
One of the questions I get asked most often is: What exercises do gymnasts do to train their abdominals? People are always in awe of the strength gymnasts possess. Gymnasts are small athletes, but pound for pound some of the worldâ€™s strongest.
Gymnastics is an extremely demanding sport which asks its athletes to do things the body physiologically just shouldnâ€™t do and core strength is a major part of any gymnasts conditioning routine. Without a rock solid core there is no way these athletes could perform the skills and routines they are required to do.
Below are 5 common exercises gymnasts use to train their abdominals. Please note that these exercises are fairly advanced. Make sure you have the necessary basic abdominal strength before attempting them. …
The October 2007 CrossFit Journal (#62) had a cover story on using a pommel bucket for general strength conditioning.
“Bucket Circles” – Gymnastics coach Phil Savage explains how to use a simple bucket-and-rope contraption to allow the Rest of Us to train like gymnasts. Working the ability to perform circles on the floor (as male gymnasts do in competition on the pommel horse) with the feet supported and rotating around the body provides excellent strength and coordination work that carries over to all sorts of endeavors.
I like these buckets for beginners, and for recreation. The flat floor (as shown) is safest. Be sure to put marks on the floor so the kids know where to place the hands.
The bucket shown, however, is not the ideal design. Having built many over the years, the best way I’ve found is to suspend the bucket in a “twist belt” by height adjustable chain and cable. Attaching to a boxing swivel on the roof.
Expensive, yes. But worth it.
Leave a comment if you have any other advice for coaches who want to build one.