What happens in a typical CrossFit Tel Aviv Gymnastics class?
By Coach Courtney Mann
In each gymnastics class I try to tackle a few different elements. The main goal and foundation is to have control over one’s body AND their movements. A major emphasis is given to understanding and applying proper techniques, specifically in the shoulder girdle, thoracic or mid-back musculature, and core.
Being able to fully execute the different scapular movements (depress, elevate, protract and retract) on demand, or being able to fire up the abdominal muscles is essential to increasing performance and working progressions for new skills and strength movements.
- From left to right: Elevation, Depression, Protraction, Retraction
Increasing range of motion and strength is another main goal of mine. We spend time in class (and out on your own time!) tackling mobility issues and limitations. Whether it is dedicating time to working on your splits in order to have a bigger straddle position in a handstand or lever…
- Front or Straddle Split
- Side Split
- Straddle Handstand
…or lengthening out the chest muscles in order to be able to have an open shoulder position in a handstand.
- Open Chest
- Closed Chest
…or working on the German Hang to increase shoulder extension.
Individual work and homework is given to those based on needs and goals.
- German Hang
Having control over your body along with full range of motion movement plus strength creates a really solid athletic foundation. This formula also has the added benefit of decreasing chances of injury – whether it is in the world of gymnastics or any other sport.
A typical class starts with a warm up focused on the wrists, shoulders and chest. The beginning of the class is spent on technique work and handstand drills. These are usually coupled with some core or mid-back strengthening exercises just to make things a little extra spicy.
- Top pull up position holds
- L-sit on the rings
A large focus is put on pushing and pulling strength (straight and bent-arm) as well as anti rotational movement or ”core exercises” on a variety of equipment – rings, floor, high bar, boxes. There are a variety of levels per class. As such, the movements vary on an individualized basis.
The more advanced students work towards four goals:
- Free Standing Handstand
- Back and Front Levers
- Shoulder Stand
The more beginner students work on the progressions that will soon allow them to accomplish the above skills.
Gymnastics class gives students a better understanding and application of how their body works, increases flexibility and strength, increases joint stability and decreases injury – all while in the process of making body weight ninjas!
- Bar complex of: Strict toes-to-bar, tuck lever, tuck lever row, pull up with hold at top
- Ring complex of: Strict ring muscle up, L-sit, shoulder stand