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Proprioception

The CrossFit Games start in a little over a week. If you didn’t know it yet, we have an athlete from CrossFit For Glory that QUALIFIED and will be competing. This isn’t a post about that, but if you want to read all about it, check out Jay’s story here.

 

I want to shed light on another topic related to the Games though. Every year, CF HQ puts out statistics of all sorts about “what makes up a Games athlete.” Height, weight, PRs, what they eat…its all good fun.

 

2015_PreRegionals_Infographic_FINAL2 (1) How-Do-You-Compare-to-the-2015-CrossFit-Games-Athletes
What I’ve often found most fascinating though is the backgrounds that these athletes have come from.

 

Want to know what most of the female Games (and even Regional) level competitors did before finding CrossFit?

 

I’ll give you a hint – these are the same types of people that walk into CFG and find themselves having success with most things that are tossed at them – be it work with a barbell or on the pull-up bar.

 

Coincidentally, there are also the type of member who are the “easiest” to teach new skills to.

 

Any guesses yet?

 

Ok, one last test – take a look at the list of movements below and pick out which ones scare you the most. Which ones are you most likely to avoid? Which ones will cost you a faster time in a workout?

 

Snatch
Pull-Up
Clean and Jerk
Toes to Bar
Burpees
Muscle-Ups
Box Jumps
Handstand push-ups
Kettlebell Swings
Ring Dips

 

Put another way: Which ones are the biggest holes in your fitness? The ones that if you practiced more than the others, would reap the greatest reward?

 

I’m going to go out on a limb and bet my ownership stake (100%) in CFG that 99.99% of you will select some or ALL of the gymnastic based movements on this list.

 

Coincidentally, this is the answer to my earlier question – GYMNASTS have the easiest time when transitioning into CrossFit.

 

Or dance.

 

Or soccer.

 

Or swimming.

 

Or golf.

 

Or [insert any other sport here]

 

Why?

 

Simple: proprioception.

 

Huh? Proprioception is a word that means “knowing your body’s position in space.”

 

Gymnasts spend an eternity practicing this.

 

This means that when I show something to a gymnast and have them do it, they usually pick it up with one or two cues from me about what they need to do differently with their body. They are fluent in that language.

 

The other thing that spend an eternity doing?

 

Being connected from fingertips to toes. There is not a muscle in their body that is not “on” or “active” when they are performing movements.
 
Arms = Straight. Legs = Straight. Toes = Pointed. Abs = On. Glutes = On. THIS is connected!
Arms = Straight.
Legs = Straight.
Toes = Pointed.
Abs = On.
Glutes = On.
THIS is connected!

 

Points are deducted if that happens.

 

Next time you’re in class, watch one of our former gymnasts (Jordan, Coach Steph, Emily, or Kelsey) hop onto the bar and do a pull-up or toes to bar. Better yet, check out some shots right now:

 

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And if YOU want to get better at the gymnastic elements, start with practicing the most basic ones, and work to make your positions absolutely PERFECT:

 

  • Hollow and Arch work (floor FIRST, then bar)
  • Push-Ups
  • Strict Pull-Ups
  • Planks

 

Get better at those and watch your fitness soar!

 

Not sure where to start? No worries, our upcoming Gymnastics Specialty course will offer a roadmap! Stay tuned for details.

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