Body Weight Workouts… Gymnastics…Body Control

This week we are going to be looking at the third level of the Fitness Pyramid or Hierarchy of Athletic Development.  This component is Gymnastics.

“It is within this realm of activities that we can develop extraordinary strength (especially upper body and trunk), flexibility, coordination, balance, agility, and accuracy.” What is Fitness Greg Glassman

Often thought about once every four years, or by parents looking to get their young kids physically active, most people don’t think about the amazing benefits that Gymnastics Movements can have on our strength and fitness.  If you’ve ever had a child, or know someone who has, you’ve heard how monumental the smallest physical acts can be.  

Learning to hold your head up on your own.  

Rolling Over.

Crawling.

Standing Up.

Walking.

To you and me those movements might not seem like that big a deal. You’ve crawled home from the bars countless times, You roll over every night in your sleep and standing up and walking around is just standard practice.  

Take a look around, are you reading this at the office or in a coffee shop?  Look at the way people are sitting, how many of the people around you do you think can hold a solid plank position or perform a proper squat?  If you’re sitting by yourself, quick, check out your posture, would you consider it good, or would it make a chiropractor cringe?   

We incorporate basic gymnastic movements to our training program in order to help establish your ability to control your body through space, increase your range of motion and establish control of your body in those new ranges of motion.  A better way to think about gymnastics is Body Control.  

If you were to talk about gymnastics with someone, you might get the images of pull-ups, handstands and cool s**t on the rings.  These movements just scratch the surface of gymnastics.  They are the sexy images that inspire you to try CrossFit or jump on the monkey bars in the park, but they’re not the only movements that help you become the bodyweight ninja or bathroom mirror badass you hope to become.

The gymnastics we work on aren’t always the flashiest movements.  When we work on gymnastics, we start with establishing a good body position and then start working on controlling that position. Take Core Strength, being able to strengthen your core (from knees to shoulders) and then control it, will lead to strengthening and protecting your extremities.  

Movements almost always start from the core and extend out.  If the core isn’t working correctly, it will directly impact the amount of work and the quality of work that the rest of the body can do.  And as I’m sure you all know, your body is an amazing thing, when it lacks mobility, stability or strength, it will compensate for it and eventually lead to issues or worse, injuries down the road.  Nobody wants that, life is too fun to be sidelined with injuries.

It’s important to remember that developing body control will have HUGE payout for you in your athletic and personal life.  It might take some time to develop and isn’t always flashy or cool to watch, but it will keep you healthy and safe as you chase your goals.  We always want the finished product, the thing we see on TV.  Rarely do we get the behind the scenes view of the hard work and time it takes to produce it.  So before you go jumping on a set of high rings or practicing your Parkour at the local park,  Gymnastics, Body Control, the ability to move yourself through space safely and efficiently is the third level of our fitness pyramid and can take time to develop. But once you’ve begun that process not only will you become a stronger and more durable athlete  but you’ll  be able to perform all those gymnastic movements you’ve dreamt about.

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