Gymnastics, as Coach Glassman says, "has no peer among training modalities" for developing the four neurological components of the ten physical skills that comprise real fitness--coordination, accuracy agility, and balance. These skills and the basic body control and complex movement patterns that gymnastics requires and develops are a critical part of full CrossFit programming, but they can seem intimidating or mysterious to those of us without a gymnastics background or specialized equipment. But it doesn't have to be that way: the basic moves are accessible to everyone on even basic equipment, with a bit of instruction, and are well worth learning (and learning to teach to your athletes, if you are a trainer or coach).
This video article, the second in a series of CrossFit oriented basic gymnastics drills on the pull-up bar with Jeff Tucker and Jason Malutich from GSX Athletics, gives hands-on demonstration of some progressions and drills almost anyone can use to work toward front and back levers. Coach Tucker works with some regular CrossFitters (even some big guys--to make the point that the benefits of gymnastics work aren't limited to small body types), starting with beginning inversion on the bar and progressing closer and closer to a full lever. Our coaches give lots of expert information in this video on safety and spotting techniques in as well.
Another fascinating and unique gymnastics resource from CrossFit.com is the physical training manual Gymnastics and Tumbling, a fabulous reference book originally published by the U.S. Navy in 1944, available in its entirety here.