“Hopefully we can educate people and show them that, hey, gymnastics is something that’s really hard at an Olympic level where you’re super specific, but all this basic stuff is actually completely doable, especially if you have the fundamentals in CrossFit,” says Carl Paoli, a trainer at San Francisco CrossFit and the owner of Naka Athletics.
Join Paoli as he teaches Jason Khalipa the backflip—for time.
“If you can do a power clean at body weight and a nice, easy knees-to-elbows, and you know those two movements or those two motions, then you’re going to be able to put them together, and we’re going to put it into this backflip,” Paoli says. “It’s backflip for time.”
Khalipa doesn’t think the tutorial will be easy.
“I’m not just naturally gifted at anything. I’m not that guy, so I gotta kinda put in the work,” he says. “It means more to me because when you succeed at something you worked your ass off for it, it’s badass.”
With Khalipa ready to work, Paoli starts the progressions, moving from the landing to the jump and then on to the tuck position. Once Khalipa has those down, he attempts a backflip with a harness. When the harness is removed, can Khalipa perform a standing backflip?
Additional reading: Why Train Gymnastics Basics? by Jeff Tucker, published Aug. 1, 2008.