Every year, throughout the opens, CrossFit athletes are reminded of those movements that they haven’t yet mastered – pull-ups, muscle-ups, handstand push-ups, etc. For one weekend those athletes may throw their bodies haphazardly towards the ceiling, hoping, somehow, they end up over the bar or rings, successfully completing their first muscle up, pull-up or whatever other movement Dave Castro may come up with.
Every year, throughout the opens, CrossFit coaches are challenged and conflicted. I never want to tell someone they cannot attempt a movement, but I also know from personal experience that without some prerequisite strength there are movements no athlete should be attempting. More than I never want to tell an athlete no, I never want to see an athlete with an easily preventable injury.
I like to classify movements (particularly gymnastics) into two categories – the sexy and the badass movements. The sexy movements look so smooth and easy – the butterfly pull-up, kipping muscle-up, kipping handstand push ups…when you watch advanced athletes these movements look so basic even a newbie will be tempted to just use a little swing to get a rhythm. The badass movements require time, effort, and what Coach Dan referred to as humility training in his blog post about this time last year. Most people want to attempt the sexy movements before the badass ones but this technique often leads to inconsistency and several visits to the physical therapist.
I am an athlete who wanted to run before I could even crawl; luckily I also try to over control every movement which prevented me from causing serious damage (mind you I am on a first name basis with my physical therapist and have him on speed dial largely due to my lack of patience and discipline). I can almost promise if you get kipping muscle ups prior to strict there will be a time when you fall through the rings and scare the shit out of yourself. Strict movements force an understanding and appreciation of body positioning which will help to prevent so many accidents waiting to happen.
With a new post-opens year starting we all have 11 more months before the announcement of 18.1; 11 months which can be filled with progression, strength, and humility or 11 months to pay co-pays and get to know our PT a little better as we try to reverse the damage of too much too soon. So when you get frustrated as a coach tries to save you from yourself, remember our goal is to make you sexy badasses who have mastered strict movements and progressed to kipping.
– Coach Karen