3 rounds for time of:
7 bar muscle-ups
205-lb. squat clean and jerks, 7 reps

Gymnastics Positions

Watch the video above and you’ll notice that the athlete, Dave Durante, keeps his legs straight and his body long throughout the entire movement.  Even as he moves into the kip his knees remain straight and you can see him move from superman to hollow identically each rep.

Gymnastics begins with positions.  What are the positions we need to get into?  In today’s case, it’s superman and hollow hold.  The next step is developing the ability to get into these positions quickly, and for most of us this is where things begin to fall apart.  When we perform hollow holds and supermans on the floor everyone’s legs are straight, bellies are tight and arms are extended, but when we take these positions to the pull-up bar and perform a kipping pull-up what happens?  Often the legs bend, bellies are over-extended and arms begin to pull too early.  We anticipate the end-goal and we bypass everything in-between.  If we’re strong enough, it works but it keeps us from ever reaching our true potential.

Drilling these positions is not just to look like we know what we are doing.  They are the foundation on which the gymnastics movements rest.  If you can do a chest-to-bar pullup and a dip, you are strong enough to do a muscle-up, ring or bar.  What is lacking for most is the ability to stick to the correct positions once you add the intensity of performing the complete movement.  When things begin falling apart, start over with the basics:  what positions do you need to hit and how do you get from one to the other quickly?  Until the correct positions become your natural movement pattern you will continue to struggle with the basic gymnastics movements, so put in the work now and you will welcome WODs like these later.