As a coach, are your dynamic warm-ups not so dynamic? Need to shake things up a bit? Want to give your athletes a tip-to-toe warm-up that is both exciting and creative?
Ever considered tumbling?
Most CrossFit gyms have similar warm-up routines, consisting of mobility exercises and dynamic movements, slowly and painfully repeated in a zombie-like stretch walk that seems to last an eternity. Typically, I find myself falling behind while I work to get the most out of each movement. I tend to look up and realize the entire class is waiting for me to finish my last stretch so they can all move on. And it happens the same way almost every single day.
For box owners, it’s also not easy to dream up exceptional and varying warm-ups each day that will fully prep their athletes’ bodies for intense functional movement AND be engaging, community building moments. Between programming workouts (sometimes for multiple classes), running their business, and enriching their community, box owners are stretched pretty thin.
So what simple solution can we bring to the table?
While watching the 1996 Olympics as a young girl, I was inspired to be a gymnast (thanks Dominique Moceanu!) After convincing my parents to enroll me, I continued gymnastics for six years. In fact, much of the reason I wanted to try CrossFit is because it incorporates many gymnastics movements and mimics many of the conditioning patterns to which I’ve grown so fond. Further, the wide-range of skills developed through gymnastics naturally transfer to mastering the variety of lifts utilized in CrossFit. Pairing the two together is a “perfect 10!”
Incorporating gymnastics and tumbling into your warm-up routine is not only fun, but a great way to get the body warm, loosen up the joints and muscles, and increase circulation. Tumbling and gymnastics develop spatial awareness, motor control, and coordination.
5 Simple Steps to Powerful Tumbling Warm Ups
1. Roll out wrestling or gymnastics mats the length of your normal dynamic warm-up
2. Have everyone line up in two single-file lines
3. Coach athletes to perform each exercise in pairs
4. Let athletes know up front that if they are uncomfortable with any skill, they can scale the movement with a simple roll or cartwheel, etc.
5. Instruct athletes to complete two passes of each of these movements (3X)
- Forward Roll
- Backwards Roll
- Dive Roll
- Bear crawl
- Donkey Kick
- Handstand Walk
- Round Off
Need a demo? Here are two warm up routines from top coaches:
Basic Tumbling Warm-Up Video
Advanced Tumbling Warm Up Video (err… maybe don’t attempt.. until they’re ready)
Give it a go! Tumbling is functional fitness that is too infrequently applied and an awesome way to force gym members out of their comfort zone, connect with other members and show their goofy side. You won’t be disappointed.
Thinking about switching up your warm-up routine? What about your programming? Discover which types of classes other successful box owners are offering their athletes. Get your copy of our 2016 Affiliate Gym Benchmark Report.