The Best CrossFit Gymnastics Accessory Exercises
One of the most unique components of CrossFit training compared to other forms of exercise is the variety of gymnastics skills programmed. While many athletes perform pull-ups, few progress to muscles-ups, handstands pushups, and pistol squats. Many athletes struggle progressing to more advanced gymnastics movements doing the daily WOD at their gym. For those athletes, adding in some specific CrossFit gymnastics accessory exercises can have huge impacts on their performance.
At Performance Plus, we have helped thousands of athletes reach their fitness goals following our 40+ accessory programs. We’d like to share our most prescribed CrossFit gymnastics accessory exercises with you.
Want more? Our “50 Best CrossFit Accessory Exercises” eBook covers a wide range of movements to help athletes of all skills levels reach their fitness goals. Download that by signing up below.
TTB Heel Box Drill
- Who Is This Exercise For? Athletes who want to build more tension to create more power and strength for more Toes to Bar reps.
- Technique: The athlete begins in a tight arch & press palms to the floor to begin the hollow pike position. Think about bringing the rib cage down to the belly button to create a hollow trunk and lock out elbows to engage lats.
Ball Up + Eccentric
- Who Is This Exercise For? For athletes struggling with flexibility and hip flexor strength.
- Technique: The athlete begins in a hollow and creates a tuck position. Then begin to “ball up” by pressing palms to the floor to engage lats. Do NOT throw your head back. Once feet are on rig, open knees to create a stretch and then slowly lower legs in pike position to build more hip flexor strength.
3 Position BMU
- Who Is This Exercise For? For athletes to build muscle memory for each position of skill and those who rush too quickly to top and end up with chicken wing or landing low in bar muscle-ups.
- Technique: The athlete will use this drill to practice the arch, hollow and pull around by using tension and lats. After you see toes on horizon, press down with palms to activate lats and squeeze glutes to create an open hollow.
BMU 3 Position Pull Around to Support
- Who Is This Exercise For? For athletes who need more patience into support position.
- Technique: The athlete will use this as a sequence drill and has 3 parts. Each part builds on one another until you reach the support position. Be certain to perform each with intention by creating the arch, hollow and lat pull down position.
- Who Is This Exercise For? For athletes who have trouble with the initial pull of the strict pull-up, needing to build strength around the shoulder blades, or needing improved grip strength.
- Technique: The athlete will want to keep elbows locked out and rib down in a hollow body position. Think about a target above that you want to tap your head each time.
Toe Assist Pull-up
- Who Is This Exercise For? For athletes trying to master their first strict pull-up.
- Technique: The athlete will use the top of toe to assist in the pull-up. Make sure you begin with an active shoulder and keep a hollow body position throughout skill to work on building shaping for other skills.
Snap to Hollow
- Who Is This Exercise For? For athletes who use their hips too much for kipping or to learn how to use the arch in a hollow to create efficient power.
- Technique: The athlete will start in a tight arch with just heels and shoulders on ground. Palms facing ceiling. The athlete will want to create the hollow, think about squeezing glutes while bringing the rib down to the belly button.
Kip Swing 3 Position with Band
- Who Is This Exercise For? For athletes to build on each position of the kip.
- Technique: The athlete will use this drill to understand how each position will build upon each other. Think about pressing down on the rig for hollow and pushing away for the arch. Do not generate power by bending at the hip. The hip should create a “smooth” shape [like a banana shape] not any angles.
Strict BUP Circles
- Who Is This Exercise For? For athletes who have many strict slow pull-ups and are ready to train the butterfly pull-up for speed.
- Technique: The athlete should keep the body locked into one long lever while the arms pull up and around to create the motion of the pull-up. The purpose is to show athletes how to control each portion of the skill through the shoulder muscles [instead of dropping out of an active position at the bottom which we do NOT want to see.]
Deficit Pike HSPU
- Who Is This Exercise For? For athletes trying to build strength for their first strict hspu or to get stronger at handstand pushups.
- Technique: The athlete will start with hands, shoulders and hips stacked to create a stacked position. Shift slightly forward as you descend into the bottom of skill to create a tripod position. Think about pressing through palms the entire time, never losing tension. Press back up into the start position by bracing the core.
- Who Is This Exercise For? For athletes who want to build tricep strength for CrossFit gymnastics skills.
- Technique: The athlete starts with hands just outside shoulders and elbows down on ground. Create a hollow position and squeeze glutes to maintain a solid body. Drive shoulders forward as you press through the ground, while elbows move to press position. Push to top of push-up and then return the same way to start position.
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