How to Involve Skill Practice at Your CrossFit Affiliate
In our classes at Lumber Capital Athletics we regularly give our members time to practice new skills. Acquiring their first handstand push-up or muscle-up is a big deal and will help the athlete complete more workouts “as prescribed,” which is something lots of people are continually working towards.
And the best part about this relatively open-ended practice is that it allows both the veteran and novice to push themselves. One person is working towards doing a range of motion wall walk while another is doing freestanding handstand holds.
The principles of this skill practice are the same for all our athletes, but the specifics will vary.
Skill Practice Principles
(i) Select a Specific Movement Category.
(ii) Choose an Appropriately Challenging Movement.
(iii) Engage in Unfatigued Practice.
Specific Movement Category
The first thing we do in our programming is specify which movement category to do the skill practice.
Some examples are jump rope skills, inverted gymnastics and hanging gymnastics.
This narrows the focus to align with desired stimulus for the day’s workout and avoid overuse issues from undesired redundancy.
Here’s an example of the types of “progressions” we provide for our members.
As this graphic shows, there needs to be an appropriate amount of challenge for skill work.
Too little and the athlete will be bored.
Too much leads to anxiety to try or to an unhelpful level of frustration.
Generally, we tell athletes to pick a movement variation you don’t have yet, but one where you are at least seeing some level of micro-progress.
A lot of what we do in CrossFit is capacity based.
This is good because it is what leads to fitness adaptations.
But sometimes in order to improve upon your ability to express your fitness ceiling you must improve your base level skill, strength and efficiency through unfatigued practice.
To us, this means the correct structuring of the practice opportunities in the class programming, as well as verbally reinforcing what unfatigued practice should look and feel like.