The Importance of Progressions 

By Scott Somerville

One of the most rewarding parts of being a Coach is seeing an athlete establish the fundamentals, get consistency in their workout and then build off them overtime to reach their goals. All of VSC’s programs utilise progressions so we can work with an individual to help build strength, muscle memory and to reduce the chance of an injury by teaching the correct technique.

The gymnastics movements in CrossFit can be challenging. Most of us will find these movements difficult and sometimes frustrating - thankfully this is where progressions help. Progressions are the base for all gymnastic movements. Skipping past progressions and trying to achieve the end result quickly rarely works. Coaches take on the responsibility for the safety of the athletes and will ensure that the progressions are safe for each individual whilst still making sure it is challenging and that they are progressing with the movements.  

There are so many different levels of fitness and skill levels at every box, taking some time to assess where you are with your movements and where you want to be is a great way to set goals. Progression, hard work and determination are what will get you there. Always keep in mind when aspiring to reach a goal, “What are the progressions I need to learn and practice to get to where I want to be?”

Some progressions to kipping pull ups include hollow rocks and Superman, banned pull ups, negative pull ups, strict pull ups and C’s & D’s. These will all help with engaging and building the muscles to safely achieve pull ups whilst also teaching the athlete the correct technique. Even when the kipping pull up has become a handy tool in slashing time off your WODs, it’s important to remember that the progressions are always there to help build technique and strength.

Coaches will also use progressions or scaled movements to keep the athletes moving safely through the workout at a high intensity, this will make you better at CrossFit and will move you forward in learning how to correctly execute the movement.

Learning and practicing progressions are so important to an athlete’s growth and achieving performance goals. Put in the hard work and you will reap the benefits! If it’s good enough for CrossFit Game athletes to continue practicing and developing through the help of progressions, then it’s good enough for all of us. 

Remember you can’t run until you learn to walk!