Shapesmiths Gymnastics Class

This weekend (18.10.20) we launch the Shapesmiths Gymnastics Class. But what is it and why is it good for you to follow? 

First of all it’s important to say that this is not a traditional gymnastics class, full of tumbling, pommel and rhythmic skills.  Instead we work around what we would call ‘CrossFit Gymnastics’ that is…in the most basic of terms…elements of traditional gymnastics that will help you ‘do the fitness’, much better.  

We have put together a structured weekly class program, that is centred on developing and mastering elemental gymnastic positions, flexibility & developing core strength. This is a perfect accompaniment to WOD, Engine AND Weightlifting classes.

The class will initially cover three main elements:

  1. Wrist Mobility
  2. Handstand/Inversion
  3. A developmental gymnastics WOD that builds towards HSPUs.


With 27 bones, 27 joints and over 100 ligaments and tendons your wrist and hand will often need some care and attention when it comes to the movements that we perform in CrossFit.

By working on your wrist & hand mobility not only will we improve handstand related elements, we will also be able to improve other positions, such as your barbell front rack position for front squats and cleans.

This can also have a positive effect on your elbow and in some cases even further up the chain, to your shoulder! Huge benefits!


Getting upside down in a handstand for CrossFit newbies is often something that hasn’t been attempted since childhood. The class will slowly develop the basics of inversions so that you can reap the fitness benefits.

By working on straight arm strength you will learn how to use your bones as scaffolding upon which you can more effectively stack load (body weight or external load) and reduce the dependence on the muscles. This will transfer over to other skills such as Olympic Lifting and barbell movements too! 

Gymnastics WOD

At the end of the session we will work through 3-4 exercises, in a WOD-style, that will assist and further develop the elemental positions of gymnastics (think hollow body ‘core’ work, presses, balances and positional work) under mild fatigue.


If you can’t make Saturday’s classes at 9AM & 10AM the programming is live on WODify for you to see and give a go in open gym! If you follow along you are sure to make some amazing improvements! If you are following in your own time, let us know how you are getting on!

9 things we love. When our members…

We think that our amazing community does a stellar job of helping the coaches and management maintain an amazing atmosphere. We love having you in the arches day after day enjoying the best hour of your day! Below are 9 of the things that we especially love when we see them.

  1. Arrive on time. We know sometimes life gets in the way, trains/late meetings etc. but we love it when folks get in early and mobilise/perform movement prep for specific body parts that need special attention. 
  2. Come in knowing what the context of the day is, either practice, benchmark or resilience day. This makes sure we are all on the same page. If you come in a little sleep-deprived to a benchmark day, that’s totally OK. Just let the coach know what’s going on in your life and we can make a game-time decision on what’s best. If you would like some help with sleep & nutrition Feed.Fuel.Perform, led by Dr Sinead, are your go-to in-house experts on that. 
  3. Grab a rope. It’s great to see lots of members are educated on correct footwear and some sort of gymnastic grips to protect their hands.  We would also recommend that you have a skipping rope set up for yourself too! They are a bit like wands in Harry Potter 😉  If you have none of those things and are unsure of the correct footwear comment below this post.
  4. Wait until all members are done before starting to pack away their kit. It’s the worst thing to be finishing a workout, working as hard as you can and the rest of the class is cleaning and chatting it up. When we see our members offer up some gentle encouragement it warms our hearts! Obviously, two caveats to this are that some may not want/need the encouragement and sometimes the coach may have given specific instructions for a cleanup.
  5. Allowing the coach to do the coaching in class. We love it when you avoid the temptation to coach your fellow classmates. Remember, everyone has had wildly different days and some comments may not be welcome.  Keep it light, keep it a swell of positivity. A rising tide raises all boats. 
  6. Wear clean clothes and deodorant. We sweat a LOT at Shapesmiths. Very easily clothing can pick up smells, especially some technical apparel. So we appreciate everyone that wears clean clothes and wears deodorant/antiperspirant to keep the place smelling so fresh and so clean-clean. 
  7. Cancel classes with enough notice: This is especially awesome as it opens up precious spaces for other members keen to train that day. The notice required is 10PM the night before for morning classes and 2 hours for ANY class AFTER 9AM. 
  8. Helping to clean up everyone else’s equipment. This is a beautiful thing when it happens. So many of you do this here! SO MUCH LOVE FOR THIS! Keep it up!
  9. Use as little chalk as possible. Some of you are very savvy. You have figured out that you don’t need as much chalk as you originally thought you did. For those not in the know, too much chalk can cause rips (it increases friction between pull up bar and your hands…science.) Too much chalk also means decreased fitness through too many unnecessary ‘chalk breaks’ (this is tongue in cheek but, still).

Have fun and play. We love it when everyone is learning, challenging themselves and having fun. Simple as that. The more smiles and laughs the better.