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Crossfit vs Gymnastics

A few weeks ago, I was asked about some of the differences between “CrossFit Gymnastics” and “Competition Gymnastics.” Below is a continuation of that conversation.

Crossfit Gymnastics vs Competition Gymnastics

The Pull-Up: Probably the first difference most people notice is the pull-up. CrossFit athletes are taught to use their whole body to create upward momentum, this is called “kipping” in CrossFit. Gymnasts do not use this kipping technique. If you were to tell a gymnast to do a pull-up, they would do a “strict” pull-up. Pull-ups are always strict in gymnastics.

The Kip: Kipping in crossfit is very different from the gymnastics kip. CrossFit athletes use the kip to give them upward momentum by arching their back and then kicking their legs upward and pulling with the arms. This “kip” is a called a “fish-flop” in the gymnastics world and is used to start a routine on the bars. The gymnastics kip (more commonly known as the kip-up) is comparable to the CrossFit muscle up, ending above the bar.

Standards: Most skills in gymnastics only count if they are performed strict. CrossFit uses both strict and dynamic movements in order to reach the workout stimulus. The only thing that matters are the joints reaching full extension.

Artistic: Gymnasts always keep their legs together, point their toes, and strive for straight arms and legs. While Crossfitters pursue virtuosity, the artistic side of movement is less important.


The goal in CrossFit is to first become proficient and then efficient at functional movements.

The goal of gymnasts is to simply improve body control and awareness.

For example, doing a strict pull-up is probably not the most efficient way to perform a pull-up in your everyday life. While a kipping pull-up has its place for building muscular stamina in the lats and biceps, a strict pull-up will build muscular strength.

In all, there are reasons to do both.


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