The Proper Way to Do V-ups

Walk into any gym in the world or flip through any fitness magazine and you are bound to come across someone doing one of the most common “core” exercises out there: V-ups. However, the list of people who are actually performing V-ups correctly is quite short. Coach Christopher Sommer has repeatedly emphasized the importance of […]

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First Things First: Mastering the Hollow Body Position

  Have you ever seen someone attempt a front lever, only to pike their hips due to a lack of core strength? Unfortunately, many athletes make this mistake of attempting GST movements that are too advanced without first establishing a proper base. As Coach Christopher Sommer often says in GymnasticBodies Seminars around the globe, “Take care of first things […]

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Injury Free with GST

By Gerilyn Burnett   It’s time. She steps onto the mat and breathes deeply. She sees no crowd, hears no music, feels nothing but calm. This mat is her entire world. Thousands of tiny decisions over the past months – no, years – led up to this moment. Is she rea… ? ‘Off’ goes the internal […]

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Obliques: The Missing Link in Your Core

Oblique strength and mobility is virtually non-existent in adults nowadays. Most people spend their time sitting, and if they do exercise, they most likely only train vertically or horizontally. This sedentary lifestyle leaves out ranges of motion such as rotating, twisting, and side-bending, which are all performed by using your obliques. Without these movements, your core, hips, and back […]

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The Importance of Wrist Health for GST

Typing at a keyboard. Texting on a phone. Driving in the car. Your wrists are involved in almost every physical movement that you do, both inside the gym and out. Despite the ubiquity of wrist movements in daily life, most people do not spend nearly enough time taking care of their wrists. As the adage […]

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What to Do When You Lack Motivation for Training

Bumps in the road… we all come across them every once in a while in our training. Days when we have trouble getting out of bed, feel lethargic throughout the day, and just utterly lack the motivation to train. It is only natural to have ups and downs along the path, and you are just […]

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How to do an L-Sit: What, Why, and How

The L-sit is a common position throughout the fitness world that has been poorly adopted by calisthenics, yoga, CrossFit, and others. It has its basis in gymnastics, however, and as such for Gymnastics Strength Training there are particular features we will look for and cues we will coach when discussing the L-sit. How a person does […]

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Handstand Practice and Quality of Life

Not all of us are elite, competitive gymnasts, and not all of us have specific goals of doing press handstands or one-arm work. However, handstand training can increase your quality of life no matter who you are, even if you just use Gymnastics Strength Training as a hobby to simply get in shape and live […]

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The Gymnastic Body: GST, Function, and Aesthetics

  Coach Sommer’s former athlete Allan Bower with the OU Men’s Gymnastics Team When it comes to aesthetics, building muscle, and flat out “looking good naked,” there is a lot of confusion out there in the fitness arena. On one hand, the purpose of an activity such as bodybuilding is to get as big and shredded as […]

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Beat the Status Quo: Train for both Strength AND Flexibility

The status quo in the fitness world is that strong people like to lift weights, and flexible people like to stretch. This can lead to serious problems, however, because flexibility without strength is just as limited and prone to injury as strength without flexibility. Many powerlifters, for example, train all year just to add 10 pounds to their bench press, […]

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Are YOU Training Shoulder Extension?

Try this right now: sit down on the floor and place your arms behind you. With your palms down and pinky fingers touching, lower your shoulders as close to the ground as possible. A little tight? That is because shoulder extension is a range of motion trained by very few people in the fitness arena. […]

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Elevated Side Split Testimonial

Dear Coach Sommer,   I am yet to see an elevated side splits photo on the forum. To be honest I haven’t gone through it in detail – It would be cool if I was the first.   Just letting you know I am an avid fan of your approach to training and a dedicated […]

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Ring Rows Build Bodyweight Strength for Rope Climbing

The bodyweight row is a deceptive exercise that many people mistakenly overlook, thus missing out on its potential benefits. Ring rows build the bodyweight strength necessary for rope climbing, and they help correct muscular imbalances and deficiencies that could lead to shoulder injuries. They are infinitely scalable to match or challenge your current level of strength, and they pay huge dividends […]

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The Benefits of Hamstring Flexibility and Pike Compression

Most adults are so inflexible in their hamstrings that they cannot even touch their toes. This is a serious deficiency, and one that is limiting them in a wide variety of movements. Moreover, the gymnastic pike position requires active compression of the hips, and a poor pike position will make press handstands, mannas, and many […]

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The Tools of Gymnastic Strength Training

If you ask Wikipedia what bodyweight training is, it will tell you that it is strength training without weights using the body as resistance. Many students new to Gymnastic Strength Training mistake a lack of using weights to mean that bodyweight training does not need or benefit from equipment. This is untrue. GST uses a […]

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