Change Your Exercise Tempo to Speed Your Gains
Have you hit a plateau with your strength training? Adjusting your exercise tempo may be all you need to accelerate your muscle growth and make old exercises stimulating again. Try this to keep the gains coming!
While the tempo in the GB Online Courses is the gold standard for mastery of an exercise, we’ll take a look at some examples of basic upper body strengthening exercises that you can tempo-tweak for your next workout.
Push Ups: Use Exercise Tempo to Do The Basics Better
The king for building bent arm pushing strength is the classic go-to bodyweight exercise, the push-up! This exercise is great for developing healthy shoulders and a strong chest and triceps.
For this, use a 1-2-3 exercise tempo. Starting from a plank position with shoulders strongly protracted (think widening your shoulder blades), take 1 second to lower your body until your chest is just above the ground. Now HOLD that position for 2 seconds before returning to the plank position. Take 3 seconds for the press portion of the rep. Don’t forget to protract the shoulders at the top of each push-up! Remember that you are building strong shoulders in a full range of motion. If a ground push up is too demanding for your current level, try elevating your hands on a bench, or start on your knees. Remember: keep those elbows in.
Build more strength by implementing useful training tips like these from our Online Courses.
Ring Rows: Pulling Power
It’s important to work bent arm pulling strength to create awesome rope climbing power. Your lats and back will thank you for these. The key to building strong shoulders is scapular retraction (think of pinching your shoulder blades together) at the top of the rep.
This time use a 3-2-1 tempo. Begin from the bottom position hanging from the rings with your back a few inches from the ground and arms fully extended. Maintain a strong posterior tilt in the pelvis. Feet should be on the ground or may be elevated for more of a challenge. Begin pulling and take 3 seconds to reach full scapular retraction. Hold this retraction for 2 seconds before lowering to the start position in 1 second. Take a breath and repeat. Focus on keeping a strong solid core and engaged glutes. You want to maintain a posterior pelvic tilt (PPT) through the entire movement; no banana backs allowed!
Planche Leans: Straight Arm Capacity
Now, let's work that straight arm strength in order to create those bulletproof shoulders. Maintaining protraction of the scapula is the key to success for this one.
Use a 3-2-1 tempo. (Starting to see a trend?) Begin from the plank position with shoulders over hands. Keep lower body tight, again with strong posterior pelvic tilt. Squeezing the glutes will help with this. With a 3 second count lean forward as you protract strongly until you hit a lean you can hold for 2 seconds. Take 1 second to return to starting position. Repeat for the desired number of reps. A focus point here is to keep the shoulders depressed (down, away from your ears) during the movement. These are deceptively hard! As you get stronger your lean will get better. Stay with a lean that you can hold and build strength in that position before you move to a greater lean.
Give it a go and break through plateaus today! If you are having problems with sticking points in your GB training, a tempo change may be just what Coach Sommer ordered. Focus on, and switch up, your tempo for better body awareness and heightened gains for a few workouts and see how you do. Add these tempo changes to your next sessions and let us know in the comments how it went! You’ll be surprised at how this change of pace will allow you to build impressive strength with the most basic foundational bodyweight exercises from the GymnasticBodies Online Courses.