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Connor Davies

Targeting weak links in the human flag

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Connor Davies

Tried a tuck flag today, didn't work so well.  But I found my weak points, so I have a plan to fix it.

 

Specifically, my obliques on the top side to pull myself up, as well as what I believe is my serratus on the underside to push myself up.  (Side note: I found out recently that those two muscles crossover like interlocking fingers.  Not really relevant, but I thought it was cool.)

 

Anyway, I need some specific work to address these weaknesses.  I don't really know of any oblique work where you pull your lower body up, since mostly obliques are worked with twisting exercises.  Should I try to find something specific, or just work with general windshield wipers and such?

 

I can't think of anything that works the scapula the same way, pushing out to the side.  I don't even know what it's called.  Does anyone have any exercises that train that kind of scapula function?  The only thing I can think of is shrugging in a one arm wall handstand, but that seems a bit iffy to me.

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Mikkel Ravn

A little bit impatient, are we? 8)

The obvious answer is to look at SL in F2 since those are, tadaaa: preparatory exercises.

In all honesty, I wouldn't worry about it too much. Foundation will take you there, but without all the sprains and near-miss injuries that homebrewed solutions entail.
 

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Jono

I got a decent flag by doing side planks lol. But when I do them, I contract the all of my body (making it similar to how it'd feel in a flag), squeeze as hard as I can, max effort for 3-4 sets of 10-15s holds, repeat 2-3x per week. I also do that for other exercises, and it seems to be really effective.

 

I also think that regular pulling and pushing exercises will build the strength necessary in the shoulder.

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Connor Davies

A little bit impatient, are we?

Somehow I got myself in a bet with a guy at work....

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Connor Davies

The obvious answer is to look at SL in F2 since those are, tadaaa: preparatory exercises.

Yah, I considered SL/PE11 & 12 as being pretty specific, and they're a lot easier than the previous progressions so I see no reason I can't start working them.  What I really need is that serratus/scapula exercise.  A side plank just isn't heavy enough, no matter how hard I push out to the side...

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Joseff Lea

Somehow I got myself in a bet with a guy at work....

uh oh! This is gonna end badly, I once drank a good amount of this on a bet, needless to say it wasn't pretty  :icon_rolleyes:  

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Keilani Gutierrez

Somehow I got myself in a bet with a guy at work....

do clutch flags count?

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Connor Davies

do clutch flags count?

It was defined as a full lay side lever, no twisting or bending, for at least two seconds, on both sides.

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Mikkel Ravn

uh oh! This is gonna end badly, I once drank a good amount of this on a bet, needless to say it wasn't pretty  :icon_rolleyes:  

Was your ass blasted?  :P

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Keilani Gutierrez

Was your ass blasted?  :P

I know the toilet must have :P 

 

It was defined as a full lay side lever, no twisting or bending, for at least two seconds, on both sides.

hmm...i see no way around this without you getting hurt. see if clutch flags count or chug the sauce. you'll be blown away either way 

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Joseff Lea

I know the toilet must have :P

 

 

The silly things I do when some says: "I dare you to..."

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Flavio85

what exactly do you need, an exercise for scapular protaction? For that you can do planche holds, focusing on protracting the scapulas (you'll get some serratus sore the next day - if properly done). For scapular retraction check this video, do it in a full front lever if you can: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ALzXKe2GCpc

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Jon Douglas

Jump to inverted support, straighten your arms while you are up there, and lower through a negative. When you jump, you want to finish up facing almost completely away from the bars/pole.

 

Edit;

Wait, sorry. Facing almost directly *into* the bars/pole. Start by facing almost completely away from em, before you jump. As in, at the top inverted position, you want to be square-on, facing the bars with your chest. The balance is trickier on a pole but the same thing.

 

Start by jumping in a tuck with a *hard* pull from your top (pulling) hand, then straighten your arms, then straighten your body. The first few will be falling.

 

If you want this kind of timeline and you aren't willing to be methodical about then it will be more hit and miss. You also run the risk of injury, because you are trying to jump ahead of what you can perform with control. SL12 is simple and amazingly effective (provided you are able to do it correctly).

 

Flags don't involve pushing out to the side (well, maybe those odd maltese variations lately). One side pulls, one pushes, at a slight diagonal angle. For me the feeling is less oblique and more how hard can I keep my pulling side scap elevation locked in that puts me in position to hold it properly.

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Jon Douglas

The impression I got was that you are really in a hurry, but do you have a timeline for this? One that prevents you from doing the Foundation work (which will be overall the fastest way to a *strong* SL and probably side lever pulls)?

Be careful not to fall into looking for shortcuts for the sake of it B, think we've all had a taste of where that leads.

 

I say this because the #1 advice is to work through your F1-2 prep work (which will cover the strength/straight body aspect) and *then* add the support work (which for those who are not yet on board will no doubt be covered in more depth and detail later in Foundation series).

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Flavio85

Straight arm dips work only the inferior fibers of the Serratus anterior, look at the foto about shoulder depressors in this video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5dEQ_pdnMpk.

Serratus push-up are to easy for the Serratus, hollow body planche workout (scapulas strongly protracted) hits a lot more the Serratus.

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Christian Nogueira

What will you win if you win the bet, what will you lose if not ?

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Connor Davies

What will you win if you win the bet, what will you lose if not ?

Bragging rights, mostly. B-)

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Cody Ward

How's your pushing and pulling strength?

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Sinom

Take it form someone that has been injured! It's really not worth it dude! Side lever might just be the worst move in the world to rush also. Potential risk for injury is high...

 

Also I don't think your obliques or S.A are stopping you. This move requires full body tention, and depend mostly on the bigger mucsle groups for success. If you can't hold the flag, you most likely lack the pushing force needed in your shoulder, or the core strength to keep your legs elevated.

 

For me doing lots of dragon flags and handstand pushups and handstands did the trick. Doing One Armed handstands against the wall are very good for this!  

 

Good Luck!

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Bill Köhntopp

i want the flag too, i tried it long time ago, and yeah i could do 8hspu and easy 10 pull ups, but i trained two weeks or so the flag and i hurt my inner shoulder, after a while the pain was gone, but yeah...maybe now i'm stronger, but the pain was really bad and for a long time.

I could do a flag with tucked legs but no chance with straight legs, my obliques and lower back weren't strong enough.

 

i hope i can train it next summer, after one year prep with the f-series. but now its winter, so you don't will impress so many people like in summer ;)

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Aaro Helander

I think the most important part is to train your scapular control to be bulletproof. If you lose your protraction with the supporting hand, no amount of obligue or serrator strength is going to give you a nice looking flag.

 

When you see someone doing an asymmetrical flag, or a one where the hips are twisted, it is most likely because their supporting shoulder is not completely protracted.

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