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Coach Sommer

Developing Active Back Flexibility

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Philip Chubb

I can pull from a bridge without a hop with my feet elevated. Every week or so I take a little bit of height off. Almost to the floor.

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Joshua Naterman

I can pull from a bridge without a hop with my feet elevated. Every week or so I take a little bit of height off. Almost to the floor.

Wow. That's crazy dude.

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Joshua Naterman

Is anyone working on these progressions?  I became obsessed with this a couple of years ago and have made some good progress in back and shoulder flexibility as a result.  I'm now able to do the 5th progression, hopping back into a handstand from a bridge.  I'm wondering if anyone has any experience with a slow pull from bridge.  I can't quite comprehend what's missing without hopping.  More flexibility?  Strength in the extreme end range of flexibility?  If so from which part of the body?

On a side note I think these progressions are quite difficult for guys given that they require a great deal of deep shoulder and mid back flexibllity, something that dudes generally don't have much of.

I think you mean that these are things that dudes don't spend time developing :)

 

Just a gentle reminder that the issue isn't what we inherently are capable of, but rather what we choose to spend our time on :)

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Adrian Das

I think you mean that these are things that dudes don't spend time developing :)

 

Just a gentle reminder that the issue isn't what we inherently are capable of, but rather what we choose to spend our time on :)

Essentially that's what I was getting at.  After a couple of years of working at this I've stalled for quite some time at the same level.  I've achieved an enormous amount of active shoulder flexibility since I started this and initially every few months was a new breakthrough.  Now I wonder if being male and older might just mean that's about as far as I'll get in this lifetime or is there something I'm overlooking.  I don't want to give up!  The next couple of progressions seem really cool to me  :)

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Joshua Naterman

Essentially that's what I was getting at.  After a couple of years of working at this I've stalled for quite some time at the same level.  I've achieved an enormous amount of active shoulder flexibility since I started this and initially every few months was a new breakthrough.  Now I wonder if being male and older might just mean that's about as far as I'll get in this lifetime or is there something I'm overlooking.  I don't want to give up!  The next couple of progressions seem really cool to me  :)

There is some truth to the idea that there are certain abilities that have to be developed while your body is still forming, but I don't know what they are... some things just come multiple times slower when we are adults, but can still be developed, and other aspects of our bodies simply cannot be changed no matter what we do if the changes are not made in childhood. 

 

We all have different genes too, and those do affect how our tissues adapt. Some of us are naturally stiffer, which gives certain advantages and disadvantages. Others are naturally more flexible, which gives OTHER advantages and disadvantages :P 

 

No matter what limits these variables make for us, I think they are a whole lot further out there than we think :) Perhaps you simply need a different perspective on flexibility in order to make further progress, who knows?

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Jon Douglas

Update on a quick test;

Feet elevated to knee height is about my current limit to do walkovers with feet together and no momentum. Wonder how long it'd take to develop this to the ground if I put some focus on... I literally haven't done a single walkover since F1 came out.

How far up are you, Alex?

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Philip Chubb

Sorry. I've been on travel a while. I can do a pull over from about lower thigh height and kick over drone around knee height as well. The goal is planche press to bridge pull back and forth. I think that would be fun.

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David McManamon

For serious backbending you really want a coach to correct your mistakes before you get injured and to make sure you warm-up properly.  I have trained with rhythmic gymnasts and contortionists.  In the intermediate+ contortion classes we did backbending for 45+ minutes straight and absolutely NEVER hollowed until the end.

 

 

 

Now if you were to do several sets of bridge work in a 30 minutes long session, should you curl up into a ball after every set or is it okay to wait until the session is over and do all your stretching then?

  It is absolutely critical that you do a pike stretch or similar at the end, you do not have to do them after every set.  I only failed to hollow once and my back did hurt the following day.  Ideally, you will work a lot to open your hip flexors and shoulders, then you won't have to warm up your back to do a good back-bend.

Flexibility can be improved at any age but it will definitely take longer as an adult.  The kids may make gains quickly but we can still pass them eventually by training consistently.

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AmirHosein98

I think working on it would help me to perform straddle L handstand presses completely(i have problem with coming down) enshallah.

I never heard about bridge pull or even bridge hop.Sounds like it would help me a lot.  Thanks Coach.

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Alessandro Mainente

I cannot actually perform a walkover. i can manage a decent mexican handstand just below the horizzontal position and return to hs for many times.

i can perform all the IM of FL but not the last one. probably my bridge with chest under hands level is not enough.

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Josh Tate

What are the tighter areas when first starting this? Is it the shoulders or the back itself? I feel like my shoulders are really tight when i bridge.

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Bruno Cochofel

I've been doing some bridge work and some of my yoga friends told me that I shouldn't work bridge every day, and I must do it 3 times less then forward bend.

 

Does anybody knows of the "why's" for this? I think that if I take this with the right progressions for me and where I am for the moment it shouldn't be too strenuous and I can continue to work it every day, no?

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Andrew Long

What was their reasoning for it? Did you ask them?

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Bruno Cochofel

What was their reasoning for it? Did you ask them?

don't know, didn't ask. I only asked here because I think there's a different approach for the bridge training when it comes to gymnastic and yoga

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Coach Sommer

Yes, there is indeed a substantial difference in approach.  Yoga and circus tend to focus on the lower back when bridging and GST tends to focus on opening the shoulder girdle while bridging.

 

Yours in Fitness,

Coach Sommer

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Jeandel Matthieu

Coach Sommer do you plan to developp Bridge construction farther than in foundation in the next courses ? 

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itaman8

Coach, I have a problem..

I'm struggling with the Stretch Thoracic bridge Series.

I capble of doing all the exercises in this series accept for the thoracic bridge exercises that are the main part of it...

on the stall bars- I can't get into the thoracic bridge...

What should I do to progress on it?

Edited by itaman8

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Alexander Egebak

Go to the appropriate forum and ask there

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Laine Rinehart

Is it helpful to work the progression into a bridge pull from the feet being elevated off the floor? I am having difficulty with this aspect of it and also controlling the straight line handstand rather than basically doing a bridge pull into a sort of faux back handspring.

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Rajesh Bhat

One coach I knew showed me a yogi handstand variant on the wall once. Kick into an arched handstand on the wall. Then slide your butt lower and lower while piking your hips and pressing your shoulders really open. Rinse and repeat. There was a way to do this with your stomach to the wall as well, but you'll have to play with it to figure it out as I don't exactly remember it.

 

Very late, but that exercise was one of the GB handstand challenges. It is an AMAZING shoulder and back opener.

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Pauline Taube

Hi Vincent,

Thanks for reaching out and welcome to GymnasticBodies!

Good question. The combination of F1 and Thoracic Bridge series will help you build the strength and mobility you will need in your shoulder girdle. Also the integrated mobility exercises for the FL elements in Foundation works on the low bridge progressions. 

Feel free to submit form checks on the forum, this way we are able to give you some more personal feedback. 

Feel free to reach out again if you have other questions. We are looking forward to follow your GST journey! 

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Vincent Haddad

Hi Pauline,

Thank you for your reply I will definitely do as you say I am more 54 years of age so I  probably should take my time I'm also considering buying handstand one as my wrists aren't the strongest and also experience some pain and stiffness issues. Again thanks for your reply and kindest regards to you and everyone in Norway !!

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Pauline Taube

You're welcome, Vincent.

The wrist series in the Handstand One course will definitely help you build strength and mobility in your wrists. However if you are experiencing any pain I highly reccomend to seek advice from a physio or other medical professional before starting any programs. 

If you have any further questions about the programs or training, please post in the appropriate forum so we can better assist you :) 

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Vincent Haddad

Thanks again Pauline !!!

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Matthew Wood 215940

Hello, Having the same problem in this topic!  I am working through foundation one, I also don't currently have access to stall bars which doesn't help.  Should I keep doing everything up to the bridge sections and then do what I can to get into a bridge? Thank you.

 

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