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nospam

Basic Dynamic Ring Strength

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nospam

Simple question:

When should i start working ring swings, how to program them and when to engange other basic dynamic exercises on the rings like inlocates, dislocates, front/backuprises?

thanks!

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Blairbob

Do you have access to ceiling mounted rings or a ring tower?

Inlocate and dislocate and the uprises shouldn't be a concern until your basic ring swing is decent.

http://drillsandskills.com/skills/Rings/Z/riz001

This swing still has some errors but is beyond good enough for those moves. Ideally, we don't teach those moves until they can swing their toes as high as horizontal in the front and back.

Focus on keeping your head in between your arms/shoulders as you swing and not pulling it out. Chin and head down in the back swing, toes driving up be it in the front or back.

My beginner boys will often swing for about 10-15 minutes intermixed with skin the cats and support holds. They probably do about 3-5 sets of 5-7 swings ending up going to invert and doing a skin the cat and dismounting from the rings. We will do shoulder dislocates/inlocates to warmup besides a few skin the cats and I try to have them start their swing from a L-hang.

My competition level boys ( beginner to intermediate competitive levels ) will do about 5-7 sets of 3-5 swings. Sets of 3 swings if they working on a skill such as inlocate or uprise if not just 2. Sometimes stuff like inlocate, inlocate or inlocate, inlocate, uprise, etc or dislocate, dislocate, uprise. I try to have them end their ring set with a flyaway off.

It's very common for beginning ring swingers to bend the arms in the front swing when pulling the rings back or pull their head and back ( to look like a front lever ).

If you have access, I'd swing on the rings for something of the above once the first week and see if you can recover two days later for 2x that week.

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Guest Ido Portal

Extensive joint preparation needs to be done before starting any real swing work. Espcialy rotator cuff prehab work, shoulder and scapular mobility and connective tissue effecting drills.

I would not jump into this kind of work without the preparation of the shoulder girdle.

Coach Sommer created a shoulder health-flexibility routine using various high bar prehab, active stretching and mobility exercises that I view as essential for this kind of thing. Some of the exercises are demonstrated in the gymnasticbodies seminar, I highly recommend participating as this kind of hands on personal instruction is essential in those movements.

Advanced swinging is dangerous stuff, make sure you get the proper instruction and guidance.

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nospam
Extensive joint preparation needs to be done before starting any real swing work. Espcialy rotator cuff prehab work, shoulder and scapular mobility and connective tissue effecting drills.

i came across swings when i broke my pullup bar and searched for something dynamic on the rings. as i have a crossfit background i am very used to kipping/chinese pullups. and i thought that coach sommer did recommend them as preperation for dynamic work on the rings.

i will try swings tomorrow and report then back if i could recover well.

Do you have access to ceiling mounted rings or a ring tower?

is that essential? are there any other concerns besides safety (floor padding) and height of the rings? i mount them on a tree where i can get the needed height

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Blairbob

The kipping/chinese pullup is the basic short version of a High Bar "tap" [change from hollow to arch].

Fitness rings shouldn't really be swung on. The rings should be strong enough but I wouldn't trust the buckles. It's typically reccomended not to.

Ido, for many adults who do not have the ability to shoulder flex to 180, there should be a lot of that of prehab. With many young boys or girls, even those with poor shoulder flexibility, they lack the core strength to swing in the first place or the grip strength. I actually find it easier to teach them to swing on rings than on bar as they seem to be able to swing better on the rings from the getgo compared to HB. Our HB sucks for swinging in a way because it's polished by the strap bar pvc attachements so it's very smooth and not chalked really at all.

In all honesty, any beginning ring swinger should start out small and I seriously doubt they will able to swing big if they lack a lot of shoulder mobility. They'll try, feel the aggravation and stop there. More than likely they will try to muscle the swing in the front like a front lever and their back swing will just suck in general. This does bring up the issue that swinging on rings should be only in a gymnastics gym unless perhaps there are swinging rings on a beach somewhere ( old school ).

Basic skin the cats are really good to warmup for ring swinging besides High Bar wiggles ( basically just the tapping motion of a chinese/kipping pullup-just the swing. There are a whole bunch of shoulder mobility drills like big and little circles, swinging in front of yourself like a scissor and behind, shoulder dis/in-locates or figure 8's, wall slides/cuban presses, and all the cute internal/external rotation exercises with a band and DB besides cat stretch and shoulder extension on floor ( sit in pike, reach hands behind you ).

If someone (adult) didn't have real good shoulder mobility, sometimes you might start them on a High Bar first but do the nature of the High Bar, that can aggravate the shoulder more than the rings. Again, most people won't be able to swing big enough to injure themselves in the first place because of technique issues.

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Guest Ido Portal

Blairbob,

I disagree with you, my friend. I have witnessed many injuries watching people try swinging elements on high bar and rings, trying to imitate the motion of advanced athletes.

The requirement is not just more mobility, it is stability and strength of the various muscles attached to the Humeros through the whole range of motion, as well as connective tissue adaptation. Sometimes a more mobile person will be even more prone to injury.

Also, gymnastics coaches who work with kids are used to something else completely - a highly adaptive organism, who is growing with the stimulus and developing its structure according to the daily functions you require of it. Adults who want to start swinging are a different subject. Time for adaptation is a lot greater and preparations should be made.

Anyone who knows me know that I am not an overcautios person, or else I wouldnt be able to do the things I do, but this recommendation about swinging comes from watching things go wrong too many times.

Ido.

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Blairbob

I will also note that I started swinging on rings later in life, past 20 without any problems. While I don't have great shoulder extension from never working that ROM as a child and teen, I have had really good shoulder flexion that is still pretty good barring a handful of shoulder injuries besides a very flexible back ( though I did hyperextend it once over 5 years ago ) and I can german hang pretty decent though my arms are a bit wide. My shoulder injuries mainly had to do with peeling off the rings and tearing or seperating my rotator cuff or shoulder not from excessive swing work though the first one was from falling backwards on my wrists after spiking a volleyball during a game and reaching behind me as I came down.

Doing some external rotation work last year made it able that I could start swinging again like a beginner on rings but I'm not sure if I ever will regain the ability to swing like I used to ( inlocate and dislocate with above horizontal swing ). It just plan hurts to turn out on the back swing. I'm sure slendering may help as well. However, I'm 30+ now with bum shoulders versus 21 with injury free shoulders and wrists.

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Blairbob

Getting back to it, how flexible are your shoulders, NoSpam? Examples such as a handbridge, width of stick shoulder dislocates, how big of a gymnastics/C(hollow to arch) kip can you do for kipping pullups? How is your shoulder extension and flexion?

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nospam

i would need to measure the width of my shoulder stick dislocates - but does that matter? wouldnt i need to measure the width of my back too?

i have a good shoulder flexibility in terms of weightlifting. my snatch form is pretty acceptable but not decent - for a critical coach at least.

how big of a gymnastics/C(hollow to arch) kip can you do for kipping pullups?

how to measure that? for shoulder extension the same (width of stick dislocate?)...

what are the standards i need to meet?

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Blairbob

Look for a video of one of those arch to hollow kipping pullups that would look similar to yours. No need to film but it would be more useful.

Do you have an idea of the angle that you can do a stick dislocate at. No need to measure in inches unless you want to measure how far the stick is from your head. If you can do a fair amount of arch to hollow kipping pullups, you shouldn't have much problems with basic ring swing.

On another note, Ido, at the last CrossFitGames, CrossFitMarin brought out a Ring Tower. We had varying CrossFitters of ages and gender, get up there and start swinging besides doing skin the cats and levers. Not a one complained except of the german hang. However, most of these individuals could be considered "active" adults from 15-45. It's not like getting someone up there who has been inactive for most of their lives.

And to note, some had what I would define as tight shoulders but swung ok. Nothing great, nothing ready for inlocates or dislocates, but ok. Most had technical errors with muscling the swing and I doubt most were swinging at horizontal with very little worthwhile ring action ( which is where the shoulder flexibility is required ).

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Nic Scheelings

Ido,

I'm wondering what prerequisite strength or stability exercises should you be able to perform before working swings? I've been performing most of the prehab exercises you have posted on your blog, and have no problems except for maintaining scapula control during the scapula push up. I'm not sure if this is weak serratus or just a lack of co-ordination of it.

I have been performing swings with moderate success, no real pain and in general I feel more comfortable swinging on high bar than rings, underbar swings on p-bar are no problem but I'm not really pushing it too much and taking a fairly conservative approach.

Cheers

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Guest Ido Portal

People, people, please. I am not talking about some swing forward and backwards and doing kipping pull ups. We were talking about inlocate dislocates, giants and advanced swinging elements, and those I dare you to try without proper preparation.

Most people, even active crossfiters would injure their shoulders when trying those, due to lack of mobility, connective tissue preparation and weaknesses in specific muscles and in specific ranges of motion.

Putting people to swing on high rings is nothing serious, of course there is no special preparation needed for that, but advancing into more difficult moves would not occur.

Scapula mobilization, extensive rotator cuff work, rear delt, high rep tap swings, dislocations with elastic band, broomstick and later hanging from a high bar, specific trap work and more are adviced if you want to stay healthy, and advance into more difficult variations.

Also, take note, most aging gymnasts that I ran into are having joint problems due to their training. Coach Sommer's athletes, who are going through extensive joint prep work as a major part of their training process and posses zero to very little injury rates are a rarity. It is very easy to jump into advanced material, but not wise when it concerns gymnastics oriented training.

In the workouts that I present in my blog as an example to the way that I train I also provide extensive joint prep work. I am a big believer in that for longevity in movement.

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Gregor

In my opinion almost all injurys are not due to lack of flexybility but a lack of knowledge of movement. In other words if you swing with perfect technic you wont injur yourself even with lack of flexybility. BUT we all know that to learn perfect technic you must go trough mistakes and more mistakes, more you risk an injury. Here helps a good flexybility, mobility and all joint prep.

So as Ido said you need to insert verry good prep. and you must verry good knowledge of movement to teach somebody with minimal risk of injury.

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Coach Sommer
... BUT we all know that to learn perfect technic you must go trough mistakes and more mistakes, more you risk an injury. Here helps a good flexybility, mobility and all joint prep.

So as Ido said you need to insert verry good prep. and you must verry good knowledge of movement to teach somebody with minimal risk of injury.

I agree completely with Ido and Gregor.

In fact, I will even go a step further and include Chinese pull-ups (kipping) in this category of dynamic strength work that is best left to at least intermediate level athletes. There is a very good reason that Chinese pull-ups and their many variations were not included amongst the fundamental bodyweight exercises (FBE) of Building the Gymnastic Body. For the fitness neophyte, the rebound out of the bottom position during Chinese Pull-ups creates the illusion of increased strength during the ascent while in actuality the ROM and the training load that both the shoulder girdle and the elbows are exposed to during the rebound have been multiplied significantly over that experienced during a normal pull-up. This combination is a recipe for injury when attempted by inadequately prepared fitness enthusiasts; especially when performed in high volumes. In most instances, it is not a matter of "if" but simply a question of "when".

For the properly prepared, Chinese Pull-ups and other more advanced dynamic strength exercises are a valuable and necessary addition to the fitness tool box. However both progressive joint prep work and a solid foundation of basic strength are essential in order to adequately condition the shoulder girdle and elbows to benefit from this type of work.

Yours in Fitness,

Coach Sommer

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Ortprod

Not that my opinion means much compared to the masters above, but I completely agree with Coach about Chinese pullups (kipping). I am currently nursing a (possible) overuse injury in my shoulder and found that if I even try to kip currently, the stress and pressure with the ROM is unbearable. I dare not push it... At the same time I'm still training in the things that I feel completely capable of doing.

Coach and Ido, how much time per training session do you recommend devoting primarily towards joint prep? (not including general warmup/dynamic stretching or strength stretching) Is there generally a pace to increase this over time? Coach, I remember you mentioned about increasing the numbers on the ankle prep at the seminar, over the course of months and maybe only +10 reps at a time till you reach something like 3x the original amount.

Thanks in advance for any responses.

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Guest Ido Portal

With most people I recommend dedicating some time for prehab and joint prep every workout!

I incorporate it into the warm ups and cool downs and will even add a special session dedicated to such work in special cases.

My views on the subject is reflected in the workouts I have been posting in my blog - every one of them includes prehab and joint prep work for areas that are 'weak links' - wrists, shoulders, hips. I also incorporate various routines for ankles, knees, elbows and some special core work designed to prevent injuries.

To sum it up and quote my friend and gymnastics coach Yuri Raviz - 'Wrap your joints in exercises'.

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Coach Sommer

Generally my athletes spend a minium of 15-20 minutes per day on joint prehab. In addition to this, there are two days per week where they spend 45-60 minutes solely focusing on a highly specialized prehab conditioning program. At the Sept GB Seminars, a great deal of time was spent in reviewing and practicing these specific elements. They will also be covered again in great deal during the May 2010 Seminars.

Yours in Fitness,

Coach Sommer

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Ortprod

Thanks again to the both of you 8)

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