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Christian Krauss

Ex-Gymnast with a few Q's

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Christian Krauss

Hello to all of you!

 

Before I get started with all my questions, I want to introduce myself and tell you guys my little story.

My name is Chris, I'm 24years old, live in Germany and work at a fitness&health center. I've been

doing sports all my life - at the age of 4 i started out with soccer, which I quit after just a year. At the age of 6, I started gymnastics at a local gym in my town (3 times a week / regular competetions at weekends). I really got obsessed with it, I loved all the different elements on the different apparatus, being able to control all of your movements, the perfect form you had to have, the bodytension, strength, flexibility, coordination and so on...

After 3 years of training they moved me to a 'performance center', which meant even more fun for me.

Training was 5 times a week, the gym was like a huge playground for me, all the apperatus were already set up, different trampolines and floors, i loved being there. I often would stay after practise and you run around and jump on the tampoline like crazy while my dad was talking to the coaches or was waiting for me to get tired. At this time, I started competing 'AK' - which are the most difficult routines you can do on all apperatus at different ages. After 2 years of training and some more competitions I was offered to train at 'Kunst-Turn-Forum' Stuttgart - which is THE gym in West-Germany (Fabian Hambüchen and Marcel Nguyen train there). Since the gym was too far of a distance from my Hometown I only went there at the weekends, so for a little more than a year I trained 7 times a week, 5 at the performance center, 2 at the gym in Stuttgart. At that time I was 12/13 years old... and decided to quit gymnastics. The reason I chose so was because at that age I wanted to hang with my friends more, which I've not done too often before - I always got picked up right after school and went to the gym, after training went home and did my homework before I went to bed. That was the daily routine. 

So after I quit, I was interested in different sports and started playing basketball, which I was not too bad either. 4-5 times practise a week + games at the weekend. Thats the point when I started lifting weights, mostly for basketball (3 times per week). 

So, 2-3 years ago I had to quit basketball because of my job, I only played the games at the weekends, never had the time to go to practise. I still lifted weights since I work at a fitness&health club.

 

The more I read and thought about the human body, a strong and healthy body and how to archieve it (because of work + my personal health), the more I realised that gymnastics is THE answer to it. So here I am at 24, 12-13years out doing gymnastics I want to start from scratch. I've had a on/off relationship with injuries all my life (broke right arm, left arm, right leg twice, ankle joint, sprained ankle 5 times, borke a couple of fingers too etc... and you know the good old knee and shoulder hurts here and there thing, dysbalances, trigger points, but nothing too serious as of now. 

 

So now to my questions:

 1- I really want to increase my flexibilty+strength, so F1 is perfect for me?

 2- I just started to go to mixed gymnastics class (beginner+advanced gymnasts), I will

     definetly go there twice a week if i have the time to do so, but I'm scared to hurt myself because my          mind remembers the movements and how to do them but the strength and flexibility is not there.

     For example, the first time I went there I saw a mushroom and thought to myself 'cool, lets do some         cicles!' after just a few tries I got the feeling of how to do them again and did 18 on the 5th try. Felt             sooooo good just to move your body freely and controlled, but.. my wrists were killing me! So aside           from foundation, how am I gonna know if im ready to do movements like cicles etc.? 

3- I would say, after 12 years I can still do a pretty decent handstand. Freestanding for about 20sec. on         the first few tries. Am I still gonna need H1? For extra shoulder mobility maybe? Or where does it take       me?

 

Going to the gymnastics class again is so much fun and frustration at the same time. I think especially for me... remembering that I once was able to do things like: frontsplit, middle split, thomas-flares on floor, front lever, back lever, flips of all variations etc. to a optical fit, but unflexible, dysbalanced and uncoordinated human being. I really want to fix all my issues by starting from scratch and building a healthy body and getting the feeling of perfectly controlled body movements again. 

 

I've been checking this forum for about a month now, almost daily. I highly appreciate this community and how perople from different countries, ages and backgrounds help each other out, this is awesome!

 

Thanks in advance,

ck

 

PS: Here is a video of me doing a l-sit hs press on my new parallettes after 12yrs, very bad form but the feeling of being able to do this was crazy. 

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RFPKSveZdQY

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Kate Abernethy

I think Foundation and Handstand would serve you very well. You can check off each mastery exercise in a sequential order and so be confident that you are not working from an unstable foundation when you start doing skills work again. Video is private by the way.

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Christian Krauss

Thanks for your quick reply! Video is now 'pubic'.

ck

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Jonathan Pettit

If your goal is to reach your old form and then go beyond, the Foundation series is definitely the right path.  Your past training may give you an advantage and speed you through some of the elements, but your time off and injury history may also counterbalance that.

 

I was a former competitive martial artist.  Nothing serious, mostly local competitions, but I loved it.  At my peak around 16, I was about 5'10 and 130lbs.  15 years later I'm 6'2", 170lbs, and let me tell you what a difference that makes!  I'm stronger overal, but some areas like my lower back are relatively weaker, just because they have to hold up more weight over longer leverage.  If I go too fast or don't do an adequate warmup, I get lowerback cramps after completing katas and certain sequences.

 

I can still do all my moves, but I need to be careful, as my proportions have changed.  The same will likely be true for you, as your wrists at least have found out.  Your technique will largely still be there, perhaps hidden but you will find it quickly.  Invest time to rebuild the necessary strength, your Foundation if you will.

 

As a final thought, the Single Leg Squat progressions in F1 contain  Coach Sommers' knee prehab protocol, which will likely address much of your knee pain.  It will also help your ankles, as they seem to have been abused :)  F1 combined with the Front Split Stretch Series contains all the ankle mobility and prehab you will likely ever want to do.

 

Good luck on your journey.

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Christian Krauss

Great advice, thanks!

Im 5'11 now, pretty short upper body and some looong legs. No rush with the progessions though, step by step.

So I'm definetly going to get F1.

You guys think I can still play around with the moves I can still perform or would this be too risky for injury?

ck

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Jonathan Pettit

The general rule is that you can play around with more advanced stuff if you still have energy after your Foundation workout.  Keep it as play, though. When in doubt, do less rather than more.

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Christian Krauss

Thanks!

Any critique on my video?

ck

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Biren Patel

Critique for the press handstand video?
 

Well first, that is amazing your body remembered the movement after 12 years!

Some critique on technique: For the press, you are not full opening the shoulder before you start lifting the legs into the handstand. And when you reach the handstand position the shoulders are still closed. By the time the legs have reached parallel to the floor the shoulders should open fully by then. Also the obvious bent knees is a problem. Aside from the press, some technical issues to smooth out in the actual handstand position with the posterior tilt. And little errors like lack of toe point.

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