Coach Sommer Posted April 10, 2008 Share Posted April 10, 2008 Working front and back levers alone can be a successful strategy for building lever static strength. However, adding a straight arm multi-plane pulling variation to the normal static hold work can usually significantly accelerate strength gains. 360 Pulls are an excellent exercise to begin with for several reasons:1) There are many progressions available for the movement, which allow for the gradual incremental development of strength.2) Due to the many variations available, it is usually possible to train this movement without the aid of a spotter.3) In addition to building substantial degrees of straight arm/straight body strength, 360 Pulls are also quite helpful in building active flexibility within the shoulder girdle.It is most comfortable to perform 360 Pulls on the Xtreme Rings, however parallel bars (or something similar that allows the legs room to transit between the arms) will also work well. It should be noted however, that the fixed nature of the parallel bars will have a tendency to increase the pressure on the elbow. The athlete demonstrating the 360 pulls in the accompanying video vastly prefers working 360 pulls on the rings for this very reason.NOTE: Do not train 360 Pulls unless your grip strength is adequate to safely support yourself while hanging upside down. Failure to respect this necessary caveat can result in a sudden and painful fall onto your favorite cranium .Beginning from a straight arm hang, pull the body upside down to an inverted hang position. Continue the movement by lowering the body behind your hands into a German hang. A German hang is the position where the feet are pointing down to the ground behind with the hands still hanging onto the rings. Entry into and out of the German hang will require a significant degree of active flexibility, especially as you descend deeper into the movement. From the German hang, pull up and out back to an inverted hang position and thence back to a standard hang. This constitutes one repetition.Be sure to allow the body an adequate opportunity to become comfortable in the German hang position, especially if you are coming to Gymnastic Strength Training™ from a weight lifting background and the resultant limitations in shoulder girdle range of motion. Do not overly stress or strain to reach the maximum limit of your flexibility, but allow the range of movement to develop naturally over the course of time. Below is a photo of a German hang.As a side note, any of the following progressions may initially be done with bent arms as needed. This will greatly ease the initial difficulty of progressing onward to a new variation. My recommendation is to proceed from bent-arm to straight-arm for each of the following individual progressions.360 Pull Progressions:1) Tight tuck - Perform a 360 Pull with the body curled tightly into a tuck position.2) Advanced tuck - Perform a 360 Pull with the legs tucked, but with the back flat.3) Piked - Perform a 360 Pull with the legs straight in a pike position with the legs relatively close to the chest. Allow the back to curl as necessary.4) Advanced pike -Perform a 360 Pull in a pike with the back flat.5) Advanced L sit - Perform a 360 Pull with the back flat and the legs held in a L-sit position.6) Â½ lay - This position will entail a substantial increase in difficulty. The back will remain flat but, unlike the other variations, the hips will now be completely extended with the knees bent to 90 degrees. It is especially important to focus on maintaining a flat back during the pull out of the German hang. At first, a small swing may be necessary to initiate the rise out of the German hang.7) Straight body - A common mistake made with straight body 360 Pulls, is to allow the straight line of the body to break by pulling the hips up first out of the German hang. This is incorrect. Arching slightly in the lower back and then pulling the heels up first should initiate the pull out of the bottom. To move out of the German hang, you may once again find it quite helpful to use a small swing to drive the heels upward. As your strength improves, decrease the amount of swing used.I recommend inserting 360 Pulls into your workouts in one of two ways. First separately performing your front lever and/or back lever for half your current max static hold and then afterwards performing a set of the 360 Pulls. You may either go directly into the 360 Pulls after the static work or rest 30 to 60 seconds and then perform the 360 Pulls. This would constitute one set; perform 2-3 sets. Rest 2-3 minutes in between sets.The second choice is to use insert the 360 Pulls directly into your static strength training. This option is referred to as embedded static strength training. In essence, we are embedding a static hold in the middle of an exercise; in this case the 360 Pulls.Yours in Fitness,Coach Sommer Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
Please sign in to comment
You will be able to leave a comment after signing in
Sign In Now