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Eloy Bote

Locking arms during front handspring

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Eloy Bote

Hi,

I know that this tumbling skill is not part of the gb program but do you know any trick to lock the arms during front handspring? As soon as I touch the ground with my hands I bent the arms and I don't know why :(

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Alessandro Mainente

Probably because you do not have enough strength in the elbow extension. how is you level on handstand work? can you do a solid handstand?

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Eloy Bote
11 hours ago, Alessandro Mainente said:

Probably because you do not have enough strength in the elbow extension. how is you level on handstand work? can you do a solid handstand?

I'm limited by the mobility in the handstand course, mastered the shoulder flexion exercises and maybe the shoulder extension too but I will need form check soon to be sure. But I can do free handstand up to 1 minute with locked arms just don't ask for perfect form in the rest of the body :(

I never struggle with locking the arms in static exercises but when I add explosive movements... maybe is it a mental thing?

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Coach Sommer

Eloy,

It is not a mental block.

You lack rebounding/connective tissue/dynamic strength during blocking in your arms and shoulder girdle.  Not uncommon for ‘strength’ athletes and relatively easy to address, although it will take some time.  And well worth spending the time to do so as dynamic strength is the key to exceptional athletic performance.

Off the top of my head some exercises to begin with:
- lock arm hopping pushups in place
- lock arm hoppng pushups for distance
- lock arm hopping wheelbarrows in place
- lock arm hopping wheelbarrows for distance.

And on and on and on ... you get the picture.  

Yours in Fitness,
Coach Sommer

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Eloy Bote
3 hours ago, Coach Sommer said:

Eloy,

It is not a mental block.

You lack rebounding/connective tissue/dynamic strength during blocking in your arms and shoulder girdle.  Not uncommon for ‘strength’ athletes and relatively easy to address, although it will take some time.  And well worth spending the time to do so as dynamic strength is the key to exceptional athletic performance.

Off the top of my head some exercises to begin with:
- lock arm hopping pushups in place
- lock arm hoppng pushups for distance
- lock arm hopping wheelbarrows in place
- lock arm hopping wheelbarrows for distance.

And on and on and on ... you get the picture.  

Yours in Fitness,
Coach Sommer

OK I got it, I'm gonna add exercises like those! Preferably on a bouncy surface at the beginning.

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Guido Franchetti

Beginner here, who has been trying to learn some gymnastics (floor) in the last year and a half. I'll describe a couple of drills which I have often seen used also because I am curious of Coach's opinion on them.

A typical progression to learn this seems to start with hs flatback into a mat. You start by entering a hs and letting yourself fall back first onto a mat. The point is striving to maintain locked arms and body tension as you fall. It is not a bail or a dive roll so straight body, no bending, no fwd rolling. Gradually you put more momentum in it trying to get some flight off the hands, at first still landing on your back, then landing seated, eventually landing standing. In the process of putting more momentum in it, at some point instead of entering the hs in a simple lunge you do a hurdle to one (for a handspring) or a hurdle to two feet (that would be for a flyspring, which I think Coach advises to learn before a handspring).

Another drill is handstand hops - you kick into a hs and use the momentum to get some flight off the hands landing again in a hs. It is probably more taxing than lock arm hopping and those other drills though so not sure if it is appropriate. The flight off your hands comes from elevating the shoulders, your elbows don't bend.

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Nick Murray

Locked-arm hopping is what destroyed both my shoulders (SLAPs and a labral avulsion). If you do these, you have to have done the connective tissue prep work.

Not moving onto locked-arm hopping in lesson 2 at an adult gymnastics class, for example, under the guidance of a "coach".  I think the older you are, the more prep work you need to do.

Thankfully, I discovered Foundation - which is my rehab - and haven't looked back :)

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Coach Sommer
4 hours ago, Nick Murray said:

Locked-arm hopping is what destroyed both my shoulders (SLAPs and a labral avulsion). If you do these, you have to have done the connective tissue prep work.

Not moving onto locked-arm hopping in lesson 2 at an adult gymnastics class, for example, under the guidance of a "coach".  I think the older you are, the more prep work you need to do.

Thankfully, I discovered Foundation - which is my rehab - and haven't looked back :)

Very true.  

Years ago I taught an Upper Body Dynamic Strength course at Poliquin HQ in Rhode Island.  Spent the entire day prepping this group of overall very strong, dedicated athletes; mobility progressions, joint alignment, connective tissue strength development, etc etc etc.  All of this to ensure that they were properly prepped to begin the lowest level of upper body dynamic strength work.  At the end of the day, after hours and hours of prep, some of them were able to complete a few reps of ONE dynamic strength exercise - while the vast majority were unable to do so.  Essentially they moved like they were nailed to the floor.  And after a mere fifteen minutes of work, they were utterly exhausted as well.  Their nervous systems were simply not used to having to perform at such a high level.

Major eye opening experience for them that they could be so strong in terms of maximal strength and yet so utterly ineffective athletically in being able to move their own bodies.  That they could muscularly be so strong and yet joint-wise be so ‘fragile’ at the same time.  Athletically they had spent their entire lives trying to become like a bar of iron; stiff, strong, rigid.  When what was required to experience high levels of performance and athletic success was to mold the body into the most resilient, most robust ‘spring’ possible.  For the body to be capable of rapid changes of directions, possess the ability to absorb and repel force and to interact safely and effectively within a largely ballistic athletic environment.  And these characteristics all begin within the joints, not the muscle bellies.  Essentially building the body from the inside out.

Don’t get me wrong, we do indeed want to pursue high levels of maximum strength; to obtain an optimal surplus for our chosen athletic endeavors.  However, unless we are weight lifters only, It cannot however be our sole criteria for successful, productive training.

Yours in Fitness,
Coach Sommer

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Eloy Bote

Thank you for your feedback guys, I really appreciate it!

I do all the foundations of the course. Some are very hard and others just hard. Do I need anything else before doing arm tumbling skills at the gym? I've been doing jumping tumbling since a couple of years, no big issue for the joints, just it hurts a lot when landing short, but I just started with handsprings and I wish to know If I need extra work to avoid injury, maybe start with the coach Sommer recommended exercises? Some of my mates go hard without any preparation and I have seen so many injuries, the funny thing is that they may have good dynamics and coordination but end up with pain at the wrists, shoulders, ankles...

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