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#1 The Hansenator

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Posted 06 July 2010 - 04:42 AM

Is there a list of prerequisites for different exercises?

I see recommendations here sometimes to reach a certain level in one thing before working on the next thing. One example is that people have said achieving a back lever will help planche progressions. In another post, Coach Sommer mentioned that when someone achieves a certain strength level, he likes them to build volume at that strength level but he didn't say how much.

I'm not really familiar with the lingo but I sometimes see mention of something being a level 4 move or some such. Is there a list somewhere of these different levels?

The BtGB book helps but doesn't answer all my questions. I'm at a very beginner level and it would be nice to know what to work on first and when it's time to move on to the next thing.

Thanks.
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#2 Joshua Naterman

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Posted 06 July 2010 - 01:36 PM

Coach is working on a second edition to the BtGB book that covers this stuff. I don't know how he feels about me posting all that, because we got that at the seminars.

German hang is a pre-requisite for back lever training. If you can't hold 3x30 unassisted German Hang you shouldn't even start BL.

Coach has also said in several posts that he prefers people develop a solid L-sit before putting too much time into planche. I will find out how much he is comfortable with me posting.

For levels, this should help:

There are 10 normal levels, and then junior elite and senior elite. Elite, usually senior, is considered Olympic level. Competition usually begins at level 4, though some gyms start at level 3. Levels 1-3 are usually considered recreational, or beginner; 4-7 intermediate and 8-Elite advanced.
There are set skill requirements for routines in each level, but most gyms decide when they feel a gymnast is ready to move up. A lot of them require certain scores and skills to be achieved. Attitude and personality can also be taken into account, but there are no regulated requirements to move up a level. Though if someone who had the skills of a level 4 competed as a level 8 would not get very good scores considering they would have not fulfilled any of the requirements for the routines.

Levels 1-3 are basic skills, such as handstands, cartwheels, etc.
4-6 are compulsory levels, here is a link to some of the requirements for this level, to give you an idea.
http://www.usa-gymnastics.org/Portals/0/PDFs/Women/Junior%20Olympics/w-comp-erratapages27sep05.pdf
7 is an in-between level, with strict requirements but still allowing the gymnast to add in their own creativity.
level 7-8 requirements:
http://www.usa-gymnastics.org/Portals/0/PDFs/Women/Member%20Updates/lev7_8scorsheets2-3appndx8.pdf
9-10 requirements:
http://www.usa-gymnastics.org/Portals/0 ... ppndx7.pdf
Anything above that would be considered elite.
Source(s):
former gymnast, current coach.


Source: Yahoo! Answers. Consider that this is for women's gymnastics. There are similar requirement trees for men's gymnastics.

I want to point out that I searched for "gymnastic levels" on google and this was one of the first three results. Everyone who reads this, please learn to search google. You can find out most of what you need to know.

#3 The Hansenator

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Posted 06 July 2010 - 01:50 PM

Thanks!

I can understand if coach Sommer doesn't want to give away information for free, that's fine with me.

I did look on google a bit but somehow managed to not find what I was looking for. You gave me a couple of starting points though.

#4 Blairbob

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Posted 06 July 2010 - 03:44 PM

Yes, this was covered at the seminar recently. Most of these are 3x30-60s. This has been stated at the seminar and on the forum recently. Btw, Slizzardman I made sure that all of this info has been stated on the forum prior though they were stated at the seminar as well.

As a basic beginner your focus should be on:

basic PB support. PB support and ring support are not the same.

hollow and arch holds are critical gymnastics position

L-sit (then straddle-L, then MiddleSplitHold aka manna progression) Of course, if you cannot do an L-hang, tuck FL is probably moot as well. I have attempted with gymnasts to work tuck FL before/instead of mastery of the L-hang, and it's fun but they don't really go anywhere with it. If anything, they focus on the L-hang and do holds and negatives of the tuck levers or SkinTheCats.

wall HS and HeS

inverted hang, german hang and possibly ring support. ring support may have to be scaled back to a pushup hold position with the rings.

L-sit before planche is another on FX.
Rings goes support, L-sit, HS, press to HS, planche, cross. Levers figure somewhere in there.
For levers, master basic hollow and arch holds besides basic ring hangs.

Deck squat before SLS

Gymnastics skills have skill ratings. A copy of these can be downloaded off FIG gymnastics http://www.fig-gymnastics.com/vsite/vnavsite/page/directory/0,10853,5187-188050-205272-nav-list,00.html. Certain competitive levels of gymnastics require certain elements. Here are the men's routines in the U.S. http://www.ngja.org/images/stories/2009-2012/JO_docs/jo_course_notes_2010-v102a1-all.pdf

In US men's level 4, an L-sit on PB and L-hang on SR are required, besides a long hang pullover on HB and pullup with flex arm hang on rings and a german hang. Another basic is a press to HeS, besides HS forward roll, backward roll, cartwheel and round-off besides a one legged balance candlestick (similar to the 1st half of a deck squat but with body extended).

A MU and BL on rings is optional in L5 but moving through an L-sit on rings is required. Here's a trick, it's a lot easier to move through the L-sit, if you can do one already.

#5 The Hansenator

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Posted 06 July 2010 - 04:26 PM

Thanks!

This helps!
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#6 trianglechoke7

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Posted 06 July 2010 - 04:49 PM

Direct quotations from Coach Sommer:


-- My personal opinion is that for a fitness enthusiast the progression of L-sit to straddle L to MSH to Manna work would provide the greatest gains in the least amount of time. Maintainence work for the prior progression is of course necessary and is most easily accomplished by performing a 30 sec set for each of the prior steps in the progression before beginning that day's focused work.

-- My recommendation is first attain a 30 L-sit on the floor, then a 30 sec straddle L on the floor and finally a 30 sec MSH on the floor, before you begin to seriously work V-sits.

-- If L-sit Walks are too difficult, perform Ag Walks. If Ag Walks are too difficult, perform Planks.

--“I believe Coach Sommer has stated than once the hardest dip progressions can be done, you can increase difficulty by using multiplane pressing movements or handstand pushup movements ... you could start weighting the dips as well.” --> For basic strength this is exactly right.

-- For FBE, begin with the easiest pushup and row variations and proceed from there. For FSP, begin with german hang and L-sit and proceed from there. As your strength improves, gradually progress onward to more difficult basic strength variations.

-- Trainers fail to understand how to properly progress through the bodyweight strength progressions; e.g. pushups before dips, dips before HSPUs, German hangs before BL etc.

Yes, proficiency at MPPr/MPPu & CPP elements will require that substantial strength first be built in the other FBE areas. On GB WODs when even the easiest MPPr/MPPu elements are too difficult as RX'd; substitute regular push/pull movements.

-- My recommendation is to wait until you have achieved 3x30 sec L-sit on the floor before beginning PL work.

-- At your level [beginner who can‘t do full BL & FL], BL & FL will receive sufficient stimulation on your embedded static WOD days and your ring strength WOD days. Building up to 3x30sec of L-sit work on the floor as a part of your daily warmup is however a good idea.
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#7 The Hansenator

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Posted 06 July 2010 - 05:27 PM

Wow, thanks!

-- Trainers fail to understand how to properly progress through the bodyweight strength progressions; e.g. pushups before dips, dips before HSPUs,

Well, I got that one wrong.

#8 crashnburn

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Posted 07 July 2010 - 08:48 AM

Bunch of questions inline with your quoted reply... in blue..

There is a lot of mention of Hollow / Arch holds.. with respect to..
PB Holds
Ring Holds
German Hang holds..

Are they all the same and how are the Arch / Hollow holds different ? How do they vary in the above three situations?

An inverted hang is something I take for granted but you shouldn't if you can't hold one for a long period of time.

Work the german hang with your feet on the floor as mobility.

Can you do a hollow or arch hold for a significant amount of time? If you can't, work on those.


Yes, this was covered at the seminar recently. Most of these are 3x30-60s. This has been stated at the seminar and on the forum recently. Btw, Slizzardman I made sure that all of this info has been stated on the forum prior though they were stated at the seminar as well.

// Very important - I messed up my shoulder trying the BL Tuck without having any knowledge of German Hangs as pre-reqs

As a basic beginner your focus should be on:

basic PB support. PB support and ring support are not the same.

hollow and arch holds are critical gymnastics position

// Please explain / illustrate the difference between the two? Pics / Vids welcome.. :)

L-sit (then straddle-L, then MiddleSplitHold aka manna progression) Of course, if you cannot do an L-hang, tuck FL is probably moot as well. I have attempted with gymnasts to work tuck FL before/instead of mastery of the L-hang, and it's fun but they don't really go anywhere with it. If anything, they focus on the L-hang and do holds and negatives of the tuck levers or SkinTheCats.

// I am guessing L-hangs means... Hanging from a bar / rings and the legs are held straight and at 90 degrees to the torso.

wall HS and HeS

inverted hang, german hang and possibly ring support. ring support may have to be scaled back to a pushup hold position with the rings.

// What position is that? Could you elaborate / guide me here?

L-sit before planche is another on FX.
Rings goes support, L-sit, HS, press to HS, planche, cross. Levers figure somewhere in there.


//Do elaborate what you mean here... :) I am a little lost..
Is this the order of mastery / easy < difficult scaling... ? Do RATE / GRADE these so we dont TRY the stuff from the BtGB book in the wrong order.


For levers, master basic hollow and arch holds besides basic ring hangs.
// Please elaborate on these holds.. what do they look like?

Deck squat before SLS

Gymnastics skills have skill ratings. A copy of these can be downloaded off FIG gymnastics http://www.fig-gymnastics.com/vsite/vnavsite/page/directory/0,10853,5187-188050-205272-nav-list,00.html. Certain competitive levels of gymnastics require certain elements. Here are the men's routines in the U.S. http://www.ngja.org/images/stories/2009-2012/JO_docs/jo_course_notes_2010-v102a1-all.pdf

In US men's level 4, an L-sit on PB and L-hang on SR are required, besides a long hang pullover on HB and pullup with flex arm hang on rings and a german hang. Another basic is a press to HeS, besides HS forward roll, backward roll, cartwheel and round-off besides a one legged balance candlestick (similar to the 1st half of a deck squat but with body extended).

A MU and BL on rings is optional in L5 but moving through an L-sit on rings is required. Here's a trick, it's a lot easier to move through the L-sit, if you can do one already.


The PDF links are not working.

#9 crashnburn

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Posted 07 July 2010 - 09:21 AM

Direct quotations from Coach Sommer:

-- My personal opinion is that for a fitness enthusiast the progression of L-sit to straddle L to MSH to Manna work would provide the greatest gains in the least amount of time. Maintainence work for the prior progression is of course necessary and is most easily accomplished by performing a 30 sec set for each of the prior steps in the progression before beginning that day's focused work.

-- For FBE, begin with the easiest pushup and row variations and proceed from there.
-- For FSP, begin with german hang and L-sit and proceed from there.
As your strength improves, gradually progress onward to more difficult basic strength variations.


-- Trainers fail to understand how to properly progress through the bodyweight strength progressions; e.g. pushups before dips, dips before HSPUs, German hangs before BL etc.

-- My recommendation is to wait until you have achieved 3x30 sec L-sit on the floor before beginning PL work.

-- At your level [beginner who can‘t do full BL & FL], BL & FL will receive sufficient stimulation on your embedded static WOD days and your ring strength WOD days. Building up to 3x30sec of L-sit work on the floor as a part of your daily warmup is however a good idea.


CRITICAL INPUTS for us BEGINNERS...!!! Wow! This should be marked BOLD!

#10 Blairbob

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Posted 07 July 2010 - 01:36 PM

I was able to get the pdf's up from USAG yesterday but it's not working today. If you care, you can dig around their archived magazines and find the pdf's or under the MAG or WAG sections. The pdf from NGJA.org should work.

There is a lot of mention of Hollow / Arch holds.. with respect to..
PB Holds
Ring Holds
German Hang holds..

Are they all the same and how are the Arch / Hollow holds different ? How do they vary in the above three situations?


To reiterate, PB/FX position holds are not the same as rings and are seperate.

Hollow and Arch/Superman holds do not have anything to do with basic support holds. Somebody misinterpreted what I wrote and thought you would go from an inverted hang into hollow/arch hold of some sort. NO!

Doing a hollow and arch position are critical holds in gymnastics for core development. It sets up the base for most development of apparatus and event swing. The body will transition from hollow>arch in many gymnastics moves sometimes hollow>arch>hollow. Typically, arch is easier to hold than a proper hollow for many beginning gymnasts. Boat rocks and superman/girls.

#11 al

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Posted 07 July 2010 - 05:38 PM

-- My recommendation is first attain a 30 L-sit on the floor, then a 30 sec straddle L on the floor and finally a 30 sec MSH on the floor, before you begin to seriously work V-sits.


Bah its a shame this wasn't mentioned in the book.

I have had much frustration with the V sit. Always having tried to progress from L sit to V sit.. either by ankle weights or tucked V sit. The ankle weights, though developing immense strength in the L sit position, did little to build the triceps and active flexibility necessary for the V sit.

Well there I have it,a couple sessions to work back up to 30s L sit and then get to work on the straddle L.

--“I believe Coach Sommer has stated than once the hardest dip progressions can be done, you can increase difficulty by using multiplane pressing movements or handstand pushup movements ... you could start weighting the dips as well.” --> For basic strength this is exactly right.

-- Trainers fail to understand how to properly progress through the bodyweight strength progressions; e.g. pushups before dips, dips before HSPUs, German hangs before BL etc.


Just to clarify here... Are we saying that before attempting handstand pushups, bulgarian ring dips should be developed?

I ask because I have had much trouble in developing the headstand pushup with shoulder width hands/tucked elbows. It is of course for me a weakness in the triceps. But whats interesting to note is I have done very little to develop any dipping strength. Because at one point when I finally did start working them, I got over zealous you could say with the ring dips and my sternum for lack of better explanation, exploded. There have been a few posts regarding the sternum issue I encountered. I had to stop all upper body training for a month or more.. and haven't done dips since ( over a year).

But some time ago decided I couldn't go a whole life time without doing dips, and decided to strengthen the sternum. What I discovered is the lack of prerequisites goes even further! A lack of serious ring support training can be blamed. Ive been finding them to be the best thing ever to strengthen my sternum. First time I did em, it felt quite hard on the sternum. But by stretching the pecs after each set, it alleviated all discomfort. But each time I do them again, the discomfort is less and less, and is almost minimal now. A couple seconds of pec stretching in the door way and its gone. The goal is at least an absolutely solid minute, but progress is somewhat slow though since I am only doing them once a week for fear of too much volume.

Now just the other week I decided to experiment with pb dips. To give you an idea of my dipping weakness, 10 would surely be an epic struggle, 5 was appropriate for working sets. (on the other hand, I can do strict chinups with 115 lbs, possibly more now). Their was a slight sternum discomfort, but again the pec stretching instantly alleviated the discomfort. So I figured once a week of ring supports and once a week of pb dips, working very slowly on increasing volume is a good idea.

Back to the hspu, I've been working on pike pushup variations.. but progress on the good form HeSPU is slow as hell. Maybe the pike pushups are not even worth doing ? instead I should concentrate on strengthening the dips (I know for a fact my shoulders are proportionately far stronger than my triceps). Perhaps I could benefit from more frequency on the ring supports and dips? After reading this thread, I plan to add in german hangs as well (which I also feel in the sternum slightly). But I am worried about going overboard and mangling my sternum.

I wonder if anyone can even decipher the questions in the haggard paragraphs I just wrote. If you can, input would be MUCH appreciated.

Thank you.

#12 Joshua Naterman

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Posted 07 July 2010 - 06:16 PM

...

Well there I have it,a couple sessions to work back up to 30s L sit and then get to work on the straddle L.


I would suggest that you work hard at developing your flexibility by using the weighted pike stretches! I will have a video on this quite soon.


--“I believe Coach Sommer has stated than once the hardest dip progressions can be done, you can increase difficulty by using multiplane pressing movements or handstand pushup movements ... you could start weighting the dips as well.” --> For basic strength this is exactly right.

-- Trainers fail to understand how to properly progress through the bodyweight strength progressions; e.g. pushups before dips, dips before HSPUs, German hangs before BL etc.


Just to clarify here... Are we saying that before attempting handstand pushups, bulgarian ring dips should be developed?

Well, I think that what triangle meant is not that you should master all dips before trying HSPU variations, but that you should at least have decent dipping strength, like the ability to do 10 tempo dips on PB, before trying any HSPU or HeSPU work. While you're working on your dips, spend a lot of time doing wall handstands. That will make a big difference all by itself! Make sure you're working stomach to the wall. It forces a better bodyline and is harder on the shoulders and triceps. Once you get your dipping strength up to par and have a solid 45-60s wall handstand with wrists 6" or closer to the wall, you can start working on isometric holds 1/3 of the way down. After a while, when you can do good 10-15s holds there, add in holds at 2/3 of the way down the HeSPU! As long as you don't have shoulder injuries you should be able to do all that 3-4 times per week without problems. When you get to where you have a good 10+s hold 2/3 of the way down you should really have a much easier time developing your HeSPU! You'll only need 2-3 holds at 1/3 and 2/3 per day, spend the bulk of your time on the fully extended wall HS.

There are also Coach's progressions, starting with the elevated HeSPU where your hands are on the floor and you make a stack of books or something for your head to hit, so that you're only doing partial ROM! You should be able to drop down around 1" a month with consistent work. I think these two things together, meaning the isometrics a few times a week and the HeSPU whenever it pops up in the WODS ( once every 8-9 days, it seems, so you can do once a week if you like) should work really well for you.



But some time ago decided I couldn't go a whole life time without doing dips, and decided to strengthen the sternum. What I discovered is the lack of prerequisites goes even further! A lack of serious ring support training can be blamed. Ive been finding them to be the best thing ever to strengthen my sternum. First time I did em, it felt quite hard on the sternum. But by stretching the pecs after each set, it alleviated all discomfort. But each time I do them again, the discomfort is less and less, and is almost minimal now. A couple seconds of pec stretching in the door way and its gone. The goal is at least an absolutely solid minute, but progress is somewhat slow though since I am only doing them once a week for fear of too much volume.

Now just the other week I decided to experiment with pb dips. To give you an idea of my dipping weakness, 10 would surely be an epic struggle, 5 was appropriate for working sets. (on the other hand, I can do strict chinups with 115 lbs, possibly more now). Their was a slight sternum discomfort, but again the pec stretching instantly alleviated the discomfort. So I figured once a week of ring supports and once a week of pb dips, working very slowly on increasing volume is a good idea.


You are making great progress! Keep up with your once a week regimen until you feel absolutely no strain for at least a month. Then start doing the ring supports twice a week, and after a few weeks of that being totally fine start doing your dips twice a week too! Don't worry, build up slowly but surely. You're doing a great job! This is the right way to do things. Make SURE you don't get hurt while you build a foundation, and you will progress much faster on the harder stuff since you won't have to stop for injuries!


I plan to add in german hangs as well (which I also feel in the sternum slightly). But I am worried about going overboard and mangling my sternum.


Don't worry about the german hangs just yet. Get to where 3x per week ring supports are no problem first. There's really no need to go beyond 2x/week dips.
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#13 trianglechoke7

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Posted 07 July 2010 - 07:02 PM

Well, I think that what triangle meant...


I didn't mean anything. These are direct quotes that I keep from Coach Sommer in a word file.

#14 Blairbob

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Posted 07 July 2010 - 09:43 PM

Ring supports and PB dips are a big part of what helped my recover from my sternum injury. However, it's powerful medicine and be used cautiously. The PB dips not so much, but definitely the ring supports.

#15 crashnburn

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Posted 08 July 2010 - 03:22 AM

You don't need to be working the planche or front lever, probably. Do some planche leans or tuck levers or body levers if you so wish. L-sit makes sense. I'd say L-hang but you are working the tuck HLL already.


What are the above marked ones? "planche leans" & "tuck levers" What do they look like... Some variation of whats in the book?
I havent done HLL-Tucks yet, but hope to bring them to my core workout starting this week / next.


An inverted hang is something I take for granted but you shouldn't if you can't hold one for a long period of time.

Work the german hang with your feet on the floor as mobility.

Can you do a hollow or arch hold for a significant amount of time? If you can't, work on those.


NEED TO UNDERSTAND ... Hollow vs Arch... in how you meant it here.. ?

To reiterate, PB/FX position holds are not the same as rings and are seperate.

Hollow and Arch/Superman holds do not have anything to do with basic support holds. Somebody misinterpreted what I wrote and thought you would go from an inverted hang into hollow/arch hold of some sort. NO!

Doing a hollow and arch position are critical holds in gymnastics for core development. It sets up the base for most development of apparatus and event swing. The body will transition from hollow>arch in many gymnastics moves sometimes hollow>arch>hollow. Typically, arch is easier to hold than a proper hollow for many beginning gymnasts.
Boat rocks and superman/girls.


Okay. They are different.. Question is HOW / WHAT DO THEY LOOK LIKE?
What do Boat Rocks (In) & Supermans (Out) here point to?

#16 Longshanks

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Posted 08 July 2010 - 03:56 AM

Very good informative post. Think I've been trying to do too many different things for the sake of variety by the looks of it, and not getting a solid enough foundation. Havent had any injury flare-ups so far but my elbows do seem to crunch a bit and ache slightly the day after my planche leans. Do notice the occasional pulling in my elbow even with negative back levers in neutral hand position. Might just cut to down to pull-ups, ring press-ups, and L-sit every workout. I do the same leg workout every time and I've noticed much more noticeable gains in leg strength. Certainly aren't at 3*30sec L-sit, more like 20s, bent back as a single max effort.

#17 The Hansenator

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Posted 08 July 2010 - 09:24 AM

I found a few things on google

What are the above marked ones? "planche leans" & "tuck levers" What do they look like... Some variation of whats in the book?


http://il.youtube.com/watch?v=CDfPHdq0oK4

NEED TO UNDERSTAND ... Hollow vs Arch... in how you meant it here.. ?

http://www.ehow.co.uk/video_4977715_bas ... tions.html
http://www.gymnasticsrevolution.com/Gym ... r-Arch.htm

Okay. They are different.. Question is HOW / WHAT DO THEY LOOK LIKE?
What do Boat Rocks (In) & Supermans (Out) here point to?

http://www.americanparkour.com/content/view/45/386/
http://www.bodybuilding.com/exercises/d ... e/superman

#18 Joshua Naterman

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Posted 08 July 2010 - 10:03 AM

Very good informative post. Think I've been trying to do too many different things for the sake of variety by the looks of it, and not getting a solid enough foundation. Havent had any injury flare-ups so far but my elbows do seem to crunch a bit and ache slightly the day after my planche leans. Do notice the occasional pulling in my elbow even with negative back levers in neutral hand position. Might just cut to down to pull-ups, ring press-ups, and L-sit every workout. I do the same leg workout every time and I've noticed much more noticeable gains in leg strength. Certainly aren't at 3*30sec L-sit, more like 20s, bent back as a single max effort.



Have you been working the german hangs? That'd be one of your first steps for the BL. Obviously, don't do that until your elbow can handle it.

For the planche leans, do a 60s hold. This will force you into the correct amount of lean. You can't overdo your elbows for 60s. You should have no pain at any time. If you do, decrease the lean a little.

#19 kyle

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Posted 08 July 2010 - 10:07 AM

I think this should be a sticky.
I have been doing Coach's exercises for a year and just learned from this thread that I was skipping progressions. Wish I knew this before. :(

#20 Blairbob

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Posted 08 July 2010 - 03:18 PM

Planche leans have been talked about a lot. Get in a pushup position, lean forward like a planche.

Tuck levers. As in levers like front/back in a tuck position.