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Coach Sommer

Germans - A Dynamic Pushup Variation

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Coach Sommer

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Building a planche pushup can be a challenging process, especially in developing enough triceps and shoulder strength to completely extend the body and arms at the top of the movement. In such a situation, Germans may be the perfect tool. I was first introduced to "Germans" during a joint USA & Germany Jr National Team training camp. The German team was using them as part of their conditioning circuit. They are quite effective and it is possible to to greatly vary the intensity of the movement by moderating the degree of leg swing used during the exercise.

I prefer to perform Germans on a pommel horse. The pommels themselves allow for additional depth of movement, the horse is stable and the height is easily adjustable. If you do not have access to a pommel horse, Germans may also be performed on spotting blocks or on even on benches; provided the benches can be sufficiently elevated and made sturdy enough. In addition, the Xtreme Rings are another excellent training option, however you would already need to be quite proficient at ring dips prior to attempting this element there.

The instructions for performing a German are simplicity personified:

1) Lean across the pommel horse in a bent arm support. Allow your legs to hang down and clear of the floor.

Germans.jpg

2) Now swing your legs up powerfully behind you while simultaneously pressing down strongly with your arms.

3) During the ascent make sure to continue leaning forward to allow yourself to arrive at the top of the ascent in a planche position rather than a front support.

4) The degree of leg swing you use will determine the difficulty of this movement. The more leg swing you use, the easier the movement will be. The less leg swing you use the more difficult Germans will be.

5) In addition, you may also modify your body position during the ascent to better accommodate your current strength levels. Utilize a tuck, flat tuck, or straddle as necessary until you are strong enough to perform Germans with a straight extended body.

6) After completing the ascent in the body position of your choice, simply lower down across the horse once again in preparation for the next repetition.

If you are performing Germans on the Xtreme Rings, you will find it most advantageous to begin them from an upright position. Lower down quickly while allowing your legs to swing forward, then press down strongly while swinging your legs powerfully up behind you. Continue for the desired number of repetitions.

Yours in Fitness,

Coach Sommer

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Ortprod

Hey Coach,

Quick question: are Germans easier than the other advanced dip on the p-bars? What type of development difference is there?

Thanks

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Danny

Thanks Coach, nice exercise! :D

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Guest Valentin

Hi

Cool, i used to do these. I was first introduced to them by a former UCLA Male Gymnasts (well when there used to be a program). He also did another really cool exercises planche type exercise on the pommels which at the time i was hopeless at, and which i would imagine Coach Sommer does with his athletes. I will film it and post it sometime this week. Unless anyone can guess it and beat me to it.

Coach, do you normally add a static hold at the end (assuming the performer can hold a straight body planche) or do you just do it as a dynamic exercises? I would think that this exercise on rings would be fantastic for training swing to planche elements?

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cathal

great stuff! ill try these tommorow!

these are like the antagonist exercise to yewkis

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Edward Smith

Coach Sommer,

I'm wondering about the difference between these and Swinging Dips. The only main difference I can depict between them is that with these you don't get such a forward swing (if any), this presumably reduces the amount of Power and makes it more strength oriented? is this correct?

Thanks,

Ed

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Coach Sommer

It is difficult to swing forward through the pommel horse :D. This change in orientation requires the torso to remain in more or less a horizontal "pushup" position during the entire movement. Also the pommel horse being present allows the lower body to wrap around the horse, thereby increasing the potential for a much stronger kick as necessary.

You are correct that when performed on the Xtreme Rings, Germans tend to become a swinging dip to planche. While not a true German, this alternative was provided for those without access to a proper pommel horse.

Yours in Fitness,

Coach Sommer

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kbryk

Your kidding me this is real, me and my buddies at gymnastics use to do it all the time and see who could hold it the longest in the straddle.

It is a pretty go exercise if you try holding it, sometimes the swinging throws you off balance one of my buddies flew off the pommel ahah.

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cathal

can this athlete perform a full planche pushup coach?

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Coach Sommer

Yes, this athlete is very strong. Planche pushups are rather easy for him.

Yours in Fitness,

Coach Sommer

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powersnake

Coach, may you, please, post a video of straddle planche pushups, and full planche pushups executed according to your standards?

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John Sapinoso

For those of you who can do these no problem here's an another possible variation I just learned about:

One of my coaches told me about how he saw these gymnast from Universal (a gym in florida) do this exercise in a straddle and at the top they would hold then rotate their hips: right over left and then left over right several times before returning back down to finish the rep.

I couldn't do the planche version of this but I was able to do a lever version and the added twisting makes it much harder, it almost felt like a single arm supported lever at the end of each twist.

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Guest Ido Portal

Funny...

I dont know if we mean the same thing, but while playing around with the Planche and its possibilities for Capoeira uses, I did a variation very much like what you are describing.

Soon I'll post a short video of me playing around with Planches and later on implementing Planche variations into my practice.

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Gregor

VERY, VERY, VERY INTERESTING tsOOnami :twisted:

I'll try this at next training.

I'm using a lot of body rotations in trainings lately. I think it's better now, my strenght and coordination is a bit better, but you must understand it could be just beacuse I'm not completly in conditon and I'm going through transition. It's good for feeling your body-muscles and for intra-muscular coordination.

I hope I was clear enough :roll:

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