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George Launchbury

Wristwraps, paralettes and (hopefully) advice please...

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George Launchbury

Hi All,

I am new here, and new to gymnastic style training. I guess a little about myself would be appropriate: I am Male, 35 yrs, 6' 2'', 215lbs @ 24% BF. Quite a bit of weight training experience, and reasonable knowledgeable with anatomy and traditional training principles.

I have started out with a basic routine 2-4 times per week:

> Warm-up

> Handstand practice (working toward 0:20 balance)

> HSPU (working toward 5x3 bodyweight)

> Chin-ups (working toward 5x3 bodyweight on bar)

> L-sit (working to 0:30 on rings)

> Stretching/Cool-down

I often do a little extra pushing/pulling work in horizontal plane using cable machines if I have anything left before cooling down. Once I am up to targets with HSPU and Chin-ups I am planning to start working on Planche and Front-lever progressions as per Coach Sommer's article.

I have a few Questions:

1. Any feedback on the above would be appreciated

2. I am overweight right now, which is coming down steadily. In the interim I was thinking of using wraps to support my wrists a little, but am worried that this will prevent them getting stronger?

3. If I use paralettes to practice handstands on, again for my wrists, will the skills acquired carry over into floor handstand to a reasonable degree?

Many thanks for reading this, and I hope someone has the free time and inclination to advise.

George.

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Edward Smith

hey george,

well that routine sounds all right to me, really depends on what your goals are. I don't know anything about wrist wraps so i'll trash that, but with parallettes u can practice handstands on them (especially HSPU) but do keep practicing some handstand stuff on floor

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George Launchbury

Thanks for the reply Ed,

For the moment those *are* my goals!!! By "toward" I mean that they are the progression I am working on (which wasn't very clear ...sorry).

> Handstands:

- Aiming for solid balance of 0:20, nowhere near a wall

- Kicking up as smoothly/gently as possible to wall: 5L, 5R, 5L, 5R

- 5 x HS at wall, pushing out (with fingers) for time (0:06 best so far)

- 10 x Kick-up ...pause ...roll out on mat

> HSPU:

- Incline PU getting more inclined when I manage 5x3

- Currently at about 45deg, 3, 3, 2, 2, 1

> Chin-ups:

- Started using assistance machine at gym

- Now trying for 5x3 at bodyweight (current: 3,2,2,1,1)

- Then I do another 3-5 negatives

> L-Sit:

- Static hold on rings, with good form (nearly there)

- Tuck-sit (paralettes) for total 0:60 ...best single so far 0:14

- Seated leg-raises in pike position.

I Guess I will then decide what I want to aim for next. I am thinking that I will be going for a few Freestanding HSPUS, then some kind of Planche and a front lever. Maybe (though it seems impossible) one day an L-sit press to handstand!!

However, by the time I achieve my initial goals I will hopefully be happily reading Coach Sommer's book (darn those pesky web developers), and all my plans will change!! From what I've read on a number of sites ...a solid handstand is generally seen as useful!

George.

P.s. I also do some general core and unliateral leg work, but not with a specific plan. I already have as much planning as I can deal with. :)

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George Launchbury

As far as wrapping/taping wrists ...mainly I was wondering if this might support my wrists and...

A) ...they will get a little stronger with time

B) ...there will be no improvement in strength without wraps

C) ...they might actually get weaker when not wrapped!?

Past experience tells me that I will weigh around 15-20 lbs lighter in 3-5 months, and that will make a great difference, I expect.

George.

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John Sapinoso

i had wrist problems on pommels and i always found that wrapping makes you dependent and overall weaker when you go back to raw so i only wrapped when absolutely necessary or when i thought it would be more damaging to them to not wrap.

there's some wrist exercises my coach had me do but the second one seemed like it's mainly to increase pain tolerance

1 wrist push ups where you start in a push up position and use wrists and finger strength to push up to fingertips (works wrists flexors)

2 start on your fists in a pushup and lower to back hand and back up to fist (works wrists extensors)

but i think the best thing to do would be to keep working the handstands and the wrist strength will come as a result, supplementary wrist flexibility and forearm strength will help too, it's your call on the "pain" pushups.

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George Launchbury

Thanks ts00nami,

That seems like good advice on the wraps. I'll try and give them a miss, especially as I will try doing some of my handstand practice on paralettes to see how I fare. That should be a more comfortable position for my wrists.

I will definitely give the up-to-fingers-pushups a go, as I also feel that finger strength is a limiting factor in my progress. Although I'll probably have to start against a wall or on knees (the humility).

As for the second version ("pain" pushups) ...I'll give those a miss, thanks!!! :)

Years of Aikido and Bujinkan Taijutsu when I was younger means my wrists don't like to bend that way any more!

Cheers,

George.

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Coach Sommer

Wrist Pushups

Actually the second variation mentioned, the wrist pushups, is the more beneficial of the two. The following link will provide some performance guidelines; http://gymnasticbodies.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=61

Wrist pushups can however be quite difficult initially, but there are ways to gradually increase the intensity. First, perform the movement from the knees. Second, if additional reduction in intensity is required, allow the hips to pike as well. The greater the degree of pike in the hips, the lesser the degree of intensity will be.

Yours in Fitness,

Coach Sommer

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George Launchbury

Thanks Coach Sommer,

Since you regard them as the more beneficial of the two, I will work some of those in this week and see if my old wrist injuries flare up!

They ache quite a bit at the moment, but that could (hopefully) be me overdoing it a bit when starting out with the handstands.

I am going to taper the handstands off a little for now, swapping in some conditioning exercises for wrists, and ramp the frequency back up a little as they feel up to it (and the weight comes off).

Thanks again,

George.

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Coach Sommer

A Word of Caution

Many of us are in the habit of training with a great deal of intensity. We tend to take that approach with all that we do . . . . often this is appropriate for skeletal muscular training; it is however usually inappropriate for joint pre-hab and flexibility training.

The metabolic rate of connective tissue (tendons and ligaments) is approximately 1/10th that of muscular tissue. This means that connective tissue improves it's strength and flexibility at 1/10th the speed of muscular tissue; and that it also heals TEN times slower. For example, when comparing a slight muscular pull that would require 3 days to heal to a slight connective tissue pull of the same magnitude, the slight connective tissue pull would require 30 days to heal. Yes, that is correct - a full 30 days. This is not to imply that the joint will be disfunctional for the entire 30 day period, but that it will require that period of time to regain 100% functionality and stability.

Now what does that mean in terms of how we approach our joint pre-hab and flexibility training? We approach it patiently and prudently. Training with great enthusiasm and gusto coupled with a high tolerance for pain is not the correct approach for long term joint pre-hab and flexibility gains. Rather calm, methodical and consistent is the approach that yields maximum gains with the least incidence of injury over the course of a lifetime of training.

If you are in doubt of whether you have pushed a joint too far, rest. One day, or even a few days, of rest when necessary will hardly de-construct the years of consistent effort that you have already invested in your physical preparation.

Yours in Fitness,

Coach Sommer

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