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Marko Petrunic

Sternal Fracture During Iron-Cross

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Marko Petrunic

Hello to the GB community from Zagreb, Croatia.

 

Yesterday my friend was doing an iron-cross on aerial straps and got himself a sternal fracture.

 

He was supported with the straps around his elbows so it wasn't a full position. In addition, his chest was out, his scapulae elevated and his grip rotated (palms upwards). Now he cannot lift his arms nor rotate his head and he has difficulty breathing.

 

His connective tissue and muscles clearly weren't ready for IC work, but I am interested what do you think - could the fracture happen solely because of this 3sec hold or something else preceded that? 

 

Btw, can breathing/not breathing be a factor during this?

 

Last thing, it would be great to include injuries/rehab forum, if it doesn't already exist.

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Scott Malin
Last thing, it would be great to include injuries/rehab forum, if it doesn't already exist.

 

The Mobility forum has served this purpose for a long time, there isn't a need to really split it.

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Joshua Naterman

With that form and chest out, that's a whole lot of extra stress on the sternal cartilage and ligaments. He was an idiot, in my opinion, to assume that position. It may be something that is done frequently in the straps, I don't know, but if so it should be approached quite slowly and with a lot of caution.

 

Obviously he wasn't ready, what was his prep work and timeline for this?

 

It's probably not really a true fracture since all that can happen is that the ligamentous and cartilagenous attachments separate, you don't actually break the sternum, unless you are hitting the steering column without an accident, and even then sometimes it doesn't break... but I suppose that's just semantics.

 

Sorry to hear he's in pain, perhaps he will approach training more carefully once he has recovered. Best of luck to him!

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Marko Petrunic
The Mobility forum has served this purpose for a long time, there isn't a need to really split it.

Thx, saw it right after posting the problem :)

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Marko Petrunic

I agree. His prep work didn't include IC pre-reqs at all, so the injury isn't such a surprise. 

 

I was wondering exactly about that (is the true fracture really possible in his case). Now I am waiting for him to tell me the diagnosis (x-ray results), I will let you know as soon as I find out.

 

Thanks for the wishes, I am sure he will use upcoming time not just for physical rehabilitation, but for mental as well.

 

Also, I've heard that serious IC work shouldn't begin before being able to do a steady 3sec SR straddle planche. It makes sense to me, maybe not because exactly the same musculature is activated, but rather because of quality connective tissue prep. What do you think about that?

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Marko Petrunic

Ok guys, I got the feedback from my friend. Unfortunately, the sternum bone is completely broken (horizontally, on its middle section). I really didn't believe that was possible from assisted IC. Just wanted to share that information.

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Ivan Uzarevic1

Uf, sorry to hear that! 

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alec_ar
:( so sorry bro. Ugh.

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Joshua Naterman
Ok guys, I got the feedback from my friend. Unfortunately, the sternum bone is completely broken (horizontally, on its middle section). I really didn't believe that was possible from assisted IC. Just wanted to share that information.

Not at the manubrium?

 

That's pretty impressive, I hope he has a speedy recovery!

 

What he was doing was basically bending the sternum, which is not designed to bend, so... pop. He was using completely horrid form, from what you described, but if he had built up to this slowly the bone probably would have had time to remodel and become strong enough to handle it.

 

Bone strengthening happens much, much more slowly in adults than it does in children and adolescents (like 5x slower at age 30 compared to age 16-18) so keep that in mind.

 

When training for low leverage work as adults, we have to try and take into account these metabolic and developmental differences and change our training timelines accordingly.

 

 

 

 

 

You're right about the connective tissues being the primary reason that you want several solid skills before IC... There are people who get injured just doing dips on rings, because they didn't take things slowly enough, so imagine how much more dangerous IC is for the improperly prepared body!

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Brian Li

I'm so sorry to hear that! The elbow supported strap iron cross requires substantially less force compared to the real thing. What was your friend's strength levels before he attempted it?

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Joshua Naterman

Guys, please remember that this was not a normal IC position. It was arched, with scaps elevated and arms externally rotated. Every biomechanical way to make this position as dangerous as possible was present except for throwing the head back, and that was likely happening as well,since it's hard to arch with your head down..

 

This is not what we recommend here,in fact it's pretty much the exact opposite.

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Marko Petrunic
Not at the manubrium?

 

That's pretty impressive, I hope he has a speedy recovery!

 

What he was doing was basically bending the sternum, which is not designed to bend, so... pop. He was using completely horrid form, from what you described, but if he had built up to this slowly the bone probably would have had time to remodel and become strong enough to handle it.

 

Bone strengthening happens much, much more slowly in adults than it does in children and adolescents (like 5x slower at age 30 compared to age 16-18) so keep that in mind.

 

When training for low leverage work as adults, we have to try and take into account these metabolic and developmental differences and change our training timelines accordingly.

 

 

 

 

 

You're right about the connective tissues being the primary reason that you want several solid skills before IC... There are people who get injured just doing dips on rings, because they didn't take things slowly enough, so imagine how much more dangerous IC is for the improperly prepared body!

Not at manubrium, but on body of sternum. Those are interesting facts, thanks for your response.

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Marko Petrunic
I'm so sorry to hear that! The elbow supported strap iron cross requires substantially less force compared to the real thing. What was your friend's strength levels before he attempted it?

He wasn't preparing for IC at all, but he is a pretty strong athlete. He is proficient in side-lever (20sec, good form), but he is able to perform tuck PL for only about 30 sec (connection to IC). Nevertheless, the fact that the bone broke is still interesting.

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Marko Petrunic
Guys, please remember that this was not a normal IC position. It was arched, with scaps elevated and arms externally rotated. Every biomechanical way to make this position as dangerous as possible was present except for throwing the head back, and that was likely happening as well,since it's hard to arch with your head down..

 

This is not what we recommend here,in fact it's pretty much the exact opposite.

Agreed. Finally I have gotten his pic and the position. http://sphotos-e.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ak-snc7/380227_4674086884099_763656658_n.jpg

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Joshua Naterman
He wasn't preparing for IC at all, but he is a pretty strong athlete. He is proficient in side-lever (20sec, good form), but he is able to perform tuck PL for only about 30 sec (connection to IC). Nevertheless, the fact that the bone broke is still interesting.

 

 

He wasn't preparing for IC at all, but he is a pretty strong athlete. He is proficient in side-lever (20sec, good form), but he is able to perform tuck PL for only about 30 sec (connection to IC). Nevertheless, the fact that the bone broke is still interesting.

It's hard to be strong when you start off with gymnastics training... being strong screwed me up too. 

 

I was strong enough to be holding straddle planches about 6 months in, but were my elbows ready? Nope, and I ended up with a nasty 8 month layoff fixing them. The first time... lol :)

 

Now I'm actually doing things correctly.

 

I actually thought to myself "I think I see the problem... this guy looks pretty strong. He probably doesn't realize that his muscles aren't what he needs to worry about!" when I saw the pic you posted!

 

I think your friend's going to be fine, and he'll eventually get back to where he was, and go much further, as long as he takes it slow and learns to forget how strong he is when it comes to a lot of the low leverage stuff!

 

It took me about 3 years, but I'm doing pretty well now. I hope it takes him less time!

 

Thank you for sharing!

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alec_ar

Ugh his hands are backwards. Yikes.

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Marko Petrunic

Joshua I agree. It is very important to learn from our mistakes. Personally, as far as gymnastic training is concerned, I am into philosophy ''no pain, gain'' :)

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Joshua Slocum

An important thing to keep in mind is that gain requires pain, but pain does not always mean gain. 

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