Foundation Equipment: The Back Strap
When fitness enthusiasts approach our GymnasticBodies courses for the first time, they often ask what GST™ Foundation equipment they will need to start training. Fortunately, one huge benefit to Gymnastics Strength Training™ is its most important piece of equipment. This irreplaceable exercise tool is something that you have with you in all places at all times: your own body!
However, there are a few other tools of the trade. We have previously discussed how stall bars and gymnastics rings make excellent additions to your home workout set-up. Another item that you will find useful is the back strap. This piece of equipment attaches to any stall bar and allows you to train a wide variety of movements. Here is a bit more detail on this unique piece of GST™ Foundation equipment.
As shown in the photo above, the back strap contains a padded middle area intended to fit snugly around your midsection. The straps themselves are attached to two hooks that wrap around the top rung on a set of stall bars. From here you can place your feet on a lower rung to begin using the strap for your desired exercise. The length of the back strap will depend on which exercise you are doing. You'll want to experiment to see how each setup balances waist comfort with the difficulty of performing the movement.
Obliques and More
The Side Lever (or human flag) is one of the seven Foundation movements in GST™. Performing this core exercise properly requires a great deal of strength in your obliques, glutes, abs, and more. The back strap comes into play here, as it offers a quick and easy set-up for you to work several of the Foundation Side Lever progressions.
Arch-ups, for example, can be set-up as demonstrated in the video above. Simply attach the top hooks to the stall bars, wrap the padded area around your hips. From there, you can begin practicing arch-ups to strengthen your entire posterior chain. When you are done, you can slide the straps over to the side of your stall bars and keep them attached for an even quicker setup in the future.
Alternatively, you can more specifically target the obliques with the back strap by performing a side body crunch. To set up for this movement, just turn your hips and shoulders 90 degrees from a regular arch-up. Focus on staying “squared up” to the side, and really engage your obliques in order to lift your upper body. Remember, your core is more than just your abs and glutes, so work those obliques too.
Get Creative With Your Foundation Equipment
Lastly, the back strap allows you to have some fun and get creative with your home workouts. Being such a simple piece of GST™ Foundation equipment, it really offers you and your body the opportunity to be the machine.
Remember, a manna is one of the seven Foundation exercises, and it involves shoulder extension, hamstring flexibility, and really strong abs. By using the back strap, the athletes are able to focus on retracting their shoulder blades, compressing their hips, and locking their legs. With all the pushing and pulling work required to prepare the upper body for ring strength, performing progressions towards the manna helps keep the shoulders healthy and balanced.
- The back strap is a simple piece of GST™ Foundation equipment that offers a wide range of possibilities.
- You can perform arch-ups and other oblique-related exercises that would otherwise require specialized equipment.
- Get creative with the back strap, and try fun variations like side body crunches and advanced manna work.