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Exercises Movements, technique & proper execution

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Old 01-21-2007, 08:54 AM   #1
Skylar Cook
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My new goal is a front lever (or so I tell myself...), but I'm having trouble with the steps on http://www.powerathletesmag.com/pages/frontlever.htm (safe). My tucked front lever is pretty ugly... What exercises should I do to strengthen my core? I've been working a little on L-sits and Planches, but am discouraged due to lack of progress (the tucked lever is comparably EASY)...
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Old 01-21-2007, 01:41 PM   #2
Blair Robert Lowe
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Leg lifts are good.

Lay down on the floor and try to have your head near a pole you can grab. Grab the pole. Tighten your butt into a hollow and pull to a candlestick position and lower. If you can't do this, do a piked leg lift to candlestick and lower.
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Old 01-21-2007, 06:47 PM   #3
James Falkner
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Coach Sommer has an excellent progression for FL and Plance progressions in his article Building an Olympic Body through Bodyweight Conditioning. I read this article as not requiring any additional "core" work - i.e. the first thing in each progression should be possible even with a weak core, albeit for a short amount of time, and you work up from there.
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Old 01-23-2007, 02:16 PM   #4
Skylar Cook
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Yes, I've been working on the tucked planche, but can only hold it for 5-10 seconds (on a good day). However, as I said, my tucked lever is ugly. However, I assumed that I shouldn't practice it with a bent back, but the pictures there obviously show differently than the site I posted... Maybe working with a bent back will help until I can straighten it.
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Old 01-23-2007, 03:05 PM   #5
Blair Robert Lowe
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The first tucked plance and lever use the body position hollow. It isn't piking the body at the hips, rather rounding the spine ( like a hollow rock, pretty important in a lot of gymnastics ).

Think of it this way. The first basic progression has the knees touching the elbows as far as compression.

The next step is to have the knees be close to the hands/rings or rather in line with. There is more load this way.

Lever pullups will be more ROM once you get to step 2 and straddle levers.


I have seen core strength limit levers with some people who have a lot of pull strength. There's a young guy on Wednesday who is very much this way. MU and climb like nothing but can't do any lever stuff due to core strength and of course working it.


If you're core strength isn't it, then it's your pull strength. My pull strength has really gone to notha but is slowing coming back. I used to be able to do ice cream makers like nothing and long hang straight body pull to invert. Now it's a chore with some piked hips.

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Old 01-24-2007, 10:17 AM   #6
Nick Cruz
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I just started the Frog Stand yesterday. What fun! I cant wait to get to the point where Im not crashing on my face every 3-4 seconds though. I need to find an adult gymnastics class to visit.

Thanks for the link, now I have 3 6 month goals ( planche, 300 lbs squat, and 275 # dead lift)

Nick
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Old 01-24-2007, 07:14 PM   #7
Skylar Cook
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I've gotta go to an open gym this week. I don't remember jack from when I used to gym; I'm just now realizing that it's probably my form...
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Old 01-27-2007, 07:47 PM   #8
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Front Lever:

On the rings, pull to an inverted hang and lower straight body as SLOWLY as you can. Repeat for ten to fifteen reps.

It doesn't matter whether you have to pull to the inverted hang in a tuck or not.

Do this a couple of sessions each week. Always work as slowly on the negative as you can.

Gymnastics moves are learned from negative or eccentric, slowed to static, to, eventually, positive or concentric.

This is an age old progression and super effective - considerably more effective than Sommer's or the Powerathlete's approach. The lat soreness you'll generate is indicative and impressive. You'll get more pull-ups through this progression as well.



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Old 01-27-2007, 10:45 PM   #9
Blair Robert Lowe
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Ahh, is that your opinion, Coach? Interesting. I have heard you espouse it before as the progression to get the front lever vs the Sommer method.
I got my front lever a long time ago mainly through icecream-makers that were in the Level 6 JO boys routine, besides as pull to invert straight arm and body was in the routine. At the time, I had only a basic knowledge of gymnastics besides what the JO book could give me.

Negative to positive. Interesting. I'll have to play with this in some other skills. Cool.
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Old 01-28-2007, 04:22 AM   #10
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Yeah, it's an opinion formed through having learned, and taught for years, ALL the ring strength moves.

The negative, to static, to positive progression is ancient. It is the natural progression of body weight movements. Think about it - is it easier to lower through the cross than to hold one? Of course it is. Is it easier to hold the cross than pull-out? Again, of course it is.

As a general pedagogical rule, cutting across all fields of endeavor, working from easier to harder is more effective than harder to easier.

I can also attest that the muscles, muscle groups, and contractions used in the eccentric, static or isometric, and concentric variants of a movement are WAY more related, i.e., have greater applicability to acquisition of hold or pull-out, to one another than other progressions or exercises do.

Even the strength moves I acquired with dumbbell assistance exercises (planche, planche press, inverted cross, and inverted cross pull-out, elevator, etc.), I focused on negatives reps three or four to one over positive or concentric movements.

The value of negatives, or eccentric contractions, is an academic dispute that has sucked in weight training communities and not gymnasts or gymnastics coaches.

Moderns have made a complicated mess of learning bodyweight exercises.
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