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Exercises Movements, technique & proper execution

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Old 11-02-2005, 07:54 AM   #1
Michael Decerbo
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awhile back i started training front levers properly. i was doing them with bent arms and i was told it wasn't correct, so i went back to square one.

square one meaning: tuck lever, one-leg out lever then the finale of a full front lever, and this is where i'm stuck.

one-leg out, straight arms, i'm solid. i can get a solid hold with each leg, but when i try to do both legs, i can't even hold it for a solid second. at first i thought it was my hollow (the position when your push out the lower back so it's as flat as can be with the abs super tight), but i had friend check it out and he said everything looked good.

i don't think it's an ab problem (or it might be, that's why i'm asking), because i think my abs are strong enough. i'm doing 8 rep sets for dragon flags, i have 8 rep sets of full-body roll-outs on the ab wheel, yet i can't hold this darn lever. i can do a deadhang and lift my body into lever position for reps, but i CAN'T hold it there for the life of me.

i'm planche training on the parallets (also from square one, since my form sucked) and i'm up to holding an advanced tuck for about 7-10 seconds depending how fresh i am.

i'm also doing supplimental work on the rings, in the gym with free weights and some body weight work(hspu, l-sits, all the fun stuff).

i know it's tough to diagnose over the internet, but can you give me any tips on holding this darn lever? my planches are coming a long nicely, but this lever is killing me; i've been stuck at this spot for about a month now.

in all honesty, i really think it's the shoulders that are weak. i try to get the full-body tension, but the shoulders slowly start giving out on me. i don't just drop, i slowly lower down (not by choice) as if i was doing a negative.

i don't know if this makes a difference, but i'm doing them on a bar, not my rings.

help?
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Old 11-02-2005, 09:05 AM   #2
Christopher Sommer
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Going directly from a single leg front lever to a double leg is quite an ambitious step. If training without band assistance, I would recommend proceeding from the single leg to a straddled front lever. Start with your legs as wide as possible and, over a period of months, gradually narrow the degree of straddle until you reach the regular front lever.

Focus on keeping the shoulders pulled down and leaning back behind your hands as this increases your leverage during the front lever. However, keeping the shoulders in this position actually requires great trap and lat strength rather than "shoulder" strength per se. You should also feel your hands pressing down strongly toward your hips.

Iron Woody fitness bands (www.ironwoodyfitness.com), jump stretch bands or pallet bands can also be used to assist the movement. Simply throw a couple over the top of your bar and you are in business. You can anchor them either at your waist or at your feet for more advanced variations. My personal preference for beginners is the waist, as it can be quite easy to get into the habit of piking the hips when placing them on the feet.

Just be careful to realize that the bands are a tool and not a crutch. Be sure to lessen the assistance as your strength increases.


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Coach Sommer

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Old 11-02-2005, 09:52 AM   #3
Roger Harrell
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Doing them on the bar makes a difference (a little easier) but the training modes are the same. Follow Coach Sommer's advice.

Also, I'd agree that the failure point is not abs. Though as Coach Sommer's said it involves more than shoulders.

(Message edited by rogair on November 02, 2005)
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Old 11-02-2005, 10:16 AM   #4
Michael Decerbo
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you guys are right. i meant shoulder area rather than specifically deltoids.

and thanks for the advice. the only reason i disregarded the straddle lever was because i feel like i start to pike when i'm in straddle. i felt it was easier to get the full-body tension when my legs were together. i should also start using the bands.

thanks guys.
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Old 11-03-2005, 04:37 AM   #5
Brian Hand
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Is there any difference between an underhand and an overhand grip? I feel like the shoulder girdle has an easier time with an underhand grip. Slightly.
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Old 11-05-2005, 07:11 AM   #6
Michael Decerbo
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brian, i don't know if it's "cheating", but you're right. i tried the underhanded grip and i felt stronger in the hold. i'm not going to practice it that way(unless it's ok to), but i just tried it out of curiousty. interesting. i think it's the lat activation; i feel i have more in that position.

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