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Exercises Movements, technique & proper execution

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Old 07-26-2009, 06:42 PM   #1
Jacob Israel Briskin
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Scaling pistols for "Mary"

So, I'd like to do "Mary" tomorrow, but I've run into a bit of an impasse. I need to scale the pistols in some way or another, but I can't decide what method is best. I've tried doing pistols barefoot and in my Vibram KSOs, and have been mostly successful with my right leg (my left still tips me on my *** on the way down, I assume due to a lack of flexibility). So, the two ways I can think of to scale the pistols are either to hold a 5-10lb plate out in front to act as a counterweight (since it is balance and flexibility stopping me, not strength) or to do the workout in my VS weightlifting shoes, which give me enough lift under the heel to make pistols doable. Or, I could wear the shoes *and* hold a 5lb plate. What do you think would be the best scaling to help me move towards real pistols? (Of course, I'm going to be stretching out my calves regularly now.)
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Old 07-26-2009, 06:50 PM   #2
Eric S. Jensen
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Re: Scaling pistols for "Mary"

I would just use the weight. Your weightlifting shoes would seem to just be acting as a crutch. It will take more time but maybe next time you'll be a little better. Just my .02
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Old 07-26-2009, 09:47 PM   #3
Ben Moskowitz
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Re: Scaling pistols for "Mary"

Pavel's points of performance for the pistol have your tibia staying perpendicular to the ground, so a raised heel shouldn't help you. That said, a recent video of Gillian Mounsey doing Mary showed her utilizing quite a bit of ankle flexibility. Rob Miller does the same at 7,000 feet. Having done pistols in OL shoes, I will tell you that it's easier to keep your COM over your base by throwing that knee over the toe. Whether that compromises knee health or doesn't matter, I don't know.

In any case, +1 for the weight. An alternative is to squat down to a box that allows you to complete the movement to your current ability.

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Old 07-28-2009, 03:05 AM   #4
Blair Robert Lowe
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Re: Scaling pistols for "Mary"

Pistols do require quite a bit of ankle and knee flexibility for some, especially if your chest is forward with your back rounded over your thigh.

If your back is straight and you sit back more, less ankle and knee flexion can be used but it's more difficult.
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Old 07-28-2009, 05:54 AM   #5
Mac Oneill
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Re: Scaling pistols for "Mary"

I have an issue finding a sub for the Pistol as well. I can do the pistol on both legs, but I sprained my right ankle about 8 weeks ago. Now, I can still pistol on my left leg with no issues, but it seems like the flexibility in my right ankle just isnt where it needs to be. I get a fair amount of pain in my ankle when attempting as well. It's still pretty swollen though so I may just need to ice more until my flexiblity increases. The weird part is that I don't have much pain with OHS, Cleans, Front Squats, ect... I tend to get the most pain when jumping as high as I can, and then the Pistols.

So, sorry for highjacking the thread but a good sub for the pistol, or some exercises to increase flexibility would be great.
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Old 07-28-2009, 05:58 AM   #6
Blair Robert Lowe
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Re: Scaling pistols for "Mary"

Rest and ICE that ankle A LOT. Your ankle probably doesn't like a lot of flexion or impact landings.

Simply perform pistols on one leg or do the squats from Cindy as a sub.
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Old 07-28-2009, 06:22 AM   #7
Mac Oneill
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Re: Scaling pistols for "Mary"

Quote:
Originally Posted by Blair Robert Lowe View Post
Rest and ICE that ankle A LOT. Your ankle probably doesn't like a lot of flexion or impact landings.

Simply perform pistols on one leg or do the squats from Cindy as a sub.
I just watched the CFJ article on Tissue Healing Phases and it made me realize that I need to get back to icing my ankle on a regular basis. I do wear an ankle brace when I workout, but I'm not sure if it is hurting or helping the healing process. I want it to get stronger, but I dont want to risk injury and not wear the brace.

As far as Mary goes I think I will do 5 Pistols on the left leg and then just another 10 air squats...

Thanks for the idea.
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