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Exercises Movements, technique & proper execution

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Old 01-02-2006, 04:48 PM   #1
Mikael Välitalo
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So here's the deal: I can hold a tuck planche for a good 15 seconds (and a frog stand for more than a minute), but even when I give it my all and start fresh, I cannot keep the arms straight. As soon as my toes leave the ground and I balance my body forwards, the elbows almost automatically give in and assume a bent position.

Are weak triceps the only cause for this? Should I just focus on making them stronger (but I dislike the idea of isolation exercises)?

Advice much appreciated!
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Old 01-02-2006, 08:05 PM   #2
Brendan Melville
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Screw isoloation. I had this problem when I first started planche progression. I figured it was lack of tricep or shoulder strength. Hand-stand push-ups to the rescue. I have done HSPU/hand-stand work in parallel with planche progression, and they seem to be like brothers. Also just keep trying to get it a few seconds at a time. Really work at locking out the arms. I feel like static handstands (even against a wall) would be great for getting this feeling down right.

That'd be my recommendation.
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Old 01-02-2006, 10:30 PM   #3
Travis Hall
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i have the same problem...
i can hold a free handstand with straight locked arms and straight locked legs for about a minute now, yet a locked arm tuck planche escapes me.

although, i agree that the two movements are related and that improvement in one will translate to the other- but at the same time they do seem to require quite different static strength..
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Old 01-03-2006, 03:43 AM   #4
Jesse Woody
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This is one reason why gymnasts will usually use slow eccentric lowering from a handstand to supplement their planche training, working it from the top down. Coach also recommends dumbell work, both standing and supine, lowering the weights to the planche position slowly, lifting back up and repeating. This way you can improve incrementally in the straight-arm position. Here is a topic from last week that has a goldmine of info about these static holds (along with a great Word doc. with a ton of gymnastics tips).

http://www.crossfit.com/discus/messages/22/17406.html
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Old 01-03-2006, 09:34 AM   #5
Roger Harrell
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It's actually predominantly a neurological thing. Keep on working it. The bending in the arms allows you to get forward on it, eventually you'll learn to do that without the bend. It just takes time. All the suggestions so far are excellent.
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Old 01-03-2006, 11:22 AM   #6
Steven Low
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Yeah, it seems like a neuromuscular thing. I have no problem doing straight arm work because I have a gymnastics background. But those that are training stuff like planches and the iron cross with me have trouble keeping their arms straight while doing it because they have more of a background lifting weights. Practice makes perfect :-)
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Old 01-03-2006, 11:47 AM   #7
Brendan Melville
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My friend who did a lot of p-bars when he did gymnastics at a young age actually bends his arms BACKWARDS at the elbows. I guess that's technically "straight" for him now. It looks weird and slightly disgusting.
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Old 01-03-2006, 02:22 PM   #8
Roger Harrell
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Hyperextension is predominantly genetic. Tung Fei was a world class gymnast in the early 80s that severely hyperextended. His iron cross looked really nasty.
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Old 01-03-2006, 02:32 PM   #9
Christopher Sommer
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I disagree that this is predominantly a neurological issue.

In my experience, it is simply a case of a lack of straight arm specific strength. Many gymnastics elements require a great deal of straight arm strength; strength which is impossible to build with bent arm work, regardless of the load or volume used in training.

The problem in this instance, is that a tuck planche has never actually been correctly trained. Due to the continued emphasis on duration rather than quality of technique, the bent elbow issue, left unaddressed, has continued to be unresolved. The solution is relatively simple; reduce the duration of each set to the bare minimum during which completely locked and extended elbows can be maintained. Until completely straight elbows are achieved, it is unproductive to increase duration.


Unless a tramautic impact injury was involved, the elbows of Brendan's friend are simply a genetic predisposition and are not the result of his prior training. That being said however, depending on the degree of "hyper" flexation in his elbows, he must indeed take greater care to avoid elbow injuries than someone with a normal range of motion.


Yours in Fitness,
Coach Sommer

http://www.t-nation.com/readTopic.do?id=512003
http://www.dragondoor.com/articler/mode3/229/
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Old 01-03-2006, 04:58 PM   #10
Mikael Välitalo
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Coach Sommer: right now your advice of decreasing the duration of sets and focus on straight arms is impossible to apply, simply because I cannot do a tuck planche with straight arms, I can't even do it for 1 second. This, despite the fact that I mastered the frog stand long ago. The problem may be that the jump from frog stand to tuck planche is just too much at once. Ideally there would be a progression between the two, which would emphasize the use of straight arms, but in an easier setting than a tuck planche.

In the meantime I'll work on my handstand and HSPU...
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