Building the Gymnastic Body - Ebook download as PDF File .pdf), Text File .txt) or read book online. Building the Gymnastic Body. Amazon rank: #, Price: $ bound: pages. Publisher: Olympic Bodies LLC (). Language: English. ISBN ISBN Building the Gymnastic Body: The Science of Gymnastics Strength Training by Christopher Sommer () [Christopher Sommer] on caite.info
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Other products by Gymnastic Bodies:BUILDING THE GYMNASTIC BODY D V D SThe Companion DVDs to Building Building the Gymnastic. We will show in this book that drawing the human body need not be so difficult. in interpretive Art of Drawing Color Atlas of Anatomy: A Photographic Study of. 28 nov. Author: Sommer Christopher Title: Building the gymnastic body The science of gymnastics strength training Year: Link download.
For example, a hangingstraight leg lift is much harder than a tucked leg lift. The normal performance criteria that you developed on the PBs for your L-sitstill apply here. Strive to maintain your "flat" back position. This was of course in combination with the rest of histraining. As for the grip, this is a personal choice, however I recommend palms downrather than palms up; unless there is an injury that needs to be taken intoaccount. The primary difference is that when the core fails,you will unable to maintain a flat back straight body position resulting ineither an arched back or pike in the hips. Following are the basic static strength positions in mens gymnastics.
My program for thecomplete development of handstands and press handstands is thereforepresented in a separate volume, The Handstand Chronicles; which quiteliterally contains the most complete and extensive information ever presentedon the subject. Everything necessary is provided to develop a rock solid statichandstand and to master the many intricacies of press handstands. Everything that is, except for the sweat; that is up to you. Basic Strength2 1Strength is the foundation from which all forms of athletic physicalexpression become possible.
In this respect, gymnastics is no different thanany other sport. We do, however, have our own specific requirements. In thestrength training of my athletes, I am primarily concerned with building twofacets of strength: The development of gymnastics maximal strength will be a two-tieredprocess; building basic strength is the first step, as well as initially being ourmain training focus.
Basic strength is composed of two components;fundamental static positions FSP and fundamental bodyweight exercises FBE. Fundamental static positions and fundamental bodyweight exercisesare "fundamental" in that they are the initial building blocks from which allother gymnastics training progresses. Increasing maximal strength will directly relate to our ability to execute evermore leverage-disadvantaged bodyweight exercises.
Once proficiency of theFBEs has been achieved, our journey towards higher levels of gymnasticsmaximal strength will continue through the use of the advanced ring strengthexercises and progressions discussed in All Muscle, No Iron. Advanced ringstrength training is extremely potent and will yield astonishing strength gains,IF the correct preparatory foundation has been laid.
Simultaneously with ourtransition to advanced ring strength, a significant shift in our strength trainingprotocol will also occur; the continued acquisition of maximal strength will nolonger be our primary training focus, but will shift to a secondary role. After the basic7foundation is achieved, the primary focus of our GymnasticBodies training will shift to the development of "power" utilizing gymnasticdynamic strength exercises, as outlined in The Dynamic Physique.
Howeveruntil that time occurs, our primary focus needs to remain on establishing asolid foundation of basic strength through the use of FSPs and FBEs. It shouldalso be understood that the vast majority of athletes fail in establishing anW W W. This is not to insinuate that dynamic strength work will not take place in ourinitial training, it will.
Dynamic strength is an essential component in thedevelopment of gymnastic abilities and is explored thoroughly in theGymnastic Bodies volume, The Dynamic Physique. However, to ensure themost efficient development of the athlete, dynamic strength training mustremain a secondary focus until an adequate foundation of basic strength hasbeen established. What about relative strength and developing a high strength to bodyweightratio you may ask?
As gymnasts, it is literally impossible to neglect this part ofour training. It would be like asking a fish to not get wet. Due to the fact thatwe are working with bodyweight progressions, all of our maximal anddynamic strength training already occurs within a matrix of relative strength. With the Gymnastics Bodies Program, all increases in maximal and dynamicstrength will automatically equate to increases in relative strength as well.
Fundamental Static PositionsGymnastically speaking, static strength is the ability to hold or maintain thebody motionless in an often mechanically disadvantaged position.
L-sits,front levers and planches are all examples of static strength elements. I havefound static strength training to be invaluable in building the ligament andtendon strength of the joints, as well as having a profound effect on corestrength development.
The static exercises help to build amazing strengthwhich quite frankly cannot be developed any other way. A caveat is required here; training the support static strength positions canbe quite taxing on the wrists; especially without an adequate developmentalfoundation.
The wrists will consequently require special physical preparationto be able to adequately handle the new training load. As mentionedpreviously, the wrist specific preparation series that I use with my athletes isquite extensive and is covered in great detail in the Gymnastics Bodiesvolume, Liquid Steel.
Following are the basic static strength positions in mens gymnastics. Complete descriptions as well as progressions for developing all of the basicpositions are provided.
How hard can it be to simply stay in one position? It must be theeasiest thing in the world, right? Correctly done, the L-sit will makemost other conventional abdominal exercise seem like childs play. Way back when, when I was a beginning gymnast, my first coach had us dono specific abdominal exercises; only lots and lots of regular L-sits.
A 60second L was the expected standard. One day, one of the senior gymnasts challenged me to a hanging leg liftcontest on the stall bars These bars are directly anchored to the wall and donot allow you to lean back at all or to pull down with your lats - all pure corestrength.
I cranked out ten repetitions without ever having done the exercisebefore. If yourabdominal strength is very low, you may also begin on two chairs, as this willallow you to start with you feet much lower and make the exercise moreaccessible. At first it may not be possible for you to lift your legs up to a completelyparallel position. That is fine, simply work with your knees at the height thatyou are comfortable.
Sit up straight and be sure to keep your elbows locked straight. L-sit - PB lowThe primary difference on this variation is that the knees will now be straight. As the leverage is much less on this exercise and the difficulty is higher, youwill probably find that you cannot hold your legs as high as you did in thetuck L and that you need to work on two chairs or elevated bars.
In thebeginning, it is perfectly acceptable for your feet to be far below horizontal. Be prepared for some exceptional cramps in both your hip flexors and therectus femoris the muscle in the upper middle of your quadriceps.
If thecramps become too intense, stop the exercise for some stretching and massagebefore again continuing the days workout. The difference between this and the prior version isW W W. In the advanced L-sit the legsare still straight and level and the arms are locked, however now the back isheld flat with no hunching or curvature allowed. Do not allow your chest tocave in.
Now while maintaining this "flat backed" position, attempt to pushyour hips forward in front of your hands while continuing to hold the legsstraight and level. Be prepared, this is an extremely difficult variation even for advancedathletes. Even as small an adjustment as one inch forward of the hips in frontof the hands will cause most athletes to fail at this version. C O MDifficulty rating: As you will now be holding your legs horizontal and parallel to the floor youwill have enough height and clearance to, if you wish, work this exercise onthe floor as well as on the bars.
Work hard and persevere in the pursuit ofexcellence with this position. Achieving the horizontal L-sit for substantialtime will be a major milestone in your athletic development. Dueto the tremendous instability of the rings, you will probably find itexceedingly difficult to maintain the same good body position that you havedeveloped on the PBs. Be patient. Generally your stabilizers will adjust to thenew demands being placed on them over the course of a few weeks.
The normal performance criteria that you developed on the PBs for your L-sitstill apply here. Performed correctly, the back should be flat, the elbowslocked and the chest up with the back flat. In addition, you will also now be working on correctly turning out the ringsduring a support for the first time.
For information on executing a correctsupport position on the rings, see the XR support entry in the section on dipvariations. Do this while continuing to maintain the flat back with chest out,arms locked and the rings turned out that you mastered during the regular XRL-sit. It is an excellentcombination of abdominal strength and active flexibility; which develops agreat deal of stability within the hip joint. I injured my left hip some yearsago and I have found that training straddle Ls several times a week greatlyrelieves the discomfort within the joint.
Straddle Ls, as well as L sits, are also easily integrated in the training of otherskills. This simplifies your training and increasing the effectiveness of yourconditioning program. Press handstands, pull-ups and dips are especiallyamenable to its inclusion. The ProgressionsStraddle L - PB bentFor the beginner, this exercise will need to be done on the PBs, high parallets,or even in-between two chairs as they will probably not as yet have developedthe appropriate hip strength necessary to perform it on the floor.
Unfortunately pushup bars will not work for most beginners, as the height ofthe bars is simply too low. Place yourself, so that you are standing or sitting in a straddle with yourhands in-between your legs. With your hands comfortably spaced apart, liftyour buttocks up and attempt to bring your legs up in front of you. Be sure tokeep your legs bent in this first variation of the straddle L. Unlike the regularL, the straddle L should have a forward lean while in support; the higher thestraddle L, the more substantial will be the forward lean.
Straddle L - PB lowWith this variation it is perfectly fine to continue to allow your legs to hangbelow parallel; our major change will now be the straightening of the knees. Do not be overly concerned if your now straight legs are far below horizontal. Your strength will continue to improve with consistent practice. Straddle L - one hand centerThis variation requires vastly less flexibility than both hands in the center andyet allows you to continue building hip and leg extension strength.
Sitting on the floor in a straddle, place one hand in the center and the otherhand outside of your leg just in front of the hips. Push up and attempt to holdthe straddle L. Lower to the ground, switch hands and repeat. C O MIt is a grave error to allow the legs to rest on the arms during this element.
While it will greatly reduce the intensity of this movement, it will also greatlyreduce the very strength gains that you were seeking in the first place. However it is not uncommon for a beginning traineeto have a great deal of difficulty initially with lifting into the horizontalstraddle L. This rolling version helps to alleviate that problem by utilizingmomentum.
For additional information on utilizing the excellent technique ofembedded statics in your training, they are discussed thoroughly in theProgram Design section. Begin from a straddle sit on the floor. Partially roll backward then quickly rollforward while simultaneously attempting to push up into the straddle L withboth hands in the center.
There will be a momentary hold of the straddle L atbest. Adjust the intensity of this movement by increasing or decreasing thespeed of the roll forward. Straddle L - PBFor a correct straddle L position, the legs should be parallel to the floor withthe feet slightly above the knees. The hips in height should be somewhere in-between the wrists and elbows.
The legs should not be touching the arms. The shoulders should be slightly leaning forward. It may be performed eitheron the floor, parallets or parallel bars. For beginners on therings, it is often easiest to begin from a bent leg straddle L and then extend outto the straight leg position. When performing a straddle L on the rings always attempt to lift the legsabove the rings.
Do not bend the elbows, you should feel the biceps pressingforward strongly. Also strive to keep the thumbs turned out during thesupport. Remember that unlike L seats, straddle Ls must lean forward inorder to preserve balance.
This of course causes the hip flexors and rectusfemoris to cramp strongly during the maintenance of the position, especiallyfor new trainees. Straddle L - highThe high straddle L is exceptionally difficult and very few athletes will everpossess the combined strength and flexibility of the back, hip and shouldergirdle to be able to successfully perform it.
Out of the thousands of athletes Ihave trained, only two were able to execute this element. Once in a regularW W W. Your forward lean will increase as your hips go higher. Upon reaching the correct position, your knees will be higher than yourelbows. Be sure to maintain the correct position for your legs, if you feet start todrop below the level of your knees, you are attempting to go too high for yourcurrent level of strength.
MannaWatching someone perform a manna seems to blur the boundaries of whatwe had thought was physically possible. In fact, in most gymnasticsprograms around the country the manna is a relatively rare skill andconsidered somewhat exotic. Even among our U. Olympic level athletesthere are only a few who can do the manna correctly. As I mentioned, the manna is generally a rare skill; except in my program. Are they all exceptionalathletes? Unquestionably some of my athletes are incredibly talented,however most are simply persistent with average talent and, mostimportantly, a solid work ethic.
Rather than all exceptional athletes, what I have developed is an efficient andeffective method of building mannas. The best way that I have found over theyears to build a manna also happens to be the simplest and moststraightforward. It does however require great dedication; for most people years of consistent practice will be required to develop the manna.
However,with patience and a lot of sweat, many of the people who follow my programdiligently will indeed succeed in developing a manna. The reason most people fail to develop a manna is due to a flawedunderstanding of the actual movement itself. The common belief is that a V-W W W.
C O Msit is a preliminary step along the road to a manna. As such, they build up thestrength necessary for the V-sit, which is essentially a leg lift on the hands andthen subsequently fail to build up the extension strength necessary to succeedat the manna.
In my experience, the correct primary focus for developing amanna is forward extension of the hips in front of the hands; or more simplystated - pushing the hips forward in front of the hands, not on lifting the legs.
Quality work on the various progressions is essential for being able toeventually build up to this skill; for a manna there are no shortcuts. You mustgo through the progressions patiently and thoroughly. However, for most people theHMSH is a very challenging position and will need to be built up to gradually. For that reason, we will begin our quest for the manna, with the bent legmiddle split hold. At first you may not be able to move the hips forward offthe hands and wrists, especially while maintaining straight legs.
Therefore wewill ignore the straight legs for now and focus solely on building ourintroductory support strength for this skill. Using the end of the parallel bars, parallets or even two chairs sit with yourhands directly behind your glutes. Now lift off of the bars whilesimultaneously attempting to push the hips forward off of your wrists. Donot allow the knees to lift above the hips, but keep them both parallel to thefloor at all times.
At this time, raising the knees may only be done with anaccompanying lift of the hips. Constantly strive to push the hips further andfurther forward in front of the wrists while maintaining the parallel positionof the knees and hips. It is essential on this movement as with all of the progressions in the mannaseries, to keep the back as flat as possible at all times. Keeping the back flatallows the chest to remain elevated, which is essential in eventually achievingthe top position of the manna.
Initially, do not be overly concerned about your feet being below horizontal sometimes far below! You will find that straighteningthe knees greatly increases the strength demands on your hips.
Accommodatethis by allowing your legs to drop as low as necessary in order to succeed inyour static hold. As your strength improves, gradually attempt to performthis static hold with higher and higher legs, until you achieve nearlyhorizontal legs.
Most people will fail in thedevelopment of a manna simply because they were too impatient to spend therequisite amount of time developing the HMSH. Be sure to work in a clear area, where you have room to roll backward ifnecessary. Now simply sit on the ground with your legs straddled apart , thewider the better.
You should actually feel your hips actively pulling your legsas wide as possible and then striving to pull them wider still. Be prepared for major cramps inyour hip flexors, however the wider and more stable your legs are, the easierand quicker the development of the manna will be. With the arms straight, once again strive to push thehips forward off the wrists.
When done correctly, your legs will lift off theground as your hips move forward. On lifting you will naturally want to allow the feet to lift above the hips. Thisis incorrect. It is essential on attempting to rise up into position that the hipsand feet stay level with one another. Under no circumstances allow the feet toeither raise above or drop beneath the hips, they should remain level inrelation to each other at all times.
MannaNow that a basic foundation has been laid, work on the Manna itself canbegin. This is a very challenging position and can take years to develop. It is,however, worth the effort.
The majority of the champions I have developedover the years have had solid mannas. The strength that this positiondevelops is transferable to a wide range of gymnastics skills. National TeamIn appearance, the manna resembles an inverted L- sit. To execute a mannacorrectly requires tremendous triceps and shoulder strength as well asexcellent lower back strength and flexibility. Emphasize hips in front of the hands.
Acommon misconception on the manna is to think that the position is achievedby leaning backwards while attempting to lift the legs. Actually the mainfocus should be keeping the hips pressed forward. Great pressure will be felton the triceps and back of the shoulders; initially severe cramping of thetriceps is not at all unusual. As your strength improves, continue to press your hips further in front ofyour hands. This will result in your hips gradually rising higher and higher. Attempting to raise the hips by leaning back rather than pressing the hipsforward will result in a total lack of progress on this skillDo not lean back, nor should you allow your head to fall back.
This isineffective and will result in a great deal of wasted time and effort. Toincrease the height of your manna, simply push your hips forward. Keepyour legs pulled as wide apart as possible. Do not try to lift your legs at the expense of pressing the hips forward; thiswill simply stop your motion at a V-sit.
As you continue pushing forward andyour strength increases, your legs will naturally rise higher. Do not give in to the temptation to focus on lifting thelegs, continue to focus on pressing the hips forward; this is essential.
Do notbring your legs together until you have reached a horizontal manna position. Bringing your legs together prematurely increases the difficulty of the elementand will greatly increase the time required to master this position. Manna - highIf the manna is a rare skill, the high manna is nearly non-existent. In fact, otherthan my own athletes, I have personally only seen one other in competition.
An extremely stable manna is a mandatory requirement for even attemptingW W W. To proceed to the high manna from the manna, focus onlifting the legs while also simultaneously lifting the hips. The tendency is toconcentrate on the leg lift only and, while it is true that the legs do travelfarther than the hips, the hips must rise also in order to enable the manna tolift higher than horizontal. The higher the legs and hips lift, the fartherforward the shoulders must press in order to compensate for the change inthe center of gravity.
Back LeverThe back lever is usually one of the first "real" gymnastics strengthpositions that most people are exposed to. It is a little bit exotic and forcesyour body to exert strength in a position that most people didnt even knowthey could get into. It is very good for building shoulder girdle strength andwill absolutely crush the core and lower back of the beginning gymnasticsstrength trainee. The back lever is also a necessary stepping-stone toward building the straightleg front lever and eventually the straight leg planche.
In fact, in my opinionthe back lever needs to be established before a planche will be successful. Once a strong back lever is developed, the planche progression will proceedmuch more rapidly. The following progressions may be performed on the Xtreme Rings, a singlerail of the parallel bars or even any overhead single bar. Just be careful thatthe area you are working in is safe and appropriate for this training.
The ProgressionsBack Lever - tuckFrom an inverted hang, while keeping your back rounded with your kneesheld tightly into your chest, attempt to lower your hips behind you to ahorizontal position. In all probability, at first, you will only be able to dropdown slightly before being at the basic of your strength.
Attempting to leanforward during the back lever variations will greatly aid you in maintainingthe back lever. In the beginning, squeezing inward with the arms into your lats will also be ofgreat assistance to you.
This practice however should only be used in thebeginning when necessary and should be discontinued as soon as possible. Acommon mistake by beginners is to squeeze one lat harder than the otherW W W. As for the grip, this is a personal choice, however I recommend palms downrather than palms up; unless there is an injury that needs to be taken intoaccount.
It is true that palms up will place less stress on the biceps, but thepalms down will build greater biceps strength in addition to allowing theathlete to transition into and out of the back lever from other positions moreefficiently.
And more importantly, this palms down grip also helps to preparethe biceps for the strain later on of XR planches and iron crosses. Back Lever - flat tuckTo initiate the flat back, from the tuck back lever extend the hips back whilesimultaneously lifting the shoulders and pushing backward with the hands. Be careful to maintain a horizontal position.
Back Lever - straddleThere are several options for entering a straddle back lever. Probably theeasiest for beginners is from the flat tuck back lever simply extend the legs outand to the side. Make sure to continue to lean forward strongly whenW W W.
In the final position, a half back lever will continue tomaintain a flat back and hips, but now the calves will be vertical with the feetpointing at the ceiling. The tendency here is to allow the hips to close, therebyreducing the strain on the lower back, but also greatly lessening the strengthgains from this movement.
Focus on maintaining a flat back with completelyopen hips. Keeping the head neutral neither tucked downnor lifted up will aid in maintaining a flat back during the straddle backlever. As progressing to the tuck back lever substantially increased the intensity ofthe load on the back, the straddle back lever will once again be a quantumjump in intensity of load.
Do not under any circumstances, allow yourself totrain the SB with less than a totally flat back. Once again the hips will struggle to close during the extension, do not allowthis to happen. There is no need to immediately go to a fully extendedposition. Build up to this over time as small shifts of even a few inches greaterdecrease the leverage of the movement, subsequently greatly increasing thetraining load on the shoulder girdle and lower back.
Front LeverBecoming proficient at front levers will have a strong carryover effect tomany bodyweight skills; especially skills involving core and pull-upstrength. The reverse is however not true. One evening I had a static L-sit contest with my some of my athletes. Allanheld a second L that night; despite our never working extended hold L-sitsby themselves.
We do however focus strongly on front levers. Allan is quiteproficient at them and can hold a second front lever. Another athlete, Josh,has a strong straddle planche 19 seconds , but not a strong front lever, andthe attempt at the second L-sit crushed him. For the front lever series make sure to use a shoulder width overhand grip fingers pointing away as this will increase the amount of lat power you canexert during these exercises.
Also, as with the upcoming planche series, it isvery important to keep the elbows straight, as bending the elbows will greatlylessen the intensity of these exercises and thereby dramatically lower thesubsequent strength gains. At this time it is fineto allow your back to curve as you learn and build strength in the movement. Lien permanent Sommer Christopher Culture physique.
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Top Reviews Most recent Top Reviews. There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later. I am an ex-Gymnast, who is looking at re-building his gymnastic body without a gym. Chris Sommer is an experienced coach who trains national youth gymnastics but that doesn't mean he is an especially good teacher unless he is standing over you in person forcing you to exercise. The title of this book is misleading for a start, it is not about building the gymnastic body at all, all it is is a series of chapters describing some of the positions and exercises involved in gymnastics.
Not only is Chris Sommer a shoddy teacher, his book shines through with gimmickry, every couple of pages and chapters or so are references to his website, products, adverts etc. I checked his website and forums and instead of defending his teachings all he does is rant and rave about how bad other books and gymnastic teachings are, which is very unprofessional. He refers to his history of training youths in real life, which still doesn't mean he can write a book about building a gymnastic body, which he can't.