Monday, December 29, 2008

Gymnastics Strength Progressions

Today's workout

1 minute each of frog stand, ring support, bent knee hang. Complete in as short a period and as few sets as possible.

My frog stand today was weak. I completed 1 x 30 second stand that was very clean. 2-4 minutes later (I failed to keep track.) I completed another 30 second stand that was horrible. Me feet touched the ground 3-4 times. I should come up with a time penalty of some kind when this happens. Still, the first 30 second stand was the best 30 seconds I've done so far. I had good strong control on my hands and never touched the ground after getting in position.

After my first attempt at ring supports a few days ago (30 seconds in 10, 10, 7, 3 and I couldn't even hold myself in the position after that.), I decided to try for a shorter length hang but consistent time. I managed 10 sets of 6 seconds on a 1 minute start interval. Sets 5 through 10 were progressively worse with each set. Set 10 felt like I was slowly melting through the support and dropping out the bottom just as time ran out.

I did OK on my bent knee hangs. These are a really early step in a progression to a tuck front lever but I have a long, long way to go. My grip is weak. My abs are pretty weak. My entire shoulder girdle is beyond weak. For now, just holding 275 lbs off the ground with my knees raised as high to my abs as I can get them is plenty of work. I completed 3 sets of 20 seconds on a 1 minute start interval. I just started doing these on my new rings and this time I had the rings just high enough that in a hang, my feet and behind were not touching the ground. This provided great feedback as I fatigued in set 2 helping me increase my pull as I started touching the ground. Knowing the feedback was there in set 3 kept me strong through a rough 20 seconds. my forearms are still so pumped that typing is difficult 30 minutes later.

So, call it 60 second frog stand in 4 minutes, 60 second support in 10 minutes, 60 second bent knee hang in 3 minutes. I'll be trying to work this 3 minute workout (in 20 minutes) in 4 days a week, Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday. I'm going to try to fit in some running and CrossFit workouts throughout the week as well.

Here's to strength, balance, resolve, self awareness and determination. I hope this holiday season finds you happy and on the path to enlightenment.

Concrete Goals

I have a tendency to add vague goals with no way to measure completion. Instead of having a goal of “learn gymnastics” on 43 Things, I’ve opted for specific skills based goals. I’m currently working on 3 gymnastics strength exercises that should help me progress into more difficult skills down the road – frog stand, bent knee hang, and ring support.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Gymnastics Seminar for CrossFitters

CrossFit St. Charles organized a gymnastics seminar. (Video here: that is me hanging from the rope before the video starts.) It was a day of great fun and very hard work, especially for a big guy like me. At the end of the day, I was so tired I could barely stand.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Replacing Push-ups

Unfortunately, by the end of the second week, the 100 Push-Up challenge left me miserable and hurting all the time. Fortunately, I haven't given up on getting fit, just on the challenge.

I've been doing some miscellaneous CrossFit workouts, scaled to the buttercup versions. I've done a few 1 mile runs. I did a one day gymnastics class. (video here) And for the last couple weeks, I've been working on front planche and front lever progressions.

The progressions are awesome. I call them my 2 minute workout that takes more than 2 minutes to complete. I'm currently up to 2 sets of 30 second plus frog stands and 4 sets of 15 second starting tuck levers. I barely break the plane of vertical with my hips right now but it is a start. My progress (from 6 second frog stands and 3 second front tuck/hangs) has been awesome. My current goals are a 60 second frog stand and 5 second tuck/hangs where I raise my hips at least 6 inches.

If anyone knows gymnastics flexibility progressions, please drop me a line. I haven't found anything good on starting gymnastics as an adult or on the skills for early (1 - 4) gymnastics levels.