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Júlíus G. Magnússon
04-08-2010, 09:59 PM
I've been dealing with a fucked up elbow for a while now. I've been focusing on trying to get a deadhang muscle-up, and actually managed to get one on two separate occasions about six-seven months ago. Since then I've been having trouble.

Thing is, there's something about the transition that really bothers me. Even spotter assisted muscle-ups mess me up.

I'm just now at the almost-better stage (and I've been there a couple of times before deciding to do something stupid) and was thinking that what I've been doing so far doesn't seem to be working so it's time to change something.

Would it be a good idea to try to do some elbow specific work?

Any kind of pressure that's parallel to the forearm doesn't bother me. Pressure that's perpendicular to the forearm seems to fuck it up.

Would it be wise to maybe do some back lever progressions to try to get the elbow ready before starting to move back into the muscle-ups?

Any other ideas for ways to strengthen the joint?

Steven Low
04-09-2010, 05:54 AM
I assume you're having trouble with the weight that is being put on the elbow in the compressed/flexed position when you go through the transition.

That's totally normal for a lot of people when first learning the move. It doesn't bother me now, but can easily be produced in almost anyone if you weight muscle ups enough.

Basically what you want to do is strengthen the heck out of your forearms, triceps, and biceps (aka all the muscles that connect in and around the elbow).

Rice bucket works well for forearms -- although you can do whatever you want for this.

Biceps are definitely hit well in supinated back lever as well as some planching variations (hands backwards, sideways, rings), pullup variations, etc.

Triceps are hit well through stuff you already know. Dips, manna, HSPUs, etc.

Basically, just get stronger in the arms and it tends to go away. You may need some specific isolation work or you can emphasize more compound movement strength in your routines.

Grissim Connery
04-09-2010, 09:52 AM
just curious

i normally feel HSPU in my triceps, while i feel dips in my biceps. is what most people feel?

Júlíus G. Magnússon
04-09-2010, 09:54 AM
Thanks, Steven. That makes sense.

I'm currently focusing on fat gripz stuff for my grip/forearm strength. I think I'm doing plenty of pressing work, but I could probably stand to add more pull-ups.

Júlíus G. Magnússon
04-09-2010, 10:07 AM
Grissim, I've only ever done "CF HSPU" but those are triceps and shoulders for me and dips feel mainly like chest and triceps.

Steven Low
04-09-2010, 01:07 PM
just curious

i normally feel HSPU in my triceps, while i feel dips in my biceps. is what most people feel?
Nah, I feel both of those exercises in my triceps.

The only one where it's "both" is OAC... I can feel both my long head of triceps working, and my biceps working extensively.

Dips, IF you're leaned forward enough, can recruit a bunch of biceps in there. This is what happens if you do very leaned forward dips on pbars/rings.

Grissim Connery
04-10-2010, 01:13 AM
Nah, I feel both of those exercises in my triceps.

The only one where it's "both" is OAC... I can feel both my long head of triceps working, and my biceps working extensively.

Dips, IF you're leaned forward enough, can recruit a bunch of biceps in there. This is what happens if you do very leaned forward dips on pbars/rings.

i think that i used to not lean forward, but now because it takes stress off my shoulders, i lean forward. i should probably change this

Steven Low
04-10-2010, 04:19 AM
i think that i used to not lean forward, but now because it takes stress off my shoulders, i lean forward. i should probably change this
Lean forward actually puts more overall stress on the body (cause you're moving towards planche pushup-ing with every degree). It's fine as long as you don't start arching a lot.

Donald Lee
04-10-2010, 10:45 AM
I think leaning forward makes it harder on the triceps due to your center of mass going further from the fulcrum of your elbow, thus, increasing the lever arm. I'm kind of tired right now, so I could have just pulled that one of my ass.

I think leaning forward also allows you to recruit your upper chest muscles as well and recruits a little less anterior delts due to increased recruitment of upper chest and smaller angle of shoulder extension.

I know Borge Fagerli has written about a contraption he made to weight dips from your upper body as opposed to your hips to allow more forward lean and chest recruitment.

Steven Low
04-10-2010, 08:31 PM
I think leaning forward makes it harder on the triceps due to your center of mass going further from the fulcrum of your elbow, thus, increasing the lever arm. I'm kind of tired right now, so I could have just pulled that one of my ass.

I think leaning forward also allows you to recruit your upper chest muscles as well and recruits a little less anterior delts due to increased recruitment of upper chest and smaller angle of shoulder extension.

I know Borge Fagerli has written about a contraption he made to weight dips from your upper body as opposed to your hips to allow more forward lean and chest recruitment.
Leaning forward makes it harder on everything...

Grissim Connery
04-16-2010, 11:18 AM
I made some bad drawings to help illustrate my new question.

I'm kinda confused now as to where i should feel a press. It's easy to exaggerate where the muscle tension is with a kettlebell, so the first picture shows that.

If the arm is tipped forward, then the medial head of the shoulder loads up a lot. i used to do most of my KB presses with a slight forward tilt b/c i could feel my shoulder activate a lot and it would make it feel safer. recently though as i've been increasing strength requirements in many motions, i'm noticing that this high demand for strength in the medial head is not ample. thus i've been playing with a second option

the second option shows the arm tipped backwards a bit (so the pressure is pulling downwards behind the head). this motion begins to incorporate musculature involved in DB pullovers and ball slams. the shoulder still works, but less stress is put on the medial head. the lats and posterior delt start to take some of the load. when i do this, i feel a great deal strong in the shoulder joint. this make me happy since i work about this join a lot. on the other hand, the elbow pressure increases dramatically, mainly because as one lowers the weight down, it feels like a tricep extension/french press.

the second picture shows this similar issue with HSPU. in the first example, the medial head and biceps are stressed really hard for me. when i approach failure, my back arches more, and i start to planche my body a bit.

in the second example, the triceps and lats begin to take some of the load. as one tires, the back does not have a tendency to arch as much. on the other hand, the triceps take a lot of pressure. an intermediate position exists where the forearms approach parallel to the floor before transition to the rack position.

i never would have thought of doing this because the positions seem to be disadvantageous. on the other hand, my strength in these tricep intensive positions has somehow increased w/o me actually working them. for example if i'm doing HeSPU on the floor, i can rotate my hand a bit in the bottom of the press to pressure the blade of the hand. this causes a lot of tricep pressure and approaches this intermediate position. also, i can feel more explosive elasticity in the tricep intensive one through the stretch in the lats and tricep. in other words, it feels like i can hop up and down easier when i do that.

now granted that intermediate step is a bit exaggerated, but it's been fun doing negative HSPU on the floor and dropping into that position with the elbows on the ground. also i've been trying to slowly lower into upper arm supports on bars recently, and it also helps to hit that parallel position.

My question is thus what is the correct way to perform pressing motions for these gymnastic skills? i refer to these as gymnastic because the elbows aren't supposed to flair out as they do in a barbell press, and a crossfit HeSPU

Note: i left out supinated presses because i feel that changes a lot. i prefer to supinate when doing planche work, and i feel that helps the shoulder overcome many of the hard issues that supinated impedes.