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Old 03-26-2010, 08:03 PM   #21
Donald Lee
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Do you have rings?

If you want to be serious about bodyweight training there's always manna.

Handstand variations of course...

And as always iron cross. I usually suggest people first get both back lever and front lever before starting cross, and do some sufficient elbow preparation work. Coach Sommer's bulgarian dips are good as well as taking planche and strap assisted handstand/HSPU to the rings.
I do have rings, but they're such a hassle to setup. Some day when I will use them again consistently, I will probably purchase the new Elite Rings.

The manna sounds interesting. How does the difficulty compare to the Back Lever, Planche, and Iron Cross? I'll have to decide between Handstand work or manna work.
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Old 03-27-2010, 02:07 AM   #22
Blair Lowe
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My/Our WU consists of 3 sets of seated pike and straddle leg lifts. Lately it's been 5 lifts with a 5s hold at the end. Another variation was lifts in 5-3-2 with holds of 3s and we used to also employ 10 lifts with a 3 or 5 hold as well or 3s lifts with longer holds.

Every 3-4 days? For my guys, they do it at the end of every workout which means MWF. I do it at the end of every workout, but only work straddle-L. Generally I do 6x10s. Lately, I've been doing it in an undergrip on the edge of a beam because it's similar to rings though it does flex my wrists hard (I probably should just do it on rings).

For the guys, they need to master both the L-sit and straddle-L sit because it's in the routines (there is the L-hang and L-sit in L4 besides the press from straddle-L to L-sit in L4). In later levels, there is the endo roll press HS besides the need for L strength for the HB kip.

However, it's just done as finish 60s of the hold, mainly cause it's the end of the workout and they vary in how tired they are from day to day and because it's been quite a long time since we've tested hold times (since we have been in pre-season/season now for 6mo). As well, I've noticed these boys tend to suck with ever doing 50% of max time holds and rarely ever want to hold anything more than 3-5s.

I used to try to work V-hangs and straddle-L holds for time and that would just crush my hip flexors. Now, I just incorporate the V&L-hangs in HLL. 3s in V, 3s in L.

3 of my guys probably have the flexibility for manna one day but do not have the strength yet as they are far off from optionals. I'm thinking it would be a good goal to get them a manna by the time they are in optionals.
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Old 03-27-2010, 01:38 PM   #23
Steven Low
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I do have rings, but they're such a hassle to setup. Some day when I will use them again consistently, I will probably purchase the new Elite Rings.

The manna sounds interesting. How does the difficulty compare to the Back Lever, Planche, and Iron Cross? I'll have to decide between Handstand work or manna work.
Do both manna and handstand work... I suggest they be coupled.

Manna is a C level skill by the way... cross is a B, and maltese is a D so it is inbetween there.
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Old 03-29-2010, 10:08 AM   #24
Troy Kerr
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Great article.

1)If the front lever is weaker than the back-lever, would it be acceptable to just train it as the first pulling movement?

2) Although I did not see any mention of straight body work in this article what is your opinion on the straight body movements/progressions in a program. Would you consider them more along the lines of "accessory work"? If not, what is the role of straight body work in training? Sorry if this does not make sense.
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Old 03-29-2010, 12:09 PM   #25
Grissim Connery
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Great article.

1)If the front lever is weaker than the back-lever, would it be acceptable to just train it as the first pulling movement?
this actually sparks a question i've had for a while. the front lever is a ton harder than the back lever, and the victorian is a ton harder than a maltese. why is this? at first thought, it would seem the opposite since you can use your lats on the extensions. i always think of the lats as these massive slabs of muscle. yet these motions are incredibly harder. is the lat not able to engage as well as the anterior muscles when in a horizontal position?

i've been working crosses for not that long, and a part of me thinks that my crosses may surpass my front levers at the rate i'm going.
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Old 03-29-2010, 01:13 PM   #26
Gavin Harrison
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this actually sparks a question i've had for a while. the front lever is a ton harder than the back lever, and the victorian is a ton harder than a maltese. why is this? at first thought, it would seem the opposite since you can use your lats on the extensions. i always think of the lats as these massive slabs of muscle. yet these motions are incredibly harder. is the lat not able to engage as well as the anterior muscles when in a horizontal position?

i've been working crosses for not that long, and a part of me thinks that my crosses may surpass my front levers at the rate i'm going.
My guess is that for the victorian, your rear delts are going to be the weak link, since those have to be held at a kind of mid extension for the entirety of a victorian.
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Old 03-29-2010, 02:47 PM   #27
Donald Lee
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It probably has to do with how our bodies are built. Certain muscles and movements are naturally stronger. For example, you can do much more weight on the pec deck for your chest than the opposite for the back muscles. I'm sure the fact that the body's not very comfortable in a German hang position also makes the back lever easier.
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Old 03-29-2010, 06:01 PM   #28
Steven Low
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Back lever is much stronger than front lever because of a couple reasons:

~Lats are in a much more mechanically efficient position/angle of pulling. Since they insert on the thoracolumbar fascia on the back, with your arms in front for the front lever they have to basically wrap around your body and are not getting full force production out of them. In the back, the mechanical angle is much more efficient.

~We are stronger in flexion in general than extension. Even though the arms are behind the body, the scapula & humerus and all of the muscles that insert/originate from it are much more efficient (just like the example above) in performing movements that are generally in front of our body.

~lower back, glutes, legs contract harder and thus get more full body tension from back lever than in front lever with the abs.

~Often pulling work is limited by weakness in the external rotators, posterior delts, scapular retractors, etc. A lot of stalled front lever progress can be mitigated if you focus on those specific areas to bring them up to par.
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Old 03-29-2010, 07:49 PM   #29
Brandon Oto
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~We are stronger in flexion in general than extension.
Err, what?
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Old 03-29-2010, 08:05 PM   #30
Donald Lee
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Err, what?
Front shoulder raises = flexion

Bring your shoulder down = extension

He's talking about when your arms are in front of or behind your body.
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