Each year I try to go back to the University of Illinois to visit. I like to hang out with the current gymnastics team and get to know the team as well as do their strength circuit. This is the 2014 version - and I’m now 13 years out of competing!! Time flies! So, let me know how I did! I say not to shabby for an old man.
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I’m getting ready to hopefully do the Illinois Gymnastics strength circuit next week, so I’ve been training! Today I’m going to go through some 20/20 timed intervals and I’ll go through these 10 exercises which are similar to what the Illinois gymnasts do for their circuit. This should help me get ready for the butt kicking I'm about to receive. Looks something like this -
I found a really cool way to change up my workout with a very cool product call the xtreme rollers. They are kind of like perfect pushups… but on steroids, with myriad ways to switch up whatever you are working on in the gym. They all will require using your bodyweight as resistance which you all know I love, and they are all great for core stability and strength.
While I’ve been on a break I’ve had many of YOU ask me for a video on how to learn a Planche - so, here you go. I have with me today a former University of Illinois Gymanst Chris Silcox - you can check his channel out here - Chris has been doing cirque performances and teaching acrobatics and stretching and today we are going to teach you how you can learn a planche.
A planche is a straight armed horizontal hold that gymnasts usually do on the floor or rings and can come in many forms - either straddle or a more difficult legs together. This is not an easy move, and it takes gymnasts years of practice to be able to do it well. It takes plenty of balance and strength to do a good planche, and that takes lots of time to develop.
you need to lean your shoulders over your wrists to balance out the weight from your lower body. And, your shoulders need to be strong enough to support that weight. That’s usually the hang up.
So how do you learn a planche? I say it over and over again, practice.
But don’t just practice jumping up to a planche, you need to do lots of stuff - I think the first thing to practice is a press to handstand.
This is the beginning to getting your shoulders over your wrists which are turned out a bit, and pressing your body over your head with straight arms. You can even practice lowering down from handstand and getting your shoulders over your wrists as you slowly come down. From this straddle press, as this gets easier, practice a pike press with your legs together. This is more difficult than the straddle press since it adds more weight to the bottom side of that wine bottle and thus requires you to get those shoulders even more forward over the wrists, and thus more load is placed on the shoulders and more strength is required to press your butt over your head.
If straddle presses become doable, try from an L Sit on Paralletes and master your presses up and down on paralletes. If you can learn to do multiple press handstands in a row on paralletes, that would be a GREAT start! Today We are using the Halo Trainer as well as the Extreme Rollers which are like perfect pushups on steroids with 9 rollers on the bottom and and are a fun thing to use to mix up your workout routine.
To Help with your shoulder strength, I recommend practicing handstand pushups, and if you have a spotter, gymnasts do planche presses where a spotter will hold one shoulder and one leg and lower you down, and lift you up. The hand on the shoulder is so you don’t fall forward on your face and it teaches you to get the shoulders forward to offset the weight from your lower body.
Depending on where you are at in your development, something else you can practice which will help is planche roll outs on a ball. Keep your arms straight and roll forward and back without going too far over your wrists and falling on your face. Keep your body straight and squeeze your butt. Also note that you want to keep your chest hollow and extended - very important.
Any questions? Leave them below in the comments. Also, let me know how long you can hold your planche. I competed a straddle planche, but never legs together - couldn’t quite hold that long enough to not have deductions.
Here's a very advanced tutorial on how to Hold a Handstand On Gymnastics Rings.
I had an audience member ask me how he could learn how to do a handstand on Gymnastics rings which is really stinkin’ difficult because in case you haven’t noticed, rings, unlike bars or the Ground, are not stable. Which makes it impossible to do a handstand on them... If your handstand isn’t fundamentally correct. Just as in my how to hold a handstand video, I explained how it all comes down to posture, practice, and some strength. This is even more important when on the unstable rings. What if you were trying to stand on rings and balance on your feet??? You better have some solid posture or else you would fall, right? So what makes standing on your hands on the rings any different? Nothing. Except your arms are not as strong as your legs, you can grip the rings better with your hands than your feet... and your face won’t get all red if you are standing on your feet... and you better have a really good handstand to even attempt this...
Once your handstand is competent on the floor, and you can hold it for a while, like more than 30 seconds, then you can try on the rings. Make sure you have a mat or something underneath you in case you fall over... not like me with a solid concrete floor underneath me. To start, you can wrap your feet around the rings straps for balance until you get your bearings, then as you become more comfortable, move your feet to just barely touching the inside of the rings straps. Remember what I said in my how to hold a handstand video about pushing up and getting rid of any shoulder angle? yah, this is critically important. You need to extend and push on those rings and make your body as tall as possible. Also, you’ll want to turn the rings out so your arms don’t brush the straps and try to keep your arms locked out. In gymnastics, bent arms and touching the straps are a deduction. Bad. You can adjust your balance using your wrists, and even your shoulders can planche forward to adjust your balance if needed.
If you are not there yet and not quite ready for the rings, I recommend practicing handstands against a wall, and even one arm handstands against a wall. This will help improve your handstand and get you ready for holding it longer on the ground. Also, handstand pushups and presses are a great thing to practice and will make your handstand better over time. To help you get rid of that shoulder angle, make sure you regularly stretch your lats and everything else by hanging on a bar. Also, actively strengthening your scaption muscles is a great idea. You can do TRX Letter I’s for that - which will also help your reverse hecht for you gymnasts out there.
Video Link - http://youtu.be/MxQjAcIG7k4