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Maybe the greatest goal in women’s soccer history…

Don’t forget about the rowing classes that we’ve been playing with!!!  8:15 am row and 12:15 pm Tabata…

Having completed our handstand block, it is time for something new.  I have seen so much value to adding more mobility and bodyweight strength to our program, that it is impossible for me to stop now!!!  

While we won’t be standing on our hands nearly as often, we will continue to see mobility and bodyweight strength as a staple to every workout on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday at least.  I’ve experimented with many different training modalities over the years and it all comes down to this…  You cannot skimp on the basics.  Ever.  Period.  As adults, almost the entire American population has significant mobility limitations and usually at least one asymmetry that needs to be corrected.  If we choose to ignore those mobility restrictions and asymmetries, then one of two things will always happen.  
1. Stalled progress  
2. Injury  
Neither of these are acceptable options for me or for those who train with us.  Some of us may improve faster or slower than others, or age may be an issue for some of our members, but the situation does not change.  We have to work day in and day out on the things that we know hold us back the most.  Even for the average health enthusiast who wants to do “just enough” to stay in shape, the same rules apply.  If we are moving about our lives in a tight, or weak, or unbalanced body, then we are at higher risk for sickness, injury, or simply a lack of ability to thrive at life!  What will be the choices you make with the remaining time you have in your body?

Our approach to training at 162 Willow Street will allow you to thrive IF you pay attention to your body, ask questions, listen and follow instruction, and treat yourself well when away from the gym.  The foundational work that we will be performing on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday will lead to being able to perform more complicated and skilled work in the future.  I understand that some of us may not aspire to perform movements like the manna, side lever, planche, or climb a rope without use of the legs, BUT, this does not excuse anyone from learning and practicing new and unique ways of moving the body that create optimal strength and mobility in as many ranges of motion as possible.  Whether we want them to or not, the knee joints will rotate into disadvantaged positions, as well as hinge front to back as in “normal” walking and running.  The spine WILL flex when lifting awkward or dynamic loads.  And what will happen if we have not trained for this in a controlled environment?  If we have not prepared our joints, ligaments, and tendons then we will be what???  UNPREPARED!!!  And what happens to the unprepared indivdual?  It depends right…  Depends on what the circumstances are doesn’t it…  I’ll tell you what though, if you have a job, have children, or engage in any kind of athletic activity, then you had better be prepared for your body to need to be able to perform in any position at any time.  

Below is an excerpt of an article written by National Level Gymnastic Coach Christopher Sommer…

“For a student new to Gymnastic Strength Training, it may be difficult to look forward and imagine where this approach leads. After all, a plank only vaguely resembles a straddle planche. Why would starting out so far from the final exercise be a training requirement? Quite simply, the straddle planche is a much more complex exercise that has multiple physical requirements.

  1. Scapular Protraction. Most adults cannot properly protract (move apart) and retract (move together) the shoulder blades. The straddle planche requires the student to not only protract, but also under the load of the body.
  2. Posterior Pelvic Tilt. In order to hold the legs parallel to the ground, the back must be flat and gluteal muscles fully engaged.
  3. Straight Arm Strength. A degree of forward lean is required to be hold the straddle planche. This places a great deal of stress upon the elbows.

Notice the protraction and posterior pelvic tilt compared to a ‘traditional’ plank

The wrong way to approach training is to attempt to develop all of these requirements under heavy load. GymnasticBodies progressions instead break apart the individual aspects and train them to mastery. The plank is an entry means to learn proper protraction and posterior pelvic tilt under minimal resistance. 

When the student has completed a basic level of proficiency, the same aspects are introduced but at a more difficult level. This usually means that the load is higher while attempting to do the same protraction, Posterior Pelvic Tilt and Straight Arm Strength. As the student continues to become stronger, a straddle planche will be the natural outgrowth of this gradual difficulty increase. The student also avoids the common injuries that accompany jumping into training that the body cannot safely handle.”


Join us this fine Monday and enjoy the following movements, positions, mobility, cardio, and weightlifting!!!

One minute hollow rock
One minute cat/cow

10-15 Scapular shrugs 
Swivel hips – 5 each leg

One minute push-ups (pick a number and stick to it)
5 Xiaopeng forward – each arm

One minute hinge rows
30 seconds lat lean – each arm 

Three rounds each couplet


Three rounds
10 Deadlifts
1 minute double unders

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