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Multi Planar strength training
October 16, 2017
Here is a quote from John Jesse, in his "Wrestling Physical Conditioning Encyclopedia""The writer has consistently maintained over the years that very few, if any, athletes in the modern industrial culture, ever develop all -round body strength. Even those who accept the concept of progressive weight training overemphasize great strength development in the arms, shoulders and legs.
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Getting gymnasts fitter, faster and stronger

Old man demonstrates hand stand

gymnast fitnessA handstand on press up bars results in an inverted extended posture (2 of the 3 uncommon postures) and is an exercise I use with a lot of athletes.

I never thought I would be in a position (inverted or not) to have to demonstrate this to people who do it for a living.

Weston Aerobic Gymnastics Club is a great gymnastics club with a track record of developing young people into successful performers. Two of its coaches, Debbie and Nigel Saunders, have done workshops with me previously on speed, power and injury prevention. They invited me up to work with their competitive gymnasts last weekend.

Gymnasts as athletes

gymnastics postureI spent some time at the beginning explaining the importance of posture.

Whilst the type of gymnastics done at Weston encourages good posture, the kids are products of modern society: slumping, texting and poor school furniture means that incorrect posture has to be corrected first.

(see picture to right and note one legged standing, similar to that of fencers!)

I then got the gymnasts to assess each other on the Excelsior 5 exercise screening plan. This got them to think further and learn more about their own bodies.

Two legged squats and press ups were very good, single leg work and strangely dynamic balance needed more work.

Introducing Dumbbell Exercises

gymnast flexibiityWe then spent some time going over dumbbell exercises with the whole group. The little munchkins had 1kg dumbbells, the older athletes had enough weight to provide resistance but without limiting their ability to move through the whole range of motion.

Dumbbells are great pieces of kit for developing athletes, and teaching children to use them early and well helps prevent problems in the future (See Istvan Javorek’s thoughts here).

Jumping for Joy

Having established the right foundations of posture, stability, balance and strength, we moved into jumping progressions.

The sprung floor was a delight to do this on, compared to the ultra hard surfaces I usually encounter.

As usual, co- ordination, rhythm and timing were the most challenging aspects of the jump progressions and bounding work I was doing. I gave a series of progressions, but kept emphasising the need for each stage to be worked on before moving to the next.

The workshop went fast, and I just had time to show an isometric squat progression (picture above) that I got from Tom Kurz to help develop flexibility and strength simultaneously.

Summary

The atmosphere, work ethic and enthusiasm of the club is tangible. The coaches have created a great environment, it was easy for me to go in and hopefully add some value to their programme.

Working with gymnasts is rewarding, and a reminder to me how important is to incorporate gymnastics into our warm ups

Thanks to all the coaches, helpers and gymnasts involved.

I have since introduced this work into our gymnastics in Wellington and Willand

Comments

  1. […] are powerful (high force, low velocity) as are gymnasts (low force, high velocity). Most sports people fall somewhere in between these extremes, or use […]

  2. […] Gymnastics: SW Gymnastics, Gemini, Weston Aerobics Gymnastics Club “Getting gymnasts faster, fitter and stronger“ […]

  3. […] is a very powerful sport needing an incredible amount of strength and power in order to perform routines on the floor or on […]

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Client Testimonials

College of St Mark and St John
James is an excellent and experienced Strength and Conditioning Coach. He is able to draw on these experiences to adapt and meet each client’s specific needs. James is known for his engaging and dynamic style that has proved effective in producing results. Having worked with James, he is both organized and efficient. He also is an evidence based practitioner happy to engage in debate and take on new ideas. James rightly demands high standards and a good work ethic which reflects his own contribution to each situation
 
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