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Gymnastics program – Nov update

Posted 2nd November 2022 by Anthony Masters

Hello everyone,

So as some of you know, since October we have started to work on developing the handstand balance and handstand walk. This is a 4-5 month long handstand phase. So I would normally post the actual programming for you to look at, but I am not going to do that as you won’t understand much of what you read nor the intent behind the exercises. This is a special type of program and approach to training which has not really been done much in the past. A more mindful approach with a clear understanding of what you are trying to do and get to in the long run is 100% essential to nail this program from start to finish.

So a recurring pattern in the programming that will stay for the next few months is how i have sectioned the session into parts which will allow me to fill you in a bit more of the intent behind what we are doing.

Think, each part builds into the next, starting internally (joints) and working towards more superficial (muscle).

Part 1. Internal strength model

Problem most people (everyone in my eyes) has with the handstand is lack of upper body strength & mobility to perform this task safely & efficiently. In my opinion it is the 1 gymnastic task that exposes a LOT of the general population movement issues and injuries tend to tag along. If you were a child going into gymnastics this would not be of a big concern, but most of you learn these things as adults with bodies that already carry movement limitations. So, this 1st part is all about making the parts that we need for handstands move better, feel better AND tolerate greater loads.

Part 2. Movement (handstand)

Problem 2; handstand is a task. You are only going to be able perform this task to the degree that your joint can handle from a strength & mobility perspective. Simply put you can only use what you got, as mentioned before most of you (everyone in my eyes) is lacking in overhead strength & mobility to such a large degree. Maybe this paints the picture of why so many people favor the banana handstand. Takeaway, get better at part 1 and part 2 will be easier.

Part 3. Muscular / connective tissue strength training

This section will be where I apply most of the strength training exercises. After spending time on perfecting part 1 & 2, our joints will be better prepared to access more of our superficial muscles, meaning getting stronger / bigger will be easier tasks. Currently in this preparation phase we are training the upper body joints to become stronger in all available places that that joint can go to. Simply put, think of this as bulletproofing the joints for anything that we throw at it. Having said that the exercises i am using are unconventional by nature, so you won’t find this stuff on youtube meaning you just need to come to class to understand what is happening in this gymnastics corner.

I hope the above helps clarify what we are doing in gymnastics, as i said before, this is a very different approach to training, it is a program that will take a bit of time to digest and understand before you truly start to reap the benefits from it. Having said that, everyone is welcome to jump on board anytime you feel ready! The class can always be adapted to your current capabilities.

Any questions drop me a message [email protected]