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04/01/2007 03:10 AM

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Gymnastic legs
Crossfit.com discussion board » Exercises » Archive through February 08, 2006 » Gymnastic legs Author Message « Previous Next »

Posted on Wednesday, February 01, 2006 02:29 pm: Darryl Lardizabal
Junior Member Username: darryl_steven Post Number: 16 Registered: 07-2005 Rating: N/A Votes: 0 (Vote!)

im mostly sticking to a ring type training routine/bw training routine with a focus towards the planche and front lever. but in terms of my legs should i just keep doing pistols for good measure or should i include something more.

Posted on Wednesday, February 01, 2006 04:41 pm: Kent Sewell
Junior Member Username: pdpbanks Post Number: 17 Registered: 06-2005 Rating: N/A Votes: 0 (Vote!)

Darryl, I think most would tell you besides pistols to include things like broad jumps, sprints, box jumps, weighted pistols and jumping pistols to your leg arsenal. But I mean, if you have chicken legs then you might as well back/front/overhead squat for whole body strength and power. I have ridiculously large legs and am primarily doing gymnastics and bw strength and conditioning, but I still squat heavy, I just keep the sets and reps low. Posted on Wednesday, February 01, 2006 05:57 pm:

Darryl Lardizabal
Junior Member Username: darryl_steven Post Number: 17 Registered: 07-2005 Rating: N/A Votes: 0 (Vote!)

i mostly cant do squats because i have little if no access 2 barbells and have kbs but they go up to my max...so instead of stopping training i rather increase my body skills so that is why i am sticking with bodyweight until i reach at least a full planche and front lever.

Posted on Thursday, February 02, 2006 07:32 am: Christopher Sommer
Advanced Member Username: coach_sommer Post Number: 199
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The majority of our leg conditioning involves various (usually we use plates, but weighted vests would give a better center of gravity) weighted single & double leg
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Crossfit.com discussion board: Gymnastic legs

04/01/2007 03:10 AM

Post Number: 199 Registered: 02-2004

jumps, hops, quarter and half squats. We also use weighted jumping pistols jumping for heigth, for distance and up onto boxes. As a result, regular pistols are very easy for my athletes. Also, on occassion we have added Pavel's weighted deck squats with a jump to our leg series (haven't used them with single leg yet). Primarily I find that these stress the midsection/lower back quite strongly (as the athlete rolls back forward onto his feet) when heavier weights (2545lb plates) are used and the arms remain straight while holding the weight extended out in front. Generally, we finish our leg series with a set of 10 single leg back flips (5 on each leg - jumping off one leg and landing on two). Yours in Fitness, Coach Sommer OlympicBodies@aol.com http://www.t-nation.com/readTopic.do?id=512003 http://www.dragondoor.com/articler/mode3/229/ Posted on Thursday, February 02, 2006 08:08 am:

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Jerry Hill
Intermediate Member Username: jerry_hill Post Number: 80 Registered: 01-2005

Coach Sommer, Could you outline an intro program for us mere mortals so we don't 'jump in' with too much volume and frequency? In Health, Jerry Hill

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Posted on Thursday, February 02, 2006 11:31 am: Christopher Sommer
Advanced Member Username: coach_sommer

Following is the progression on jumping single leg squats that I have my athletes use:
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Crossfit.com discussion board: Gymnastic legs

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Post Number: 200 Registered: 02-2004

1) Learn a regular Single leg squat. 2) Add a stationary upward jump to the single leg squat. 3) Jumping single leg squat for distance. 4) Jumping single leg squat up onto a small box (approx 18-24"). 5) Jumping single leg squat for distance and up onto small box. We perform these and other leg strength drills four times a week.

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Yours in Fitness, Coach Sommer OlympicBodies@aol.com Posted on Thursday, February 02, 2006 11:54 am: Garrett Smith
Advanced Member Username: guerilastrength Post Number: 204 Registered: 04-2005

Coach Sommer, When you say single leg squat, do you mean the same thing as a pistol? Or something else? Thank you for the progression. Dr. G

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Posted on Thursday, February 02, 2006 12:43 pm: Christopher Sommer
Advanced Member Username: coach_sommer Post Number: 201 Registered: 02-2004

Yes, they are the same. It is simply a habit on my part, I referred to them as single leg squats for years before I met Pavel.

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Coach Sommer

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Posted on Thursday, February 02, 2006 04:01 pm: Keegan Yentsch
New member Username: maverik Post Number: 10 Registered: 01-2006 Rating: N/A Votes: 0 (Vote!)

Coach Sommer, Is the progression you outlined to be done with or without weight added? Or, would you suggest progressing through it without weight added. Then, having reached the final progression begin again but with weight added? Also, do you have your athletes do weighted pistols before you teach them the jumping variations? If so, what percent of their body weight added would you recommend they achieve? I ask because I remember hearing someone suggest that you be able to do a double body weight squat before begginning to learn plyometrics (probably because of joint issues). Thanks for the progression. Good training, Keegan Posted on Thursday, February 02, 2006 09:25 pm:

Christopher Sommer
Advanced Member Username: coach_sommer Post Number: 202 Registered: 02-2004

Generally I recommend becoming proficient at the initial movement, then gradually adding weight to create overstrength and then moving on to the next progression with bodyweight only. My most proficient athletes generally only added 10-15% of bodyweight to their single leg squat movements prior to moving to the next progression. The following is an excerpt from a fine discussion that

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Crossfit.com discussion board: Gymnastic legs

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Dan John and I once had regarding the "double body weight squat prior to plyometrics" requirement. " . . . I have also heard of the 1960's East German requirement of a double bodyweight squat before engaging in plyometrics. While I agree that a strong level of physical preparation is necessary to benefit from high-level plyometric (or ballistic) training without injury, my evidence shows that this was not a universal requirement, but rather a recommendation for their athletes in general. For their track & field athletes, weight lifters and other athletes for whom progressive plyometric conditioning was not an inherent part of their training, the double bodyweight squat was in preparation for their doing depth jumps off boxes 36"-42" in height among other drills. It was definitely not a requirement for the German gymnasts, or the Russian or Chinese gymnasts for that matter, men or women, either prior to their commencing training or during the course of their training. Many of these athletes began simple plyometric exercises when they were only 4-6 years old and certainly were not capable of a double bodyweight squat. One Olympic gold medalist from Russia (Vladimir Artemov, '88 Olympics All Around Champion) mentioned in a clinic that they were actually forbidden to engage in any heavy leg work (his coach even included bicycling in this category!) in the fear that it would reduce their upper body strength to weight ratio. Yet they engaged in plyometric training from a young age, continued throughout their entire careers and developed an astounding degree of power in the process. It is, however, extremely important to note that their plyometric training (for both upper and lower body) was very gradual and progressive in nature, occurring over the span of many years. This gives the body time to adapt to the progressively more extreme training loads with increased bone density and greater development of the connective tissues. Personally, I now believe that extra leg work would have been beneficial; even for gymnasts. Especially if it was approached in a manner designed to increase strength but minimize hypertrophy. My own son trained from 6 years of age up to approximately 13, eventually becoming the SouthWestern U.S. Champion. At that time, he left gymnastics to pursue his new dream of playing football. For the next two years, his coaches had him on a structured program of mainly power cleans, deadlifts, squats and bench. When he returned to the
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gym later to see his friends and to just mess around, the increase in the height of his tumbling was literally shocking (and he had been a very good tumbler prior to his leaving for football). He had only gained 10-15lbs., so for him, the resulting strength gains (160lb power clean and 290 lb deadlift at 125lb bodyweight) without large gains in bodyweight only served to increase his strength to weight ratio. This new strength combined with his already well developed plyometric abilities led to a very high level indeed of athletic ability. Then and now, it makes me curious as to what could be accomplished by merging the two training methodologies. . . ." Yours in Fitness, Coach Sommer Posted on Friday, February 03, 2006 12:36 pm: Keegan Yentsch
Junior Member Username: maverik Post Number: 11 Registered: 01-2006 Rating: N/A Votes: 0 (Vote!)

Hello Coach Sommer, Thank you for the reply. So 10-15% bodyweight added is a good number to shoot for? That's great, because that is actually where I am currently at (+15% bodyweight). So I should be okay to begin learning the next progression. That's also good to know about the double bodyweight squat thing. I honestly have done plenty of plyometrics in the past, from a very young age. So, I can see where you are coming from in that it probably isn't essential for someone who has been healthy and active for the better part of their lives. My question for asking in regards to jumping pistols is due to the extreme amount of stress placed on the knees during such a movement. On most jumping exercises the knees don't go below parallel to the floor, where conversley in a pistol the butt actually goes down to touch the calf. In one of my college courses we learned that doing so places exponential amounts of force on the knee joint. I was simply concerned about the danger to the connective tissues in the knee joint. Ok, then at the begginning of my next training block I'll start working on jumping pistols. One more question; would you suggest alternating the plyometric progressions with weighted pistols? For instance:

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Mon- Jumping pistol progressions Tues- Weighted pistols Thurs- Jumping pistol progressions Fri- Weighted pistols Or would just focusing on the jumping pistols progressions give better results? Once again thanks for the reply. Good training, Keegan Posted on Friday, February 03, 2006 01:19 pm: Steven Low
Intermediate Member Username: braindx Post Number: 70 Registered: 09-2005

Yeah, pistols are a good exercise.. except I have bad knees. I can't go down all the way in a pistol position without them hurting. Any recommendations for those of us to increase our leg strength taking into account bad knees?

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Posted on Saturday, February 04, 2006 10:35 pm: vance newgard
New member Username: i_am_evil_homer Post Number: 1 Registered: 11-2005 Rating: N/A Votes: 0 (Vote!)

What is the biggest guy you have seen doing pistols? I am 290 and I can do about 1 on each leg. I think I should start working on them but I'm afraid putting that much weight on 1 knee in that position will be to stressful.

Posted on Monday, February 06, 2006 09:03 am: Roger Harrell
Senior Member Username: rogair Post Number: 601 Registered: 06-2004
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Steven, I'd recommend just working on your squat until you can do that comfortably. Really focus on keeping your technique in line. A properly performed squat or pistol shouldn't load the knee in a bad way. I've known
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folks with "bad knees" that have learned to squat and do pistols quite well. It just takes a little more caution and care.

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