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  1. I have a deeply exciting announcement today: the technology has matured, and Liv and I now have the capacity to stream live from the Monkey Gym. We are implementing this tech in two stages: the first is a technology called "live to disk" (used to be called 'live to tape' in the old days when I was a television director); it means that you do a single take of a program, mix it live, and no stopping/starting—this is as close as you can get to 'live-live'; more on this below; and perhaps its significance is not immediately apparent, so let me step you through the standard workflows we have had to use up to now: Record video on one or more cameras (we have used three; now four), and record sound on a separate recorder (sometimes two recorders); transcode footage (the reasons why transcoding is necessary would take 30' to explain); transcoding an hour of footage from one camera takes about 15'; pull all three/four streams of video into my editing timeline (I use Final Cut Pro X), bring the sound track(s) in after checking levels/reducing noise in another program; synchronise the sound and all the vision; cut in FCPX using something called "multicam editing"; put titles on the ends; add the fades to black and and 'supers' ("superimpositions"; people names, arrows, etc.); have a second person watch the program and give comments back; incorporate the edits; then compress the whole program (separate program and process to do this); and finally use a high-speed wi-fi modem to upload to Vimeo... So, an hour program, as you watch it, usually takes a day or two to make. And, frankly, I do not enjoy watching myself back, and because I operate the cameras, I have already seen any program that Liv presents already. Now (please hear trumpets sounding): The new setup: four cameras recording at 1080p/30 (this quality, "full" HD, is future-proofing; we compress to 720p/30 for Vimeo), feeding into a switcher controlled by my MacBook Pro, and the output is recorded live onto a pair of mirrored solid state drives (so automatic backup, too). We also have a completely new, invisible micing system; we will be testing today. The last technical problem was solved yesterday: consumer and prosumer cameras take a finite time to output video, so in the testing I realised that the audio was arriving about five frames (~150ms) ahead of the video into the switcher—which meant that the recorded program was out of sync (sound not perfectly aligned with video) and you all know how annoying that is! So I researched this and found a little device that allows the precise programming of delay for audio, and now the programs are perfectly in sync as we record them. Noice! So, on any given day from now on, we fire the system up, Liv or I present a program for an hour (for example); we stop recording. The footage loaded of the whole program is loaded into FCPX, we add opening and closing titles (a few minute's work) and send the complete program to Compressor while we have lunch (Compressor, a magic bit of software from Apple, changes the frame size from 1080 x 1920 to 720 x 1280, and compresses both sound and vision; you cannot see the difference between the original and the compressed program). Then the final version of the program is loaded to Vimeo (setting up a new series to sell does involve making a graphic or two, and annotating the settings and doing things like setting the price), but that's it! We send you all the URL. Done and dusted. Once we have proofed this complete system, I will be able to take a version of it on the road, too, in two hard cases: we will be making this production service available to other Stretch Therapy teachers who want to develop their own names, brand, and programs. The last step is live streaming, where the whole process is one. Right now, we do not feel that has any particular attraction (mainly because of the time differences between Australia and the rest of the world, and we do not want to work at 03:00a.m.), but Vimeo and other platforms are coming on line that will facilitate this. In time, when we add a simple last component, the master 1080p/30 program will be fed into the "Web Presenter" (which also compresses it live) as well as being recorded for backup and the program can be uploaded live to the Vimeo LIVE platform and may be watched then and there; and Vimeo automatically immediately archives the same program when it's ended, so that it is then available like any of our other programs. The key point is though that this is a single process: Liv or I presenting, and you watching, live, anywhere in the world. This opens up a huge number of new possibilities.
  2. Hello all, **UPDATE**. I added a new combination ankle-hamstring-sciatic nerve-fascia stretch taught to me by Mike Goldfield (we did some work today with Matthew Darling, in Michigan, and adding this here seemed very timely). See revised exercise 9 for details, below. At the request of my US Super-Host, Robin Truxel of tru Pilates fame, has asked me to document a routine that is guaranteed to free up tight calves and ankles. As well, tight calves could even be the cause of your back pain. But first, the test. Can you squat down, in bare feet, with the knees together, and keep your heels on the ground? If you can't, then your ankles are too tight—that's all there is to it. The heels have to come off the ground, to keep your centre of gravity in front of your balance point, and if the ankles cannot allow this, either you fall backwards, or your heels come off the ground. Let's change this. **Note: all images can be enlarged by clicking on them*** 1. The first stretch is the straight-leg wall calf stretch; you all know this one, but make sure that the knees are over the forefoot (middle of the second toe) and the full arch height is preserved (press weight on the little toe side to ensure this), and press the knee straight. Make sure you have remembered the new cue of externally rotating the whole leg in both the ankle and hip joints (this is what actually creates the arch as well as winding up the fascia). See which leg is the tightest. 2. Then the classic Downward Dog, but our 'one-legged' dog version. All the same alignment cues as the standing wall calf stretch, above, but with the addition of flexion at the hips—this increases the neural and fascial dimensions incredibly. And if you can't reach the floor easily, lean your hands on stairs, or a box/chair against the wall. Work the tighter side one more time. Note how I am applying a downward force on the ankle as well as a gentle back-straightening pressure at the same time. As you loosen, move the heel further back from the support. The way Robyn is supported, there is less hamstring effect and maximum ankle/fascia/soleus and gastrocnemius effect. 3. Then back to the wall calf stretch, but this time, apply the 'rod of correction': this is a piece of dowel; the smaller the diameter, the more intense the sensation, so start with one of at least 25mm (one inch) diameter. Make sure your partner is wearing material of some sort on her legs, to facilitate the sliding of the rod. Apply pressure onto both sides of the rod and work the outer, middle, and inner borders of the lower calf, from just below the knee to all the way down soleus. Apply gentle pressure the first few times to get the person used to it, then increase the pressure (applied at 90 degrees to the surface you are working on). Once the pressure is applied, slide the stick down the leg while holding the pressure on. This is intense (for your subject!), so be gentle the first few times. Then, once that's done, do the usual contractions and re-stretch. You will see noticeable improvement between the first iteration (#1 above) and the final position following the fascial work and the contraction–re-stretch. The first image above shows a central pressure/stretch application position, and the second the outer border. As well, please note how I am bracing the leg I am working on with the outer part of my thigh; this is essential. Do not move the rod too quickly over the skin; the fascia has to be coaxed into releasing. 4. Now the new one (I will make a video of this soon). Get into a gentle wall calf stretch once more, and ask your partner to press on the calf muscle, just below the knee. Don't move the lower leg—but 'sit' the hip away from the wall (this bends the knee more if you have the right position). As well, with your hip back further than usual, you can add your own weight more easily to the stretch. Now ask your partner to use his other hand to grip the ankle just above the heel, and help you press the heel onto the floor firmly. Use the first hand to press the back of the knee further forward (to increase the angle at the ankle). Do not lose the arch shape. Once you can go no further, try to relax: this will be an intense feeling in soleus, as well as at the front of the ankle joint (we are levering off the tibia and the talus bone of the foot). (If you dip down to exercise 7, below, you will see the hand position for this variation; the exercise will look similar, except the heel will be on the floor.) Now repeat the toe-pointing (pressing the ball of the foot into the floor) contraction; this time, because the knee is bent, the sensation will be felt mainly in soleus; it is a much deeper sensation than stretching gastrocnemius. And when the contraction is done, ask your partner to help you bring the knee further forwards in good form (the 'stretchee' can definitely help here, too, of course), and bring the knee as far forwards of the toes as you can. This, too, will be intense. A note on breathing for the re-stretch: even if you are really experienced, once a stretch becomes intense, you will forget the basics (blame it on the body's self-preservation mechanisms!). Before you try any re-stretch, breathe in fully, relax the part you are working as much as you can, and only while you are actually breathing out do you do the stretch into new territory. If you need more time than one breath out, stop, breathe in again, and only go into new ROM while actually breathing out. 5. Find a set of stairs, and do the classic single leg, ball of foot on stair, heel drop stretch. Apply all your weight to one leg, and ask your partner to once more hold the stretching leg's heel, and ask them to help you stretch deeper by leaning some of their weight onto the gripping hand—thereby intensifying the stretch. Note that my 'top' arm is helping Robin straighten her knee. Do a few slightly bouncy contractions in the bottom position (may as well get some fascial involvement here too) and then some slower standard contractions, and re-stretch. And a close-up of the grip position: 6. Find something to hang on to, and with feel parallel, spread the knees, and lower hips into a full squat (this is also an ankle stretch, as well as one of the best lower back stretches). Try to bring the body as far as possible through the thighs to deepen both stretches. As well, once you have the wide knee version, try again with the knees together: this intensifies the ankle part (and limits the lower back movement for the same reason). 7. If you are up to it, repeat the stair stretch (#5 above) but ask yor partner to bend the knee on the leg you are stretching; as before, this action focuses the effect on the ankle. 8. I added this today (because I forgot it in the sequence when writing yesterday); but if you have partner assistance, this one and the bent-leg one above will have the strongest effect on improving ankle flexibility of all of them (and this strongly and preferentially affects soleus, too). Kneel as shown, holding something firm, and press as much of your body's weight as you can through the forearm of the other arm. This is the start position (and you can do contractions and re-stretches this way too). On the other hand, if you have a partner, the big guns can be brought to bear. See how I am leaning my weight straight down on the knee? This both holds the heel on the ground and pushes the ankle further forward. Very strong contractions can be effected, and you can control the amount of the re-stretch, by adding your own forces to the same knee through your forearm. Look at this picture of the setup: As well, here's an image that shows additional supports: my hand on her back, and my thigh is assisting, too. New exercise 9. You will need a sturdy Yoga chair for this; turn over as shown, and place a sticky mat inside the now-upside down seat. Place your feet as wide as possible on the base, and press the edges outward. Now, keeping your back as straight as you can, lean forwards to the maximum calf stretch point, then bend forwards at the hips. Whew: intense. I am pulling myself further forwards by holding on to the legs. Contractions can be added to enhance the effect. See the setup: And the close-up that shows just how much flexion the ankles are enjoying! 10. Then the big test: on flat ground (or slightly sloping downhill for a bit of assistance—or even a thin support under the heels, or a small weight held at arms' length!), try to squat down, keeping your heels in the ground. If this sequence has worked for you, you will find you can lower your hips deeper before feeling like you are going to overbalance and—one day—you will get all the way down. Now you are ready for the SLS (Single Leg Squat) progressions; see HERE. Good luck and please report back. KL
  3. Hello all, As we have had many inquiries about how to start a Monkey Gym, I thought I would place the current Equipment List here, which will download to your download folder: TMG Equipment List Rev.1.doc Note that this is a "full" list—the core ideas of the MG can be taught with a bar to hang from, a shiny floor to do "towel walkouts" on, and a box to step down from! If you want to go deeper, a set of rings is essential, but that's all. The rest of the equipment simply allows more options. As well, if you want to see a little web gallery of what the original Monkey Gym (our headquarters in Canberra) looks like, see here. There are notes with info. about what you're looking at, and if you click on any image a larger version will load. Finally, spend some time on our current Home page, because our YouTube channel can be viewed and subscribed to there. I should say that the equipment list is not the important thing, which is the how and why of what we do, combined with teaching students how to feel what's happening in their bodies. I am making this a "sticky" thread, and will be adding to it from time to time. If you want to be added to our MG mailing list, send a request to info@kitlaughlin.com Cheers to all, kl
  4. I am trying to develop a new business model. I will be Trade Marking the Monkey Gym (read more here) over the next little while, and as I think about how to steer this fledgling enterprise, I need your input as to the key IP (intellectual property), concepts, and marketing points. May I have your responses, please; this is a WIP (work in progress). Some of you have already taken on the MG ''brand', partly or in association with a name you already use. My concept of how this might expand, and might bring us all an income in time, is to facilitate the setting up of MGs in a number of locations, and not charge for that (so no licensing or franchising fees). Instead, we will be requesting that each MG owner use and promote the brand; facilitate and host a workshop for me each year or two, and that we consider how the different skill sets of each of you might play into that - I am thinking of speciality workshops that each of you consider presenting in your own area of expertise (Olivia: gymnastics; Cristina, Gyrotonics; Nolan: sprint development; Andrew: Olympic lifting and Kettlebells, and so on). As I have mentioned to a number of you, if fortune favours what we are trying to do, then in two or three years, in addition to hosting various workshops, you might consider kicking something back to HQ if the concept and brand are working well for you. Perhaps this is completely idealistic, but I want this to be 100% voluntary. Crazy? Probably! At MG HQ here in Canberra, we have systematised the body of knowledge into Beginner's, Intermediate, and Advanced (so, class structures that can be broken down into 'terms' that make sense in your environments; as an example, we use 14 week blocks because they fit University semesters; others may use 8 or 10 week blocks). As well, we have organised Two-day "Introduction to the Monkey Gym" workshops that will be trialled in the U.S. this year (Sydney's forthcoming workshop in Chattanooga; the first one we ran in Italy was a sellout, and the results were outstanding and just so much sheer fun. If I can have your responses, any responses, no matter how weird of wacky, I will be grateful. All responses gratefully received—positive or negative. The deep reason I am trying to develop this 'anti'- or non-business model is that all the other ones I have seen just don't work: licensees and franchisees don't ever seem to be happy. On the other hand, hosting workshops is something you all already do, and presenting them and developing new material is what I do—I see this as a wonderful example of synergy, and that's the model I am interested in. Whover said that business and pleasure can't be mixed—well, humbug. Warmest regards to you all, Kit Laughlin
  5. Hello there, everybody, Before I begin, I thank Carol (Dr Wenzel, on a return, cameo appearance!) who came to Vancouver from Kamloops to take pictures of this new, three-day, workshop. In the three galleries, there are nearly 400 photographs, which show the various stretches and strengthening exercises we did. As well, we would not have been able to run this workshop had we not met Chris Harrison, the owner of the Vancouver CrossFit Lions; this is a brilliant facility that has literally everything you will ever need, training wise (including three heavy-duty York hyperextension machines that I used for ten intensive minutes last night); these are one of the few machines I recommend for training. And as you go through the photos, you can see the excellent "cage" and bar systems (and the best wooden rings I have ever used; they are Rogue Fitness rings, from memory) and lots of them, too. Sincere thanks to Chris, and please check out his place if you are a local. The galleries are arranged by day, and the thumbnails let you quickly review the activities of each. All parts of all exercises are shown, so you can follow the sequence and reminds yourself of the all-essential cues. Intro. to Stretch Therapyis a new workshop offering: in the three days, the attendees were exposed to most of the full range of our workshop offerings. As well, we begin mid-morning on the Friday, so people can travel on that day; a longer day on the Saturday, and a mid-afternoon finish on the Sunday, to facilitate travel—this way, the entire workshop can be fit in to busy schedules. Day one was most of the BIG stretches, starting with (what else?) the hip flexors. This was practised in partner, solo, standing and floor versions. Here are the images from day one: http://kitlaughlin.c...-workshop_day1/ Day two was all Monkey Gym—beginning with a feet-awakening sequence, and progressing to the Bodyline series. If you have not had exposure to Coach Sommer's excellent work, this is the place to start. You can download a PDF of the wrist mobility, Bodyline, and handstand sequence that Miss O and I made earlier this year (we shot some of the images at Robert Schleip's workshop, held at the Gold Coast, Queensland). Because this was an introduction workshop, we only held each position, once learned, for 30", and only one cycle. We are leaving the handstand work until September, 2012; more on this below. And you can download the foundation skills of the Monkey Gym, too, by clicking the highlighted link. All the images of Day two show the progressions we used—including single leg squats that everyone could do. I have already received emails telling me of the sore glutes... http://kitlaughlin.c...-workshop_day2/ And the last day began with a class, and ended with some much-needed neck stretches, and includes a long passive back-bend over supports in between; all the images will be viewable here: http://kitlaughlin.c...-workshop_day3/ What an incredible three days! Linda, Chris and I have decided that we will be offering a full three-day Monkey Gym only workshop end September this year. We will email the dates to all the attendees, and when this is confirmed, all the details including registration forms will be available from the Home page on my main site (left-hand column, under Events). We hope to see you there! Cheers to all, Kit ***All links updated and galleries reloaded*** Friday 31 Jan
  6. Some background. My body of work is presently known as "Stretch Therapy™"; it has a number of streams, including Stretch Teacher, Stretch Therapist, and the Monkey Gym. A full list of the present workshops on offer (plus a YT video, where I speak abut the different workshops) can be found HERE on my main site. As a side note, you may have seen that this site has inherited the name we were bestowed 26 years ago, and that has been a difficulty in positioning and branding our work, too. In recent years, a large number of people have attended the Stretch Teacher workshop, in particular, just to do intensive work on themselves, for a variety of reasons, including rehab all the way to simply giving their bodies a deep rest and to experience what true deep relaxation feels like in the body/mind. Accordingly, a number of hosts have commented that the present name of these workshops (Stretch Teacher) is a barrier to these people wanting to do these workshops because (completely reasonably) the term 'teacher' implies the purpose. Another piece of the puzzle is the title of my new book (a multi-media product, but still a book to me) is Stretching Mindfully. As well, I have registered two new URLs with this in mind (stretching-mindfully.com, and moving-mindfully.com), the latter to make explicit the third dimension I wrote about earlier this week. My inclination is to keep "Stretch Therapist": its message seems clear and unambiguous. As well, the Monkey Gym workshops similarly seem relatively easy to understand. What are your reactions to calling the third stream, the one presently called "Stretch Teacher", by the name of the new product, Stretching Mindfully, and open it up explicitly to the widest possible audience, and add a lying relaxation module to each day? If we had these three streams, anyone wanting to teach this system would enrol in the Stretching Mindfully workshop along with the people who want a body/mind "sabbatical" (and this would give the potential teachers very useful 'ordinary' bodies to practise with, too). The reason for raising this is that we are now in the "post ANU" phase of the system's unfolding: we can change anything we want and this is the best time to do it. I am going to repost this over at the Stretch Therapy Forums, and make a YouTube clip on this too. My goal is simply to get this work out there as widely as possible, and to teach this system to teachers who can carry this work forward. What are your thoughts?
  7. Thursday evening, I spent all afternoon and evening in this excellent facility, sitting alongside Christopher, as he took a number of his elite male gymnasts through a 'light' workout: giant swings on the horizontal bar (and practising dismounts over the foam pit, and then onto a mat placed over the pit), and the same on the parallel bars. More to come.
  8. Monkey Gym Concepts, second draft (Thanks to all who helped me refine this; you know who you are) What is the Monkey Gym? The Monkey Gym ("MG") is a new way of using old technology. In fact, an MG looks much the same as gyms were 100 years ago: Roman rings, ropes, balance devices, ladder bars, grip strength 'toys', boxes, strong rubber bands, 'India clubs', benches, dumbbells, and so on. In brief, we use some of the equipment of men's gymnastics, and a few extra toys, so there are minimal set-up costs. Bands are used to provide assistance in key exercises (all women can do chin-ups in the MG!) or resistance in other multi-plane exercises. The equipment can be a simple or as complicated as individual teaching needs dictate. You can start with a single set of rings, a bench, and a shiny floor—the real value of the MG approach is the way we do things; the ‘IP’, in other words. Anyone can buy equipment. What goes on in the Monkey Gym? Playing in an MG is very different to 'training' in a conventional gym. By "conventional gym", we mean gyms with machines or free weights, music, mirrors, lycra, headphones, TVs, large memberships, and an impersonal atmosphere. MG class numbers are small, and students progress through Beginners, Intermediate, and Advanced structured classes. There are concurrent Supervised Training Sessions, where students can practise what they have learned. All MG exercises are "whole body" movements—and all are "core strength" movements, too. And form in each movement or hold is paramount: all exercises end when the form cannot be maintained. Exercises are either static (so isometric contractions), or slow, controlled, movements against resistance. In the Beginner stream, we do not do 'conditioning', or try to improve how many chinups you can do in a fixed time. Instead, we show you how to do chin-ups properly, safely, and with full awareness of which muscles are doing the task, and with the understanding of how a basic movement like this can be modified to achieve various results (like making it an arm exercise or a back exercise, or both). Some exercises or positions are done just once—to awaken awareness of how to make a particular shape with the body; others are done with low numbers of repetitions, like three to five. There is no 'Human Being Owner's Manual' of which we are aware; the MG experiential learning approach comes as close to this ideal as we can. We use an explicit coaching model: students work in pairs, and cue and correct their partner's form; then they swap roles. We have found that this significantly speeds the rate and depth of learning, and makes any class self-teaching and self-directing, in time. Students learn the system at a deep level. As teachers in the MG world, we like to say that our goal is to render ourselves unnecessary! One unique feature of the Monkey Gym approach is that is suits men and women alike; it caters to the young and seniors with equal ease; and the skill set optimises function while enhancing joint, ligament, and tendon health. Everyone stays younger for longer. Lastly, a key point: has anyone ever done exercise just because someone told them it was good for them? Not too many, we suspect. One of the unique aspects of the MG is that everyone looks as though they are really having fun—and without that essential ingredient, no one will put in the time that’s required to change at a deep level, nor be able to muster the motivation to make the effort required. When your clients are looking forward to their MG sessions, once or twice a week, and telling you that it’s the best time of their week, you know you are onto something—and we hear this all the time. What makes the Monkey Gym unique from an owner's perspective? One aspect is that there are no machines: the floor space is completely open. This means the area can be effortlessly re-purposed throughout the day for any activity, like a stretching class, or a Pilates class. This makes an MG the perfect adjunct to a Yoga or Pilates studio—and both can occupy the same space at the same time. Another unique aspect is the use of the third dimension—the MG explicitly uses the vertical space of a room, from floor to ceiling, a dimension wasted in conventional gym setups. Hanging equipment is pulled away to the walls and secured when not in use. No equipment on the floor means that more people can work out safely in a smaller area, yet feel that they have all the space they need. The original MG is just 49 square metres, with 5.5 metre ceilings at the highest part. Using the third dimension means that ropes (for climbing) and Roman rings (the 'still' rings from men's gymnastics) can be used. Stacking boxes are used for jumping onto, over, and from. Stairs, if present, are used for a large number of drills, too. The Experience: Awareness of biomechanics is how all members begin, and continue, their MG experience. Foot and ankle alignment, knee tracking, spinal alignment, shoulder stabilisation, and activation of the core and gluteal muscles (the 'core' is so much more than 'TA'!), are where everyone begins, and all MG activities continue to refine this most important aspect through all levels. Students are instructed and led through the progressions and the variations. They learn how to exercise themselves, and how to attend to any problem area. Strengthening exercises are complemented by a suitable stretching exercise, for tissue realignment, to enhance recovery, and to calm the neural system. Because the MG experience begins, and continues, with biomechanics as the first priority, the activities are suitable for elite athletes and ‘older exercise enthusiasts’ alike. Both sexes and all physical types and ages can be accommodated easily—because the other major distinction of the system is its unique ‘back- and forward-engineering capacity for all exercises, so any task can be made easier, or more difficult, quickly and easily. The net result is that attendees can stay fit for longer—and remain adaptable to all other activities, despite thinning disks or thinning hair! The Results: Enhanced coordination, vastly increased functional strength for both men and women, the development of lean muscle, improvements in range of movement and stability of all joints, enhanced balance, improved jumping power—all are attributes that are refined, developed, and which will carry over to all other activities. Any aspect of the physical and mental dimensions of what's needed to improve performance for any activity can be emphasised in individual setups or individual routines. The Monkey Gym System The MG methods and intellectual property (IP) are explicit parts of the package: all aspects of the system are taught in Beginner's, Intermediate, and Advanced classes; specialty classes (such as kettlebells, RollStretch, and Dynamic Forms) may be added to the mix, depending on the skill sets and individual interests of the teachers. In addition to classes that progress members through the various streams and levels, there are Supervised Training Sessions: spaced though the week at convenient times; these allow students to practice their interest areas, with a teacher present to assist as required. The unexpected up-side of this approach is that you only need a small number of students to be economically viable, compared to normal gyms, and you only need to open at scheduled times. The tyranny of 06:00 to 22:00 opening hours is over, forever. Interested? Click here to see the Monkey Gym in action on YouTube (and more!) I will post on the new 'non-business model' a little later. Please vigorously comment and debate this: the MG is a work in progress, and if I have anything to do with it, will stay that way!
  9. Hello all, No chin-up bar, and the "fitness centre" here has a bike and a treadmill only, next to the laundry (and in the same room) so no use to me. So, outside into the furnace I went. At least there was a reasonably clean pool to cool off in (those who know me, the cat, will know that I never get into water unless provoked, so you can tell how hot it is!!!). There is a gazebo next to a barbecue, so I threw a towel around one of the beams and started with sets of five pull-ups (so, supinated grip). This grip, plus the fact that the deep (300mm) beam would not let my elbows move forward during the movement means that the forearms were emphasised. I interspersed each set with: L-sits on the pool ladder handles (perfect width for me) three sets, 10" holds 1 set 10 air squats, three x 5 SLS, using railing for supports, negatives only, two leg getup (SLS: single leg squats) dips on pool ladder handles, whole body weight (flexed knees), three x 6 Then two sets of finger assisted SLS, negatives and positives (using railing as assist point) two sets of table-supported push ups between pool ladder handles; this kept the body horizontal Stretched HFs and hammies That took 30', then cooled off in pool one final time. First workout in the U S!
  10. Hello all, While I am here in Chattanooga, Sydney and I decided that it would be helpful for her people to hear me talking a little bit about what goes on in a Monkey Gym, and why we should care! Here's part one: http://www.youtube.com/user/KitLaughlin?feature=mhee#p/f/0/9IxJj-pQrCs I have had real problems with Final Cut Pro all day (pretty much wasted a day tying to get two more stable clips up on YT (YouTube). Cross your fingers everyone: take 17 coming up! Comments welcome Kit
  11. I was going back thought the old MG files this morning, trying to avoid the 120 degree F (49 degrees C!) heat here in Arizona, and found this one from one of the MG teachers at HQ, Jon Valentine. See here: http://www.drillsandskills.com/article/17 We do not have the luxury of those huge padded blocks, so have to make do with a spotter, or by lowering the rings. A side note: we have found that the "skin the dog" (our version of the popular stretch/strength move that is also called the German hang) can be an excellent shoulder rehab exercise. The key is using the move this way is to either lower the rings so that you (if working solo) can control the depth you lower to or, better IMO, have someone stand behind you and as soon as they go over the balance point, you take their feet—this way they are in 100% control of how much force the shoulders experience. A second key factor in making this move effective rehab is that you ask the person on the rings to gently actively lift themselves from the lowest point they can get to back up to the balance point. You assist by lifting the feet. In the beginning, make sure you do most of the work! I will be very interested in people's responses to using this move in this fashion. KL
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