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Hi,

I'm working on the Gymnastic's Bodies Floor 1 program. I've been working for over a year on the arch body hold. I am making progress and I think I may even be doing it correctly everywhere other than the angle of my arms. My shoulders just don't want to go there. When I do it, my arms are about parallel to the floor where they should be above parallel.

So my question... I have the shoulder program. I know the back bend/bridge program is coming out. What do I need to be working on to get the mobility that I need in my shoulders? If the answer is to wait for the bridge program, I can do that.

Thank you!

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i would try doing the holds per Olivia's positions in a PDF for body line exercises. im not on my computer, so i cant link you righ now. basically you can do the holds with your arms by your sides, out to the sides in a "T" then a "Y" but i think you can jump to hands overhead by the time you do the T.

now, thats the solution if endurance is the problem. if it's mobility, i'd like to see your pose, if you're comfortable with that.

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Have you seen the list of tips I wrote about the element?

There are some good cues for what to focus on when in the arch. Towards the bottom of the post, there are some great supplemental mobility tips for thoracic extension. The mobility tips were mainly masterminded by wooden-spoon-to-rubber-band Keilani, who has a lot of experience.

If you're ever unsure about your form, try some rocks. It's what you're working up to.

Re: shoulder angle. How much can you open your shoulders just standing normally? Many people think they lack shoulder mobility to get their arms up in the arch hold, but it's more a temporary lack of trapezius (and other muscles) strength to lift them. I find it helpful to not focus on squeezing the arms upward, but instead focus on curling the middle of my upper back upwards, and then letting the arms follow the angle I have created with my torso.

In short: lead the arch with the torso, follow with the arms. Don't lead with the arms.

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To get the flexibility in shoulder flexion/thoracic extension required for the arch body hold, focus on E1A and E1B, plus E10, E11 and E12 from Master Shoulder Flexibility.

Also, L2, in particular actively pulling the shoulder into flexion. Focus on keeping the tail tucked and the spine shape static, and cue the lower and mid traps to pull the arm behind the head, and the upper traps to lift the shoulder up to the ear (activating the upper traps will inhibit the lats, and distract the shoulder joint: combined, this makes the movement both easier to do/achieve and more comfortable in the shoulder joint). Having a partner add a tactile cue of placing soft hands in contact with your traps (basically spanning the whole surface of the shoulder blades) can help to get the feeling of activating the lower and mid traps, I've found.

Later, progress to doing standing shoulder flexion work holding a dowel at shoulder width. Then, do it kneeling down (sitting on your heels), then sitting cross-legged. Then, standing on feet but bent over with torso parallel to floor (can start with chest/ribs supported on a bench/table, but then progress to having to hold the torso/arm lever still in free space.

Finally, progress to active shoulder flexion exercises done lying prone.

16 minute video on how to cue the arch body hold to be released with the Master the back bend program ... due out very soon!

Cheers

Olivia

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Tris - your list of tips is behind a paywall. Would you be able to copy them here for the rest of us? Thanks, Jim.

Yes of course. That was inconsiderate of me! :)

Link updated (to a separate thread, so the wall of text doesn't hijack this thread).

16 minute video on how to cue the arch body hold to be released with the Master the back bend program ... due out very soon!

:D :D :D :D :D :D

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Oh wow!!! You guys are great. That will teach me to ask a question and not get back to it for a few days.

I've been working on GB's H1 as well as a couple of the shoulder program's stretches. I'm going to look at Olivia's list and try the progression from standing. Haven't watched the linked video yet.

Tris - Your write up is like a whole encyclopedia of ABH!!

Anyway, I got my kids to take a picture of me. The camera lens is harsh and unforgiving. :( A year of ABH and here is what it looks like:

P1080129.JPG

So now that you can see it, I should change my original question from "what should I do for my shoulders?" to "what should I do?"

Thanks again for all the help!

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What really helped me was pointing my arms straight back, as per the second of Olivia's progressions. Once I played with that for a while, all the muscle activation cues for my upper back started to click into place.

Another cue from Kit is to try and get as think about getting as long as possible. This can help you start to activate muscles along your entire body, instead of just bending in the lower back.

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Josh, the one restriction that is easy to see in your body is shoulder flexion. See how your arms are parallel to the floor, but your thoracic spine is ~40 degrees from the floor? Lats and pec. minor are the keys here. Over at our YouTube channel search for "pec minor stick stretch" and the "hanging lat stretch"; and go through all the cues in the PDF MTNordic linked to. Here are the videos; there are others to keep going with until we release the next program in the Mastery Series; it's the perfect one for you, too.

 

 

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Hey I looked up the pec minor. How can you tell that it is one of the problem muscles for me. I believe you, I just don't understand. From searching around it looks like it goes from your shoulder toward the lower part of your chest. Does it hold your arm down or something?

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That is a great visual. If I didn't have chest hair I would try it. ;) As it is, I'll just leave it as a mental exercise.

It is interesting that my tight calves always let me know when they are being stretched. In my shoulder, it doesn't feel like anything is tight. I just don't have the range of motion that I should.

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i used to feel the same way, until i started really reaching towards the stretch i was doing(up up up in flexion, back behind me in extension) in conjunction with the C-R and relaxation. now my hips are the ones that feel wierd to stretch but my calves obey me as its master. got a cramp in the middle of the night the other day after a hard stretch the day before. that stuff is terrible, i tell ya.

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  • 2 weeks later...
  • 2 years later...
On 9/4/2014 at 9:37 AM, Tris said:

Yes of course. That was inconsiderate of me! :)

Link updated (to a separate thread, so the wall of text doesn't hijack this thread).

:D :D:D :D:D :D

Hi everyone, it's my first post here, I just finished going through the "Read these threads please before posting, please!" section!

I am very interested in the tips Tris shared, but unfortunately both link are broken...

would it be possible to post them again?

 

thanks a lot

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Hi Dave - welcome!

That post is now behind a paywall (ie. you need to buy an expensive program to access the forum). I don't know how the legalities work, but in the interest of keeping the peace we decided to leave it alone.

I question the value of it anyway. The cues were designed to live up to a long and difficult list of expectations set by the community leader, and the point of them as a progression was never really established in my experience.

Liv's ABH instructional is the best resource I've seen, period. The what and why is much more relevant to every-day form and function. There's not much in my post that isn't covered in the video.

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Tris, thanks for the answer, this is on the buying list,

https://vimeo.com/ondemand/mfbb/

I just bought Stretching and Flexibility and the update dvd video, so I'm first exploring that...

I agree with the caution about legalities, especially after what's going on on the Reddit r/bodyweightfitness about reviews being threatened of suing...

 

 

Edited by Gym-Dave
rephrased, since Kit already linked to video
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  • 3 weeks later...

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