This article is the 4th part of a 6-part series focused on swing mechanics and achieving efficient maximum swing on different equipment. Part 3 focused on the support swing. This week, the focus is the Ring Swing.
A correct and effective swing on rings takes significantly longer to learn than an effective swing on a bar. A swing on rings is a double pendulum, a very complex system that demands very good timing and body alignment. Proper body tension and maintaining pressure on the rings is critical.
From a hang position on the rings, initiate the swing by kicking your feet forward and backward. Hang relaxed in the shoulders so you can begin to feel the natural period of the swing. As the timing becomes apparent you can begin to drive the swing more aggressively. Consciously squeeze your heels together, particularly in the rearward swing.
From the horizontal position in the front, your shoulders should be pushed back and your body extended as much as possible without arching. If your rearward swing is arched when you reach the bottom there will be a significant downward jerk. This jerk is not only uncomfortable but also decreases momentum and severely limits your swing. Maintain a slight hollow until the rearward swing passes through the bottom. At this point an aggressively kick your heels toward the ceiling (that is, direct the kick up and back, not just back). As the swing rises to the back, keep your chest pressed downward and shoulders open and slightly out to the sides. Maintain pressure on the rings throughout. The rings should also be turned out (pronated, or thumbs inward). This turnout allows a greater range of motion in the shoulders and will allow you to put downward pressure on the rings earlier in the swing than if your hands were not turned out. As the swing peaks, the rings should be brought together and pushed as far forward as possible to prepare for the forward swing.
The beginning of the forward phase of the swing is a reversal of the beginning of the rearward swing. From the face-down horizontal position at the back of the swing, arch your body lightly, press the rings forward as much as possible and push your chest down and slightly forward. Maintain this position until the swing passes through the bottom. As the swing reaches vertical it should turn over rapidly as you drive your toes toward the ceiling. Be sure to turn over by kicking your feet and maintaining a tight body. This turnover must be driven by the kick and not by pulling the rings forward. The rings should be pressed back as the swing turns over. After the turnover, drive your toes toward the ceiling and press the rings back (away from the top of your head) aggressively. At this point the swing should be traveling nearly vertical, and you should be aggressively pressing the rings back and slightly outward. This pressure will drive the swing upward. Do not bend your arms; this pressure is a push, not a pull. As your swing reaches horizontal in the forward swing, the rings will need to be turned in (supinated, or thumbs out) to enable you to push down on the rings as the swing rises above the rings. After the swing peaks in the front, extend away from the rings as much as possible to prepare for the rearward swing.
Next week I’ll focus on the basket swing.
Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category
This article is the 4th part of a 6-part series focused on swing mechanics and achieving efficient maximum swing on different equipment. Part 3 focused on the support swing. This week, the focus is the Ring Swing.
This week in parkour, coach Andrey Pfening set the focus on wall back flips. He designed four effective stations where our athletes practiced different skills. The skills were small pieces of the wall back flip skill itself. This is a picture of your Parkour Fundamentals class (6-7yrs):
Parkour Fundamentals is a class created for our youngest traceurs (parkour practitioners). The basics of parkour equal a solid base level of fitness coupled with the maturity to distinguish the difference between a stunt and calculated risk. We understand that children aged 6 and 7 develop these attributes in many different ways and timelines. Therefore, students participate in an hour long class designed to build strength, flexibility, and an understanding of how to use their bodies safely, all while having fun in a safe, learning environment. Curriculum includes, but is not limited to: Games, obstacle course navigation, and individual skill building stations.
Anthony is mid-way through landing a wall back flip as Derek, Caden and Liam watch. Huge thanks to coach Andrey Pfening on his creative and inspiring class set-up and for helping young athletes safely learn exciting skills.
Well, 14.4 has come and gone. This week, I actually have nothing to complain about! How amazing is that? I think I finally decided to start competing…only 4 weeks into the game. Nice, Amanda.
14.4–The Chipper: 60 cal. row, 50 toes to bar, 40 wall ball shots, 30 cleans, 20 muscle ups, 14 min. AMRAP
Ehren H. has taken the lead over Anthony of most attempts at this workout. It paid off for him though, as 14.4.1 and 14.4.2 gave him no muscle ups, while 14.4.3 got him 2! Great job Ehren!
Sera S. got 4 muscle ups in her second attempt. Huge score for Sera, considering her muscle ups are a fairly new skill. Awesome.
Mark A. apparently had seconds on the muscle ups and was able to pull out 4!
Martin H. takes the throne on 14.4 with 13 muscle ups completed! Well done Martin!
Both Lori E. and Mark R. attempted 14.4 again on Sunday. They improved significantly on their second go at it.
Lygia B. visited us from Outlier CrossFit in San Diego. After getting used to our rings, she made a muscle up (almost 2) on her second attempt.
Again, so many PRs, so many epic tales. Cavers, you continue to impress me! Even if you didn’t make your muscle up, or you couldn’t complete the cleans, the gym performance has been outstanding. (Some of you even competed sick.) We’ve got one more to go, so stay in the game!
Here is our leader board:
Amanda’s recap of 14.4:
Competition Friday shaped up to be a good day. I had planned to race Bo so that I would have someone to chase. Most of you know about my love for rowing (it’s one of my least favorite activities, next to thrusters), so when I was informed that the chipper started with a row, my heart sank a bit. I was not going to do this alone!
After many graphs, tables, and time trials (thank you to the analysis team Martin, Ashley and Rich), I figured out that I wanted to be off the rower and started on the toes to bar at 3:30. From there, in a perfect world, I could spend 2.5 minutes on the toes to bar, 1.5 minutes on the wall ball, and 2.5 minutes on the cleans. This would give me 4 minutes of muscle ups. Although this scenario was a bit ambitious, I wasn’t too far off.
I tried for the above splits. I was slower on the toes to bar and a bit faster on the cleans, putting me to the muscle ups at 10:54. Bo was off the rower probably 30-45 seconds before me, so I was able to chase him down on everything. I was able to catch up on the cleans. I tried for a set of 2 muscle ups which felt pretty good. I was playing it smart by sticking to 2 so that I wouldn’t fatigue. It hit fast, though, and I was able to complete 7, failing 3. One of the fails was a fall from the top of the rings–very dramatic. Bo completed 9. Win for Bo.
I stuck to the same time plan. I decided to break up the toes to bar more (because I failed some in the first attempt) and go harder on the wall ball (because I was scared of them on the first go). I gained 20+ seconds on the toes to bar and wall balls, but used it during the cleans. I think in the end this was a better idea so I wasn’t as winded for the muscle ups. I ended up getting to the muscle ups one second faster than the first attempt. This time, though, I did singles. Bo was faster here as well, having slowed down his row which made the entire workout different. He was on the rings first getting a set of 5. My goal was 10. Doing singles, I was able to complete 10 with no fails and 30 seconds to go. I went for 2 more and failed them both. Bo also hit 10. Tie for BoManda. Martin still wins.
If I could change anything about my performance, I would have waited a little longer before attempting the 11th muscle up. I most likely would have made the 11th, and failed the 12th. I didn’t know I had hit the wall yet. I ended up ranking 33rd on this workout which only bumped me up 3 places. I now sit at 47th. I was thinking that this would give me a better buffer, but I sit around a tight spread. Until this week, I sit and pray for something good, but I’m pretty sure I know what to expect…not my favorites.
14.5 = Thrusters and Burpees
How to prepare:
Learn how to feel no pain, and do Tuesday’s programming!
Good luck everyone!
This article is the 2nd part of a 6-part series focused on swing mechanics and achieving efficient maximum swing on different equipment. Part 1 focused on the fundamental factors involved with maximizing swing. This week, the focus is the Tap Swing.
The most common swing is from a single fixed bar. The most effective mechanism for this swing is called a tap swing. During the downward phase of the forward swing your body should be kept hollow and extended. Push away from the bar and ensure that your shoulders are active and pressed up into your ears. As the swing passes through vertical you should allow a small arch with the primary extension being in your chest and shoulders. After the swing passes vertical, kick your toes toward the ceiling - not forward, but up, toward the ceiling. After the kick, pull back on the bar to fully extend your shoulders for the return swing.
The rearward swing will be essentially a reverse of the forward swing. On the downward swing, the shoulders should be fully extended and the body slightly arched. As the swing passes vertical, the body will hollow slightly, followed by a heel tap. After the heel tap, push down on the bar and hollow as the swing rises, then push against the bar to extend and prepare for the downward swing.
To get started, initiate the swing by lifting your legs upward and forward. Once you have a small swing going, start to work on the tap swing. Initially, just try to relax and feel the timing of the swing. Then, as your feel for the timing improves, you can begin to put more into the swing.
As your swing grows you will find it increasingly difficult to hang onto the bar at the end of the rearward swing. Your hands can slide around the bar only when your fingers are following away from the swing. Therefore, you must shift your grip at the end of every rearward swing. At the high point of the rearward swing there is a moment of weightlessness. This is the point when you should re-grasp the bar and prepare for your next swing.
In the extreme, this opening of the hands in the rearward swing can become a “peel”, an involuntary release of the bar that most gymnasts have experienced at one time or another. Peeling can be avoided with proper hand placements and gripping technique. Once your swings exceed horizontal, you will need to over-grip the bar at the end of the forward swing.
As you swing, allow your wrists to flex instead of allowing your hands to slide around the bar. Focus on keeping your fingers on top of the bar to avoid peeling. Gymnastics grips will help tremendously if you find it increasingly difficult to hang onto the bar. With grips it is possible to swing nearly to handstand in the forward swing without peeling in the rearward swing. The mechanics involved in the tap swing are primarily about timing. Once you’ve got the timing and mechanics down, you can generate a very large swing with very little effort. The tap swing eventually becomes a giant, which is a swing from handstand to handstand on a high bar, completely around the bar in either direction.
Next week, I’ll dive into the support swing.
Since being confirmed gluten intolerant and consequently giving up pasta completely – even as a cheat – I just was never jazzed about the idea of vegetables subbing as spaghetti. But I recently broke down, gave in and am really glad I did! Super easy, healthy, and bowl-licking good, I find myself making this more than I ever made its grain-based namesake. Is it pasta? No. But is it good? Yes! The trick to making this is a solid julienne peeler. I’m quite happy with my Kuhn Rikon; just make sure you get one with a good grip as whether you are strict Paleo, gluten intolerant, or just want a delicious and ridiculously easy side dish in a pinch, you may find yourself making zucchetti a lot!
This is for a single serving, but scales up well
- 1 medium zucchini, washed (no need to peel)
- olive oil
Julienne the zucchini, skin and all, as shown in photo above. Place in a pyrex or otherwise microwave safe bowl. No need to add anything else. Cover and cook at regular heat setting for two minutes. Test for doneness, drizzle with olive oil, dash on some salt, and enjoy plain or with any topping you might enjoy over pasta. (Told you this was easy!)
SALE ON CAVE APPAREL! ALL VINTAGE T-SHIRTS AND TANKS $10.00 each.
Congratulations to our Gymnastics Team for an incredibly successful season! Several gymnasts are headed to States next week! Stay tuned for more details.Kid’s Night Out
Saturday, March 22, 5:30-10:00PM
Enjoy an evening to yourself by dropping your children off at The Cave on Saturday, March 22nd, for Movie Night! Children will enjoy hours of games, a gluten free dinner, and watch a PG-rated movie!
Ages 5 and up.
Register NOW for $35
Day of Event for $45
Please contact Crystal at firstname.lastname@example.org
OR call 415-927-1630 to sign up now!
Are you looking for some fun activities to keep the family busy during the spring break? Our Spring Break Camps are perfect for any kid at any level! Kids love spending extra hours with their coaches or getting to know new ones.
Spring Break Camps:
Ninja: June 23-27
Team Gymnastics: June 30-July 3
Gymnastics: July 28- August 1
Youth Camp: August 4-8
Gymnastics: August 11-15
Parkour: August 18-22
This superbly healthy guilt-free snack can be eaten any time you need a quick boost of energy. Free of processed sugar, full of healthy carbs and a pinch of protein, it also makes a fantastic pre-work out food and is a great take-along treat to pack before dashing out to a busy day.
- 1.5 lbs sweet potatoes (about 2 medium)
- 1/2 cup brewer’s yeast (60g protein)
- 1/4 cup almond meal
- 1 plantain
- 1 cup firm packed kale (cooked or raw)
- 1 cup lose packed fresh cilantro
- 3 tablespoons fresh squeezed lime juice
- 1 clove minced garlic
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
Preheat oven to 375°.
Scrub potatoes and give each side a few jabs with a fork before placing in microwave to cook until soft – about 5 or 6 minutes turning them half way through.
When done, trim ends but do not peel. Slice and add with rest of ingredients to food processor.
Blend until everything is mixed thoroughly and of an even consistency.
Drop batter by tablespoon-fulls onto a parchment lined or lightly greased baking sheet. Place in oven and bake for approximately 15 minutes or until lightly browned.
These will keep a week or so in the fridge and will travel well with you as a snack to have on hand during the day when you need it.
You have now acquired a pair of rings. So, now what? You know what a muscle-up is, maybe you can do some dips on the things, but there’s got to be more, right? Absolutely! A pair of rings has limitless possibilities for training. Common exercises take on a whole new dimension when performed on the rings, and many ring exercises can be performed nowhere else.
A ring row is an excellent beginner drill to progress an individual toward pull-ups. Start with the rings at just above shoulder height. Grab the rings and lean back until your arms are straight, to place tension on the straps. Keep your body straight and tight and pull your shoulders to the rings. As strength increases, simply lower the rings so that your body is closer to being horizontal when you lean back.
Hang pull-through to skin the cat pull-out
A hang pull-through to skin the cat pull-out is a sequence of movements that works basically every muscle group from the mid-thigh up, while providing an excellent shoulder stretch as well. Starting in a hang and keeping your arms and legs straight, lift your toes up and back overhead, through a piked inverted hang. Then, continue to lower your toes slowly toward the floor behind you. This hanging position is called a skin the cat. At first you will want to practice this movement with the rings low enough so that you will be able to touch the floor with your feet as you lower toward the skin the cat position. This will enable you to safely get a feel for the movement. From the skin the cat position, lift your hips and pull out back through a piked inverted hang and lower to hang. Once you have some experience, you can raise the rings and lower into the skin the cat clear of the floor and then pull back out. Try to relax your shoulders at the bottom of the skin the cat to get a good stretch and truly find the bottom of your skin the cat. This skill works as an excellent part of a warm-up, or can be used in a conditioning set when done for repetitions’ even if you find one or two reps easy, they add up quickly as part of a workout.
Straight-body inverted hang
Straight-body inverted hangs require balance and constant stabilization. Simply hanging upside down with your toes pointed toward the ceiling will be a challenge for many people unfamiliar with being upside down. This drill helps to develop balance and control while inverted and also strengthens the rotator cuffs due to the constant stabilization required.
Pull-ups on the rings are more difficult than bar pull-ups for some, and easier for others. Some people who are unable to do pull-ups on a bar due to limited shoulder flexibility are able to do full range of motion pull-ups on rings. The freedom of movement allows the shoulders to align themselves in a comfortable way while doing the exercise.
Inverted pull-ups combine the stabilization requirements of an inverted hang with the conditioning load of a regular pull-up. Starting in a piked or straight-body inverted hang, pull up as high as you can and return to the start position. Be sure to practice these in both the straight and pike positions.
Pull-up to lever
A pull-up to lever sequence is a good starting point for developing a front lever. Starting in a bent-arm hang and keeping your body straight and tight, lift your toes and push the rings away to a front lever, then return to a bent-arm hang. The key to this exercise is to lift and push into the lever. Do not allow your shoulders to drop as your legs lift. Keep your shoulders as high as possible and push the rings downward. This makes the motion significantly easier and helps develop proper technique for the front lever.
A back lever is the easiest straight-body strength move in gymnastics. From a piked inverted hang, push your toes out directly toward the wall until you are just barely able to hold the position. Return to the pike. Work the back lever and push your limits until you are able to stop your body parallel with the ground. It is essential to actively tense your entire body when executing this skill. Squeeze your arms tight and press the rings inward, while simultaneously squeezing your heels together and keeping your butt tight. Finally, lower into the skin the cat and pull back up to inverted hang with a straight body.
There are several steps to help develop a front lever.
Step 1: Tucked front lever. Try to hold your torso parallel with the ground with both legs tucked. Be sure your arms are straight.
Step 2: Single leg front lever. Hold a front lever with one leg straight and the other leg bent so that your foot is next to your knee. Be sure to switch which leg is bent.
Step 3: Straddle front lever. Hold a front lever with your legs straddled as wide as possible. Gradually, bring your legs closer together as you build strength.
Step 4: Front lever. Following the above drills will bring you to the point where you can hold a stable, legs-together front lever.
Straight-body pull to skin the cat pull-out
A straight-body pull to skin the cat pull-out is identical to the hang pull to skin the cat pull-out with the exception that it will be done with a straight, rather than piked, body. With straight arms and a straight body, pull through a front lever to inverted hang, continue through back lever, and lower to skin the cat. Lift your heels and pull out, keeping your body straight, then roll through an inverted hang, lower through front lever, and return to hang.
A basic requirement for ring work is to obtain a solid, proper support in which your arms are straight, hips open, and chest up. The rings should be turned out between 15 and 45 degrees so that the insides of your elbows are facing forward. Before moving on to presses, rolls, or any other support work, you should be able to hold this position for a minimum of 15 seconds with little to no movement.
Start with the rings at about waist height. Perform push-ups on the rings. As strength increases, lower the rings until they are just above the floor; then, to make them more challenging, you can elevate your feet a little. To further increase difficulty, lean forward a little bit while you do the push-ups so that at the bottom of the push-up your hands are right next to your hips.
Perform dips just as you would on the parallel bars. At first, do whatever it takes to get the dips done. As your support gets stronger, work toward doing the dips with the rings turned out (palms forward) in the proper support position described above.
See issue Parallette Training - Volume 1 for progressions for an L-sit. The progressions on parallettes and rings are the same. The only stipulation on rings is that the arms and shoulders in the ring support should not change as you lift into the L-sit. Rings should still be turned out, and your head and chest up.
Hollow body training
Set up matting for this exercise. Set the rings a couple inches above the mat. Start in a push-up position, with hands on the rings and feet on the floor. Push the rings forward, maintaining a hollow body position, then pull back to a push-up position. Once this sequence is developed, you can continue past the push-up position and push the rings back toward your hips to work the planche position as well. Once some strength in the planche position has been developed, you can try, from the planche position, to push the rings out to the side a little and allow your body to drop down between your hands to train the maltese. Arms should be kept straight throughout this sequence. If you have to bend your arms to complete a motion, then start over and go only as far as you can while maintaining straight arms.
Forward roll to inverted hang
From an L-sit in support, lift your hips up behind you and bend your arms. Try to lift your hips up over your head. Once completely inverted, roll forward and let the rings turn out and you will end up in a piked inverted hang. In starting and teaching this skill, be sure to lift your hips at the beginning and do not dive your chest forward. This is a very common mistake and can lead to injury. It should be a very controlled lifting motion. The roll only occurs once the hips are directly above the head. If you can not reach this position, do not try to roll out just lower your hips and return to support. When first learning the skill, be sure to use a spotter.
Initiate a press to shoulder stand just like you did for the forward roll: start in an L-sit and lift your hips until they are directly over your head, but, now, instead of rolling forward, straddle and lift your legs until they hit the cables. Use the cables for stability and get comfortable in this position. If you fall too far forward, just roll out. Once you are stable upside down, you can bring your feet to the insides of the cables for minimal assistance, then bring your legs together and balance the shoulder stand free of the cables. Once you have a sense of the balance, try to press into the shoulder stand keeping your legs together throughout, then balance the shoulder stand, then lower back to support.
While maintaining a good support position, swing forward and backward. At first, it will be very difficult to maintain stability. Keep the rings turned out and try to keep your body straight. Resist the temptation to lift your toes and pike the hips in the front swing. Swing with your whole body straight. This exercise will greatly stabilize your support and build strength.
Bent-arm press to handstand
A bent-arm press to handstand is similar in technique to the press to shoulder stand. Start in an L-sit, and then lift your hips to the back and push the rings forward. When your hips are as close to directly above your shoulders as you can get them, straddle and lift your legs to the cables. Push your arms straight to reach a handstand. Once you have reached a handstand, work on stabilization and moving your feet to the insides of the cables. Try to then turn the rings out. The rings should be parallel with each other. Once this position is stable, try to hold the handstand free of the cables. Again, if you fall forward, simply roll out. As your press to handstand gets stronger, work toward performing the press with straight arms.
A muscle up is simply a combination of a pull-up and a dip, with the addition of a nasty little transition. A proper false grip and technique are essential to achieving the muscle up. For the false grip, place your hands in the position that they will be in when you reach the support. This means that your palms need to be on top of the inside of the rings from the beginning. To learn the false grip, place the rings at a bit below shoulder height. Open your hand completely and place the ring so it runs from the crook of your thumb to the opposite heel of your hand. Then grasp the ring and lower yourself down to hang from it. Once you have a good sense of the grip and can hang with both hands in false grips you can begin working toward the muscle-up. Start with the rings low so you can use your legs to assist yourself through the motion. When you are below the rings in the hang, you will want to have your legs a little bit in front of you. This will allow you to rotate over the rings through the transition. Start the pull and roll your shoulders over your hands, keeping your hands and elbows close to your body. Your elbows should travel in curves that are parallel with each other; they should not point outward at all. Once your shoulders are up over your hands, push up to support. Once you have a sense of the motion, try to do it without the leg assist. Think about pulling aggressively, getting through the transition quickly. As your muscle-up develops, you will find yourself able to hop through the transition.
Backward roll to support
A backward roll to support combines kinesthetic awareness, inversion, and great strength demands. Start from a hang with a false grip, pull your legs up and forward, roll over backward and push into a support. The keys to this skill are similar to those for a muscle-up: keep a good false grip, and keep the rings close to your body.
Kip to support
Start in a straight-body inverted hang. Pike down, and then quickly kick upward. Once your body has fully extended, sit up and try to catch up to your legs while pushing down on the rings. As you roll forward, keep pressure on the rings and finish in a support. The kipping motion can be practiced on a mat. Begin by lying on your back in a pike with your hands pointed toward the ceiling. Your weight should be on your upper back and shoulders. Kick your legs up and extend, then snap forward. There will be a moment when you are completely off the ground. Try to reach back with your hands and catch yourself in a rear support before your feet hit the ground.
By Roger Harrell.
Get your first muscle up or improve your efficiency? Come work with Roger Harrell, original CrossFit Gymnastics SME, for an hour refining your technique, or learning the proper progressions for developing a fantastic muscle up.
register here http://www.inthecave.com/events?eventid=127
Want to improve your running efficiency? Want to run faster?
Come to our Pose running seminar on March 15th 12:30-3:30pm
A 3 Hour running seminar to improve efficiency, reduce impact and increase speed
Click here to sign up or learn more
This week at The Cave:
CrossFit Open kickoff party - Friday February 21st @ 7pm
Come celebrate, learn and get motivated for the open! First workout announced on Feb 27: Click here for more information about why you should do the open!