I have been in my gymnastics coaching role for 12 months. Even though coaching seems to be predominantly teaching, I have found that it is more about learning.
I learn from my mentors.. Kat and Ev teach me in depth about the "why" behind what we do. They also help me develop my coaches eye for gymnastics movements.
My clients force me to learn, grow and adapt very quickly. If they don't understand the way I have presented something I need to re-frame for them. The same approach doesn't always work for each client in a group, so I have to be prepared to change my approach with each individual.
Finally, my own journey of skill acquisition teaches me lessons everyday!
Since October 2017 it has been my goal to be able to do a Handstand walkover. After testing the skill initially, I realised my thoracic and shoulder mobility would need to improve dramatically if I was to achieve my goal.
I took it down the very basics, I did all the exercises that we prescribe for our squad groups for warm up and shoulder pre-habilitation.
Week 1 included the S-Wave, I have known for a long time that I am a lot more limited on one side compared to the other. My end goal was not to improve my s-wave specifically, but it happened :)
Based on the feedback and questions I received after my instagram post, I know this is a huge issue for many of our readers also.
These are the main changes I made that contributed to my results:
- FRC (functional range conditioning) exercises. We use the FRC approach in our squad groups, particularly for warm ups.
The aim of FRC (functional range training) is to expand the body's range of motion and teach the nervous system how to control that new range.
It focuses on learning how to move a joint independently before dependently.
Eg- you should be able to move your wrist independently, without having to rely on your elbow or shoulder joint to help you with the desired action.
It has helped me understand the importance of how my joint is supposed to move compared to how it moves now. So now, I really know where my limitations are.
The FRC exercises I incorporated were wrist CARs, face down shoulder CARs and thoracic CARs in a kneeling position with my elbows raised on a box.
- The swimmer exercise- I made this more challenging by using a dumbbell as an obstacle. It acted as a reminder to lift my arm up as high as I could. Actively expanding my range of motion.
- Additionally, I progressed with very strict form on my upper body pulling and pushing and diligently worked through my walk over progressions which included back bridges.
1. My hands can now make contact in the s-wave! The new range of motion feels incredible. Check it out here.
2. I have noticed a decrease in my pins and needles (could also be from my increase in swimming) and more ease in moving my arms overhead.
3. My left wrist does not hurt any more. Previously I had pain when I did high volume gymnastics and CrossFit work.
4. Improved active range of motion in wrist extension.
5. Better alignment in my handstand- more shoulder and thoracic range for a better position and more stability through my shoulders.
6. Better receiving position in my muscle ups and rings dips.
By doing something every day, it becomes a habit. Consistency is key - 5 minutes every day is all I did. Sometimes on my own, when I was coaching at Crossfit class, or a Dalecki Strength program. Now I even add it into my one on one sessions with clients.
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