Workout Wednesday - Getting Back to Gymnastics

Today's workout is a good one. It focuses on getting back into the swing of some of the more technical gymnastics with a bit of strength work in there. There are a few variations of this workout that you can do. The version that I originally came up with is simple.

12-minute AMRAP(As many reps as possible.)

8 Toes to bar

8 Pistol squast

8 Handstand push-ups

This is the base workout.

But this can be done by everyone, me included. So I will go through a few variations that adapt the workout wit the same level of intensity and skill level to keep it as close to RX as possible.

To start, you can always change the toes to bar for V-sits. during quarantine, this is a great alternative for toes to bar when you don't have a rig. It helps generate a lot of power out of the bottom of the kip so that you can maintain that skill without using a rig. It also can be completed a little faster than a regular TTB resulting in more of an aerobic effect having a bigger impact on your cardiovascular capacity.

Pistol squast is a movement that can be done by RX athletes so I will explain a scaling option with later on.

The handstand push-ups have a few different options that you can do. The version that I used was 4 strict DB shoulder press on each side. This was a good option for me as I did not have a wall to handstand push up against. It meant that I was working on shoulder strength and stability while still maintaining a similar pace that would match handstand push up speed. I would recommend using a 22.5kg dumbbell for men and a 15kg for women.

Another option would be pike push-ups. This is an amazing option, it a great chance to practise that strict motion without having a wall to do handstands on. These are usually used as a progression for handstand push-ups but in terms of shoulder strength, I would say it has a similar effect as kipping handstand push-ups. I know people that struggle to do 3 or 4 pike push-ups properly but can kipping push up fine.

So if you are doing this RX lets build a game plan. There are two main approaches you can take.

The first and hardest is to treat this WOD as an EMOM. This is a good approach for anyone that is very good at pistols. The pistols can make or break this WOD. If you have to spend a lot of time to set up for each rep then you will struggle to keep up a fast pace. This is not a gassy workout it is a muscular endurance workout. Try and move steadily through the whole workout and push at a pace that keeps you on the edge of failure. but as soon as you pass that point it will start to hurt.

The second option is to pace the WOD around your weaknesses. If you struggle with handstand push-ups then pace accordingly have a fast pace on your toes to bar and transition straight into your pistols. Move a little slower on your pistols and to keep your heart rate down and then concentrate on your handstands. This applies to any of the movements. The goal is to go unbroken so pace yourself to achieve that goal.

If you are looking to scale the movements keep this in mind. Although the goal is to keep unbroken through the workout that doesn't mean that you don't push yourself to try moments that you struggle with. Give yourself a challenge and have a go at doing at least a few of the movements unbroken.

To scale to toes to bar you can either do the v-sits like mentioned before or you can keep it simple and do sit-ups. this way you will still get a good core workout and have a pace that will be similar to toes to bar.

Pistol squats have a good few options. The first drop-down would be target pistols. place something under your but at around parallel one-legged squat down to the target and stand back up. Try your best to not sit on the target just touch it and if needed you can use your hands to stabilise.

The next options for the pistols are to do assisted pistols. This can be done with either a post or band. with a post pistol squat down next to the post at the bottom you can use the post to stabilise yourself using the post and even use it as a boost to get yourself back up again. Using the band is very similar. Attach your band to a post and hold onto it during the motion this is a bit harder than just using a post put is a good way to stabilise yourself while still getting full range of motion.

The next option is normal squats. By this, I mean two-legged. The first option would be a goblet squast. This can be done with a kettlebell or dumbbell and if you are using a bell for the handstand you can use the same weight. For men, you can use either a 22.5kg dumbbell or a 24kg kettlebell and Women can use a 15kg dumbbell or 16 kg kettlebell.

Last but not least, the handstands. This is nice and simple you can do press-ups as a substitute. This will still build tricep strength for your handstand push-ups and keep you moving a slightly faster pace but that's ok. if you do find press-ups easy give the pike push-ups a try and see how you fare.

Like I have mentioned, the goal for this workout is to go unbroken. This is a good challenge as it means that you have to adapt your pace to achieve this goal. Don't rush the start and try your best to keep the pace consistent through the rounds if you want to go faster make that decision after round 2 or three. At this point, you will have your pace figured out.

Give this WOD a try and see what happens. I got 10 rounds and 9 reps. I lost the EMOM pace towards the end due to the pistol squast but I think I could get a better score if I tried to pace the first few rounds a little bit better so that the pistol squast didn't get to me as much.

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