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Bodyweight BODYWEIGHT.... what are you all working on or interested in?

mvikred

Level 5 Valued Member
Certified Instructor
Hello Bodyweight enthusiast and Instructors -
Hope you all are doing fabulous.
Been a bit since Ive been active on the forum or writing article which use to be a monthly task. This has been a busy year as my only child heading off to college this next week. :confused: new stage/journey.
Any way - I wanted to see how everyone is doing, what you are working on and what you are interested in learning? This will help with the inspiration for the next SFB article/s.
Thanks in advance and look forward to hearing from you guys.
Karen
Great to see you more active once again. Doing a pistol has been one of my goals for quite some time but I haven't done anything dedicated to achieve the same. Started at the beginning of the year and then decided to hold it until I get my SFG1. Now that I have I am contemplating on doing SFB (scheduled for March 2023 in India). For that I definitely need to lose weight and work on the skills needed to pass that cert.

So since last week I started with the pistol training and also started with something that will help me shed some weight. Simultaneously I am also working improving my mobility which definitely has a lot (a lot) of room for improvement.

Like Ryan mentioned above, a SFB prep guide would be absolutely helpful.
 

Karen Smith

Level 6 Valued Member
Master Certified Instructor
Elite Certified Instructor
Iron Maiden
Where Can i find All Karens articles?
go to the articles here on the website and enter Karen Smith in the article search. You can also just google my name or Coach Karen Smith and lots of other things will pop up (website, podcast interviews, articles, social media and ebook programs ) - Thank you for the interest in my content.
 

Karen Smith

Level 6 Valued Member
Master Certified Instructor
Elite Certified Instructor
Iron Maiden
Ok... let me start by saying thank you for all the replies so far. I have made a list and will do my best to answer as many of your post/question in this one reply and then can begin add other into to the content I will begin working on.
1. the BW course - It is an instructional guide but as for teaching programming, that is what we cover at the certification.
2. Where to begin if new to bodyweight - I would recommend picking 1-2 skill and do them in a GTG fashion.
3. How to add to Kettlebell training - There are many ways, however I do have an Ebook on my website that is called REFINE that is kettlebell intensive with some BW included (70 pages, 3 levels each is 6 weeks long, and videos etc)
4. SFB Prep Guide - this is something I can begin to work on in greater detail, but for now if you search the website for my articles you will find lots of tutorials on the different skills PLUS a free program for the OA/OAOL Pushup. Many have used that to help prepare for the certification.
5. Progressions to use - There are many, the best thing to do when trying to determine what progress is to test your baseline for the desired skill and the select according to your current skill level.
6. Flexibility/Mobility and Stability - These are very often the limiting factors when I assess students that are wanting to gain new skills (even strength skills) If the body is restricted in different areas then the body will find ways to compensate.
7. TENSION - This is KEY for all of the SFB skills and discussed/taught in GREAT detail at the SFB.
8. How to maintain after achieved - Honestly once you OWN the strength and proper technique of a movement, in. most cases it is fairly easy to maintain while working other skills (just work it a few times a week in a GTG fashion.
9. Lower body and using adductors - I would recommend looking at my Instagram as I post a tremendous amount of lower body training there in my reels/videos. @_coach_karen_
10. Other questions /coaching - feel free to email me directly karensmithmsfg@gmail.com

If I didn't answer your question here yet - I will continue to look back incase I missed something or it will be added to my list for article and content.
Thanks again and keep them coming. Hope to see you all at an SFB or SFGI/II that I am teaching in the future.
I'm off to train, chat will you all again soon
-Karen
 

dobie

Level 5 Valued Member
Karen,
I started doing single leg kb deadlift contra lateral two weeks ago. Thank you for the video and thoughts around this movement. I’m only using 20 pounds now, incredibly difficult move to execute properly. I started doing them because of a nagging left hip issue. Your kickstand deadlift idea excellent as well!
 

3letterslong

Level 6 Valued Member
5. Progressions to use - There are many, the best thing to do when trying to determine what progress is to test your baseline for the desired skill and the select according to your current skill level.
Thanks for the response, but I realize I should have chosen my words differently. I forgot that in calisthenics "progression" usually refers to the series of exercises used to build up strength.

Usually, calisthenics trainers talk about increasing volume, density, etc. There aren't a lot of people who talk in depth about the progressive overload of tension, which usually only gets mentioned briefly as a technique to get past sticking points, and I think that's what's drawn me to your articles because you seem to use these techniques as a systematic form of progressive overload. So I'd eagerly scoop up anything you have to say about your use of partial, negatives and isometrics to progressively increase tension capabilities because you seem to use those techniques a lot more than most other calisthenics people.
 

Lotto

Level 5 Valued Member
@Karen Smith I purchased your banded training program. Fantastic and a real treasure trove. If it is within your skill set, something similar with ring work I would purchase for sure.
 

silveraw

Level 7 Valued Member
I would recommend looking at my Instagram as I post a tremendous amount of lower body training there in my reels/videos. @_coach_karen_
Any chance I could talk you into cross posting those to your youtube as shorts or something? When I was working on bodyweight stuff your youtube channel was invaluable and a great repository of info.
 

guardian7

Level 6 Valued Member
Hello Bodyweight enthusiast and Instructors -
Hope you all are doing fabulous.
Been a bit since Ive been active on the forum or writing article which use to be a monthly task. This has been a busy year as my only child heading off to college this next week. :confused: new stage/journey.
Any way - I wanted to see how everyone is doing, what you are working on and what you are interested in learning? This will help with the inspiration for the next SFB article/s.
Thanks in advance and look forward to hearing from you guys.
Karen

Dear Karen,

Thanks for the offer. Here are some possible topics.

1. Testing for strength, mobility, or flexibility deficits.

A number of bodyweight movements can be difficult due to strength, mobility, or flexibility issues. However, it is hard to assess the problem and tell which is holding you back. Sometimes regressions are not enough and taking apart the movement, working on weaknesses and coming back to the movement may be more effective. I would like to know more about tests to tell what is the limiting factor.

Examples,

I am having difficulty with touching my neck/chest to the bar for the tactical pushup. I can't do one. I can do 6 high quality pullups with chin well over the bar with a thumbless grip, "not a reaching neck." I am doing inverted rows and thoracic opening exercises but I am still finding it hard to figure out what I need. I have done the bodyweight seminar and could not do it then. I can touch a dowel to my chest in the prone position.

L-sit

This is such a great exercise because it has so many prerequisites. Doing gymnastics scales may reveal if you have weak hip flexors in raising the leg.

Pistol squat

To what extent are ankle mobility and balance issues a factor to work on. How can we tell?

Of course, practicing the full or regressed movement will help but it doesn't seem to be the most efficient way toward difficult bodyweight skills for a certain segment of the population like myself in my 50s with a sedentary job.

2. Body type and form

There is increasing recognition that people have differences in Anthropometry and Biomechanics. Rather than perfect form "perfect for you" form may be a valuable concept. For example, variation in deep squat postion. Sex is only one factor. Limb length, height, etc. Are there useful guidelines? I recognize it is a difficult question. In deadlift dynamite there is a brief discussion of body and personality type and choice of conventional or sumo.

3. Strength stretching

What movements deliver strength and flexibility movements at the same time? Pavel mentions this concept somewhere. cossack squat, one leg deadlift, backward lunge, hindu pushups etc. Kenny Croxdale mentioned this in the forum recently.

4. Isometrics

Gymnasts use a lot of isometrics. I have been holding myself in the upper dip position for time. This and other straight arm strength movements greatly benefit the biceps, triceps, and core and helps pullups. What isometric exercises do you recommend as supplementary to working on difficult bodyweight progressions?

5. Clarification of GTG

I notice that Pavel recommends GTG for exercises that never go past five: difficult progressions toward one arm pushups, for example. However, I often see GTG mentioned for high rep/volume pushups (divided in half of RM). Clearly both work but clarifying the different approaches to GTG might be interesting.

6. Antagonistic stretching and activation exercises

There seems to be some evidence that stretching antagonist muscles to the exercise one is currently doing can be helpful, but stretching the muscles you are working on between sets can decrease performance. Kenny Croxdale mentioned this recently. What bodyweight exercises are good for activation for other lifts? Hip bridge before deadlift, for example. Is the concept of activation exercises (not the same as warmup) valid? Does it depend on the experience of the lifter? How would that apply to bodyweight exercises?

7. Helping our elders

How can we further regress our favorite exercises to help our aging parents or those just starting in fitness? Help them work on balance etc. A step up from physiotherapy and not a substitute for rehabilitation or injury, assuming no serious pain or medical conditions, just advanced aging. This could also be useful for those recovering from injury and cleared to start training.

8. Underrated or neglected bodyweight exercises

Without going full calisthenics and sticking within the Strongfirst paradigm. Dips, inverted rows, etc.

I have gotten better results by combining bodyweight, barbell, and KB and am interested in learning more about bodyweight. I have taken the bodyweight course and there were useful concepts that complement all lifts.
 
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MikeL

Level 5 Valued Member
At the moment I am integrating BW work into my barbell programming. I’m using Pistols, SLDL, dips and pull ups.

I had amazing results with focused BW only work a couple of years ago. HSPU, OAPU, pull ups and pistols with various set and rep schemes. I built up from 3 reps of OAPU to multiple sets of 10 over 7 months and my max reps was higher still (though I tried to stay intelligent).

Unfortunately I came home and hurt my shoulder with OAPU. It’s taken a long time to get back to pressing horizontally. I’d love to get back to OAPU. Any ideas on how to reintegrate the movement appropriately if trying to “reestablish the skill” would be great?
 

Ege

Level 5 Valued Member
I wanted to see how everyone is doing, what you are working on and what you are interested in learning?

Hi Karen;

It’s a pleasure to hear that you will be more active here in the forum.

I am working on my mobility issues by using a mobility focused program while using GTG OAPU progressions and GTG Dead hangs to build my strength.

Your articles are in deep detail, and very high quality.

I will throw in my “personal” questions as a novice.

- Though it might sound funny, and many people might not need such reference points, I would love to learn more on BW strength and mobility standards from you point of view if such a thing is possible. Should a novice work on NW till he/she achieves OAPU and Pistol squat and then move on to Pull ups ? Etc. Is there a roadmap in your mind for calisthenics journey.

- Posterior chain training recommendations for any calisthenics practitioner, could be calisthenics, or KBs, or barbells.

- What are some calisthenic skills that we should be aware of increased injury possibility if done wrongly. Ie are pistols executed wrongly bad for your back? Are pull ups potentially bad for your elbows and what to do to avoid risks.

- How important is the lateral side of our bodies? Should we use side planks to keep a healthy over all body.

- How can we use calisthenics as a conditioning tool. What might be your recommendations of exercises, principles etc. I don’t know even what is “conditioning” exactly and if we really need it. Or is it just strength and cardio that someone needs to be healthy.



Best;

Ege
 

Wifi

Level 1 Valued Member
In NW, IIRC Pavel states that OAOLPU and pistols cover everything besides the calves and the pulling muscles of the lower back. Calves are easy to hit without equipment, but how would you work the pulling muscles without any equipment? Would weighted pistols be any different?
 

Wifi

Level 1 Valued Member
Interesting, I had always thought of pullups as a shoulder/upper back pulling excercise, never thought it would get the low back. Thanks!
 
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