hlr on rings

ali

Level 7 Valued Member
Ladies and Gents, I've been playing around with some very light additional strength moves, just practicing, playing, see what I can do/can't do as I'm doing S&S primarily. On rings, I can do L-sits holds above the rings, tight, arms external rotated, all good. L-sit below the rings and hold too. However when I try to go higher with my legs to touch the rings or close to them, which I can do but I lose the straight arms and in so doing pull with my arms rather than the lats....and then my back rounds. I don't have a bar, only rings. Whilst there is more play on the rings is it better then just to keep the legs to an l-sit rather than lose form going higher? I know, well remember Pavel saying, about doing hanging leg raises from an old fashioned ladder wall where you can grip with back supported to avoid a back bend to develop greater leg raise strength....hence why I think it may be as well to keep them lower. And when I've done them that way don't get anywhere near elevated, only to just over 90. Any pros and cons? I can go up to an inverted straight hang, but it is more momentum and bad form I think rather than strength and technique. Many thanks
 

305pelusa

Level 6 Valued Member
Hey, I've done a bit of work with gymnastics strength training, so hopefully this can be somewhat helpful.
First off, great work with the L-sit above rings. It's actually a very hard skill, especially with the rings turned out as you did them. I'm amazed S&S got you to that level of strength.

Anyways, back rounding is perfectly ok with HLRs, at least all the way up. In fact, it's necessary. You won't get into a deep pike with a straight back. Arm bending, however, is not good. One thing that can help you is Front Lever work (tucked and Adv. Tucked). This will build a good straight arm pull base. The fact that you also have some issues pulling to an inverted hang tells me the same thing. I've worked with FLs for a while before HLRs, and I've never had issues with bent arms. You can keep doing HLRs to parallel meanwhile I suppose.

The last piece of the puzzle is that even if you do keep arms straight and legs straight, a HLRs all the way will usually have a lot of "lat lean". This refers to leaning back (shoulder angle closes) in order to get the legs up. The ladder you refer to PREVENTS lat leaning so all the foot height you get comes from hip flexion (this is why you can't do HLRs on the ladder perhaps). To solve this, you'd be wise to add in plenty of pike and hamstring stretching, plus HLR negatives from all the way up.

So FL work to fix arm bending. And if you CAN use the ladder set-up, do. It will keep you honest from that cheeky lat lean. It will be frustrating at first because you won't get all the way up as in freestanding rings BUT in the long run, a good idea.
 

Steve Freides

Staff
Senior Certified Instructor
Elite Certified Instructor
Alistair, have you read Pavel's latest ab book, Hard Style Abs? If not, please do. It's got tons of good instruction on the hanging leg raise, which is what you're trying to do.

It's definitely harder on the rings, so I would try the progressions shown in the book, which start on the ground with a stick, and then I'd look for a bar. If you don't have a bar, find a playground, park, or tree branch of suitable size.

As to "lat lean," don't worry about it at all for now except as instructed in the book. Follow the HLR instructions in the book (some of which will help minimize lat lean) learn to do it as instructed, and then and only then concern yourself with harder versions like using stall bars to prevent lat lean and/or doing it on the rings.

Stretch first - toe touches and anything else that stretches hamstrings and back.

-S-
 

ali

Level 7 Valued Member
Guys, great, thank you...

305.....I've played with rings prior to S&S with l-sits but much more stable now. I keep my hand in so to speak by doing some quick l-sits making tea off the kitchen worktop and really screwing down the hands. I wouldn't say I have perfect form but I'm more stable on rings than I was, so yes, those get ups I guess. Figured I was losing the straight arm so thanks for your suggestion towards front lever. I'm not intending to programme any thing for s specific practice or skill as I don't want to whack myself out too much....hence a little here and there, so it's good to know where I should look for improvements.

Steve.....as ever, thanks again. More books to buy and digest. I'll check it out. Seems a stick has many uses..

Great, all clearer in my mind, cheers
 

305pelusa

Level 6 Valued Member
Hey Steve, just curious, what makes you say it’s harder on rings? I’ve found skills where your COM is below the rings to be pretty much equal in difficulty with bar, or rings. Front levers, back levers, leg raises and pull-ups. There’s slightly more stabilization required, but it’s so minimal because the COM is below the rings. Seems to me like a waste of time to look for a bar. Interesting you’ve found had a different experience.

I haven’t read Hardstyle Abs, so perhaps the advice is different there. I followed this guide from Sommers from DD, a while back when Pavel asked Coach to write one. He explains the development of the HLR (might be helpful for the OP):
http://www.dragondoor.com/articles/developing-the-hanging-leg-lift/
In it, Sommers is very adamant of minimizing lean to make sure work is done as much as possible by the legs and trunk. Closing of the shoulder angle is compensation for lack of hip mobility and strength.

If your HLRs look like you’re in a Front Lever-ish position, then what’s the point of the exercise anyways? Seems to me like lat lean should be minimized from the very beginning. With that in mind, stall bars should be used from the beginning (ideally). I’d like to know why you advice to train with little focus on the lat lean, and only THEN think about developing it well on stall bars. Won’t that just groove the incorrect pattern?

Not trying to be belligerent at all. I just learned this more with a gymnastics focus. So now I’m interested in why SFG does it differently, is all! Thanks!
 

Steve Freides

Staff
Senior Certified Instructor
Elite Certified Instructor
305pelusa, Mr. Sommers knows his stuff, but he is addressing a different audience, one with much higher expectations. Any gymnast want to be able to do a stall bar HLR, but it will be forever beyond the grasp of many an average Joe and Jane, IMHO, while the pullup bar version is achievable and still excellent exercise. There is definitely still a point to it - if these are easy for you, it might be hard to see the point, but there is absolutely a point.

With the bar, you can try to "break the bar" - it gives you something to work against, allowing you to build up more total tension. At least that has been my experience but I'm happy to be wrong here.

Take a look at some of the pictures of the HLR top position in HardStyle Abs - without stall bars, some leaning back is unavoidable once your legs pass horizontal.

-S-
 

305pelusa

Level 6 Valued Member
Thank you for the response. It makes sense what you say. What I meant to say is that leaning back as a form of compensation is generally not ideal. I can't do a gymnast-level HLR, but I still try to put constant focus on compressing as much as possible to reach my hands, instead of on pulling down. I feel it is a good idea to have this mentality. Yeah, you might have some unavoidable lean, especially without a stall bar, but being aware of where you want to get the ROM from is a good thing no?


That said, lat lean is probably worse when we are tired. When I do higher-rep HLRs, as I fatigue, I'll tend to lean back more and more. Being cognizant of when this is happening is good, because it tells you to terminate the set, as you are compensating a movement with another.

BTW, I looked at Pavel doing HLRs. They look pretty good. I'm realistically aiming for mine to look like that (I still have a bit to go).

Cheers!
 

ali

Level 7 Valued Member
305.....thanks for the link...it reminded me that I do have Chris Sommer's book! Doh.
I would have asked here anyway as the hlr in the book is as the progression you linked to ie with a stall bar, ladder thing. So my question was really geared towards experienced users for a pro and con answer....which I received very nicely thanks.
I use a gym occassionally, not for a while, as I've said it really is S&S full on at the moment....hence why I know how hard it is for me to keep a straight back because they have one at the gym...it is a gymnastic type gym, full height rings, tumble track, pommmel horse etc. I went there to do ring practice and muscle up practice as I can;t get full height from my make shift conservatory rafter. Hence why I can practice above the rings but from a low position without the need to muscle up....which is probably what you are thinking I can do....and I can't, yet. I'd imagine that once above with the muscle up, getting stable would be more an issue whereas I can do it from low rings and gain that stable, external rotated position with the arms from the start.....think it makes it a lot, lot easier. Oddly it was one of those things I could do fairly easily - I used to do them as a kid, maybe some distant muscle memory thing. I like ring work but haven't really got stuck into for a while. It's good just to dabble to see where I've gained or lost anything....and have to say it is all gain with S&S.
 
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