Suggestions for low-ceiling programs

kb1973

Level 1 Valued Member
Hi all, for COVID & other reasons I'd rather exercise at home than a gym for the next few months. I'm in a cold climate (so outdoors is impractical) and I have low ceilings, so I can't do many classic overhead KB moves like the press, TGU, and snatch right now, nor pullups.

But all forms of squats, swings, cleans, etc. are fine, plus things like rows, low moves like a half-kneeling press or partial getup, and of course pushups or the like.

I tend to like pre-written programs that last 3-4 weeks. Has anyone written up programs that are specifically targeted towards low ceilings? I mean, I could take existing programs and then just make my own substitutions, but I might not do it optimally, e.g., in terms of figuring out exactly how many reps at what RM half- kneeling press (let alone pushups) is the "equivalent" to a program intended for single or double KB presses.
 

Chrisdavisjr

Level 7 Valued Member
You could do "Q and D" with push-ups and swings.
Great idea!

Is training outdoors an option? Plenty you can do there (although I wouldn't recommend get-ups outdooors as a general rule).

Kneeling presses or lunges with a press at the bottom might be worth trying. Gets you some of the benefit of a get-up without risking putting a hole in the ceiling.
 

Boris Bachmann

Level 6 Valued Member
Any program substituting tall (or half) kneeling for regular presses would probably be fine as long as you modify the load appropriately.
 

barrak

Level 6 Valued Member
Hi all, for COVID & other reasons I'd rather exercise at home than a gym for the next few months. I'm in a cold climate (so outdoors is impractical) and I have low ceilings, so I can't do many classic overhead KB moves like the press, TGU, and snatch right now, nor pullups.

But all forms of squats, swings, cleans, etc. are fine, plus things like rows, low moves like a half-kneeling press or partial getup, and of course pushups or the like.

I tend to like pre-written programs that last 3-4 weeks. Has anyone written up programs that are specifically targeted towards low ceilings? I mean, I could take existing programs and then just make my own substitutions, but I might not do it optimally, e.g., in terms of figuring out exactly how many reps at what RM half- kneeling press (let alone pushups) is the "equivalent" to a program intended for single or double KB presses.
Turn your problem into an opportunity: TGUs with a press at every stage, except you keep the bell racked during the lunge to stand and back. A waiter's carry outdoors should wrap it up nicely... maybe a few pauses for presses.
 

wespom9

Level 6 Valued Member
Certified Instructor
Can you expand on your strength levels in typical lifts (swings, presses, get ups) or the lifts you intend to do, what equipment you have, and time commitment?
 

oab

Level 1 Valued Member
Already mentioned by others:
- tall kneeling or kneeling lunge position for overhead movements.
- motions where KB remains at shoulder height or lower (eg swings, cleans, floor press).
- modified versions like the TGU held in rack as you stand up.

Also:
Barbell: Bench press, deadlift, squats, cleans, loaded carries.

Body weight progressions:
eg pushups, one hand pushups and so on ala Naked Warrior book. These can be weighted, if needed eg weighted vest.
eg like one legged deadlifts and squats type movements. These can be weighted if needed
eg horizontal rows (Australian pullups, as some call them). These can be weighted if needed
eg pullups done in a hanging knee raise position - this will also let you hang to help retain overhead range. HLRs might be an option if you are up to that stage.

You can use modified versions of quite a few conventional programs (eg S&S, NW, PTTP) if you are able to work out the mods. Or depending on what gear you have you might combine KB and body weight.

You will also need to address mobility and range of motion (eg Pumps and yoga downward dogs, hangs) to help retain overhead range as the low ceiling exercise mods could mean such aspects could be neglected if not programmed in. If it all seems too complicated then you could consider getting some help from an SF coach ie to set up program and check exercise form. It would be a good idea to show your final template to someone.
 

kb1973

Level 1 Valued Member
Can you expand on your strength levels in typical lifts (swings, presses, get ups) or the lifts you intend to do, what equipment you have, and time commitment?
I meant the question in the general sense (not necessarily for me specifically) but since you asked:

Equipment: After a long time training mostly at my local YMCA, which had plenty of overhead space but KBs that topped out at 50lbs. (meaning I was never able to actually get to the Simple level because I ran out of weight), I bought a set of bells for my basement. I now have a good collection!
2x16kg, 1x20kg, 2x24kg, and 1x32kg [I bought the 32kg in the hope of working up to Simple this summer when I can train outdoors].

Strength levels -- nothing to brag about.
Lifts that I can do with my low ceiling:
Double swing: 2x24kg for 10 or so reps per set
Double clean: I recently completed a Geoff Neupert program where I was doing double cleans with the 2x24kg but I probably should have gone lighter. 2x20kg would have probably been a good fit.
I could probably do about 5 or so reps of a 1x16kg half-kneeling press. haven't tested RMs for various other forms of seated or kneeling presses.
I also haven't tested RMs for single or double KB squats, but obviously I have plenty of options.

When I have overhead space (which, to be clear, I don't in my basement):
Double press: 2x16kg for 8 reps
I haven't done get ups in a little while but let's say 24kg x 10 (i.e., 5 each side alternating).
Snatch: I would use 1x16kg and go for volume. I can snatch 1x20kg if needed but then I don't get as many reps. I haven't really tried to double snatch.

Time commitment: Let's say 45min/day of actual work (i.e. not counting warmup) on weekdays, and longer if needed on weekends.

Any insights appreciated!
 

Kozushi

Level 7 Valued Member
You can still certainly do the S&S swings - 100 1h swings a day.
As some are saying, you can still do the TGUs. I have never done them like they are saying so I don't know what they are like.
If it was me, I'd replace the TGUs with some kind of pushups, probably 100 full pushups, preferably with pushup handles to get more range and to keep engaging the grip.
The swings are 80% of S&S anyhow. The TGUs are ideal perhaps as a free weight move, but switching them out for a good bodyweight push (could be dips too of course) makes sense to me.
More advancedly, one could work at one arm pushups.

Oh, another idea is to do rack carries instead of the TGUs. This might entail 30 seconds per arm, walking in a circle around the room, or some other path, working up to 5 walks per arm. I did this when I had injured my shoulders doing 1 arm chinups.
 

pet'

Level 8 Valued Member
Hello,

I would also go for TGU with press at each step. Even like so, a 24kg will feel heavy…

Otherwise, I echo @Kozushi 's idea. Depending on the day, if pressing strength is an "issue" or a goal, it remains possible to use several variations: handle (as already mentioned), weighted, OA, etc...

Kind regards,

Pet'
 
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