Simonster is an incredible athlete with tremendous strength and control over his body! Check out his super planche skills below!
Calisthenics predominantly centres around horizontal and vertical postures. The handstand, planche, front and back levers, and human flag are all examples of such postures. Often neglected is the continuum of postures between each 90 degree interval. To maximise versatility and improve transitions, it important to address the range of movement between fundamental shapes. Here, I’m demonstrating the continuum of associated postures of the human flag
ACTIVE VERSUS PASSIVE RANGE OF MOVEMENT To maximize safety and utility of a joint, it is important to be able to actively control the joint through the full available range of motion. To facilitate this, when you stretch to improve the range of a muscle/s, don’t forget to strengthen the antagonist (opposing) muscle/s through the newly available range. Two examples of the importance of active strength at end range of movement can be demonstrated using the skill of a stalder press to handstand. Without active strength of shoulder flexion, the shoulders will close and one will fall towards the position of a planche rather than a handstand. Without active strength of hip flexion, one cannot compress enough for the feet to clear the floor. Here demonstrating a method for actively improving shoulder flexion at end range. ? @byjustdave
MECHANICAL ADVANTAGE PUSH-UP The mechanical advantage push-up a great exercise for maximising planche push-up strength, while also improving your straight arm strength. This exercise involves moving between an easier variation at the top and a more difficult progression at the bottom, as we are naturally stronger at the bottom of a planche push-up. By doing this, you better match the strength curve of a planche push-up, training and maximizing strength gains throughout the whole range of movement.
SCAPULA POSITION In calisthenics, the position of the scapulae (shoulder blades) plays a significant role in determining the stability of the shoulder joint as well as the aesthetics of skills. The four primary stabilizing muscles of the shoulder joint (rotator cuff) all originate from the shoulder blade. Without a stable scapula position, these muscles do not have a secure anchor upon which to perform their primary function. As a general rule, to optimize shoulder stability and general aesthetics, the intended scapula position should be the opposite of what gravity would cause if shoulder musculature was relaxed in that position. For example, in a planche, in the absence of muscle tension, gravity would cause the chest to drop toward the ground (scapula retraction). Therefore, the desired scapula position is protraction (pushing the chest as far from the floor as possible). When hanging from a bar, naturally the shoulder blades elevate relative to body position as gravity “lengthens” the body. Therefore, the shoulder blades should be depressed (pulled down) when performing pull-ups. Using the same principle, one will find the desired scapula positions in handstand and front lever are elevation and retraction, respectively. In addition to improving appearance and shoulder health, applying this principle has the added benefit of enhancing training outcomes. By fighting against gravity, you are training muscles of the scapula, which would otherwise not be stimulated with the same exercise. As always, feel free to ask or discuss anything related to this post in the comments section.