T Nation

Gymnists' Backs

I just finished reading the “All Muscle, No Iron” thread from awhile back. Good stuff.

http://www.T-Nation.com/readTopic.do?id=512003&pageNo=2

As much as gymnists’ back development is praised, is there any major drawback to training one’s back like a gymnist? For example, does the excessive amount of pulling they do (chins, pull-ups, muscle-ups etc.) cause gymnists’ lats to be horribly disproportionate to the rest of back, negitively affecting their posture? Also, I’m assuming that gymnists don’t do deadlifts, so what do they do to work their spinal erectors? Bridging, Backflips??? (j/k)

Does anyone have any insight on this?

Hi Aristrocrat,

I am by no means an expert on this subject, but I myself have been incorporating Gymnastics movements (static holds mainly) into my workouts for some time now.

Your question about a muscle inbalance and it’s effect on posture is a common one. Honestly, I do see some gymnasts with poor posture, but then there are also gymnasts with good posture. So I don’t think you can really say that the training creates bad posture.

As I said I have been training front levers, iron crosses, 1-arm chin-ups, muscle ups, and a bunch of other pulling movements (like front lever pull-ups); but my posture hasn’t deteriorated at all. I of course have also been doing a fair share of pushing movements to even things out, and I think that is the key to maintaining good posture.

As far as what gymnasts do for their erector spinae muscles… From what I’ve learned vaulting, advance tumbling and Giant swings on rings place a tremendous load on the lower back muscles. One of Coach Sommer’s athletes, JJ Gregory, deadlifted 400lbs at a weight of 135lbs his very first time in his high school weight room. So, I’d have to say that what gymnasts do for their lower back works easily as well as traditional weight training.

Good training,

Sentoguy

[quote]Sentoguy wrote:
Hi Aristrocrat,

I am by no means an expert on this subject, but I myself have been incorporating Gymnastics movements (static holds mainly) into my workouts for some time now.

Your question about a muscle inbalance and it’s effect on posture is a common one. Honestly, I do see some gymnasts with poor posture, but then there are also gymnasts with good posture. So I don’t think you can really say that the training creates bad posture.

As I said I have been training front levers, iron crosses, 1-arm chin-ups, muscle ups, and a bunch of other pulling movements (like front lever pull-ups); but my posture hasn’t deteriorated at all. I of course have also been doing a fair share of pushing movements to even things out, and I think that is the key to maintaining good posture.

As far as what gymnasts do for their erector spinae muscles… From what I’ve learned vaulting, advance tumbling and Giant swings on rings place a tremendous load on the lower back muscles. One of Coach Sommer’s athletes, JJ Gregory, deadlifted 400lbs at a weight of 135lbs his very first time in his high school weight room. So, I’d have to say that what gymnasts do for their lower back works easily as well as traditional weight training.

Good training,

Sentoguy[/quote]

Thanks for the feedback.

I’m going to bump this thread a couple more times…