Coach Sommer was back in town for the weekend 11th -12th January for another of his fantastic Gymnastic workshops.
Last time he made a visit was early July 2013. I was at the beginning of my gymnastic journey. Not quite sure of what I could achieve as an adult with poor mobility and little flexibility. I was however interested to discover if there was anyway of reliving a childhood advantage I had missed.
Following his first weekend I felt suitably excited about following a structured routine in a view to improving my gymnastic ability. The biggest take home from his first weekend was mobility and how lacking I was.
Previously I had been working some mobility, using Becoming a supple Leopard and some old school stretches I had learnt over the years but nothing too enthusiastic or routined.
What could you also say that about your own mobility and stretching routine?
So I set about making time in my week just like I did for olympic lifting and strength to focus getting a routine in place. We all know that the hardest part is getting a new regime started.
Normally I would find stretching and mobility boring so don’t judge me but I needed to find a time where I could put a bit of trash on the telly and enter a zone. This way I could just sit in stretches or work through flossing with a distraction. At first it felt impossible but after 4 weeks I began to notice I could find my toes more easily in a pike stretch and that my hips moved more easily.
Encouraged by my small victories I decided to bite the bullet and purchase Coach Sommers foundation program. Having previously hovered over the ‘Click to Pay’ button as it seemed like a lot of money to hand over. Money I now feel I spent well.
And so here I am 5 Months later. What have I achieved?
I haven’t had as much time to spend on lifting these days as I have got more involved in gymnastics. I have even gone ahead and completed my British Gymnastics General-Gym Level 1 certification and am helping out at East London Gymnastic Club with there baby squad.
I am way more flexible these days. I put this down to religiously sticking to a stretching routine, while I started at the very beginning of Coach Sommer’s foundation program and although I have found some of the foundation beginner program simple to work through it has allowed me to focus on the area I am lacking the most. I still have a way to go with shoulder and thoracic mobility but I am making gains and that is what counts.
Probably the most surprising angle in this, is that depite spending minimal time on my strength, I haven’t lost much of my mojo. For example my deadlift may not be at it’s all time best, 120Kg but it is not far off it and considering how little time I spend on oly lifts I have PB’ed twice. Clean 67.5Kg Jerk 62.5Kg.
How does that work???
And best of all I am the closest I have ever been to a hanging Muscle up on the rings, having just got a ‘from the floor’ Muscle up this morning. Thanks Rachel for shouting at me to tighten up.
The last 5 months have been great for my training all round. PB’s and great Fran times (6:19 if your interested) Possibly one of the best things I could have done. Why don’t you try adding more mobility and stretching into your routine. And if you are looking for more guidance with your gymnastics either tap into one of the adult gymnastics classes on offer at CrossFit London or SE11 or speak to me about Coach Sommer’s approach to gymnastic strength.
Sally Dixey is a Personal Trainer in East London. Find her At CrossFit London in Bethnal Green – CrossFit Training & Pregnancy Exercise