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First Back Lever

I was “playing” at the park yesterday with my friend. Great to always have a camera on hand.

Here I was able to hold my first back lever with legs straight but also together.

Check off one major goal for this year!

Compare this to my earlier straddle back levers.

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Straddle Back Lever

The crazy thing is I haven’t even been working on this skill lately. I have been working towards one arm pullups and a number of exercises with the Power Wheel to strength the abs. I guess those two things are carrying over. I also noticed I was better at various front lever progressions we worked on.

I also think that it may have been a little easier on these monkey bars, over the rings that I’ve normally done them on. But then I did another back lever, possibly even better then this one, on some rings they had there a little later. Sorry, no video of this one but I will have lots more from the park in coming weeks and months.

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Victorian on Rings

Here is a video of a great routine, even including a rarely seen Victorian on the rings at 0:08 by Stanford’s Peter Derman.

Obviously quite impressive.

These skills may be way beyond your ability but that doesn’t mean you can’t be inspired by them.

In my gymnastics class I’ve talked quite a bit about the tumbling and even parallel bars and progress is still coming fast there. But I also play around with the rings.

For the first time I hit multiple muscle-ups on the rings in a row without re-gripping. Never worked on that before. Also working a bit towards one arm chinnups. Still have a long ways to go there.

Another thing that is inspiring is that there’s a couple guys there that can just about do the iron cross. Watching videos is one thing but seeing it live and up close is another.

If you get around people that are better than you, you have no choice but to be pulled upwards.

Good Luck and Good Gymnastics,
Logan Christopher

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P.S. Want your own pair of Gymnastic Rings? You can get them here…

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Great Rings Routine

People that have never used the gymnastic rings may know they are difficult but it takes a try on them to truly grasp the strength it takes to do an impressive routine.

I came upon this video awhile back. It shows gymnast Andreas Aguilar at the 1991 World Professional Gymnastics Championships. Its most likely just an exhibition, rather then competing, due to the moves he performs.

Of particular note I want you to pay attention to the muscle up in the L-sit position. That may very well be one of the smoothest muscle ups ever. A far cry from the kipping action most athletes use.

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There’s quite a few iron crosses and you’ll want to pay attention to the very unique dismount.

Good Luck and Good Ring Training,
Logan Christopher

P.S. Rings can build awesome strength and you can buy a set of gymnastic rings here.

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Where to Setup the Elite Rings?

Got a question today. And if one person is asking it, many more are probably thinking it.

“Hi, I am seriously considering buying a set of the gymnastic rings, the question is where can one use them?, it is nice that they are portable, but where would one hang them if one lived in the city or even in the park? Maybe from the crossbar of a soccer goal? any more suggestions.”

Thanks for the question Trevor. You are correct that the rings are portable. And they can be hung from most things.

The first thing to make sure is that whatever you are hanging them from will support your weight.

You can run the straps over any beam, bar or tree limb. Once you have the strap in place, you simply run the strap through the buckle and you are ready to go.

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Thick tree branches would be my first pick. A soccer goal could work, assuming its stable and strong. There would also be many areas over play structures that could be used like swing sets or monkey bars.

Just make sure the area is free should you be trying some of the more dynamic exercises on the rings.

If you want to get yourself a pair of the Elite Rings click here.

Good Luck and Good Ring Training,
Logan Christopher

P.S. Maybe I’ll go shoot a video of the setup and use in the park one of these days…

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The Ringless Victorian

Victorian Hand Balance

A big thanks to Chris for sending this picture in after last weeks email on the Victorian.

The True Art and Science of Hand Balancing
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Who needs rings when you’ve got a partner? This is basically the Victorian held in a partner balance.

Notice how far the false grip is used. A necessity as every little bit helps the extreme leverage in this feat.

Having not tried this feat I can’t say for sure but I imagine the partner’s hands add a bit more support than the rings would.

And for a perfect Victorian the hands would have to be brought down a little more towards the hips.

Not to take anything away from this acrobatic feat. I don’t think I’ve ever seen anything else like this one.

Which brings up another point. If you’ve got any remarkable hand balancing photos send them to [email protected] and there’s a good chance they make an appearance up on the blog.

Good Luck and Good Hand Balancing,
Logan Christopher

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Victorian on the Gymnastic Rings

Back for a little more Olympic Coverage.

Did you catch the Men’s Gymnastic Rings final the other night?

For anyone who has never mounted a pair of rings its hard to comprehend the difficulty of even basic moves.

But when you have, no matter your skill level or lack there of, you’ll have a greater understanding of what these Olympic athletes are going through.

It’s not just one move they do, but to string several highly difficult strength moves together flawlessly for close to a minute straight. Whew! Gets me tired just thinking about it.

But this Olympics saw something new. (Not 100% sure on this but I believe it was a first for the Olympics.)

That is the Victorian. Also known as an Inverted Maltese Cross.

Once thought to be an impossible move. Essentially it’s lying back so that you’re horizontal to the floor. You hold the rings near your waist with the arms not contacting the body. Kind of like a front lever except that your arms are to your sides instead of out front.

I have to give it to the French here. Their Danny Rodrigues performed the Victorian not once but twice in his routine. It wasn’t perfect but pretty close.

My guess is that in 12 to 20 years it will become a common move in the Men’s gymnastic Rings event at the Olympics.

Danny didn’t score too high overall but it was fun to watch. I’m glad he went for it.

We also had Jordan Jovtchev up once again most likely for his final Olympics. Unfortunately a couple mistakes put him out of the run for any medals.

That’s how it goes in the Olympics. To win you have to be close to flawless.

To get to that level takes years of practice. Hours and hours in the gym training for a few minutes in the spotlight. You probably don’t have aspirations of Olympic Gold but what’s important is to train to get better.

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Fortunately for you, you can still have Jordan teach you how to build up the strength and skill in the Ring Strength DVD.

Mastering the Victorian isn’t important. Improving from where you are is. Learning from the best is a big step in the right direction.

Good Luck and Good Ring Training,
Logan Christopher

P.S. If you want crazy bodyweight strength than you should be on the gymnastic rings. If you don’t have a pair you can get the Elite Rings

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Paul Hamm, Olympic Gold and the Rings

I can remember it like it was yesterday even though it was about four years ago.

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Had never paid all that much attention to the Olympics before but this year was different.

My good friend and I were watching the men’s individual all-around competition. Gymnasts are truly some of the worlds strongest athletes but the Olympic level is just ridiculous.

There was some amazing competition. Of course, I was rooting for the USA and I got to see one of the most amazing comebacks ever in the history of sports.

After a disastrous fall on the vault it looked like Paul Hamm was out of the running. But two near perfect routines on the parallel bars and horizontal bar put him back in front.

Not only did he win the Gold but he was the first American to ever to so at the Olympics in the all-around competition. We were going crazy with excitement.

Yes there was some controversy behind a scoring error, but watching that piece of history will forever be burned in my mind.

It’s amazing what these athletes can do. It’s unreal.

How do they build that kind of strength and skill? One its how they train, which is long hours every single day working on perfecting their routines.

But it is also what they train with. The tools and apparatus on which they train. A big key to build gymnastic strength is to train the same way.

One of the most basic tools for the gymnast, and the one that epitomizes all that is gymnastics, are the rings.

There is nothing quite like ‘em. If you’ve never mounted a pair you’d be surprised at just how much you body shakes as you try to support your bodyweight.

Forget the iron cross or maltese. Can you manage a few pullups or dips? What about the classic muscle-up?

Well, now you can answer those questions. Now you can get started training your way to building Olympic level strength with the Elite Gymnastic Rings.

Not only that but you can get instructed by another world champion and Olympic medalist in how to use them.

And if you want to really impress someone do a handstand on top of the rings. Now that’s balance!

Paul’s performance on the rings back in 2004 was before the fall and comeback (a decent 9.587) but you can be sure I’ll be watching the gymnastics this year, especially the rings.

The difference is this time I’ll be training right alongside him. Will you?

Sincerely,
Logan Christopher

P.S. Notice that on either of the two pages as the bottom in the P.S. you can get both the Gymnastic Rings and the Ring Strength DVD in a special combo deal and save.

P.P.S. And yes, if you didn’t know, Paul Hamm will be back in Beijing. I’m rooting for a repeat.

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