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Sunday, September 6, 2009

Hey, people.
I'm back home and ready to post some new material.
Today I am going to share some Swedish Bars (Stall Bars) work I am using.
The swedish bars are one of the best training tools for someone interested in bodyweight strength and conditioning. I use it heavily in my own training, for strengthening, stretching, prehab and a lot more. I can write volumes on how to use this essential training instrument.

The Swedish Bars Front Support

This is a basic exercise used in gymanstics as a basic body tension preparatory drill. I have heard that in some ex-USSR countries kids 6-7 years old are required to stay for 3 min in this position...
Stand on the lower bar of a swedish ladder. Grab the bar at around your waist height with a pronated grip (thumbs pointing in, later on in more advanced stages it can be done with a supinated grip also) and support yourself on top of your hands.
Make sure your shoulders are pushed down, and activate your butt and abs. Slowly take one foot and point it down. Add the other foot - for the complete support. (your whole body is supported on your hands)
The tension in the muscles around your armpit is the secret here - upper back, rear delts and triceps join to create a lock of tenstion, and though, helping support your body, even though the body is not on top of the supporting point (hands) - which is excatly the point.

The Swedish Bars Back Support

The back support is a harder exercise than the front one.
Step on the lower bars of the swedish ladder with your back to the bars.
Grab the bars at about waist high with a supinated (thumbs out) grip.
Make sure you 'hollow' your upper back a bit by rounding the shoulder forward and putting a small curvature into your upper back.
Extend one leg down, contract your butt and abs, push down with your shoulders and join the other leg to complete the position.
This exercise, at first, will seem impossbile to some. Keep playing with the positioning, go over the details again and correct your body alignment. With practice, you will get it, I assure you.

Both support positions can be performed with some help from a partner - glueing you to the bars, first with a lot of help and later on, once you learn how to create the needed body tension - a two fingers assistance only. You can also use an elastic band to keep yourself glued to the bars, if no partner is available. Work at it, devote some time to these basic support positions, and you will see improvement in many other areas of your physical development.
Especialy helpful is the front support to the front lever position, as well as the back support and the maltese/planche positions.
The exercises should be performed for 5-30 sec holds, once it is easy to work with 30 sec sets, you are ready to graduate to more advanced exercises.

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