Translating Point of Contact
Fist to False-Grip | Ground to Rings
As body angles change to adjust exercises, (whether to make them easier or more difficult), it can also cause thinking to shift away from concept-based objectives and toward specific task-based objectives. Typically, task-based objectives beg to be completed rather than understood. On one end of this spectrum they may appear as ability-chasing (party tricks and one hit wonders), on the other end, number-chasing (sets, reps, times, weight, distance, personal records, etc).
understanding push-ups (to make them easier) vs. doing push-ups (as an external challenge)
While both of these involve the push-up, the path of each will lead to a very different destination- one of connection and one of collection. Concept-based objectives tend to make things easier, but require a lot more time (patience) to develop as it can be quite difficult to piece things together in a way that makes sense. Learning and education, take time. It comes down to the effects of frequency and exposure on usability. The more you can use and experience something, the easier/quicker it is to learn about it and build fluency.. if either frequency (amount) or exposure (type) is at a level that's too stressful, the ability to 'use', will diminish.
When I find myself fixating on a 'point', it tends to be an indication that I'm either distracted or overwhelmed, meaning there is an element at play that is causing too much stress for my body to learn efficiently. Revisiting the original concept helps to bring back perspective and clarity, (the how/why I'm doing what I'm doing in the first place). In terms of big picture priorities mine will always be to learn and never to complete. In the very least, just distinguishing this simple priority keeps my training and progressions moving forward, largely because the forgiveness of not completing is built into the structure- purpose without expectation. This allows me to pinpoint the stressful element and adjust accordingly to reestablish comprehension ability. Moving forward is relative, not comparative.
This process builds on an ability to translate and relate movement from different contexts into those which I already have an understanding. Much like learning a new language, it's easier to begin with the exchange of words that describe your personal environment (things you do or use most).
クッキーはどこにありますか | Where are the cookies?
I use different contexts as a pairing, to compare and contrast, distilling the objectives from each into a universal movement language, which for me translates as sensation. This sensation forms the basis of my personal foundation, or 'basics', (exercises/movements). A 'known' provides a comfortable place to revisit, whether to expand, refine, rest, or rehabilitate. Any new skill or progression I work on means figuring out how it connects to my foundation, (in another light, foundation represents posture, the thing I use most, and have the most fluency with).
[Progressions should help the build the basics, just as the basics should help build the progressions. Nothing works independently- It's relationships that create language].
Currently, I am working on my upper-body base of support- hands/wrists/fingers, (more in the previous post). Relating grips and hand structure across environments and movements, is an important area of study if planning to train on them, and especially if desiring them to become a primary base of support (hand-balancing, climbing, etc). Your base, whether foot or hand, better be robust.
Fist & Ground
- Learning the appropriate way to load the 'base of support' (hand structure- in this case, the fists).
- Using the stability of the ground to establish the necessary body connection for 'pressing down'. (Fist to center of mass relationship. Isometric to movement. Familiar toward unfamiliar).
As a hand based movement, this means the rib cage must be the leading structure of the torso (pelvis must follow as supporting structure. Much like the Slinky). So, while I am moving backward, it is my fists that are initiating this movement and determining where the body should go in response. Optimal position must simultaneously allow the creation of leverage into the arms (to press down) as well as into the lower body (to lift up).
False Grip & Rings
- Taking the lessons from above and extending the length of the body from lower legs to feet.
- Adding complexity with an increased body length, increased movement range and less stable (and smaller) points of contact.
I have been using a few variations of this movement as I work on my basic 'rings support position' (straight arm and supine hand). In this particular version I am using it to challenge range while maintaining my sense of connection. I 'tap' the rings together at the top and bottom of this movement. The closeness of arms is the most difficult portion for me to maintain, especially in the exaggerated 'support position' (hands underneath shoulders and rings touching). The challenge for me, is in smoothly shifting weight from shoulder girdle into the torso at a particular point. This is why I use different environments and contexts for similar movements- to learn where my stress points are and how to overcome them. Simplicity builds the strongest connections. Adding complexity tests your management strategy.
Note - In the ground version, movement (rotation) has to happen internally to operate around a fixed point. In this rings version, we now have to mediate the internal operation with the rotation of the ring itself (to maintain a particular point of contact).
Compare & Contrast
Deriving an objective from both movements:
- Ability to press down throughout the full range (which translates into the feeling of having full bodyweight 'behind the pressing'). Pressing down (on the rings) means exerting force perpendicular to the ground (countering the pull of gravity), which requires an ability to maintain length throughout the body (no slack in the system).
How I Use These Exercises
To create a feeling of sameness between the movements, by getting rid of sticking/stress points.
Always refining the movement and assessment of load on posture- expanding the comfort zone.
Integrating different situations/contexts into the same stress-management strategy.
Like everything that I post, movements and progressions are relative-
1. they are relative to self
2. they are relative to each other
Individual/isolated movements offer a smaller and easier 'point' of focus, a chance to examine how one part may interact and integrate with others and subsequently how they fit into the whole. Exercises/movements both easy and complex should enhance understanding of each other.