What Is Troubleshooting?
The process of finding alternative ways to learn a Movement is called troubleshooting.
Not every Movement will be a good fit for your body…at first. Mobility, flexibility, injuries, over/underdevelopment- so many factors contribute to physical challenges. How exciting! There are so many paths that will lead you to your golden fitness goals.
When To Troubleshoot?
There are two scenarios in which troubleshooting is recommended:
Your mobility limits you from attempting a given progression.
You have reached a plateau.
Coach, How Do I Know If I’ve Hit A Plateau?
Be patient with yourself and give the progression a few tries before searching for alternative ways to learn. If you have been caught on a single progression for weeks or if you are caught on the same number of reps on a progression… it’s time to try something new.
Ways To Troubleshoot
Confidence- The first recommendation for a plateau is to assess your thought process as you attempt the Movement. If you are telling yourself that you do not think you can do it, you are speaking your own failure into experience. Mentally, mindfully, try a new approach.
Try a mantra.
“I am the healthiest I have ever been. I get stronger everyday. My limits are boundless and my body rejoices with every Movement. New skills are effortless as I am in the process of constantly learning and growing. I am patient with my body, because I know that anything is possible.”
Think of how excited you are to attempt the exercise. And visualize how triumphant it will feel to become the strongest version of yourself yet. The fun is in the experience of learning. Build yourself up and give the Movement your mental and physical all.
More Progressions Please
If a jump between progressions is too drastic, you may need an intermediate step. Here are three suggestions to help you bridge the gap:
First: Go back to the last progression and add more reps and/ or an extra set. Give those muscles a little more fine tuning so that they are ready to blaze through the next progression.
Second: Add some weight to that last progression, to better prepare your muscles for what is to come. If you do not have weights handy, that is okay. What do you have? Fill a backpack with weighted items, hold food cans, or ask a friend to give you a little resistance while you train.
Third: Use a band or a box for an assist. Bands are great tools not only for resistance but to let you train bodyweight movements, with a little less than your body weight. Using a box can also be a great assistance to give you support in pulling moves or to elevate parts of your body for less resistance in pushing moves.
Look out for Movement Athlete tutorials on band and box usage and also check out The Movement Athlete Band Packs for some extra banded progressions.
Coach Q and A: Submit a question to our network of coaches. We are here to help. Your question could inspire an article or tutorial that could help many other Movement Athletes. Our content is based on your feedback.
One On One Guidance:
Our team of trainers is here to help. The Movement Athlete coaches offer virtual one on one sessions. Whether you are looking for inspiration, guidance, or expert help to overcome a plateau, we are here for you. Look for the One on One pack to choose your coach and schedule a lesson.
Examples: Check out these specific notes on troubleshooting a handstand.
To master the freestanding handstand, you need a combination of strength, mobility, and balance. Deconstruction can help you to determine which areas to focus on.
In the picture below, notice that the hips are fully extended, the shoulders are stretched open and the wrists are bent at a 90 degree angle.
Deconstruction can help you to determine which areas to focus on, not just to master this skill but to achieve the desired handstand bodyline.
Pictured below: Compensation
Steps to TroubleShoot a Handstand:
WRIST FLEXIBILITY & MOBILITY
As your body is inverted during a handstand, your wrist will bear all of your body weight. If you are lacking sufficient range of motion in your wrist, your body will compensate elsewhere. For example, poor shoulder-positioning, or an arched handstand may be a result of a lack of wrist mobility. Below are some easy and quick ways to analyze and test your range of motion:
Wrist range-of-motion test
If you have limited wrist-motion, you need to know whether it’s from joint stiffness or muscular inflexibility. Here’s a test that will allow you to gauge which issue you have.
How to perform the test:
Start with your palm and fingers flat on a box with your elbows extended
Move your wrist into the maximum extension that it will go, and see what angle your forearm is in, relative to the box
Retest your wrist extension using your fingers by having them off the end of the box while keeping your palms flat.
Optimal mobility in both positions should have the forearm approximately vertical.
If you had greater mobility in the second position, then it’s likely that your wrist extension is limited by the flexibility of the wrist flexor muscles. However, if you find that your range of motion is limited in both positions, then it’s likely that your issue is the wrist joint itself.
CORRECTIVE EXERCISES FOR THE WRIST:
Now that you’ve identified the root of the problem, here are some corrective exercises to increase your mobility.
MUSCULAR TIGHTNESS CORRECTIVE EXERCISES
If you’re having muscular tightness in your wrists, you can perform:
Use a lacrosse ball or foam-roller over the anterior forearm (the palm side). Roll along each part of your anterior forearm, spend some extra time on areas that feel particularly tight. Follow your soft tissue work with stretching to see the greatest improvements in mobility.
Wrist-stretching exercise: Wrist Rocks Forward
Go down on your hands and knees with your palms down on the ground and your fingers facing straight out in front of you.
Rock forward, moving your wrists into an extended position as far as your flexibility will allow.
You should feel tension or stretching in the inside of your forearm, which means that your wrist flexors are being stretched.
The goal of this stretch is to be able to hold your shoulders directly over your wrists or fingers
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