What to do while you’re away
As the holidays approach I often have students asking what they can do to continue their training without access to a German wheel. Whatcha gonna do? You can’t make a German Wheel at home, and without the apparatus it is quite tricky to train on one. So here are a few little things you can easily do wherever/whenever that can help you for the next time you are fortunate enough to be inside a wheel.
Bridges! Due to the circular nature of the wheel bridge positions are really usefull, and pivotal in many tricks. You don’t need to be insanely flexible; in fact a hyper-flexible back will often work against you. You should however be able to press into a bridge from the ground and hold it at least 15 seconds without too much stress. If bridges are your struggle then try against a wall. Stand with your back to the wall about 1 or 2 feet from it. Lift your hands over your head and touch the wall, fingers pointing towards the floor. Lastly walk your hands down the wall, towards the ground, until you are pleasantly uncomfortable. It’s okay to step further away from the wall that will make the bridge less stressful. Stay there for a while then slowly walk your hands back up the wall. Don’t overdo it, and make sure you curl yourself forwards to stretch your back out after all the compression of bridges.
Stretch! You know where you are stiff, find those spots and stretch them out. Sitting around with your family and catching up is the perfect time to be working that split; plus it makes you looks like a badass. I Increased flexibility will not only make new tricks possible, but it will make other tricks look better. Most importantly it will protect you. Flexible muscles bend; ridged muscles tear. Take some time and move a little while your all sitting around the campfire even a few minutes is a nice treat for your body.
The last thing I would like to mention in something I like to call remote learning. On numerous occasions I have both witnessed and had first hand experience of this phenomenon, it’s weird but awesome. Sometimes in my training I would hit a wall and no matter what I tried a trick would just not work. Then for one reason or another I was not able to train for a week or two. After the break when I got back to training I would come back to this battleground trick and suddenly it started working. There is something about taking time away that can let things settle in your body, and something a little distance is exactly what you need. So don’t let yourself atrophy over the break, but it is okay to give yourself a little rest sometimes.