video – “free running” (Parkour or PK)

Only the French could have come up with a sport this insane. You may have seen videos clips of youth in street clothes running, overcoming natural obstacles on the route with a variety of gymnastic and acrobatic moves including jumps & wall runs. It is an urban thing.

As usual, the recently maligned Wikipedia is the best reference on the web for anything interesting:

Parkour – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

David Belle, free runner

The wildest clip I have yet seen should be on this page, if you have high speed internet.

Doug Taylor pointed me to this building jumper video page.

video – Bars by John Geddert

UNEVEN BARS A to Z ($50) are the best Bars coaching videos I have seen.

These DVDs are comprehensive: idle time stations, conditioning and technique. Included are American compulsories, basic optional skills — even advanced bar releases and dismounts.

Coach John Geddert may run the top Bar club in the USA.

You can get them through the TwiStars USA website. Click the Contact Us link.

video – muscle beach in the 1960s!

The WordSmith from Nantucket, a coach from California, former UCLA gymnast, alerted us to some historic video clips posted on the Santa Monica Gymnastics Center website.

  • Dennis Sherman quad flyaway from swinging rings on to sand
  • Mark Davis triple back flyawar from highbar on to sand
  • Double back tumbling on sand
  • And more beach craziness including big dismounts from swings.

    Watch those historic feats on

    USA Technique magazine

    magazine cover

    For years Technique Magazine has been the first place I look for new gymnastics articles.

    The USA Gymnastics members-only hard copy is best — but even the free on-line version is useful. It holds an archive of selected articles back through 1995!

    There is no search utility so you need to simply browse the titles of interest.

    Read anything published by Bill Sands or Jenni McNeal.

    rings – front lever

    Brad Johnson starts at the beginning and works his way up to one of the most challenging strength positions on rings.

    I recall how many of the best gymnasts in the world had trouble holding a front lever when it was included in the (now defunct) Olympic compulsory routines.

    Good article. The only addition I have is use a particularly demanding spotter. A spotter who reduces the resistance just enough to keep you in the correct position.

    The Front Lever: A Hard Core Exercise —