5 years ago, during my freshmen season at Cornell, I was warming up a double pike on floor (a skill I had been performing successfully for at least 6 years at that point) and had an accident.  I landed on my head, briefly lost consciousness, and wound up back boarded out with 7 Thoracic Spinal Fractures. After a frustratingly long rehab process, I came back to gymnastics, but never did a double back on floor again.

Fast forward to 1 year post-gymnastics career.  I had been working out regularly, felt pretty strong, tried a roundoff back-handspring back-tuck, and almost face planted.

Fast forward again to 2 years post-gymnastics career, and throw in a ridiculous amount of Olympic Lifting. Yesterday, I walked in the gym to start coaching and thought I’d give it another shot-

Everything is everything.


Box Shoulder Stretch 4×0:20

Static Shaping

3×0:30 On/0:30 Off Arch Hold on Stomach

photo 2-3

Legs straight and together, toes pointed, head neutral.  Be sure to open your shoulders as much as possible and focus on letting the arch come from your entire body, not just your lumbar spine.  PVC is optional, but helps keep your arms by your ears and not floating out to the sides.

Skills and Drills

3×6 Arch to Hollow Swing on Bar, Pause between each Rep


For 4:00, 0:20 Arch Rocks, 0:20 Rest

Fight to keep your knees straight, toes pointed, and legs together.  Your arms should stay by your ears the entire time.  The more flexible your shoulders become the easier the exercise will be.

8 thoughts on “140421

  1. Kaitlin first of all these pieces are truly, truly excellent.

    I can’t budge at all when I try to do an arch rock. My shoulders are too tight and I’m guessing my hips are too. Just stick at the arch holds and flexibility, yes?

    • Thank you Colm! This has been the start of an awesome adventure for me too. Yes, stick to the flexibility and consider adding more PVC raises to work on activating your shoulders.

  2. Thank you so much for these drills! Great help! One thing that would be awesome would be a link or a repost of the picture for each drill… they still are relatively new… so a reference to a previous post or something would be fantastic!! 🙂

  3. Just wanted to chime in as well: a massive thanks Kaitlin – so much awesome right here!

  4. I don’t think I have read it yet but when is Connectivity supposed to be done? Before or after the normal work?

  5. OC: done.

    Arches and holds are tough yet so simple…

    The static stretching is awesome, and I’m looking to get more flexible.

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