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An alternative approach to goal setting

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On goal setting: I am going to treat this as a post dedicated to purely athletic based goals. Whether or not you qualify to have athletic based goals is a subject for another day. Goals are a fickle beast, because often we think of goals in terms of outcomes, and this is often a flawed way of thinking. This way of thinking, we start at the goal and work backwards, detailing what we need to do to achieve this goal. This is an often-encouraged way of thinking about our goals, but often, in a large number of circumstances, it is flawed. Everyone knows where they want to be, but often not where they are right now. Say we moved to a new unknown city and we asked for directions. Lets pretend we are in Sydney asking for directions to the Opera House. It would be somewhat useless to get directions to walk to the opera house without initially establishing where we are now. And yet, this is what we do with goal setting the entire time. Where we currently are is not as simple as “Right, I squat 90 kg, in 6 months I would like to squat 100kg”. A reasonable goal. But where you currently are cannot be reduced to a number, because there are so many factors at play in the gym, including lifestyle, age, previous injury history and technique. The above goal may be reasonable for a relatively uninjured, young athlete who has achieved 90kg squats off nothing more than sipping from the fountain of youth. It may be a less realistic goal for an older person who has struggled through knee pain, and has poor form, and is about to encounter a stressful life event (say moving houses). Really truly establishing where you are now is the first step in thinking about goals.

The second step in the goal setting process that is often manipulated by starting at the outcome, is what is the process to get to the goal. So lets say once again my goal is to get to the Opera House. I kind of want to see it. It’s sort of cool. But now I’m still in Melbourne, have no money and no car so I have to walk. Off I go. Now I walk off because my goal was to get to the Opera house. But now the process to get there has become completely unrealistic. I do not have the resources (a car or money for a plane ticket) to achieve the goal, but embark on this fools journey anyhow because hey, only losers don’t achieve their goals right? This is what normal goal setting often looks like. People set goals without a true evaluation of what exactly the requirements are to achieve the goal, and what their resources are to dedicate towards the goal. This is a really crucial step. What people do when they start at the goal and work backwards is often they overestimate their resources to dedicate towards the goals relative to its importance to them. 2 weeks into a 12 weeks journey they quit, all because they should not necessarily have begun the journey in the first place.

These are two examples of how the common goal setting procedure of starting at a goal and working backwards is often a very flawed way of thinking. The solution is simple. Develop an understanding on what is truly important to you. Develop an understanding of where you are, physically, financially, spiritually etc. Develop an understanding of what overflow of effort from your everyday life you can dedicate to the pursuit of a new goal. Follow this process of starting from where you are now will mean that in the majority of cases, the goal should become self apparent.

YOUTH ATHLETES – 3 Exercises to teach the hip hinge

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The hip hinge should be an essential part of any youth athlete program. This movement pattern is key in developing strong, powerful hamstrings and glutes which carry over to their overall athletic development. Not only will it build strength it will also teach body awareness, coordination and it will provide a foundation for other movements such as KB swings, Olympic lift variations etc.

During the early stages of training it’s critical to break down and refine these movement patterns. This ensures you are building strong base for future training and can allow you to assess the correct progressions for each individual.

From my own experience, it’s become increasingly difficult to teach the hip hinge due to changes in posture from excess sitting, smartphones and everything in between! With youth athletes spending more time behind a screen than in the gym it’s crucial to get the most out of each session and to start to build these good habits and patterns at an early age.

This piece is going to look into what I have seen with youth athletes and the 3 exercises we start with to teach the hip hinge.

What we’re looking for –

Head PostureWith kids spending enough time on their phones we want to focus on the head being in a neutral position and not having their head forward of their body

Shoulders back and down – This means pulling the shoulder blades back so the upper back isn’t rounded and there is no excess shrugging at the shoulders

Flexed vs Neutral Spine – Teaching spinal awareness. A rounded back is going to place more pressure on the lower back and have a greater risk for injury. Keeping the back flat and spine neutral is the key to safely executing the movement the movement

Soft knees – Have a slight bend in the knees during the lowering down phase. This should allow a stretch through the hamstrings while not turning the hinge into a more a squat pattern

Pelvis tucked and Ribs down – This at the start and end of each lift. This helps in keeping the neutral spine and engaging both the core and glutes

So now we know what we are looking forward with the hinge, it’s time to take a look 3 simple progressions –


Kneeling Hip Hinge 

This is where we really simplify the movement and take out a few of the moving parts! Having the athlete on the ground will take out what’s happening with the legs and allow them to focus on the hip hinge.

Start by having the athlete sit up tall as possible which allows them to find that neutral pelvis position and keep their glutes engaged. From there instruct the athlete to sit back towards their heels and then come back to the start. The key is to ensure they keep the shoulders back and avoid falling forward as they push they lower down. This is a great place to start for most athletes before moving onto the next step.


Broomstick Hip Hinge 

This is one of my favourite exercises for teaching the hip hinge. This is because presents an external cue, that allows the athlete to self-correct and feel the movement. I’ve found it’s best to provide minimal cues so can they get to play around with the exercise whilst receiving tactile feedback.

For some athletes, I will provide a quick visual demonstration and instruct them that the stick has to stay on contact with the body. This starts from the back of the head all the way down to the lower back and glutes. Remember sometimes less is more and we forget how good young athletes are at solving problems!


DB RDL to Wall 

The next progression adds in some light loading in the form of dumbbells (DBs). When the athletes is ready to progress then you can add in this drill. Once again the athlete is provided with two forms of external feedback which allow them to work out the correct technique. Instruct the athletes to push the hips back and touch the wall. Once again this allows the athlete to self organize and feel the contact with the wall.

The other instruction to keep the DBs along the legs. This is another way to provide kinaesthetic feedback. If the DBs come away from the legs then they will have to adjust and pull the DBs closer to the body. Cues can be added to refine the process however most athletes will work it out after a few attempts. These simple ideas put athletes in situations where they are the owners of the learning process! 

Adding in these progressions can be the building blocks for the hip hinge. There is no way to jump, land, change direction in the open field, or train power without a strong foundation of this movement. While each athlete will learn and progress at different rates they will continue to develop through consistency, focus and repetition.


IF you want to learn more about what we offer for youth athletes then reach out and contact


Performance for Basketball and Athletes

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Although there is an abundance of evidence to support the benefit of strength training on basketball performance, the number of high level Australian basketball athletes (both junior and senior) that invest in a well-structured strength and conditioning program is very limited.

If you take a look at the US sporting system for example, their athletes are taken from a young age and taught the basic fundamental movement such as the squat, deadlift, lunge, press and pull which sets them up for success later in their sporting careers and drills in the importance of the strength and conditioning program for success. Sadly, in Australia no such programs exist (to my knowledge) that develop junior athletes right through to the college level. It is no wonder that young Australian athletes that go to the states don’t thrive in the college systems; you are at a disadvantage before you even start!

Some of you may be thinking, “But why is strength training so important for basketball performance? We play basketball, we don’t lift weights.” Correct you do play basketball but result of strength training improve will improve the physical qualities of the sport of basketball, such as, vertical jump height, acceleration, change of direction/agility and repeat sprint ability.

I guess this is as good a time as any to get a little geeky! Below is a picture of the force velocity curve. From left to right we see increases in velocity and from bottom to top we see increases in force. The faster we move, the lower the force and the higher the force, the slower we move. Essentially, a well-structured strength and conditioning program will see a shift in the force-velocity upwards and to the right which will allow you to move at a faster speed with a higher force. Ultimately, this leads to improved performance as you will get stronger, more powerful and can move faster.


The issue is that if an athlete spends all of their time training the speed portion of the curve, there will only be an improvement in the speed portion of the graph. Now, from my experience both playing basketball and coaching basketball athletes, a large percentage of these athletes spend almost all of their time training the speed portion of the graph. They have 2-3 training sessions per week, which are all developed around basketball skills and drills which are body weight and involve sprinting, jumping and change of direction (speed portion of the curve). This doesn’t include matches, individual skill sessions and/or games played at lunch time at school. Little to no time is spent on developing the maximal strength (lifting heavy) and strength-speed (lifting moderate – heavy but fast) portions of the curve.

Developing maximal strength and strength-speed is extremely important for performance. Unlike speed training, where no improvements in maximal strength are seen, developing maximal strength will see improvements right across the curve. Therefore, developing strength will improve all aspects of performance, including, vertical jump, acceleration and change of direction/agility. Not only will your performance significantly improve but your risk of injury will dramatically reduce. Taking time out of the sport itself (ie: 2-3 sessions/week) will help reduce the risk of repetitive load injuries such as tendinopathy.

So the questions I have to all the parents of basketball athletes and basketball athletes themselves out there that want to reach the next level of competition, whether that’s a goal of playing at a professional level, college ball, Big V, getting to a higher junior representative team or just wanting to improve your ability to perform at any level are:

  • Have you developed sound movement patterns under coach supervision?
  • Are you just working the speed portion of the curve and neglecting the maximal strength and strength-speed?
  • Have you invested in yourself outside of the basketball court to get to the next level?

If this sounds like you, do not hesitate to contact me at to talk about how I can help you achieve your goals.

Good Technique Comes to Those Who are Patient.

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So you have been progressing well with your strength training as of late, and either by choice of your coach or by your request, you are beginning to learn weightlifting movements.

Super cool you think! Some more complex variation in my training, sweet, I am ready! You move through the basic progressions pretty well and you start to think, this can’t be too bad. You can back squat and front squat, your strength isn’t too shabby, you can overhead squat and deadlift with sweet form and you feel you have this “pull” movement coming along well. You have been working through some basic barbell movement primers and are keen to start trying some actual lifts with some load.

So the program finally progresses to some snatch and clean variations with load, your thinking awesome! Now I get to do what I see others in the gym doing. In your mind it seems so easy to join the dots, its just a snatch pull into and overhead squat right? Or just a clean pull into a front squat right? When you watch others perform the movements, they make it look easy.

Compartmentally, yes, but this is when the real test begins and (the weightlifting gods will now test your worthiness) the art of learning the skill of weightlifting. As a novice to weightlifting, the first few months your still like a baby giraffe, movements are jolty and uncoordinated, your not quiet sure where the bar is relative to your body, and weights you deemed “light” are making you sweat and hurt! Your timing is all off and your still using body parts to move the bar that don’t need to or shouldn’t. There are 100 different things going through mind every time you touch the bar and attempt to perform a lift, despite the coach asking you to focus on 2 – 3 things. Think bout don’t over think, be controlled yet aggressive, it is the art of finding your calm amongst the chaos that is the technicality.

You persist a little longer and things start to click (a little), timing improves and you start to understand the “pull” and how it fits to moving the bar. Your loads are now starting to look a little more decent as you load the bar in your sessions, your moving less like a giraffe and your thinking, cool, I can do this, this isn’t so bad. For most recreational lifters, this is a good zone to be in, you may only be hitting weightlifting movements once or twice a week in your program and your content with that and you have no desire to commence the never ending quest that us weightlifting.  For some, you decide you want to take it to the next level, you want to train it more frequently and are now playing around with targets for a snatch and clean & jerk max, you may even give a low level comp a go!

Once you make the transition to focus more heavily on your weightlifting, this is where patience becomes your most valuable tool. Any great weightlifting coach can explain to you in words weightlifting and the ideal technique, but it will take you 10 years to master that technique. You will have training sessions where everything feels amazing, you hit the slots perfectly and your timing is on point, but then you will come in the very next day and things will feel hard, your timing will be way off, you will miss snatches forward, behind, get spat out the back of cleans and squished under jerks or even routine squats. As one of my coaches used to say to me “some days you get the bear, other days the bear gets you”. Get prepared for many sessions where the bear gets you more than you get the bear!

I have been competitively weightlifting now for 4 and a half years and one thing I can tell you is you only get better with more time and being consistent, even if you are a natural that picks it up well. I am still considered somewhat of a foetus in the sport of weightlifting to give you some perspective.

Along your journey there will be ebbs and flows, you lifts will increase fast at the start, but they will plateau, you will go through periods where it may take you a year to PB your snatch (yep that was me at one stage), and there never stops being something technical that needs work on, or part of the body that needs to be stronger yet again, because we can never be strong enough.  Ask any experienced lifter to show you some of their lifting videos from the early days… its always good for a cringe and laugh! We all start there just remember that!

So don’t be too hard on yourself if your technique isn’t quiet there yet and your not matching it with the Rx lifters in your box or the best lifters in the strength room. Enjoy the fact that you are on a journey of mastering a skill that is technical and something not everyone can do nor finds comes easy. Take the small wins when the come, savour the great lifting sessions when you have them, try not compare your lifting progress against another and most importantly trust the process and trust your coach (if you don’t have a weightlifting coach, get one!) I have found in my personal journey that when you rush, your goal lift seems to stretch further away from you (literally). Be patient in your technique, be patient in your progress and you will be surprised at maybe just maybe how quickly things may then come to you.

Coach Holly

Footwear When Squatting: Should I Be Wearing Weightlifting Shoes?

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If you have ever watched the movie “Like Mike” you will understand how influential a simple pair of shoe’s can be!

And we must continue to consider the importance of our footwear when thinking of movements like the squat, as we wouldn’t go and run a marathon in a pair of flip flops, nor would we play a game of basketball in roller-skates!

Our feet lay the structural foundation for us before any movement occurs. The foot itself is very flexible and has a great range of motion with over 25 bones across 4 joints, however, when we squat we must instantly increase the stability of the foot. We can do this by creating a naturally ‘arched’ position with the sensation of gripping the ground.

For this reason, we must consider the correct footwear that will support this stable position when squatting. Weightlifting shoes are a great option as they not only provide a rigid base of support, they consist of a non-compressible raised heel, usually somewhere around 25mm. And as research suggests, the foot is able to better maintain a naturally arched position when the heel is raised.

During the movement of the squat, on the descent, our knees come forward over our toes, and it is the amount of anterior translation of our knee that determines the angle at which our torso can remain. Meaning that if we want to maintain a nice upright chest and torso
during our squat, we must allow the knees to travel well over the toes.

Weightlifting shoes work to support this position by elevating the heel and reducing tension in muscles of the calf such as the gastroc, soleus and peroneals, therefore, reducing the reliance of ankle range of motion to enable successful squatting technique.

By keeping the torso more upright, we are also reducing the amount of unnecessary loading through the lower back. While a certain amount of forward lean is wanted at times to maintain balance and complete a successful lift, an upright chest and neutral spine will
prevent us from placing any risk of injury, and reduce the amount of shearing force placed through our lower back. Therefore, if you have ever experienced lower back pain when squatting, you will only benefit from the use of weightlifting shoes.

In a nutshell, weightlifting shoes are a great investment for any level of athlete. Whether you compete in Olympic weightlifting, CrossFit or simply just like to squat, and you want to get stronger, weightlifting shoes have been found to enhance squat technique and increase performance whilst reducing the risk of injury. So if you take your squatting seriously and don’t have a pair yet, go get some!

Coach Jack

Slow it Down: Everything you need to know about tempos

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Tempos. You may have heard of them but what are they? How do they work? And will they help me with my training?

There are four important numbers which are often found next to the sets and reps when you are prescribed a certain exercise. These numbers aren’t just there to confuse you…In fact they are actually there to guide you in so many ways and they can be very beneficial lifters of any level. Let’s slow it down and take a look!

What are they?
Simply put, tempos are the speed at which you perform the lift.

How do they work?
There are four numbers which each describe a part of the lift and each number represents the amount of time in seconds. Take a look at the example below:


First number – Eccentric – The lowering down phase
Second number – Pause at the midpoint
Third number – Concentric – The Up Phase
Fourth number – Pause at the top

Now let’s apply the tempo above to a Back Squat. We would want to see 3s on the way down, no pause in the bottom, explosive on the way up and then 1s pause to reset for the next rep.

Most of the time it’s that simple however the confusion may arise when looking at other movements such as pull ups or bicep curls. Remember the eccentric phase is the always the first number and the concentric phase is the always the third number. If you can get the hang of this then you will be good to go!

Will they help me with my training?

As I mentioned earlier the use of tempos can be beneficial for anyone whether you’re new to the gym or you’ve being lifting weights for years.

Imagine it is your first few weeks of training. For most of us this is the time when your body is taking baby steps and attempting to learn all of these new movements. Tempo work allows us to slow down and focus on each exercise to ensure you are performing correct technique and reinforces good movement patterns. Below
are a few of the benefits you would see from applying tempo work for any athlete:

  • Improved body awareness
  • Improved control of lifts
  • Development of connective tissue strength
  • Improved stability and coordination
  • Focus on muscular elements versus tendinous elements (a slow, controlled motion is going to place more stress on the muscles, whereas a bouncy or ballistic motion will place more stress on the tendons, etc.)

For many advanced lifters the manipulation of tempos can be used to breakthrough plateaus or target any weaknesses. At this level tempo training can still provide the basic benefits we listed above however let’s look at how you can change the speed of the lift to provide other benefits:

  • Pause reps – Pausing in certain positions to focus on concentric phase
  • Speed reps – Power Development
  • Time under tension (TUT) – The amount of time you muscles are under tension – Increase muscle growth and strength
  • Isometric holds – Pausing to increase strength in certain positions


Next time you are reading the tempo for an exercise whether it’s on the board or in your own program have a think about the intention behind the numbers. Prescribing tempos can be just as important as the sets, reps, rest periods and other parts of program design. So remember when you are pausing in that squat or when that 3s lower feels like forever…There is a reason it’s part of your training and it’s all part of helping you reach your goals.

Coach Adam

Muscle Up Series | Part 3

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Turnover and Transition Muscle Up
The final  component of the muscle up puzzle comes down to the transition of getting up and over the rings.

Usually the athlete may have the strength of both the push and the pull but can find it quite difficult to piece it all together.

There are a few different variations of drills to practice this transition step, however, the major key is to be fast, aggressive and to use the momentum from a powerful hip drive rather than pulling from the arms.

It is best to think about keeping the rings close to you, so that you are able to catch yourself safely on top of the rings before driving out of the bottom of the dip position!

Drill 1 – Master the False Grip Aka Broken Wrist


False-grip in gymnastics is a special grip, where the wrist is already on top of the rings. The best part about the false-grip is that there is no need to rotate your hands in order to get your body into a good ‘catch’ position — which makes it easier to perform muscle-ups without your hands tearing to shreds.

Training your false-grip is a great way to strengthen your grip, wrists, and improve your wrist and elbow mobility!

At GW Performance, there are a few different steps we like to take our athletes through when starting to practice the false-grip, as this is a movement it can be quite uncomfortable to get used to.

Step 1- False Grip with Knee support on Low rings 

Step 2- False Grip with bent arms and extended legs


Step 3- False Grip with extended arms and one foot off box

Step 4- False Grip On high-rings in extended position

Drill 2- Mastering the Kip

Do you know the difference between a kip and a swing?
The kip is a gymnastics movement which we hold control over, where a swing is controlled by gravity, and you have the ability to control and alter your position dramatically.

The two most important positions which make up the kip swing for the muscle up are the hollow and superman holds. When we translate these two positions to the rings, we want to begin with small tight kip for about 4-5 reps hitting each position as best as possible. The kipping movement should generate no bent knees and maintain tension within the body the entire time.

We want to generate the movement from our hips (although we also need to present power towards the push and pull on the rings themselves) so we can continue to stay in a nice strong position the entire time.

A great way to keep tension between swings is to place a playing card or a piece of paper between your feet, allowing you to keep a locked position throughout the entire skill.

Drill — Feet assisted transition on low rings

Using a set of low rings about belly button height set yourself up as you would for a ring row

Start with your legs bent, your feet planted on the ground in front of you and rings over your shoulders at arm’s length (similar to setting up for ring rows, just with bent legs).

  • Pull yourself into the rings keeping a nice tight position, before throwing your shoulders up and over with your chest coming through at the top to finish in the bottom of a drip position
  • Remember to think about pulling your rings down towards your hips, and not too high into your armpits.
  • Feet stay on the ground throughout the drill, think about using your hips! Not jumping yourself upwards.
  • Think about pulling yourself high and fast enough so that you experience a split second of weightlessness throughout the transition, find your wings and fly!

Once you’ve mastered this drill with your feet flat on the floor we can challenge ourselves throughout setting up a box to put your feet on. This uses more gravity as resistance, providing an even greater challenge version of this drill.

Drill 4– Band assisted transition on low rings

Once you have become more comfortable with the false grip and the kip on the rings the next phase is working on the hips to allow the powerful drive getting you up and over into a good catch position.

  • Using a set of low rings attach a small band to one and loop into the other to provide seated assistance. The band should be sitting nicely across your butt like a swing as you lay back, as you hold the rings with straight arms and a tight hollow body position.
  • Get into your false grip as best as possible allowing your arms to stay straight whilst you lay back.
  • Push your hips down against the band to allow the reflex reaction to assist popping your hips up to the rings. After you have had a few attempts pop your hips up while quickly pulling the rings down towards your hips, then throw your chest and shoulders through like the fastest sit up you have ever done. For females we like to say smack your ponytail into your face!
  • It is important to keep the rings close and pulled into your sides as you catch yourself in the bottom of the ring dip. We like to call this the superman transition! Think about ripping your shirt apart as you as you transition, not allowing those rings to come away from the body. By the end you should be clearly over the rings with your chest towards the floor, in the bottom position of your ring dip, ready to kip yourself into an extended position.


The final step is putting everything together and finding the courage to attempt that first muscle up! Before going for your first attempt go through stages 1-4 thinking about how you can portray each step in your final attempt!

Find some aggression, don’t overuse your kip for too many attempts. Don’t burn yourself out! You do not want to practice muscle ups under muscle fatigue, if it isn’t happening after the first few attempts then leave it for the day and come back another to try again!

Watch the demonstration video below of the drills, to see which stage you’re up to!

If you’re looking to master this movement with the help of a coach, just send a message to me, at, or send us a message on our Facebook page.

Muscle Up Series | Part 2

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Welcome to Part 2 of our Muscle up series!

Last blog,  we looked at ways we can increase our pulling strength in order to gain the baseline level of strength needed for the almighty muscle up.  In this blog, we are going to go through the other half of the movement — which is just, if not, more important: The ring dip.

There are many exercises in functional fitness that can be frustrating and testing for all kinds of athletes. One of them being the dreaded ring dip.

In order for a muscle up to be complete, we must have the ability to not only pull-up, but also press our body weight.

Ring dips are challenging for multiple reasons. The fact that the rings as an instrument alone aren’t completely stable, makes the movement difficult, as you need to work to stabilise the rings before even completing the dip portion.

Scenario: Have you ever look at the workout of the day, seen that ring dips are scheduled in the program, and think to yourself

“Ring Dips? Well, I’m skipping class!”

If this is you — don’t give up!

Instead, continue reading the following steps on how you can learn many different progressions that can assist you to either improving or simply getting your very first ring dip!

Before performing any movement, ask yourself a few questions to figure out if the dip will be an appropriate  movement for you!

  • Are your shoulders and elbows pain free?
  • Are you able to do full range push-ups? (Chest to floor)
  • Do you have any pre or past injuries which would make this movement painful or difficult to complete?

If you can safely see yourself moving forward towards your first ring dip, you can follow through with the following.

Static Holds

A hold can be performed on either gymnastics rings, or on two plyometric boxes.  If a static hold is something which you find quite difficult, start with assisted holds, such as one foot on the floor before trying to hold your body weight freely. When attempting a static hold on gymnastic rings, have a training partner with you to slightly hold the rings at your side while you hold in a static position to get yourself comfortable with holding yourself up for the first time. 

Coach recommendation: Before you jump straight on the rings, we recommend that you should be able to hold for 15-30 seconds on the boxes, before attempting to hold on gymnastic rings.

Stationary Dips/ Box Dips

Before you move forward with the ring dip, it is advised to start with a more stable movement — like the stationary dip.  A stationary dip can be done by using either stationary dip bars or two plyometric boxes. The flat surface of the plyometric boxes allows you to still work through the same range of motion, in which is required for the ring or stationary bar, without needing the strength required to control your balance on a more difficult object surface.

Coach recommendation: We recommend being able to complete 8-10 unassisted stationary dips before  attempting a ring dip.

Tempo Dips

Building time under tension within dips can help build the needed strength for the full range of motion required for the ring dip. Make sure that you adhere to the tempo for both the eccentric and concentric portion of the movements.

A good tempo to start with is @3111. Three seconds on the way down 1 second hold at the bottom of the dip 1 second up and 1 to reset. You can change the tempo to increase the amount of time under tension, until you feel stable enough to begin using a simple tempo of @1111 with a significant amount of strength.

Band-Assisted Ring-Dips

Bands are a fantastic way to see progression made over a certain movement — especially that of a ring dip. After gaining enough strength to transfer to the rings, the bands can be of some assistance when it comes to stability. As you get more comfortable completing quite a high number of reps, with a certain resistance you can continue to work your way down until no band is needed at all!

Tips to remember!!

Form first – The better your form is, the easier each rep will be. The best way to perform each ring dip is to keep the rings close to your body, push your chest forward, and keep your elbows back while you lower down for each rep. Your biceps must contact with the rings for the rep to count.

Scale appropriately – Just like many other exercises, not everyone will be able to Rx straight away. If you’re having trouble with the movement, then scale the exercise. Start off doing dips on a bench, then move onto bar dips when your confidence builds. Once your bar dips are at a solid stage, then try ring dips using resistance bands. Everyone starts somewhere, so enjoy the journey and watch yourself grow!

Practice your holds– It can take a little while to get used to using gymnastics rings. Therefore, it is a good idea to practice your holds as often as possible. Performing static holds for 30 seconds to a minute is a great way to not only work on your stabiliser muscles, but also to get you familiar with using rings. If 30 second holds seems like too long, segment your time into 3 sets of 10 second holds until you feel more comfortable and confident.

Improve Your Mobility – Is it your lack of strength or your lack of mobility within the shoulders that seems to be making ring dips tough? If  your shoulders are feeling rigid, spend 5-10 minutes working on some upper body mobility before your sessions to improve your shoulder position.

Try, and then try again! – Perseverance is everything when it comes to succeeding. Everyone will always have something they find to achieve a little harder than others. The important thing is not to give up.

With time, practice and a bit of perseverance, every exercise can be mastered.

Look out for my next blog where we will be going through the skill component of the muscle up, the transition!

Why Resistance Training is Ruining Your Game.

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There is a common perception that resistance training is ruining your game. For example, in basketball I have heard time and again that doing resistance training ruins my shot. To an extent, I agree with this statement. Not because resistance training is bad, but that fact that the resistance training you are doing is bad.


It’s not your fault. The issue is that you have no guidance in your program so the training you are doing is building size and strength that is not specific to your sport. When you don’t see progress, or hindered performance you stop training in the gym and spending more time on the court or field working on skills for hours and hours. Unfortunately, this can lead to overuse injuries from doing too much of the same thing.


The great news is that here at GW Performance, we have the solution to your problem. Under the guidance of experienced strength and conditioning coaches you will receive a customised program aimed at specifically improving your performance on the court through:


  • Improving mobility
  • Improving movement coordination
  • Increasing strength
  • Increasing power


If you have or are experiencing poor performance from resistance training, stay tuned because over the next few weeks I will be releasing some tips and exercises to smartly improve your on-court mobility and performance.


In the meantime, if you have any questions feel free to email me at or come and see us at GW Performance.

Coach Mitch

CrossFit | Strength & Conditioning | Personal Training

GW Performance

South Yarra