July 1, 2021

BodyLine Circuit 1 with Olivia Allnutt l Stretch Therapy Monkey Gym


This BodyLine Circuit video features warm-ups for all the parts of the body that the circuit emphasises, and an approximately 39-minute follow-along whole-body strengthening routine. This includes planks, L-sits (partial and full), different hollow variations (tuck, open, arm positions), arch variations (arch body hold, partial and full), reverse planks (also sometimes named 'fish'), different push-ups, and ... everyone collapses at the end! It is much harder than it looks, and is extremely effective. No part of the body is un-strengthened!

What is often not realised is that one of the exercises, the reverse plank, is far and away the most important and effective shoulder rehab exercise we have, and can be done by anyone in one of its forms. It activates all the rotator cuff muscles extremely strongly and in a way that is not mimicked by any daily life movement – hence, its novelty makes it extremely effective.

This was shot live in the Monkey Gym at the Australian National University in Canberra. Work along with the class students and enjoy the intensity!

A free reference PDF to learn the key form points of most of the exercises included in this circuit can be downloaded at stretchtherapy.net/wp-content/uploads/2018/04/wrist-mobility_bodyline-exercises_handstands.pdf ... Read more about Monkey Gym below.

What is the Monkey Gym?

The work spans explicit rehabilitation through to the development of dynamic strength; we all sit somewhere on that continuum (from injured to elite performance), and a good strengthening program needs to begin with the objective of getting the basics right.

The foundation of any effective strengthening work is sound biomechanics, and we start there. The capacity to feel the muscles you are using to do any particular task is the fundamental part of the MG system. If you add strength to unsound foundations, an injury is in your future – the basics are everything.

The Monkey Gym protocol begins with these assumptions:

✅ you cannot increase strength safely without the capacity to hold any desired spinal alignment;
✅ you cannot increase leg and hip strength without efficient foot and ankle alignment and accurate knee tracking; and
✅ you can’t increase pushing and pulling strength without active and balanced rotator cuff activation and an efficient scapulo–humeral rhythm.

We can describe these attributes in a positive way as “efficient spinal alignment” and “sound biomechanics”. The Monkey Gym starts by addressing these whole-body capacities, one by one.

One of the foundations of the Stretch Therapy–Monkey Gym system is the belief that bodyweight exercises, when made appropriately difficult by manipulating lever lengths and stability bases, using minimal equipment, will provide all the strength most people will ever need in normal daily life.

In the MG system, any exercise can be made more difficult (“forward engineering”) or easier (“back engineering”), and, all exercises, whether static or moving, are both diagnosis and treatment alike, and will show you how to identify common weaknesses in your body.

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