Today I wanted to share a new cardio station I got from my Strength and Conditioning coach friends at Champion Physical Therapy. I have been using it a lot as part of our summer conditioning circuits that focus a lot on building General Physical Preparedness (GPP) and more try to focus a lot as well on aerobic capacity. I will show the video below, and then offer some points for instruction.

Items needed are a box with appropriate handle, towing rope of some sort (battling ropes work great), and some external weights if chosen to be more difficult. The rope is tied to one end of the handle, and then laid down with it extended to full length. The gymnast will sit at the end (can also stand to be more hip dominant), and then with proper core control pull hand over hand until the box reaches them. Once reached, they then stand up, and push the weighted block back to it’s original starting position.

This exercise is great for many reasons. t helps develop and upper body horizontal pulling movement and is another great way to strengthen the upper body without the arms overhead. Gymnasts typically do a ton of overhead volume to strengthen pulling motions through rope climbs, pull ups, leg lifts, and so on. I enjoy switching it up a bit from the

  • It helps develop and upper body horizontal pulling movement and is another great way to strengthen the upper body without the arms overhead. Gymnasts typically do a ton of overhead volume to strengthen pulling motions through rope climbs, pull ups, leg lifts, and so on. I enjoy switching it up a bit from the repetitive patterns often seen.

  • It helps bias single arm pulling, which is not as commonly used in gymnastics for general strength development

  • It can be easily scalable to all athletes with the box size, distance of pulling / pushing, or weight used on top of the box.

  • It’s very easy to set up, and fun for the kids to do. You can even add more weight and make it a team exercises.

Give it a shot and see how you like it! Have a great week,

Dave Tilley DPT, SCS, CSCS

CEO/Founder of SHIFT Movement Science and Gymnastics Education

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