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Karl Gotch Conditioning

Following my recent entry on handstand pushups (here), I received an email with a link to the Karl Gotch video that I referenced within the tutorial. You can watch it below.

Within the video, you’ll see several bodyweight movements. The exercise demonstrations begin at approximately the 4:45 mark. Handstand pushup demonstrations begin at the 9:00 mark.

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Conditioning is the greatest hold. – Karl Gotch

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14 Comments so far

  1. Naveen Ramesh April 9th, 2012 7:17 am

    Totally new BWE Variations I would never have think of
    Thanks very much ross, this will spice up my
    workout regiment.

  2. ted Prynce April 9th, 2012 9:39 am

    I read somewhere that Gotch wouldn’t train his students how to wrestle before they could do 500 hindu push ups , 500 hindu squats and could bridge for 3 minutes,
    No frills but extremely practical stuff, nice post

  3. Ronnie Rodriguez April 9th, 2012 10:09 am

    Rocking video dated 1995..thanks for sharing these…i cannot wait to try these out..3 severe accidents ago I would attempt those neck exercises..but oh well that still leaves plenty..if you ever come to central valley california you have a facilitty to train at we are small but some day we will be bigger as long as we focus about the training not the square footage

  4. mac April 9th, 2012 12:06 pm


  5. nunh April 9th, 2012 1:42 pm

    Love the video – I do believe one should be careful with neck bridges (unless you are well trained, fighter/ wrestler) – for most the exercises can lead to injury. I love everything else they do though!

  6. Eric April 9th, 2012 3:04 pm

    Great video! I’ve watched this numerous times on Youtube. I never thought of the muscle up being a combination pullup-dip-pullover until Karl Gotch described it that way. Of course we all know the muscle up combines a pullup with a dip, but I never thought of the lowering phase as actually being just like a pullover with weights before Gotch describe it this way. I’ve been doing neck bridges with my nose touching the floor now for a couple of years and my spine, neck, and lower back never felt better. When I first started them I was reluctant to try them because of all the negative feedback this exercise has received, but personally I’ve nothing but praise for how it has eleviated my constant lower back pain and has made my spine feel more supple than it has in decades. Of course when I first tried the neck bridges it was all I could do to just touch the top of my forehead to the floor and using my hands for support at that, but just go slowly on this exercise and I don’t think you should experience any problems. I honestly feel from my personal experience and others that the Hindu Squat poses more risks for injury than the neck bridges, especially if you perform hundreds of reps in this exercise. Many people will tell you that knees should never be forward of the toes in any squatting movement, and exercises like the Hindu Squat and Sissy Squat are prime examples of violating this rule. Maybe if you keep the reps within reason you shouldn’t experience any knee problems, but I just can’t see banging out hundreds or even thousands of reps on the Hindu Squat or even the basic bodyweight squat. That kind of wear and tear would/should play havoc on the knees.

  7. Eric April 9th, 2012 3:55 pm

    oops, that’s alleviated not “eleviated.” Would like to see that video on how to do roadwork that Gotch mentioned at the end of the video.

  8. Titusz April 9th, 2012 9:59 pm

    great, ross! thanks for this!

  9. jessie April 9th, 2012 10:05 pm

    I think your site and the methods that you are showing people are great. A hand stand push up is hard! It takes me back to my 6 years in the Army. I know how hard it is to lose weight because I recently lost 45 pounds. Keep up the great work!

  10. nunh April 10th, 2012 6:59 pm

    Eric – great comments – and mostly I agree with what you are saying. I do think (as a massage therapist) that one could be asking for trouble with neck exercises as advertised. To me, personally, I believe unless one is a wrestler/ grappler/ fighter and/ or professional athletic – there are safer ways to condition the neck. I think the repetitions utilizing the neck exercises in this video and time could be dangerous in the long run. Imho – the risk is too great. I suggest people to read on how the muscles and ligaments change with age. I am also of the opinion that exercises, mobility and dynamic stretches usually protect the body when one does these with good form. I’m not sure how I feel about Hindu squats. I have been doing medium reps for several years. Just because one person does not experience and pain in the present doesn’t give everyone a green light for absolute safety.

    But, in life there are no absolutes so I push the envelope with my legs and stay more cautious with my neck. I love this site!

  11. nunh April 10th, 2012 7:03 pm

    Oh btw – I left out what I consider a safe method of conditioning one’s neck – band work (iron woody/ jump stretch/ pallet bands), isometrics, and sandbag/ Bulgarian bag lifts/ neck shrugs are all great, safer methods of strengthening the neck. I do bridges just not neck bridges.

  12. Will April 27th, 2012 2:47 pm

    To all those crying about the dangers of neck bridging (because you can’t do it) Realize that that building up the neck and spine for fighting is by far more important and the legs and arms or abs. (the show muscles) In any grappling, it goes without saying, but in boxing too because you need a super strong neck to take shots to the head.

  13. Blog July 16th, 2012 6:55 am

    [...] Karl Gotch Conditioning [...]

  14. Blog January 4th, 2013 1:59 pm

    [...] If you aren’t familiar with Karl Gotch, refer to this previous entry. [...]

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