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Beginner – Advanced
To master manna
About this Progression
The manna progression is another one of the gymnastic-based exercises within calisthenics. There is no other exercise progression which demands so much balance and core strength to be developed. Body flexibility is also an important part of the progression as the completion of the final exercise requires you to display a body position which may seem completely impossible.
An incredible feat that is truly humbling due to its immense difficulty to achieve.
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Manna Progression Exercises List
Step 1: Foot Support L Sit
This can be done either on the floor or with the use of some raised bars. It is more difficult to do on the floor because of the amount of stress it puts on the wrist. Raise your backside off the ground with your hands. Extend your feet straight out in front of you and use them to help support you in this position. Try to focus on extending your scapula towards the floor and depressing your shoulders down.
Step 2: Advanced Tuck L Sit
The second phase of the manna progression involved the same hand position. The difference is your leg position. This time bend your legs until they are tucked with your feet around a foot and a half from your hands. For your first few attempts you may want to attempt the exercise with your feet supporting your weight on the floor, but before moving to the next step try and be able to balance on your hands with your feet elevated. If your body’s prepared, you could tilt your body slightly backward to get the feeling of transitioning to manna.
Step 3: Straddle L Sit
Balance on your hands using the floor or raised bars again and spread your legs either side of your arms and extend them out in front of you. By the end of this, you will be used to the sensation of balancing on your hands only. You could also prepare your body by training the regular L sit. Just take the jump slowly because the straddle L sit feels a lot difficult over the Regular L sit. You might also feel some cramping with your quads when performing the exercise. If this happens, you might want to lower the progression or decrease the volume for now.
Step 4: V Sit
There are 2 hand positions to choose for this exercise. You could first place your hands similar to the L sit as the basic form. The other one is the preparation for manna with hands facing backwards. The objective here is to strengthen your core so that you will be able to hold the final position. Start by sitting on the floor and extending your legs together in the air about a 45 degree angle to the floor. Lean back to maintain balance and put your arms out parallel to your legs. Holding this position will strain your core muscles and give you great core balance. From this you should attempt to hold the position while balancing on your hands. This is the best preparation for the manna exercise. To increase the hold and/or height of your V sit, you could use a wall to assist your reach the height. You could also use this to increase your shoulder flexibility and pike flexibility.
You may be interested to see some V sit eccentrics if you find this exercise difficult
Step 5: Manna
The ultimate step of this progression. Balance on your hands, facing backward, and bring your legs together in front of you in an L sit position. Begin to bring your legs up until you are in the V sit and begin to go further until your back is nearly parallel with the floor and your shins are close to touching your face. This is an awesome progression in strength, flexibility, mobility and balance. It is our pleasure if you found this progression useful.
Need additional help?
Check this out if you need some hamstring mobility. You’ll need a lot of it in other to perform this seemingly impossible move.