2 Minute Stretch to Improve Your Handstand Line
Whether you are working towards better skill and adjustments or looking to give your handstand line a bonus for better long-term sustainability, this simple stretch based around the GymnasticBodies techniques will help you see an immediate difference in your handstand, as well as your overhead lifting mechanics, day in and day out.
Add this exercise to your weekly handstand training or lifting warm-up, regardless of where you are or what you might be doing. Use it to improve your handstand mobility, shape, and overhead position with only 2 minutes per side.
Sweet tip: This exercise also translates perfectly into the rest of your fitness routine by giving you added mobility and increased lifting power for weightlifting or other strength training endeavors. Like all new areas of growth, in order to get the maximum reward possible, consistency is key. The only thing you’ll need for this effective exercise is a bit of floor space and a simple PVC pipe. Make sure it’s going to be long enough, especially if you are a taller athlete. Let’s try it out!
Mobilization is the key to a solid handstand. Don't neglect this critical aspect of your training.
First Things First: Mirror Check Your Pelvic Tilt
We’ll begin by testing your overhead position in a mirror to make sure you have PPT (Posterior Pelvic Tilt). A mirror helps you SEE where your body naturally goes, so you can correct the pelvic position in order to get your arms into a better overhead (aka handstand) position. Remember, you must keep your pelvis tucked to avoid arching in your lower back.
TIP check: Stand sideways in front of a mirror, and look at how you naturally stand.
Does your behind jutt out; are your hips tilted forward pushing out your stomach? This posture comes from a neglected posterior chain (large muscle groups including the back, hamstrings, and glutes) and, as you’ve probably experienced, this posture or stance becomes a breeding ground for lower back blues. Find your PPT, and let’s move on.
Stretch Your Overhead Extension
Now, grab the top of a PVC pipe, and take a giant step backward with the same side leg as you are holding the pipe. If you are holding the top of the pipe in your right hand, your right leg steps backward (for example). Gently bring your knee to the floor. Now for those of you that are already feeling this stretch all the way into your lower back and your lat muscle insertion, stay here and hang out holding your PVC in a lateral line – hold this stretch for 2 minutes.
If you don’t feel anything yet, take it a step further and lean your hips sideways in the direction of the pipe and use the flexibility of the PVC to increase the stretch until you feel everything from the base of your palm to the lower back begin to stretch.
Re-test and Repeat the Handstand Line Stretch
Re-test your overhead mobility with the same PPT (Posterior Pelvic Tilt). Enjoy the rapid improvement, and move on to the other side for 2 minutes to ensure symmetrical benefits.
Now, try kicking up into a handstand! You’ll feel the quick improved position and stack (due to balanced joints), and the ease of hitting your handstand line right away! If you are weightlifting, grab a barbell and get it directly overhead to feel the smooth improved lifting line and overhead position.
Find other simple ways to markedly improve your handstand or overhead position, or to improve your posture and combat the effects of your daily desk work through the Gymnasticbodies Handstand Courses. Your wrists, the muscles throughout your entire upper body, and your back will thrive on the variety of exercises found in the GymnasticBodies Online Courses.