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Pawel Rurak

Conquering straddle handstand

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Pawel Rurak

Hi all,

I have quite a tough time doing straddle handstands. While I feel solid in a normal two arm HS, when I start doing straddle my bodyline doesn't want to "stick". Is it a matter of straddle flexibility, motor control or maybe both?

 

Here's a video of me from todays practice:

 

 

0:12 - 0:24 - spreding the legs twice to straddle HS, this is my maximal range of motion. I focus on keeping the pelvis still, hovever my feet travel in front of my body.

0:25 - 0:49 - here I'm doing two small weight shifts - first to the right, second to the left. It's not visible very well in the video, since shifts are quite small.

 

Do you have some tips on how to correct this position? I want to start playing with one arm handstands, yet because of the weaknesses in straddle I don't feel stable enough. Started doing splits recently (and they help little by little), but maybe there are some other clever ideas?


Thanks,

Pawel

 

 

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Mikael Kristiansen

Unless you have a perfect 180 split your feet will most likely travel in front of your body when you do a max straddle. This happens to me too even when I do 1 arm. Its not a problem as long as your back stays straight and you do not let yourself twist because of this. What you should focus on is your straddle flexibility along with your pancake as this will help you straddle more in your handstand. For 1 arm this will be extremely important. Less flexibility in split makes it easier to start twisting when you go over towards 1 arm. Also when you weight shift you need to go further down with your leading leg so you get more diagonal with your legs. Shoulder stays exactly the same and the legs move over from the hips. Get used to holding the 1 arm alignment on 2 arms for at least 20 seconds comfortably before going to fingers support on the free arm.

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Keilani Gutierrez

I'm no handstand expert, but from what I can see your hip doing, the same thing used to happen to me when I was learning how to do a side split, you can't allow yourself to fold at the hip flexors, you have to tuck your hips throughout the movement and "feel" the stretch out. you just have a little bit of limited mobility. nothing to worry about,  try some hip flexor stretches and give the straddle handstand a try and see if it helps.

nice handstands btw! 

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Pawel Rurak

Thanks guys, I will focus on splits for now and I will see where it takes me. 

 

Some time ago, I noticed that, while I have a pretty decent mobility in a "normal" hip extension (like in the front split), I totally suck when it comes to straddle. When stretching in middle split, I don't feel tension in the inner side od the thigh, but only in hip flexors. Naturally it's something that is caused from neglecting this specific movement for a long time. Is there a good stretch to tackle this hip flexors stiffness in a straddle position (aside from splits)?

 

Thanks,

Pawel

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Brendan Coad

Thanks guys, I will focus on splits for now and I will see where it takes me. 

 

Some time ago, I noticed that, while I have a pretty decent mobility in a "normal" hip extension (like in the front split), I totally suck when it comes to straddle. When stretching in middle split, I don't feel tension in the inner side od the thigh, but only in hip flexors. Naturally it's something that is caused from neglecting this specific movement for a long time. Is there a good stretch to tackle this hip flexors stiffness in a straddle position (aside from splits)?

 

Thanks,

Pawel

I have a similar pattern as you, front split but no middle yet although I have been making progress lately.  I think the volume/frequency of work I'm doing to open my straddle is number one but if I had to say what has been most helpful its the lizard

 

5ec6adc6aa54ad45_Grasshopper-pose.jpg

 

and pancake

 

Static stretch, moving around in those stretches, learning where tension is in the hips, what happens when you rotate the back leg etc.  Spending time learning about those two positions has done much for me so far.

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Keilani Gutierrez

Hip Extensions hurt like all heck. I would suggest you do them before hip flexor/straddle stretching.

 

I have been doing them twice a week as supplemental work since starting F1 and man do I feel it.

ditto. started today and I was just laying on the floor and I could make an acceptable couple tries of a reasonable handstand line, minus my hands.(still working on the shoulder opening)

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Pawel Rurak

Shouldn't those "hip extensions" actually be called "hip flexions"? From my understanding of the movement you are supposed to flex the hip and extend the knee to strengthen the hip flexors (and stretch hip extensors). My problem with straddle is actually opposite. It seems that I lack range of motion in hip extension and abduction so I need exercises that can tackle this specific problem. But maybe I'm misunderstanding something.

 

Pawel

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jl5555

If I were to put on my "Yuri" hat I would say that having a good straddle split is not the issue, it is, perhaps, that you are attempting to maintain the balance too much from your hips and legs.  You should be balancing from the hands, the legs and hips should be just tensed but able to move them around without affecting your stability.   It's one of those "ah-ha" moments in building a good handstand when you find that where your legs are is less important than what your upper body is doing.  You'll know you get there when one day you get into handstand and the legs just feel.... "extra".  Hard to describe but you'll know it.

 

I think that one of the best paths to a good side split is via the front split.  Work on that front split and after a few months add in the hip rotations to the side split.  

 

Brendan, wow, you've changed!  Don't forget to rotate the forward knee out for that extra hip opening!

 

I have a similar pattern as you, front split but no middle yet although I have been making progress lately.  I think the volume/frequency of work I'm doing to open my straddle is number one but if I had to say what has been most helpful its the lizard .....and pancake

 

Static stretch, moving around in those stretches, learning where tension is in the hips, what happens when you rotate the back leg etc.  Spending time learning about those two positions has done much for me so far.

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