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Charlie Reid

Toes pointed in handstand?

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Charlie Reid

Apologies if this is a remedial question, but i want to discuss toes pointed (plantar flexed) vs. toes dorsiflexed (pulled back) in the handstand. Is the toes pointed position in handstand solely for aesthetic reasons or does it provide other performance benefits? i.e.-better balance, longer line, better tension, etc? Some Yoga camps teach the dorsiflexed position as it seems to tension the back line of the body. Could this help with more posterior tilt if the posterior line is tensioned via dorsiflexion of the ankle?

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Daniel Burnham

Pointing of the toes is actually a good cue to straighten the handstand. Thinking about touching the ceiling with the toes during a handstand tends to tighten the body and make the handstand longer and straighter which are both good things. Pelvic tilt should be corrected specifically though, pointing the toes won't help this much.

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Tarun Suri

The muscles you contract result in the surrounded muscles contracting as well. Therefore, the more muscles you contract, the more rigid you would become in your handstand, look up Sherrington's Law of Irradiation.

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yuri marmerstein

Pointed toes are part of the handstand line.  it is just as important as anything else. 

 

Unless you are artistically flexing your feet, keep them pointed in your handstand

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Karl Kallio

According to one person I took a course from, in order to get ideal balance (with the body completely straight) the ball of the big toe should be vertically in line with the heel.  As the knees extend more and more this requires more and more extension of the ankle.  The same coach had the opinion that toe position is connected to culture, different sports/artistic disciplines think different things about toe position whereas they all agree about ankle position.

 

An article I read about ballet (years ago, don't ask me what publication) suggested that the ideal toe point mimics the golden mean spiral and is important for helping performers make their legs look longer, which helps your line look straighter.

 

Personally I like to hold a position with toe point, then actively flex my feet, it makes me very aware of what my knees, hips and related muscles are doing, although I am nowhere near doing this in  handstand yet.

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yuri marmerstein

An article I read about ballet (years ago, don't ask me what publication) suggested that the ideal toe point mimics the golden mean spiral and is important for helping performers make their legs look longer, which helps your line look straighter.

I've been taking ballet recently, and this just blew my mind

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Karl Kallio

this just blew my mind

Ya....I've never really worried too much.  Who has enough control over their feet to decide what angle of toe point they are going to use? I've only ever met two people who I would say had "enough" foot extension... all the rest of us just scrape by trying to improve what genetics and time limits permit us.

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Aaron Griffin

Pointing the toes also gives you more awareness of where your feet are. If they're relaxed, it's harder to really feel them without looking at them

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Charlie Reid

Great thread, guys. Thanks so much for the feedback. 

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