Jump to content
Search In
  • More options...
Find results that contain...
Find results in...
Hivoyer

Head pressure during handstands and headstands

Recommended Posts

Hivoyer

When you push a large weight and you use a lot of muscles your blood pressure raises and when you're doing it upside down like when you're doing handstand pushups and presses isn't there any risk to the brain.I mean isnt all that pressure harmful?Cause when I try straddle press to handstand my face becomes red and i'm kinda worried

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
matthew.percussion

I had a similar problem while doing a variation of RLLs. Coach Sommer recommended on checking if you were breathing during the exercise. If you forget to breath it tends to make your face light up. :P

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Blairbob

Hivoyer, have you ever seen someone's face when pushing out intense loads of standing shoulder press, bench press or squat or deadlifting? With any of these exercises, people have been known to burst capillaries due to load/pressure ( which sometimes happens rarely to beginners when being inverted ).

When it comes to strength holds, you'll see people get very red when doing a hold that is intense for them. It could simply be a handstand on wall to something like a planche or cross.

One of my boys was very tired after practicing pulling out of the back lever to inverted candlestick last night. He has a solid back lever, 30s+.

Another example is last week I was using the boys for weighted dips. While dipping two boys, the other boy ( who is bigger than the smaller two ), said he had never seen someone's face so red. Both of the two lil guys together were about 90 pounds and were in my max range of 1-2rm.

It is very problematic to remember to breathe during intense holds. We tighten everything up so much, we forget to breathe which limits our hold times to some regard. That doesn't work when trying to do long handstand holds or L holds.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Hivoyer

Thanks,I'll practice proper breathig

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest Valentin

Just for reference this is called the Valsalva maneuver. The act of trying to forcibly exhaling against a closed airway. Dangerous because it does raid the blood pressure a lot, and as Blairbob it has been know to cause burst capillaries and such.. nothing major..however its quite unlikely.

If you know how to use the Valsalva maneuver its extremely helpfull with max lifts, its even been recommended in sprinters, to time the use of it, about 3-4 times in a 100m sprint.

Anyways. easier solution is breathing..

The correct breathing technique is in through the nose on the negative phase (the lowering part or the easy part of any exercises, eccentric contraction however you want to describe it) out through the mouth on the positive (the hard part, the concentric contraction whatever). Give it time and be conscious of your breathing.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
StevenL

I'm guessing, though I'm not sure, that being upside down for some period of time each day is good for your circulation. The pressure does become less of an issue as you learn to breathe properly upside down.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest Valentin

As far as i am aware there is neither a beneficial or detrimental effect from spending time upside down.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Blairbob

In yoga circles, it is thought that inversion allows the lymph to drain down as well as circulation. Can't really say honestly though as it sounds sorta sketchy to me.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest Valentin

That doesn't sound right to me, especially since the lymphs and a veins only drain one way due to the one way valves along their vessels. So really it shouldn't matter to much. Plus the lymphs are not effected by blood pressure as their drainage is due to muscular contractions as opposed to a pumping mechanism like the heart.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Coach Sommer

The circulation of lymph, or the lack thereof, is a serious matter indeed. When I first began to investigate the role of lymph, I was surprised to find that oncologists (cancer specialists) are particularly concerned with the debilitating effects of poor lymph circulation on our physiology. A culture where the primary mode of work and entertainment is to sit for eight hours plus, day in and day out, is a culture at odds with its own physiological needs. The body was meant to move, failure to do so will ultimately lead to a catastrophic breakdown of the system.

Yours in Fitness,

Coach Sommer

  • Upvote 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Dominik Zbogar

Well, after a couple weeks of doing generic weight training which was preceded by a long span of very little time in the gym (i.e. I'm out of shape), I decided to start doing WODS. Today I did one involving cast wall walks, wall runs, HSPUs...and now looking in the mirror I see noticeable areas of broken capillaries in the skin around the eyes. My body was not ready for this workout. Is it really just a matter of breathing properly or is there some adaptation of the vasculature that comes with being inverted making it more resilient to the pressure that occurs when upside down?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Blairbob

This is pretty common amongst new trainees. It is something that has to be adapted to over time.

Over on the CF forums, there are plenty of threads of CFers freaking out about popping a capillary and getting headaches from inversion.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Vagabond

Hey, I don't think you should worry too much about blowing capillaries. Just breathe properly while in handstand, like said earlier, because handstands are meant to be held for a long time. You'll learn it with practice.

And I've often blown up capillaries while working on my maltease, a few years ago. Especially when using the exercise with two blocks where you lower yourself down and then come back up to a shoulder stand. Coach probably knows which exercise I'm talking about. My capillaries stopped breaking after I could do a few good repetitions. Then they started breaking again when I added ankle weights.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Bart

I am having a similar problem. I started doing handstands today. I started against a wall, but immediately when i get upside down i feel an enormous pressure on my head. Then i read this topic and tried again with regularly taking deep breaths (and fast breathing) but the pressure doesn't go away. Can anybody give me advice on how to prevent getting pain and tell me what i am doing wrong?

 

Some info about me that might help:

I am about 1.92 m tall and 87 kg. I have a relatively good condition and i can do atleast 20 neat push ups. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
jl5555

I would like to add that cultivating the proper tension across the core when doing a head/handstand will help significantly with reducing the perceived pressure in the neck and head.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Cole Dano

@Bart most people will adapt to this fairly quickly and the pain will disappear. Just start with short holds and gradually build up.

The only contraindications being high blood pressure and glaucoma.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Bart

Ok thanks guys. I wasn't sure whether it would be safe to push through the pain and get used to it. 

I ll do some more core exercises and everyday 10 x 1 or 2 seconds upside down. I ll let you know if it works;).  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
FREDERIC DUPONT
(...) Valsalva maneuver. (...)  its even been recommended in sprinters, to time the use of it, about 3-4 times in a 100m sprint. (...) 

I did not know that, & I am surprised...  :huh:

Although breathing is really optional in a 100m, I would think that consciously holding your breath and adding tension ( what the valsalva maneuver is about) would not be conducive to proper relaxation of the shoulders, neck, etc...

But hey, keep in mind that I am mostly obsolete :D

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Stephen Collings

I've just got myself a huge bright red rash on my neck after doing handstand pushups, and classic petichiae spots around the eyes.

And I've just realized this is what it is (petichiae - i.e. burst capillaries under the skin), thanks to searching on Google for "handstand rash" (and "handstand pushup rash" actually came up as a Google suggestion!) and finding lots of articles and threads on it -  petichiae being caused by handstands and handstand pushups - and Google found this thread  too. My rash does seem to be made up of lots of petichiae spots which have merged together, like in photos I've seen, such as here: https://www.crossfitinvictus.com/blog/the-pressure-of-being-upside-down/ (although it's a much bigger rash for me than the one shown there!)

I got a near-identical rash to the one I have today a few months ago, back in February, and I was diagnosed with ezcema and given hydrocortisone cream and anti-histamine tablets to treat it. But thinking back now, I'm sure that rash was caused by the handstands as well. Indeed I could feel a sudden stinging on my neck this afternoon when upside down, and I now remember that happening the first time, months ago. And I now remember that I wondered about it first time around whether the rash was caused by handstands, but I forgot about it, and I was diagnosed, and treated for, eczema. Indeed I do have eczema, and a tendency to getting it since becoming a lifeguard and working in a chlorine environment, and that area of my neck was dry and itchy in recent days - but not red - or only very slightly. But the extreme red rash came on suddenly after doing handstand pushups - my colleague pointed it out to me shortly after, and he confirmed my neck was clear all morning - it was after the handstand pushups (that I did in my work break) that suddenly I got this very alarming rash!

I'm going to see a doctor and discuss it all.

I'd be grateful for advice from coaches and athletes with experience. I don't want to give up handstands!!!

(LOL - a family member has said I should stop doing handstands!)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Coach Sommer

Hello Stephen,

You are straining too hard and are creating more pressure than your capillaries can currently handle.

Two recommendations;

1) For the time being, greatly reduce the duration of your HS and the reps of HSPU.

2) Stop holding your breath during your HS work.

Yours in Fitness,

Coach Sommer

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Stephen Collings
15 hours ago, Coach Sommer said:

Hello Stephen,

You are straining too hard and are creating more pressure than your capillaries can currently handle.

Two recommendations;

1) For the time being, greatly reduce the duration of your HS and the reps of HSPU.

2) Stop holding your breath during your HS work.

Yours in Fitness,

Coach Sommer

Hello coach!

Thank you very much for the advice, and for the encouragement given by the suggestion that I might build up the necessary robustness if I go back and approach again gradually.

I will take your advice!

  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Please sign in to comment

You will be able to leave a comment after signing in



Sign In Now

×

Important Information

Please review our Privacy Policy at Privacy Policy before using the forums.