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Mithileash Mohan

Help in aligning my handstand to a straight line

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Mithileash Mohan

Hi all,

 

I am trying to align my handstand to a straight line and help is much appreicated :) It seems whenever I am approaching the straight line I am not able to hold it in that position I immediately loose balance. This is the youtube link (http://youtu.be/xKc-jwPK_Hs) to my attempt of straight line handstand. I am able to balance and be more stable if I am arching my back as seen in the video. I have started the handstand wall runs recently as well and I suck at it still I am able to do it for around 30 seconds.

 

Thank you,

Mithil

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frolosophy

You lack sufficient shoulder flexibility for the straight line to be feasible. What you'll end up doing is forcing yourself to be straight and putting tension on your shoulders which you will have to work against and that is most likely the cause of your difficulty balancing.

As you can see from the video, your legs are having to counterbalance over your head to make up for the difference; when you align them with your hips and back, you lose that counterbalance. Opening up your shoulders will remedy that problem. There are many simple mobility drills you can use to do this such as shoulder dislocates and hollow body holds (holding weights in your hands will make them more effective). After a few weeks of mobility drills, you should notice a huge difference in your handstand line, and you will be able to balance much more easily when straightening your body.

I'll say it now, because it will inevitably come out: get H1. Whatever I can recommend will only be scratching the surface of what is outlined in that program.

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Vincent Stoyas

Also, you're kicking up with your legs very far behind you. Walk them closer to your hands so you don't have to reverse so much momentum when your feet are above your head.

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Mithileash Mohan

Hi Frolosophy and Vincearoo,

 

First of all thanks for your suggestions.

 

Shoulder Flexibility: Shoulder dislocates are not bad that is my grip on the bar is not wide and I can do it with ease. I can also hold skin the cat position for a bit more than 30 seconds with ease. Thanks for the tip on weighted hollow body I will give that a shot. What I am trying to say is my shoulder flexibility is not that bad and may not be the problem (Excuse my ignorance just trying to confirm apologies if i am wrong)? Having said that I know my shoulders are internally rotated could that be the cause of the problem

 

Kicking up: Great idea never occurred to me :P Thanks for that !!!

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Pasha Muravyev

frolosophy is right - your shoulders are not yet completely open, so mobility drills will definitely help.

 

In addition, pay attention to staying tight in your lower back when you kick up - right now you can see your lower back moving all over the place; if you don't have that "tightness" through the body, attempting to balance with the hands will be a futile endeavor (since you'll still be collapsing at the hips). Work hollow/arch position while really focusing on keeping lower back tight, and after a few sets of hollow holds, attempt to kick up into a handstand and feel the same hollow shape while in the handstand. Stomach to wall is best to get the right feeling (if you don't know what I'm talking about, look it up).

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Mithileash Mohan

Thanks for your insight pashamur, I have ignored the hollow holds just because I thought I have gotten stronger. I will get back on it also will try the weighted hollow holds as frolosophy suggests. I will start doing a bit more mobility exercises for my shoulders from today and report back my improvements :) Thanks again all and if anyone else wants to add suggestions please do I am so desperate to get my straight handstands. I am saving up money for the H1 book too :)

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Marko Petrunic

I agree with the guys, and there is another very important detail - try positioning the palms as close to the wall as possible (and practice both stomach-to-wall and back-to-wall variations).

 

The goal is touching the wall with your palms/fingers (depending on the variation you are doing). It is not necessary to rush with the freestanding handstand. We often consider one way of advancing to be slower, but it is in fact faster (you only need patience). Keep it up! ;)

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Mithileash Mohan

Hi Marko,

 

I have been working on getting my palms as close to the wall as possible !!! I completely agree with the approach of going back in progression to become better in future progressions :) my moto is practice doesn't make you perfect perfect practice does. To do perfect practice I need to know my faults and I am working to fix these faults right now thanks to everyone who has replied and offered some suggestion :)

 

Regards,

Mithil

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yuri marmerstein

from what I see it's not necessarily the mobility you lack. 

 

You have no tension in your hips so when you try to get in position you have no means staying there.  To balance you have to learn to keep your body very still. 

The other issue is acclimation.  How do you expect to balance in a position you are not used to holding.  The actual balancing comes last in the equation, first you need to get comfortable holding the position for an extended period while keeping your body still.  Only when you can hold the handstand without thinking or adjusting can we add another element like balance. 

 

So as was said, you need to take a couple steps back and review the basics.  Also as Marko stated, as a general rule the closer you can get to the wall the better. 

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Mithileash Mohan

Thanks for your suggestion Yuri, I will take a step back and build up on my basics and get acclimatised. 

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Mithileash Mohan

Hi again everyone !!! I have just been mainly focusing on my shoulder mobility and trying to get my internally rotated shoulders fixed. I ignored doing any handstands during this time, today was my first day back handstanding and I can see amazing improvements all ready. I still suck, need to still focus on keeping tension in the hips. I wasn't doing very well with my legs a bit closer Pashamur will work a bit more on it the next time. I am also trying to keep my hands closer to the wall as possible. This is my new video I recorded today (my best attempt). Thanks again everyone for your input. Please do advice me if I have done anything wrong in the video or to improve my handstand more. Thank you again :D

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frolosophy

Getting better! Remember to keep your legs straight; balance shouldn't come from bending your legs. Pulling your chest in will also help straighten you out. If you observe your line at 0:06, that is closer to what you want. Your chest is still sticking out and your legs aren't perfectly straight and you're having to pike (at least that's what it looks like from this angle), but that is closer to ideal.

Keep practising with your stomach facing the wall.

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Mikael Kristiansen

Most things have already been said. I did however see something mentioned here that I want to adress when it comes to shoulder mobility. Though dislocates is a VERY good and important exercise, they do not help with the kind of mobility you need in handstand. The reason is that when you dislocate you retract your scapula and internally rotate your humerus. In a handstand you want to be elevated, protracted and externally rotated. Stiff subscapularis and/or weak external rotators is an issue which is not so often mentioned when it comes to aligning the shoulders properly. If you cant externally rotate properly it is very hard to stay protracted and elevated. 

 

One of the best stretches for this is to grab a stick with palms facing up, bending 90 degrees at the elbows and then placing your elbows on a surface and lean your weight on them. Because the stick keeps your arms externally rotated this stretches your subscapularis while forcing your shoulders to stay in the position you want. For me this stretch helps immensely with certain 1 arm handstand positions(especially "Figa" if you know which one that is)

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Mithileash Mohan

Frolosophy thanks again for your suggestions completely agree with whatever you have said :) it seems the best way to teach myself is to focus belly side to the wall I am training on that too. Thanks again.

 

Handbalancer, what you said makes sense my shoulders are internally rotated making it hard to keep me in a straight line. I briefly tried your stretch and damn my subscapularis are tight (I am so going to include that in my drills thank you :D). I have not only been doing the drills mentioned to be by all the lovely people who responded but also these: (please do give me any more insights you have especially in strengthening my external rotators)

 

1. Stretching :

and shoulder dislocates with weights(first video): http://trainerkenneth.wordpress.com/2013/02/19/handstand-practice-beginners-level-by-ido-portal/

 

 

2. Strengthening my scapular areas: http://www.charlespoliquin.com/ArticlesMultimedia/Articles/Article/984/How_to_Square_Round_Shoulders.aspx

 

Thank you all :)

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Cu Fang

This got me confused....

Cause in another thread discusiion Yuri did mention during handstand u should internally rotate shoulder.

While he is not agree with protraction..

@-@

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Sailor Venus

 

 

One of the best stretches for this is to grab a stick with palms facing up, bending 90 degrees at the elbows and then placing your elbows on a surface and lean your weight on them. Because the stick keeps your arms externally rotated this stretches your subscapularis while forcing your shoulders to stay in the position you want. For me this stretch helps immensely with certain 1 arm handstand positions(especially "Figa" if you know which one that is)

Olympic weightlifters do that too and I have copied them. :D You'll feel a lot of stretch down your lats which feels nice.

 

Other than that, I believe wrist conditioning is a necessity too. My current issue is I lack wrist strength so I can't push my fingers down to counter balance. It doesn't matter if I have a perfect handstand line if I got weak wrists. What I did is doing loads of frog stands and lean forward to work the hands. Its helping.

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yuri marmerstein

This got me confused....

Cause in another thread discusiion Yuri did mention during handstand u should internally rotate shoulder.

While he is not agree with protraction..

@-@

There seems to be a bit of misunderstanding.

 

First off, there are many ways to perform and explain a handstand.  I am not a fan of the elbows forward HS, I teach elbows facing each other, which can still be performed with external rotation of the shoulder. 

 

While protraction is not necessarily the way I choose to explain a HS position that certainly does not mean I disagree with the method. 

 

 

One more thing: I am by no means the ultimate authority on anything.  I've learned a couple things in my years but I am still(and will always be) a student and no answer is absolute by any means. 

I encourage everyone to learn whatever from whoever they can to develop their own perspective. 

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Mikael Kristiansen

Like Yuri said, more method of explaining than anything else. Sucking in the chest and protraction is basically the same thing anatomically. Im also no fan of elbows forwards handstand, but the anatomical action of external rotation of the humerus doesnt neccesarily imply that. Bodies and people are different and things can be done in a number of ways, though there exist efficient guidelines out there.

 

One more thing: I am by no means the ultimate authority on anything.  I've learned a couple things in my years but I am still(and will always be) a student and no answer is absolute by any means. 
I encourage everyone to learn whatever from whoever they can to develop their own perspective. 

 

Nothing is more important that this, and it goes just as much for me. Either way, if I stopped learning I would probably quit out of boredom.

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Mithileash Mohan

Thanks for the interesting discussions :) 

 

PS: Still improving on my handstands slowly but steadily. Thanks for all the input guys.

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