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George Launchbury

Worthwhile developing my HEADstand?

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George Launchbury

Hi all,

One of my current goals this year is to have a solid straddle press handstand. I am aware that the press headstand is a useful progression (and cropped up in WOD recently) but as someone who a) is quite large (6'2'' and 230lbs), and b) has never really spent much time supporting my bodyweight on my head (a lot of people don't) I confess to being a little worried about my neck :shock:

I'd be interested in people's views on whether it would be worthwhile investing in developing my headstand, both for this goal and generally?

Thanks,

George.

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kintelary

6' 2" 230lbs... 4 inches taller than me, but 20lbs lighter :)

I am new to seriously doing these things regularly and I worry about the same thing. I am looking at (once I begin that work) progressing through the wall walk and back limber with the planch work to prepare my body for serious handstand work. I plan to lose some weight first... at 230 I will be much more comfortable :wink:

Good to know I am not the only one worried about my neck and for me its my shoulders too.

As far as headstand work, what is the benefit of headstand work? Handstand work I see, but I don't know about headstand work so much. Someone I read said that a full bridge on the forehead was good... is this similar work as headstand? If so, that is rough. Thanks for the question... I like to consider all these angles. Sorry I am not more help though.

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Blairbob

My friend is 6'4 250-275 and had done a headstand for a few years with no problems. It was trained slowly with progression.

Press headstand teaches the engagement of the hips and the alignment of the handstand. Headstand leg lifts are also much easier than Handstand leg lifts.

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kintelary

I see. With correct alignment in a headstand, one is more likely to establish good practice in a handstand. That makes sense.

In a correct headstand, do you press your body upwards with your head? So that you have an neutral head position, but use the neck muscles to help lift and stabilize the spine?? Or do you simply allow the head to be on the ground and hold the weight with bend arms?

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sasquatch

When I first started doing headstands I did them with my head on a couch cushion.

You will probably get comfortable with it after a little while.

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George Launchbury

Thanks everyone.

What with it's usefulness for/inclusion in:


  • [*:28q8s114]MPPr variations
    [*:28q8s114]RLL headstand
    [*:28q8s114]Press progressions/variations
    [*:28q8s114]Embedded Planche cycle
    [*:28q8s114]Carry over to good HANDstand alignment

...I think I am going to include it in my training.

PS ...just changed the title of this thread to HEADstand rather than handstand (which made no sense... sorry)

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Blairbob

Kintelary. Even though your arms are bent, they should be pushing against the floor than just helping the balance. Your head and your spine should be pushing towards your tall to be active to engage the musclature.

Doing headstands on carpet can be tough on your skull but it should adapt over time. I'm sure it is more discomfortable to the weak and/or small ( children and skinny weak people). Recently the young and weak L4 I have complained of them being harder on his head than the gym floor so a pillow was advised. Over time, I'm sure his muscles in his neck will get stronger as well as his skull.

I've yet to do them on a hard surface but generally it's doable but not preferred.

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Edward Smith

It is useful also in more than just a strength position , it is useful for developing the handstand body position and inverted awareness. I play Rugby and find HeS's a good neck strengthening exercise.

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pfeiffertv

Just a word of caution about headstands, do you use a cushion or pillow if you don't have much experience on your head. I was trying to learn headspins back when I was trying to be a bboy (breakdancer) and I had some skull issues. I was wearing a beanie for head protection and to reduce friction and I was practicing on a vinyl tile floor. After one practice session the top of my head was hurting a bit and I noticed a bump. I thought it was just a little swelling like when you bump your head but I later realized that I had deformed my skull. I discovered that I could push it back down by standing on my head for a little while, but it would tend to pop back up. Eventually it smoothed out a bit although I suspect my head is still pointier now than it used to be. I was about 20 years old at the time and I guess the plates in my skull hadn't completely fused. Most people will probably be fine but I still suggest using some sort of cushioning at first, especially for young children. Also, use a well padded helmet to learn headspins.

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Blairbob

beginners should do it on a softer surface, but after awhile you can do it on fairly hard surfaces like concrete or balance beams.

head bridging and headstands are just about mandatory if you are doing any wrestling or anything where you are gonna hit hard and possibly land on your head ( wrestling, judo, contact sports )

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sasquatch
beginners should do it on a softer surface, but after awhile you can do it on fairly hard surfaces like concrete or balance beams.

head bridging and headstands are just about mandatory if you are doing any wrestling or anything where you are gonna hit hard and possibly land on your head ( wrestling, judo, contact sports )

Yea wrestlers usualy have real thick necks.

Like gymnasts have different looking bicepts, wrestlers have different looking necks.

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griffdrc

its a myth... wrestlers don't have big necks from bridging... we bridge to be able to get off our back when someone is trying to pin us... the neck size comes from wrestling... there is a lot of pulling and pushing on the head... this is what gives wrestlers big necks... and not all wrestlers have big necks... depends on the syle of the wrestler...

imho bridges are not the best way to exercise your neck... (besides wrestling) i think the best way is to have a partner give resistence... performed similar to other pre-hab work...

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