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Doorway Handstand (Part 2)

George Launchbury

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George Launchbury

Morning All,

As a follow-up post to: Doorway Handstand (part 1)

I was warming up at my gym toward the end of last week, and a fella who recognised some of the movements struck up a conversation. He's an ex-international trampolinist and was a head coach at Heathrow Gymnastics a while back. Nice guy, and very helpful. Obviously I took the chance to ask his advice on a number of things.

I was quite surprised when he mentioned (totally unsolicited) that one of the ways he'd had success teaching adults a solid handstand ...was in a doorway!? The main difference to my own (retrospectively unoriginal) idea was that he preferred to have the legs scissored - one to the front and one to the rear of the door frame, with only an inch or two of space each way. The legs would be alternated, either during a set, or between sets.

When I tried it over the weekend I found it still easy enough to keep the glutes squeezed and knees locked, and keep what felt like a solid body position all the way to my toes. Although I could feel exactly when I was falling forward and backward, I never really got to a point I couldn't come back from using only my wrist/finger strength. The advantage to my mind is that I got to experience going past, and back from, the points of no return multiple times without break in form.

I only had time to try this a few times over the weekend, but was surprised by the long (for me) holds I was able to achieve after a few corrections. It was almost like my fingers/wrists were feeling "too much pressure that time ...oops, not quite enough ...little bit too much ...just right". A little like Goldilocks and the porridge. I imagine this is one of the advantages of being handspotted in HS?

NB: I see this as mainly a good tool for helping with the skill side of learning a basic handstand (proprioception, awareness, exposure, etc) without proper hands-on coaching. It is not a replacement for putting in the requisite time/effort doing the strengthening, conditioning and positional drills recommended elsewhere in this section. Also, as was covered before, you will need to be able to step/roll/cartwheel out of an overbalanced handstand if you are to practice away from the wall safely.



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Very interesting. I have never used this method, but it sounds fine and more importantly it is already giving you results quickly.

My one caution here is to keep the training load under control; e.g. not attempting to stay up too long each turn. I found one of Ido's latest posts very interesting in that he was recommending working in sets of 30 seconds coupled with 45 seconds of rest for 12 cycles.

Yours in Fitness,

Coach Sommer

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George and Coach, thanks for the information.

I will be implementing this into my training.

Hope it works well.

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thanks, coach. I don't remember that post but I have been playing with extending my gymnasts and the tumblers rest times because it started becoming too metconnish and they didn't seem to have enough rest. I first noticed 15s was not enough and have upped to 30s currently, but I will see about matching time of work for rest ( similar to how I used to run sprint intervals of 1-800 )

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Guest Valentin

Hi George

That is very interesting.. The way i am picturing the drill it requires split legs? Is that correct.

This is not really a problem per say, but is does to some degree effect the pelvic rotation (if what i am picturing is correct). However in principle its a great alternative to as you suggested the hand spotted method.

I like it!

Thanks for sharing.

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