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

First Handstand Post-Constructive Criticism

Recommended Posts

Aris Tsangarides

Hey people,

I have been training my handstand for quite some time now and I must say..It's been a struggle. I also developed alot of bad habits which took me an equal amount of time to correct. But hey, I like it, can't complain.

About a month and a half ago, I looked for help from Miguel Santana on how to pull my ribs in and straighten my line.

post-8229-0-31384100-1380667942_thumb.jp


Today I tried to protract and elevate the scapula and this was the result:
-alot more control and stability
-backline not as straight as when I don't press down as much

Embedded is a video of my handstand: 



I still don;t understand how some Handbalancers straighten their back so much.
Any feedback would be really appreciated.

BirzieX

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
yuri marmerstein

Not bad.  You could still pull your ribs in a bit more if you want to get really picky but I think for the time being you should get more used to where you are. 

 

Body type definitely messes with your line.  When I do more aerial or leg workouts it definitely changes my handstand line just because my back or legs/butt get bigger. 

 

Some people have a thin profile and are naturally suited for a very straight handstand.  Others with big chest/back/glutes/quads may never quite get completely straight aesthetically. 

Whichever one you are, keep working your line anyway

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
David McManamon

An exercise which may be conducive to the shoulder/ribs position you are trying to achieve is tucking your head in and staring at your toes in handstand.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Aris Tsangarides

post-8229-0-49906500-1380677991_thumb.jp
This is the straightest line I ever got, but I really had to open my shoulders for this one. As far as pulling in the ribs, how would you explain pulling in the ribs? I must have asked 6 people this summer 3 gymnasts, a handbalancer at the montreal JFL festival, Yuval and Miguel from FB. The only one that gave me an explanation that kinda clicked was that of miguel.

If you got any additional cues, please do tell!

@dmcmanam-I notice my backline becomes really straight when i tuck my head in and try to look and my toes. The problem is when I look down at the floor, I can't hold the same straight line

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Eddie Stelling

Ribs in is the cue to create body tension, it's the movement that allows you to pelvic tilt and open the shoulders together at the same time. You will notice that it's pretty hard to stay balanced if you do just one of those two key elements without doing the other. Push away with the shoulders, pull in with the pelvis (with out piking), and notice what your ribs do. You let the ribs come out, you are compensating by arching or closing the shoulder angle. The best thing that helped me was squeezing my legs really really hard once my line felt right, then I keep concentrating on opening shoulder more and more. But as I do that, I compensate the other direction with bringing the ribs in which kinda feels like a hollowing of the chest or a protraction, which is how Handbalancer describes it. For me it's the same movement. So maybe it will help to think of that cue as, open your shoulders more without arching and keeping flat back.

 

There is a huge difference between this last picture and your video. Your back is flat and ribs are in on the last picture, and I would say the only thing you need to improve on would be making sure your feet are directly over your hands. Obviously Yuri or Handbalancer could always help you improve, aka it's never perfect, and they could help you far more than I. To help with head positioning and maintaining your line, get into a belly to wall HS and lock in your line, then move your head back and forth staring at your toes then your hands. It takes some practice but your head and shoulders do move independently, I swear! Once you can do it on a wall, move to free standing, and then tucked free standing. Check this video out:

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Aris Tsangarides

Thanks for the info ;)
The last picture is the line I have when I start on a wall, open shoulders, ribs in, posterior pelvic tilt and protraction & scapular elevation. Once I align myself into what "feels" like a straight line, I slowly bring my legs/feet, one leg at a time, off the wall and hold a freestanding handstand for around 40s-90s. When I simply jump into a handstand without a wall, I got a bit of an arched back, closed shoulders, head sticking out and ribs flaring out, and so what I have to do it correct them one by one, while in the "banana" handstand. Over time, I got faster at fixing the banana handstand. However, I still don't understand I guess, how to immediately jump into a straight HS like Yuval or Yuri does. I guess I lack shoulder flexibility, and my forward lean isnt that good so straddle presses are still abit out of reach.. getting there though

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Eddie Stelling

Ahhh, it is very tough, I still struggle with it but have gotten WAAAYYYY better from hands on teaching with Yuri. Yuri taught some AWESOME stuff on this at his workshop, I mean pure gold. The best advice I have on this is that you have to learn to open the shoulders IMMEDIATELY. Once you get that down it is much easier to literally get stuck in position. Try putting your hands on the ground and kick up but leave your legs scissored apart and only focus on opening your shoulders all the way immediately. Watch what happens....you can't come down lol.

 

I forgot to mention this, if you don't have a go to method for bailing out of a handstand you have to get that down or you will always be afraid of falling over. I like cartwheeling out, and occasionally rolling out. But once you have that down and you are not afraid to really kick to get up, start really trying & focusing on kicking into position. Use your bailouts and your corrections when you need them, it will start to click.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Aris Tsangarides



This is how I get into a "straight" HS.. I tried what you said about, just fully going through the arms/opening immediately...failed kamikaze style-->slammed myself against the wall... I guess It's not a "go-for-it" move. haha

Any hints/cues/advise on opening shoulders?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Eddie Stelling

Ok, I made a couple of videos after training last night to show you what I meant. The first video is the kick up drill I was talking about, the second video is putting it together and kicking into position:

 

 

 

In video 1, the kick up drill, you will see the movement I practice a few time before I actually kick up, that is the shoulder movement you are looking for. I also forgot to mention that if you position your feet closer to your hands, this will leave less distance for the hips to travel, and your shoulders will already be fairly open when you start the kick up. So instead of starting stretched out like in the pushup position start with the legs closer, shoulders over the hands, biceps by the ears. It takes a little flexibility but everything stacks much quicker. I also noticed I look a little piked at the hips, don't know if that is my shorts making that look worse, but I did notice it, but the purpose of the videos is to show you how I practice the kick up.

  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Rachid Tahri

I have the same problem. If I kick up into a banana it's much harder for me to correct and become straight. I find this drill very helpful!

Thanks for the video Eddie!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Aris Tsangarides

This is by far the best tip i got for straightening the upper curve in my back when doing a handstand. You sir, are a sir.. Much obliged

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Aris Tsangarides

So this is a video of me handstand realigned from that drill.. but Now I noticed another weak spot.. my hips.
Many say that you should tighten your butt but that doesn't seem to work for me.

 

If you pay attention, i'm actually pulling my lower back BACK (), rather than doing a posterior pelvic tilt. There is of course a posterior pelvic tilt but only as a result of pulling my back back rather than it just being a pelvic tilt by itself(kinda looks like the move a dog would do if taking a shiet)
In the pulling the back back position I'm alot more aligned but I can't contract the gluteus  as much as when i just do a posterior P.Tilt.


 gonna upload a video of the 2 tilts later tonight

I am curious as to how you keep the lower back stable/stacked and straight..any ideas/tricks/tips/info?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Aris Tsangarides

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Eddie Stelling

First of all, thank Yuri and Coach Sommer! Yuri taught me so much I literally have no one to blame if I don't progress. He is an awesome teacher! If you have the chance to go to one of his workshops, do it! And if you don't have the handstand series and foundation series yet, it's a must have! I had 2 shoulder surgies, & coach's mobility restored me back to new! Awesome stuff.

Now that credit has been given where it was due, your pelvic tilt question is a good one. They are both important, but the "back back tilt" is more similar to what happens when your arms are over your head. I will eait to see your new vids. I'm glad this is helping though!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Aris Tsangarides

If anyone could allay the confusion between the two pelvic tilts and clarify where the 2 kinds of pelvic tilts should be applied, or if one or the other is the "right" pelvic tilt, it would be really appreciated!
 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Eddie Stelling

My response was confusing, sorry, I was using my phone. I believe the tilt on the right in that video is what you want simply because you are trying to flatten your back. But, if Yuri, Handbalancer, or anyone else wants to chime in they might be able to answer this a little better than I....

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Rachid Tahri

How come the PPT is so much harder when being inverted?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Eddie Stelling

Because you are fighting to NOT close your shoulder angle while performing PPT. I think of it as a push pull, you push away from your head with your hands and you pull in with your back / butt muscles and pelvic tilt.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Aris Tsangarides

wow wow wait a sec.. "you push away from your head with your hands and you pull in with your back / butt muscles and pelvic tilt."
When you say you push away from your head, are you referring to the pushing down on the ground against gravity(like shrugging your shoulders/ shoulders to ears cue) or do you mean pushing the ground away from your head towards the back of your head? 

because that's a completely different feeling. I always thought there should be a vertical gravitational feeling on my shoulders and hands. Pushing down AND back sounds/would feel more like statically holding elastics in an overhead position and pulling back.
Here is a picture of ido doing it with his back toward the wall. The movement I'm referring to would be If he were facing the wall.

http://i1.ytimg.com/vi/1YHIV4a81Os/hqdefault.jpg


This is how I see the handstand.. correct me if I'm wrong..
post-8229-0-04435800-1381800765_thumb.jp

1)The long vertical downward facing arrow refers to the downward pushing [scapular elevation + protraction]

2)The short upward facing vertical arrows are a cue for me to elongate [arrow around the shoulder area + arrow around pelvic area) **I don't really know if "elongating" the body is simply a result of scapular elevation, protraction and pelvic tilting or if thinking about it serves as a cognitive cue for muscular activation. if so, please tell me what is really going on?

3) The horizontal vertical arrow pointing in the direction of my chest refers to bringing the upper/midback "in"--my way of "opening the shoulders/straightening my kyphotic line". Which kinda contradicts protracting the scapula; to achieve a straight upper/mid back line i need to retract the scapula a bit or else my back starts rounding/i.e. no straight line.

4)Blue vertical arrow+ semicircle white arrow refer to the bringing the "lower back" back while posteriorly tilting the pelvis. (Still needs clarification)

5) The white horizontal arrow in a circle refers to bringing the ribs "in". (Now I'm still unsure of whether i'm doing this right or not) I was told to suck in my belly as much as I can.. Like this guy.. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xPwpZJps9qs
..And while "holding it in" exhale all the air out of your mouth as fast as possible.. that will give you an idea of what sucking in the ribs should look like. 
-->If anyone has any other "tricks" as to how to bring them in OR if you think that what I've been told is just plain wrong...please do tell...

6)And last but not least.. The horizontal green line at the bottom going in a dorsal direction..Like the pic of ido above
This is something I have never heard before, and maybe I misinterpreted Eddy's comment, but either way It would be nice to know what Yuri, or Handbalancer thinks of this. 

P.S. -->LEGS:
7)When in a handstand, are the legs pressing against each other or do you keep them together just by keeping them stiff and extended and by contracting the gluteus. Are the adductors involved?

8)Is there external rotation of the femur like one would do in first position in ballet, or do they simply press against each other with no external rotation?

9)Do you also press the ankles against each other? or just the thighs?

--> I realize I am being overly analytical, and I apologize in advance for it. The feedback I received Is already pretty amazing. Any additional help would really be appreciated.

Thanks
 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Aris Tsangarides

From the thread "handstand shoulder position cues"

Handbalancer, on 27 Aug 2013 - 7:42 PM, said:
You want to have elevated scapula through shrugging your trapezius high, along with 180 degrees between your arm and torso without opening the chest to compensate for lack of active and/or passive flexibility. There is also a degree of protraction involved(thus serratus anterior as mentioned in the previous post) as it by default sucks your sternum in when the scapulae move forwards. External rotation can also be mentioned, though its not very important to focus on(until certain very advanced skills). What matters is that the arm isnt allowed to internally rotate as you easily will flare the elbows out and bend the arms. These actions will allow you to lock the shoulder joint efficiently overhead and most of the work will be done by the posterior chain. At the same time it will make it easier to rest the weight more towards the heel of the palm so that you do not need to grip as hard(or at all) to balance.

 

However, overthinking these things often give little result. Most often people will have to do mobility work and wall handstands to be able to access this type of position at all. In the beginning, proper push through the trapezius, which I tend to focus on, feels heavy and uncomfortable, especially when there is shoulder mobility issues, but it is important to work to activate properly. This has a tendency to force people to work more from the scapular muscles, especially when looking through their arms up at their toes.

 

When I balance I do not push to my absolute limit as it expends unnecessary energy, but I keep a high position and my trapezius are strongly shrugged at all times. This push transfers almost directly into press handstands as well. As for the protraction part, it seems to be more efficient to have people think of sucking their sternum in, though this is also a diffuse way of explaining it. I try to imagine that by pushing out the shoulders, sucking in the chest and tightening my glutes and legs, I basically stack the sternum right above the palms, and the sacrum right above the sternum.

 

 

 

-->> This was from another thread, but cleared up some other questions i had but led to a couple of new questions too.

1) what does he mean by "proper push through the trapezius"?

2)What does protraction in a handstand position feel/look like?
It is definitely not scapular depression or elevation. When in a plank position, a protraction would be pressing through your thorax bringing the scapula to the lateral parts of your ribcage. 
In a handstand, the only way I could possibly imagine a similar position would be by externally rotating the humerus, which Handbalancer mentions, but seems like he's referring to a different cue.. does external rotation of humerus lead to protraction of the scapula (my guess is yes) or is he referring to 2 completely different cues?

3)Is "sucking in the chest" the same as suckin in the ribs?

4)This was confusing "along with 180 degrees between your arm and torso without opening the chest to compensate for lack of active and/or passive flexibility" -->what would opening the chest look like/feel like?
 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Rachid Tahri

--> I realize I am being overly analytical, and I apologize in advance for it. The feedback I received Is already pretty amazing. Any additional help would really be appreciated.

Thanks

 

This is probably one the most helpful post for me about the handstand: it makes me also realise that at some level one has to adjust the cues for the handstand for his/her own body. For example if I follow the rule of protraction to the letter, I immediately get a bad line, while it works good for other people.

 

Another example is  a person I know with almost no hand balancing experience. When inverted he doesn't have the "butt" problem at all because his posture has PPT by default...

 

So please continue while I'm making notes in the background...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Eddie Stelling

This is great!

Handbalancer:

"I try to imagine that by pushing out the shoulders, sucking in the chest and tightening my glutes and legs, I basically stack the sternum right above the palms, and the sacrum right above the sternum."

 

What I meant by "push / pull" was not referring to the scapular elevation push, but was referring to pushing away towards the back of the head like you described. Pushing through the traps was not the focus of what I was describing, it appeared to me like you understood that; however, this is an integral part of it. Proper push through the traps is essential, it means reach haha! Engage the traps, push to get the biceps by the ears. What I was saying is take that reach (push into the ground) and add the push away (push towards the back of the head). Once this is familiar and you have the active flexibility it won't feel like you have to muscle the shoulders to an open line.

 

Legs= point toes, feet together, squeeze the butt, flex the legs hard, and yes you are elongating. Now, stop thinking about it lol.

 

I think you are getting caught up on the minor differences in how people describe the position. Ribs in = sucking chest in = protraction , it's all the same. Protraction in the handstand is just another way to describe chest/ribs/sternum in while creating a 180 degree angle in your arm pit. Imagine being in a plank with your toes pointed, butt/legs tight, PPT engaged, your shoulders protracted hard and nothing moves. Now if someone picked your feet up and lifted them over your hands and the only thing that moved was your shoulder joint that would be the right position. And, if you think about it, it perfectly describes what you are doing. Do you think you could look up and see your toes if you did this.....yep.

 

If you can remember the cause and effect of what you are doing you will stop analyzing this so much. Read Handbalancers quote above again. If you dumb that down, he makes his body straight and rigid directly over his hands. That is all you are doing. If you open the shoulders and keep the back arched your center of gravity is off. So how do you compensate, by pulling in with the core and flattening the back.

 

I have never been told to do the belly sucking thing except for when doing press to HS. What Yuri taught me was more of a "preparing for a punch" midsection. I also want you to know that I have learned everything I know from the more experienced guys on this forum, hands on training with Yuri, and from Coach. This is just how my brain processed it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Aris Tsangarides

Thanks for your feedback Eddie! 

I figured out one of my main sticking points in controlling the lower extremities in a HS.
The rectus femoris and to a lesser degree the sartorius muscles connect the knee region to the pelvis, so proper contraction of those muscles(the ones that would extend the knee) + normal posterior pelvic tilt stacks the legs over the pelvis giving the back a more or less neutral flat line. 

What I was trying in the "bring the back back" pelvic tilt just made the pelvis unstable as it was almost impossible to contract the gluteus muscles. So "i believe" the pelvic/lower extremities problem is solved.

The tip on opening the shoulders right away + pushing down and BACK to open the shoulders is GOLD.

I will disagree however with "Ribs in = sucking chest in = protraction"...I've seen people bring their ribs in without protracting their scapula and it's the weirdest thing, it's like they can actually moves their ribs. This Is what I was told to do by a handbalancer named Miguel San'tana. Looks good/feels weird.
Movie on 13-09-24 at 7.18 PM #2.mov


3 things I noticed in Yuval's videos:
1)He jumps into the handstand but it's as if his hips are pulling his legs up rather than actually jumping into position (like a hs-press)
2)Immediately after the jump, he opens his shoulders immediately [thanks Eddie/Yuri/Coach Sommers]

3)He brings his feet/lower legs close to his hamstrings while he is opening his shoulders- prevents the feet/legs going past his hips which would cause him to fall over OR arch his back (which is what happens to me). Bringing the feet close to the Hamstrings FAST, really helped.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Miguel Sant'ana

Hi there

 

BirzieX , i think you have understood everything i have told you about the straight HS... Well Done..

The straight shape is something you will be studying forever.. Everyday you will find different feelings and new ways to get into straight HS from any jump or press to HS..

Everyone will be telling you different things about the theory of open shoulders and open hips.

Just Keep studying and everything will come clear to you...

YOU GOT IT..

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Shia

I just attemped the kick up to HS with my shoulders extended/protracted straight away rather than kicking up then realigning my body and once upright.

 

It seemed a lot more natural and felt as though my body was somewhat uncoiling naturally into a perfect line.

 

Will keep it up, great advice in this thread

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.