Coach Sommer Posted February 25, 2008 Share Posted February 25, 2008 Wall handstands are your most valuable tool for learning a correct handstand. I recommend staying with them for a substantial period of time. This will accomplish several things: 1) It will make it easier to maintain a straight body line (no arch or pike in either the shoulders, back or hips). 2) You can focus on learning balance and not on survival. 3) Your strength will improve more quickly due to being able to stay in the handstand for an extended period of time. To transition from wall handstands to free standing handstands, try the following drill: Perform a wall handstand with stomach to the wall. Place your wrists approximately 4-6" from the base of the wall. Keep one foot on the wall while pulling the other foot off the wall and extending that leg directly over your hips. At this time, your wrists, shoulders, hips and leg that is off the wall should be in one vertical line. Once you feel that you have achieved a strong stable position, slowly pull your supporting foot off the wall. When you lose your balance, simply catch yourself by replacing the foot on the wall and then continue on with the drill. Once you have achieved a reasonable level of proficiency with both versions of the wall handstand, learning free standing handstands will be much easier. For free standing handstands, there should be no movement in the legs, hips, back or elbows while in the handstand. Concentrate on keeping the body straight and "tight". The more parts of your body that are moving, the more difficult the balance will be. Focus on controlling the handstand with your shoulders and wrist/fingers. While in the handstand, you should picture your hand as having three sections: the palm, the fingers and the heel of the hand. When on balance, you should feel your weight comfortably placed in the center of your palm with your shoulders directly over your hands. If you are falling over backwards, keep your body tight and attempt to pull your feet back up by pressing your fingers strongly into the floor and pulling your shoulders back over your hands. If you are falling forward,, press strongly into the floor with the heels of your hands and attempt to partially planche press back to the handstand position. In reality, the handstand is not a non-moving position, but a series of rapid minute corrections between the three positions (over, under and vertical) to maintain the balance. All movements should be small and controlled. Try to avoid making rapid or large corrections. There is no reason to crash while training a handstand. If you find yourself falling over, simply bend your arms, duck your head and do a forward roll. Be sure to train in an area that is suitable and has enough room to manuever in case of mishaps. As far as free standing handstand pushups (HSPUs) are concerned, you will of course need to begin by performing them on a wall. There will be a slight planching (leaning forward) of the shoulders during the descent. To ascend, simply try to reverse the direction of the shoulder lean as you press back up. Try to keep the degree of planche to a minimum, as excessive planching will cause your hips to drop forcing you out of the handstand. Beware of equating partial handstand pushups, i.e. hands on the floor and the head touching the ground, with full range HSPUs. A full range handstand pushup is actually done with the hands elevated at least 12" or so off of the floor and entails lowering the shoulders completely to the hands at the bottom of the repetition. This is a fairly advanced exercise and is several orders of magnitude harder than only lowering the head to the floor. Of course the most difficult version is to perform the full range handstand pushup while balancing in a handstand on the rings. The amount of stablizing work required just to hold yourself in place on the rings is staggering, combine that with essentially performing a bodyweight military press and you have a truly excellent exercise. Yours in Fitness, Coach Sommer 1 20 Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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