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Michael Hourigan

Press handstand, shoulders over wrists

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Michael Hourigan

To my understand the shoulders are suppose to be directly above the wrists as you bring your legs into the pressing position. The shoulders should stay in a maximally open, protracted and elevated throughout the entire press, the compression of the spine being what allows the shoulders to maintain this position. 

 

Why is it then that in almost every example I see the shoulders lean forward in front of the wrists slightly breaking the perfect stack alignment and then moving back into the stack once the press is complete? Is this an error on the part of the performer or is it an acceptable deviation as long as it is controlled and within an acceptable range? 

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Michael Hourigan

Here is an illustration of what I mean

 

yuvalline-01_zpsa1b32551.jpg

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Coach Sommer

Because it is very very difficult to achieve this perfect line.  Even excellent athletes will generally tend to fall somewhat short of this standard of perfection.  The reason why will depend upon a variety of factors; lat tightness is one of the issues that immediately comes to mind.  

 

Two outstanding athletes who were capable of maintaining the perfect alignment come to mind; one was one of my athletes who was capable of performing 30 straddle L press handstands in a row and the other was Boginskaya, the great female russian Olympic gymnast from the late 80's and early 90's.

 

Yours in Fitness,

Coach Sommer

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Michael Hourigan

Thanks for clearing that up coach :)

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Connor Davies

.....one was one of my athletes who was capable of performing 30 straddle L press handstands in a row.....

Your athletes never cease to amaze me Coach.

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Coach Sommer

Thanks, but I  actually made an error with this athlete.  

 

Once he consistently achieved 30 straddle L press handstands in a single set, I added a weight belt at his hips, weights to his ankles and dropped his repetitions to 20.  In retrospect what I should have done was continue to build his straddle L press handstands up to 50 repetitions.  We already had enough maximal strength work in the rest of his physical preparation and the shoulder girdle stability that would have resulted from the 50 rep press handstands would have been spectacular.

 

Oh well.  Live and learn.   :(

 

Yours in Fitness,

Coach Sommer

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Mats Trane

Thanks, but I  actually made an error with this athlete.  

 

Once he consistently achieved 30 straddle L press handstands in a single set, I added a weight belt at his hips, weights to his ankles and dropped his repetitions to 20.  In retrospect what I should have done was continue to build his straddle L press handstands up to 50 repetitions.  We already had enough maximal strength work in the rest of his physical preparation and the shoulder girdle stability that would have resulted from the 50 rep press handstands would have been spectacular.

 

Oh well.  Live and learn.   :(

 

Yours in Fitness,

Coach Sommer

 

YOUR professionalism and perfection never cease to amaze me!

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Edward Smith

He must have had wickedly unstable shoulders at only 30 Stalder Presses!  ;)

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Jon Douglas

How much weight did you add to bring him down to 20 reps, Coach?

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Christian Sørlie

Standing straddle L presses or Stalder presses?

Straddle L is straddle L sit , so yes would be stalder presses.

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Wannabgymnst

Hello Coach,

 

I'm 34 years old and have been practicing the handstand on my own for approximately one year.  Until reading your response about a perfect form handstand is hard enough for elite athletes, I thought it was something I should've attained by now.  I'm relieved to understand the progression of the handstand and it's level of difficulty.

 

I have no gymnastic experience and rely heavily on professional opinion and guidence through the internet.  I have been successful with the slow muscle up on the rings and the bar.  I'd realy like to progress with the planche, front and back lever.  

 

I jumped into this type of training and havent stopped!    

 

How can I get rid of the arch in my lower back while in the handstand? Should my hands be placed shoulder width apart or farther?  

Any information on this would be a great help.

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Julian Aldag

If you have excessive lower back arching its most likely a shoulder mobility problem.

If the shoulders are 'closed' (not able to fully extend overhead), than the lower back must

arch to maintain balance. 

 

If you take a photo of your Handstand and put it in the digital coaching forum, we'll be able 

to help you find out the problem.

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