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Jason Stein

One Arm Handstand Training Protocol?

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Jason Stein

All,

Can anyone share any useful cycling or routines they've developed for training one-armed handstands?

I'm curious as to volume and duration. Perhaps the application of a 8-week Steady State program might be effective?

I am thinking of an even number of sets, starting on non-dominant hand.

Would be 6 total, 3 each arm.

Whichever variation can be held for 5 deep, slow(ish) in- and out-breaths, approximately 10 seconds.

By variation, I mean number of fingers remaining on floor, from 5 down.

I think I can reliably work this in 4-6 times per week?

Anyways, any thoughts or suggestions would be welcome. We'll see if I can stick to it, gauge any progress by the seminar in May.

regards,

jason

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Julian Aldag

Ido would be a good one for this :D

It is always hard to help people with training routines if we don't have any background information.

I have done a little bit of handbalancing at my circus school so i'll give you some suggestions of what i have learned.

My recommend prerequisites are: 1 min free standing handstand, and solid press to handstand. (Both are not entirely necessary but certainly help :) )

A simple program we use is from handstand lean center of gravity onto right side, go onto 5 finger tips on left hand, pause, return to center and repeat on other side. This drill teaches weight distribution through each hand.

(Note: always strive to come back to the center and not fall out of it, otherwise bad habits will start to form)

Next drill is to do the same but time each side.

(Note: It is good to treat the distribution and time drills as 2 separate things. Many people try to rush and go straight to 1 arm which leaves them constantly falling over and progressing slowly.

The next progression for the distribution drill is essentially the same but only leaving 1 finger on the ground. So the first drill would be: 2 hands, shift weight, 5 fingers, 1 finger (final progression of the drill would be include 1 finger coming off the ground ), 5 fingers, weight shift 2 hands.

1 arm timed hold could be used on the wall but it is something i have never done. It would improve endurance (make sure you are always pushing up through the shoulder!!) but not the balance necessary for free standing.

A routine you could use might be something like this:

Free-standing handstand

Various presses

1arm distribution 3sets of 3-5rep each

1 arm timed holds 3sets of 10sec each

(wall holds)

SSC can be used. Other than that listen to your body. If the training is too much, cut back. The first thing to get sore will probably be your wrists.

Hope that helps :)

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Jason Stein

Jules,

Thank you very much, that is exactly the input I was hoping for.

I've noticed I have the tendency to rush the hand off the floor --- it will be an interesting discipline to cultivate to just practice what I can hold.

Also, in circus training, is it expected to be equally proficient on both arms? That is, what you can do on one arm, you should be able to do on the other? I've got a big difference between arms.

Thanks again,

jason

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Julian Aldag

It is common to have a dominate side that progresses faster than the other. Usually the dominate hand-side is the stronger one but then again, there is a girl here who's right handed but better at standing on her left.

Althought we have different trainers from different circus backgounds and nationalities, they all tend to agree that both sides (in handstands) should be trained. Again it is not uncommon to see performers that perform all of their "power tricks" on their dominate side but like everything in life, the body should and is meant to be trained in balance.

If you just want to learn it as a fancy party trick then by all means just do the one side, however if you are training these for the strength benefit (as well as the enjoyment) train both as equal as possible (i.e train weak side first, then train the stronger side for the same amount of reps/timed). You wouldn't train pistols on one leg, or only stretch your more flexible side.

Also make sure your not pushing off the ground. If you were to stand on your right foot, you wouldn't push off the balls of your left foot. Lean, transfer all your weight on the right foot, and then the left foot should just lift off. It is the same but on your hands!

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Jason Stein

Jules,

Many thanks for the thoughtful, lengthy post.

I've just attended some of Ido's classes, so I've got a bunch of technical info to digest and incorporate. It's mildly frustrating 'cause it's put me back at the start.

Thus far, however, I've continued to practice with both arms, though let's just say I can see it happening on the right arm way earlier than the left!

Last night I incorporated the hand balancing about 45 minutes into my yoga practice, which is a little less than halfway, and it felt much, much better.

The sequence was based on the traditional ashtanga yoga navasana sequence ["boat" pose], which is 5 reps of: 5 breaths in static V-up-hold, to inhale and straight-arm press to tuck-leg half-handstand, to jump up to handstand, hold 5-10 breaths.

I guess if I were really tough I would have pressed up all 5 times, but that would have fried me out after a rep or two.

I have been doing 5 reps total: one rep at about 7-10 breaths (approximately 7-10 seconds?) in which I (attempt) to shift from one hand to the other, back and forth. Then I practice 4 reps focusing on each arm, 2 reps per side.

Previously I had been practicing this after the backbending portion of the practice, about 90-100 minutes into it. I felt fresher last night.

Volume-wise I'm gonna need to do more. Ten reps? I'm still sorting out how to most intelligently and productively incorporate the practice into what I'm doing.

I'd post videos, but I'm afraid though that I've got nothing interesting to show. It'd just be some dude flopping around.

Anyways, thanks again,

jason

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jamesters

I can't stress patience enough. When shifting to one hand, shift very very slowly. It's frustrating, I know, because you'll reach a point where you feel there and just lift the other hand up but DON'T! In the long run, you're hurting your progress. Also, make sure you continue to extend from the shoulder, as you shift to one hand, you might have a tendency to let the shoulder relax a bit, but try to keep your shoulder extended as much as you can. I hope those tips help you.

Hand stand canes are great too, of course. If you don't have much experience with hand stand canes, they might feel awkward for awhile, but once you get used to them I think they can help your progress with one handed stands. They make it easier to make the shift to the one hand. You can even make uneven hand stand canes so that one cane is higher than the other which puts more focus on your one hand so your body can get a good feel for the position.

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DanPlanche

Hi im new to this forum. I am a bboy and have been practicing One arm Hand balance for around 5-6 months now. However I have been doing handstands on two arms for a while. In fact I started 5 years ago, didn't do them for a few years and started again around 1 and a half years ago when I started bboying. So when starting I could hold a 2 armed stand for around 60 seconds.

Anyway, I have been training it on average about 4 times per week, sometimes for an hour sometimes for 5 minutes or at random intervals through my training.

Strangely though my record of 6 seconds straddled is close to my record of 5 seconds of non straddled. Somedays balance seems off for me and I cannot balance very well, and some days it seems better. In the future I will want to have it so I have perfect control.

Anway, just wanted to give a bit of input which real helped me.

When leaning, don't focus on how your body positioned ie. where the legs and hips and other arm are, but rather "feel" the balance above your arm. Before I was just trying to lean my body to the other side and hope to catch the balance, but you have to feel it.

Also try and keep you're back straight by tucking your head in.

Try and control the minute movements of your body and tense the muscles .

Flex the toes twards your shins. For some reason this really helped me, however it looks a bit uglier.

Maybe people will disagree but this is what I find to help.

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Jason Stein

Hey Dan,

Thanks for the tips!

Based on advice from Ido, I've since changed my protocol a bit and am now training with an equilibrist in small group settings.

best,

jason

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Guest Ido Portal

Jason, glad to hear you are pursuing this.

Equilibre and one arm handstand work is an obsession not a sport/art... I hope to see your improvements when I am in town next time.

Good training,

Ido.

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Jason Stein

Ido,

There is no way one could train many (most) of these skills without an experienced teacher providing hand-spotting and micro-adjustments. Hopefully I'll make some gains prior to your next visit...

best,

jason

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Guest Ido Portal

Jason, I am glad you decided to follow up on my advice. It will shorten the learning curve for sure.

Stay focused with your training, I like where you are heading with all the gymnastics conditioning, yoga and now equilibre.

Ido.

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DanPlanche

after training long and hard my record is now 8 seconds. when you reach a certain plateu of being able to do 4 second holds on average it feels more natural.. so keep at it!

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Hayden.M.
The first thing to get sore will probably be your wrists.

will the wrists stop aching over time as they just get stronger from doing more and more, or will i have to just take measures to start preventing injuries? ive also got pommel arm but they just keep telling me to keep training and it will go away (which it hasnt), should i do the same with my handstands? also, my left wrist is really bad and aches, thats why i put it off from training one handed on my left side. should i just suck it up and hope it gets stronger with time and practice or be sensible n not train it, n just do my right side? (which really i dont want to have to do).

thanks, hayden.

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Jason Stein

Hayden

My experience has been that ignoring wrist joint pain only makes the issue worse, and eventually forces complete rest.

One suggestion is to address the immediate inflammation, cut back handstand volume, or cut out altogether, and increase sets/reps of wrist prehab and rehab (wrist push-up variations, wrist roll-ups, rubber-band work, etc etc).

best of luck,

jason

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Tor

I wish I read this post 4 years ago..

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emos
I wish I read this post 4 years ago..

In four years time you'll be glad you read it now!

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AmirHosein98

Guys,Do you think One Arm Handstand training  is ever necessary for Artistic gymnastics or it's just for cheerleading ?

 
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Daniel Sarnowski

 

Guys,Do you think One Arm Handstand training  is ever necessary for Artistic gymnastics or it's just for cheerleading ?

 

 

Its not generally used in either. But in sports acrobatics, one arm handstand is a very basic skill with low point value.

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Max Checuh

Ok so I have been training the oahs for about almost a month and have attained 2-3 second holds, wrists are holding up up, but, my lower lats are sore as a mofo, any advice to get rid of that pain?

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Kieran McGuigan

Hey guys,

 

I'm new to gymnastic bodies but I've been training partner and hand balancing for about three years now with the University of Maryland Gymkana Troupe. I've achieved a two minute handstand on the floor and can do 10 pike presses in a row and am now trying to make the transition to one arm/ one arm press and lower down into full planche, press back up. I'm a kinesiology major and have learned quite a few interesting facts about muscle specificity. Essentially, doing the motion over and over again will lead to faster progress than anything else. I plan on training the one arm press at the same time as the handstand, as I did learning to do a handstand. Do any of you have recommendations on how to train a one handed press?

 

Thanks very much,

 

Kieran

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Mikael Kristiansen

There is no way to learn 1 arm and press 1 arm at the same time as on 2 arms. The skills do not relate to eachother at all like they would in a normal handstand. press 1 arm is among the hardest skills you can ever learn and there isnt any way of starting it without having a rock solid 1 arm handstand, flag variations and positions. Pressing from standing in straddle is learnable of you dedicate hard and so might one from a straddled pike. Even among professional balancers, 1 arm press from straddle L or L is uncommon as it is insanely hard.

 

For some sort of progression, learn 1 arm handstand first(30-60 seconds at least), and flag variations and negatives to the floor. Then you press from standing straddle. From there the complexity gets so high that its super hard to explain without hands on coaching and a verhy high understanding of handbalancing.

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Kieran McGuigan

For some sort of progression, learn 1 arm handstand first(30-60 seconds at least), and flag variations and negatives to the floor. Then you press from standing straddle. From there the complexity gets so high that its super hard to explain without hands on coaching and a verhy high understanding of handbalancing.

 

 

Thank you so much! This progression to one-arm is looking like it's going to be enough of a challenge as it but I appreciate the advice. I'll post again in three years once I get that 60 second one-arm haha.

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