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emmi-lee

very experienced coach: "faster press handstand with weight training"

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emmi-lee

Hello!

One of my goals is a nice straddle press handstand, maybe more in a row!

I always thought it's mostly core strength, but then I read a topic on a gymnastics forum!

"Technique, flexibility and strength are the key ingredients of getting the press handstand well.  Usually a gymnast is not strong in their trapezius or tricep muscles when they fail at the press up from straddle to stand part in the press handstand.   The traps and triceps get strong in gymnastics through the vertical line of a handstand.  In weight training, they get strong by the military or dumbbell press.
 

Press Handstand Exercises
 
1. Flexibility:  pancake
2. Military Press:  Perform 6 sets of 6 repetitions with as much weight as you can handle.
3. Shoulder Shrugs:  Perform 6 sets of 6 repetitions with as much weight as you can handle.
4. Deltoid Work:  Seated straight dumbbell arm raises….posterior, anterior and lateral directions.
5. Lat pull downs:  Perform 3 sets of 6 with as much weight as you can handle.  Keep the arms parallel.
6. Handstand Shoulder touches:  Perform 6 sets of 25. "

What do you think about this?


I usually condition three times a week, doing normal push-ups and leg lifts etc.

We have a weight room not far from uni, so I decided to go there twice a week and to the exercises listed above and then some core work. The third day I am just doing "normal" push-ups and pull-ups, without weights.


I will do it for about 3 months now, and hopefully I am able to do 1 press handstand by then.

After I achieved this, can I stop the weight training and continue with doing just some press handstands every training?

Thanks in advance

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Daniel Burnham

Doing weights will give some benefit but not nearly as much as just training handstand strength. You need to learn the movement and no amount of weightlifting can do that for you. Handstand 1 and 2 cover the topic in extreme detail and provide a clear path towards a strong handstand with a great deal of trap and shoulder development.

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emmi-lee

Doing weights will give some benefit but not nearly as much as just training handstand strength. You need to learn the movement and no amount of weightlifting can do that for you. Handstand 1 and 2 cover the topic in extreme detail and provide a clear path towards a strong handstand with a great deal of trap and shoulder development.

Thanks for the answer!

Ok, I see. But if you already understood the motion and have the flexibility and corse strength...won't strength training help until a certain point? Just to be able to do one press, then stop weight training and  increase the strength by doing presses over and over again until you can do a few in a row!

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Alessandro Mainente

Basically the best way to build up strength in a movement is develop the movement itself adding piece on piece.

Specificity is the key, for example. shoulders shrugs, you learn to lift the weight not to push yourself off the floor.

front dumbell raises teach to your how to move the weight with a proper alignment (that you need to use to ensure the healthy of your back), press to handstand teaches how to move the upper body while the hands are firmly on the ground.

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Matthew Proulx

 If you lack upper and lower body flexibility nothing will help your handstand press. I've seen people 50 lbs less than me weak as heck do great handstand presses because they are flexible enough to get into the right position thus eliminating most of the effort most people are forced to do.

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emmi-lee

If you lack upper and lower body flexibility nothing will help your handstand press. I've seen people 50 lbs less than me weak as heck do great handstand presses because they are flexible enough to get into the right position thus eliminating most of the effort most people are forced to do.

I am like super flexible! I don't even feel a stretch when I do a pancake stretch!

But the thing is... once you can do a pike press against a wall or a straddle press from stand, your hip flexors should be strong enough, but maybe your shoulders and triceps aren't! Thats where the weight training should come into play...

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Aaro Helander

From personal experience I can say that for example military presses carry very little over to HeSPU:s, even less on HSPU:s (pretty obviously you can't compare the ROM difference).

 

If I was paid a million dollars to get three full rom HSPU:s until June 1st, I would ditch every single weighted exercise and do solely the bodyweight progressions.

 

Similarly, for me the key to press handstands was increasing my pancake flexibility and working the movevent. Wouldn't see any other way through it. I've had pretty strong traps for a lon time - I could easily shrug 300 lbs with good form and the strength helped me nowhere with the press handstand.

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Matthew Proulx

I am like super flexible! I don't even feel a stretch when I do a pancake stretch!

But the thing is... once you can do a pike press against a wall or a straddle press from stand, your hip flexors should be strong enough, but maybe your shoulders and triceps aren't! Thats where the weight training should come into play...

Try it out, work on doing a overhead BW press once a week and see if it helps. Handstand pushups helped my overhead press, don't know if it will work the other way around..

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Blairbob

Emmi, I take it is probably female.

Interesting anecdote from when I was coaching at GoldenBear. Oleg Kosyak, 1994 Bronze Team medalist from Ukraine before defecting to the US and UCB, was my senior there. He said when he was at HeadOverHeels (and the HeadCoach) , he got quite a few of his girls to get their presses, mind you older optional girls by merely working the bench and push press. Upper body and core strength. They were already more than advanced but being teens had hit that size:strength ratio a lot of older optional girls struggle with.

If anything, I would use the presses as assistance toward your BW work. Do your press drills and all your handstand work and hopefully get that straddle-L.

A Lat pulldown is just an exercise if you cannot do a pullup. The delt raises are fine as mobility strength.

Something like focusing on BW strength 4 or 5 days a week and probably bench pressing and pushpressing/strict pressing each once a week would probably be more than enough, at most 3x/week every other day. 

531 would be a simple programming model to figure it all out for you.

http://blackironbeast.com/5/3/1/calculator

Another thought is to do the press BehindTheNeck instead of from the chest if you have the flexibility. This would make a lot of sense if you are coupling it with bench press.

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emmi-lee

Try it out, work on doing a overhead BW press once a week and see if it helps. Handstand pushups helped my overhead press, don't know if it will work the other way around..

Thank you! maybe for you it was the flexibility that kept you from doing it, and for me its the strength.... I cant do a single wide grip pull-up!

I will try :)

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Christoph Pahl

I once climbed with a guy who was pretty weak. But he had done tons of gymnastics more than 10 years ago. We discussed a bit about that, and then he did a very nice straddle press, his first since many years. He simply had the movement 100% wired - that's what counts for one single repetition.

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ASNB

I was big on overhead pressing in the past, 225 lbs for reps standing, and I can say the only carryover for me has been in HeSPU against a wall with bad form.  For the balance aspect it is counterproductive bc it doesn't work all the muscles one would use to balance and then you have to retrain all that strength.  I have had to work extra hard on balance and mobility.

 

For the actual movement of press to handstand I don't think anything I have seen in a gym will prepare you for that, it is too specific a movement.   In fact most free-weight exercises will be counterproductive if preformed with decent weight bc of the limiting effects on mobility and flexibility.

 

I have found it is much easier to strengthen your body in the particular way that you want it to move.

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ForzaCavaliere

The best way is to practice the movement itself, just find a nice progression that presents a real challenge to you.

 

If you want a weightlifting exercise to supplement your training, the snatch (Olympic Lift) looks like it has a similar movement pattern to the upper body during press HS.

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Andrew Long

I tried a negative tuck press the other day and for the first time ever I can truly feel my traps engaging... Now I know what that feels like my handstand is much stronger...

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Coach Sommer

Press handstands are best developed by training ... press handstands.  All else is simply laziness on the part of the athlete in terms of progressions or laziness on the part of the coach in terms of spotting.

 

HIgh rep press handstands are one of my standard measurements of an athlete's physical preparation.  Our record is 30 straddle L presses in a row for Davey, followed by 18 reps for Gregory, followed by 17 reps for Allan.  These were performed as a part of a press handstand series that was in their daily warmup.

 

Yours in Fitness,

Coach Sommer

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