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Thejanosch

Pancake Stretch Progression for Handstand Press

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Thejanosch

I´m 19 years old and started doing gymnastics 2 years ago. I made good progressions in terms of strength and balance but my bad flexibility keeps me from moving to new skills.

 

My main goal now is to achieve the Press to Handstand.

Therefore i am trying to improve my Pancake stretch because i think its the main

reason that i can´t get the HSP yet.

I can only go to the gym 2x a week, so that have to stretch alone the other times.

 

I would like to hear some progressions to finally get the chest on the floor with legs spread apart

which i can try at home and without a partner.

 

Cheers

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Ron Roitman

Do this on an elevated surface. Lower each time when you feel that you're ready.

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Jan Reipert

you already need exceptional mobility to do this. i dont think this is a really helpful exercise for beginners or even intermediates.

 

the pancake-progressions are covered in foundation and handstand2 in detail so i cant really say much about that. what helped me a lot was doing active loaded stretching, say weighted straddle stretches standing on a bench or two separate boxes. a lot of kelly starret material is also really good (in my opinion at least, i know there are differing opinions on him), especially his adductor stretches using bands do distract the hip.

 

dont just focus on your adductors. do not neglect your obliques, lumborum and lower back when working towards the pancake.

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Ron Roitman

you already need exceptional mobility to do this. i dont think this is a really helpful exercise for beginners or even intermediates.

 

 

I disagree with you.

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Alexander Egebak

I disagree with you.

I am not even close to be able to sit like that. My straddle is too bad. And still I am young without any injuries in that area.

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Ron Roitman
On 10/14/2014 at 5:07 PM, Alexander Egebak said:

I am not even close to be able to sit like that. My straddle is too bad. And still I am young without any injuries in that area.

I mentioned that this exercise is done on an elevated surface. The lower back must remain straight. You stop when it curves and at every rep you should try to increase the ROM.

Edited by Ron Roitman
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Sailor Venus

I mentioned that this exercise is done on an elevated surface. The lower back must remain straight. You stop when it arches and at every rep you increase the ROM.

I experimented something like that before. My experience is the pelvis is free to roll about making stretching less effective, the rolling pelvis is the reason why it sometimes a challenge to keep the lower back straight. What I did instead is the front splits (don't worry if you can't do front splits fully yet, whats important is you're at your maximal range); since you have one leg in front and the other behind you it means the pelvis is locked and can't roll and lordosis is eliminated. From the front splits, reach forward and stretch the hamstring and the adductor. Repeat with the other leg. Once both legs are done, try the pancake and see if you feel the difference.

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Ron Roitman

I experimented something like that before. My experience is the pelvis is free to roll about making stretching less effective, the rolling pelvis is the reason why it sometimes a challenge to keep the lower back straight. What I did instead is the front splits (don't worry if you can't do front splits fully yet, whats important is you're at your maximal range); since you have one leg in front and the other behind you it means the pelvis is locked and can't roll and lordosis is eliminated. From the front splits, reach forward and stretch the hamstring and the adductor. Repeat with the other leg. Once both legs are done, try the pancake and see if you feel the difference.

What do you mean by "is free to roll" ? To which direction? Backwards?

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Alessandro Mainente

Pancake flexibility from passive to active is completely covered on H2.

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Sailor Venus

What do you mean by "is free to roll" ? To which direction? Backwards?

Yeah, backwards. When I try the fold forward from the straddle and hit my maximum range and I try to break past the plateau, my pelvis/hips tilts a bit and pulls in my lower back and it hurts. When I practice front splits and try to reach forward, I don't get that discomfort on my lower back and instead my hamstring and the adductor on the front leg will take the strain. Nice.

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Thejanosch

Thanks for the replies so far.

 

I tried the weighted pancakes already, but i was struggeling because i did it on an even surface, so my back was rounded and i couldnt get the stretch very well.

 

I´ll try it in an elevetated position next time and will also do some frontsplit work before!

 

/offtopic

I´m now thinking about getting some of the online courses, would you recommend it also when i only got gymnastic training 2x a week

and train like 3-4x a week alone at home or at the fitness studio? Am i able to progress by myself?

 

And what about getting H2 first, or would you advise me to get H1 too?

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Jan Reipert

I disagree with you.

I stand corrected: i tried it yesterday sitting on a small box and it felt fantastic. I started with 15kg plates and had to work my way up to 60kg (because unfortunately i am pretty strong and extremely tight from years of squatting and sumo-deadlifting), but it felt fantastic. This is an exercise i will definitely keep. I'm thinking about doing 5x10 after each and every workout but i'm not sure how to progress: treating it like dislocations (increase ROM til x, then add weight) or just pile on the weights as long as i can keep my back straight and increase my ROM with additional weights (more like loaded stretching)?

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Alexander Egebak

I stand corrected: i tried it yesterday sitting on a small box and it felt fantastic. I started with 15kg plates and had to work my way up to 60kg (because unfortunately i am pretty strong and extremely tight from years of squatting and sumo-deadlifting), but it felt fantastic. This is an exercise i will definitely keep. I'm thinking about doing 5x10 after each and every workout but i'm not sure how to progress: treating it like dislocations (increase ROM til x, then add weight) or just pile on the weights as long as i can keep my back straight and increase my ROM with additional weights (more like loaded stretching)?

5x10 seems a lot. I would humbly recommend 5x5 as a starting value. And 60kg also seems a lot if you do it on elevated surface.

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Jan Reipert

it sounds like a lot but considering the range of motion i get and the weights i normally use during my lower body (which is really, really tight) work it is not much. i started doing it with less weight of course but less eight gave my a significantly worse stretch. 

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Jurre

How elevated do you sit? How high is it of the ground?

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Jan Reipert

Knee-height

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Jan Reipert

here is a picture of me doing it. as i told you my adductors and hamstrings are too strong and tight as hell from years of heavy sumolifting (without paying attention to adequate mobility) but even after a few sessions with this variation they feel much more loose.

 

 

post-7021-0-04299900-1413792955_thumb.pn

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FritsMB Mansvelt Beck

DieKatze


 


Here is another suggestion. Read up on Contract and Relax method for stretching. You will find that it has been found to work better if you stretch into the position shown on your snapshot, holding the position for (say) 30 seconds, without changing your position statically contracting the muscles that you are stretching for a count of (say) five, and then stretching the target muscles further by relaxing and holding the further stretch for another (say) 30 seconds. I have never seen a pancake stretch done with 60 kg and personally would never do that realizing that stretching ligaments initially can make them weaker. Experiment a bit to find out whether you really need so much weight to increase the ROM of your hamstrings and adductors by relaxing into the stretch. Your muscles may be strong but your tendons may not match up to that strength when they are stretched further.


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Jurre

Frist, you mean PNF right?

 

That stretch is a great idea in which you can incorporate PNF pretty good I reckon.

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FritsMB Mansvelt Beck

Frist, you mean PNF right?

 

That stretch is a great idea in which you can incorporate PNF pretty good I reckon.

No, I am talking about Contract and Relax stretching. I am not sure what you mean with "that stretch", but personally I would never try to improve my pancake stretch with 60-70% of my body weight  on my neck/shoulders. I tried to explain very briefly "why" in my posting. I am curious though to hear other opinions on this.

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Coach Sommer

- Loaded is good, but jumping right to 60kg is excessive.

- Great idea beginning the stretch with the hips in a substantially elevated position. Makes a lot of sense for beginners who are so tight that even sitting upright in a straddle can be a tremendous challenge for them.

- The elevated position also enables very tight beginners to begin the descent into the stretch from an anterior pelvic tilt (APT) which greatly increases its effectiveness.

Yours in Fitness,

Coach Sommer

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Jurre

No, I am talking about Contract and Relax stretching. I am not sure what you mean with "that stretch", but personally I would never try to improve my pancake stretch with 60-70% of my body weight  on my neck/shoulders. I tried to explain very briefly "why" in my posting. I am curious though to hear other opinions on this.

With ´That stretch´ I mean the elevated pancake stretch. I agree, I would not use that much weight.

Isn´t PNF stretching the same as Contract and Relax stretching? If not, where does it differ?

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Keegan Yentsch

PNF (Proprioceptive Neuromuscular Facilitated) stretching is a blanket term for any type of stretch that utilizes the neuromuscular reflexes of autogenic inhibition and/or reciprocal inhibition to allow for a greater ROM to be reached (and more quickly) than is usual possible with regular static/passive stretching.

Contract relax is a form of PNF, as is hold relax, contract relax antagonist contract (CRAC), rhythmic initiation, rhythmic stabilization, alternating isometrics, and slow reversals.

You could not really (and definitely should not try to) achieve a PNF effect with a weighted stretch like that though as if the weight was heavy enough to allow you to do an effective isometric contraction with it you would be buried by the end of the ROM and unable to reverse the motion back to sitting, not to mention the risk and likelihood of injury with such a weight would be huge.

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Robert Rowland

Pancake flexibility from passive to active is completely covered on H2.

It seems like it comes too late in the overall progression, especially considering MN PE2...

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Jurre

PNF (Proprioceptive Neuromuscular Facilitated) stretching is a blanket term for any type of stretch that utilizes the neuromuscular reflexes of autogenic inhibition and/or reciprocal inhibition to allow for a greater ROM to be reached (and more quickly) than is usual possible with regular static/passive stretching.

Contract relax is a form of PNF, as is hold relax, contract relax antagonist contract (CRAC), rhythmic initiation, rhythmic stabilization, alternating isometrics, and slow reversals.

You could not really (and definitely should not try to) achieve a PNF effect with a weighted stretch like that though as if the weight was heavy enough to allow you to do an effective isometric contraction with it you would be buried by the end of the ROM and unable to reverse the motion back to sitting, not to mention the risk and likelihood of injury with such a weight would be huge.

Awesome, got it!

 

Should you not try to achieve PNF with that stretch because 60kg is that much weight. Or is it not a smart thing to do it with weight either way.

 

I won't get 60 kg, but perhaps 5-15 kg. That sounds to me pretty good for PNF.

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