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Coach Sommer

Handstand Obstacle Course

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Coach Sommer

For those few for whom walking on their hands on a flat surface is already a conquered challenge and are interested in something more stimulating - I would recommend trying to navigate a handstand obstacle course. These are a great deal of fun, as well as quite challenging physically, and the difficulty of the course can be easily adjusted to your level of handstand proficiency.

As shown in the video below, construct the course out of panel mats, slanted beams, spring boards, single bars and spotting blocks arranged in various configurations, heights, angles, surfaces etc. Be creative and challenging, but remember to use a degree of caution in choosing your materials and landing surfaces. A beginner's course might simply entail stepping over some 6" bars, while an advanced course may include such challenges as lowering or jumping to the floor while in a handstand from a 3' box, walking around a 6" wide curving mat and walking up mats of various heights in a stair step fashion

Several adjustments in handstand technique will be necessary in order to successfully navigate the more challenging of the courses. While traveling uphill, it is allowable to let the hips to lead the way slightly more in front of the shoulders than during a normal handstand walk. The back will also have a tendency to arch more than normal, to what degree will depend on whether it is due to laxness on the part of the athlete or a simple matter of survival! Seriously, it is beneficial to attempt to maintain a reasonable degree of back control, however to stress it to too great an extent will preclude you from traveling very far; which was the whole point of this exercise in the first place. This is especially true upon your first few exposures to more advanced handstand obstacle courses.

Initially during some of the more challenging steps upward, which are essentially partial range single arm handstand pushups, it is permissible to allow less handstand proficient people to place their head upon the next edge and then utilize a headstand pushup to elevate themselves up to the next level. The headstand pushup, and subsequent handstand, must however be performed entirely on their own. This practice of resting on the head, even if only momentarily, should be discontinued once you have developed an adequate physical base and a reasonable degree of handstand proficiency.

If the feet touch, your turn is over. This restriction will lead to some amusing attempts at self preservation, as well as occasionally the spectacular save. It should be carefully noted that while enjoying exploring the intricacies of the chosen handstand obstacle course, your shoulders and arms will spend an enormous amount of time under tension. Handstand obstacle courses are an excellent way to manipulate overhead pressing training volume. You will usually, however, be far too busy enjoying yourself to notice this at the time; but you will certainly notice it the next day 8)! In addition, working on the handstand obstacle course will also have a residual effect in improving one's static handstand.

Twenty to thirty minutes is usually adequate to fully enjoy the benefits of this wonderful training scenario.

Have fun.

Yours in Fitness,
Coach Sommer

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Guest Chiflado

That is sweet! Thanks for the video! Good to help motivate me to work on my handstand!

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Danny

I am definetly going to try this, starting with just easy handstand walks progressing on to the harder obstacles!

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coachnate

I know this is an older post, but since it's sticky'ed - about how long would you say it took for those boys to develop the strength/coordination/guts ( :wink: ) to make it through this? Also, how often would you have your boys go through courses such as these?

Thanks,

Nate

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Blairbob

I told my boys we will start making a course as soon as they can walk half of the floor. I used to have kids walk up layers of panel mat as preparation to walking up half panel mat stacks or boxes.

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Coach Sommer

In my program, handstand obstacle courses are performed on an occassional basis; perhaps 3-4 times a year. The majority of their abilities on the HS courses is the direct result of their physical preparation program.

Yours in Fitness,

Coach Sommer

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Marcelo Lara

Hey, its very similar to "how is taken the handstand in parkour-freerunning", in this moment. I explain myself with this video:

SPPo6GChrGo

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