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Ando Martinez

Handstand biomechanics help: scapular adduction?

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Ando Martinez

Hello everyone, I am very grateful to have found this forum; I practiced gymnastics shortly during my youth and then transitioned over to yoga. I find however, that I am needing to search elsewhere (other than strictly yoga resources) for information concerning alignment and bio-mechanics of yoga asanas, but thats another topic ;-)

My question: I have encountered various yoga teachers who que external rotation of the shoulders in handstands, and also, that the shoulders should be firmly 'in the socket' as opposed to near the ears.... can someone please tell me what would be the healthiest way for long-term shoulder health and stability, for holds lasting longer than 2-3 minutes and where movement of legs are involved as we transition to more advanced variations? Thank you very much!

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Coach Sommer

Really a simple answer once you know all of the 'facts'.   ;)

 

Fact:  EVERY top handbalancer in the world uses elevated scapula during handstand work.  Every one.

 

Fact:  EVERY top handbalancer in the world uses protraction.

 

Fact:  EVERY top handbalancer in the world focuses on improving shoulder flexion.  Allowing external rotation, in an attempt to avoid poor flexion, is a sure sign that the instructor is mediocre at best.

 

Fact:  Only handstands performed with flexion, protraction and elevation lead to proficient one arm handstands and quality press handstand work.

 

Yours in Fitness,

Coach Sommer

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Mikkel Ravn

My question: I have encountered various yoga teachers who que external rotation of the shoulders in handstands, and also, that the shoulders should be firmly 'in the socket' as opposed to near the ears.... 

Pardon my asking, but isn't that idea of putting the shoulder 'in the socket' complete *broscience (*in this case yogiscience)?

 

I seem to have encountered it many places on the interwebs.

 

Isn't it a form of shorthand for saying depressed scapula, but without having the adequate vocabulary to express it as such?

 

Strictly speaking, the ball of the shoulder is always in the joint, or we would be looking at a severe dysfunction, right? It is merely the scapula being manipulated in its two dimension.

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Ando Martinez

Thank you coach sommer, Ravn, i agree with you in referring to having shoulders "firmly in sockets" as broscienceˋ it becomes confusing when different teachers que differently depending on their training and anatomical knowledge. So i needed clarification,particularily in terms of alignment of shoulders (to extend towards ears or not?) and movement of scapula. Thanks for your help

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Coach Sommer

"Firmly in the sockets" is one of the more assinine handstand cues I have heard perpetuated. Complete nonsense.

How exactly are the traps and shoulder girdle supposed to provide support and control when they have been deactivated?

Yours in Fitness,

Coach Sommer

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Mark Collins

I have never treated or heard of anyone that has subluxed or dislocated the glenohumeral joint by using the upper traps in an overhead position. If we were not meant to use the upper traps why are they so big?

In terms of shoulder activation the good gymnastic coaches are way ahead of anyone else. It is just that the information did not get promoted to the average person. Thankfully Coach has shared the information to the general public and the word is spreading.

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Coach Sommer

... If we were not meant to use the upper traps why are they so big? ...

 

Well said, Mark.  An obvious point when stated so clearly.

 

Yours in Fitness,

Coach Sommer

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