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Richard Duelley

Handbalancing Work

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Richard Duelley

Was feeling adventurous last night and worked my forearm stands for the first time since my shoulder injury. After a couple too hard/soft kick ups I remembered the sweet spot and had some fun playing with the forearm stand. They are actually much easier than I remember which, I guess, is a good thing!

Pulled my post from Yuris press handstand tips/rant video thread.

I went through all of your assistance exercises at the gym last night and loved it! I have actually been doing the sitting straddle lifts as a hip flexor/active flexibility helper for a while now so that was nothing new. The hands on the wall lying on your back open to closed straddle drill was the big winner of the drills in my opinion. After only a couple reps I knew what I was doing wrong when I used to work the press pre shoulder injury. So now I can literally get a fresh start on my presses with minimal ingrained bad habits because I lost the bad habits when I was forced to stop practicing due to the shoulder issue.

This was my first time since my injury working my presses and I actually felt quite stable doing the against the wall negatives. I had my head touch the wall a couple times and the last 6-12 inches before my feet touch the floor are challenging to control. I did the presses at the end of my handbalancing practice so I had a little fatigue built up but I think I made some decent headway on getting the 'feel.'

Press Drills:

-Sitting straddle leg lifts/iso holds

-Lay on back with ahnds on wall :arrow: open straddle :arrow: closed straddle while keep back adn hips on the floor :arrow: compress/curl until toes touch wall :arrow: reverse :arrow: repeat

-Bottom Iso holds :arrow: cal elevate feet to get a better stack

-Slow negative

Againts the wall :arrow: hands 6 inches away, kick up to feet against the wall, NOT back or butt :arrow: open straddle get/feel the balance :arrow: closed straddle, keep shoulders open and butt should shift back and touch/brush the wall, close until flexibility limits you :arrow: compress/curl until toes touch the ground, control the whole way down, minimize lean

Goal is freestanding.

I found that during the negatives, if I followed all of the steps my forward lean was naturally limited without me having to really do anything. My head only started to brush the wall when I was getting tired.

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Richard Duelley

I have had 3 days of great balancing in a row! I feel like I am finally getting back to my pre injury form and even improving a little.

Using Yuris press handstand drills the past couple days I have progressed to (for the negatives):

Kick up against the wall with hands 6 inches + a little extra from wall (so I can lean my butt back but not hit the wall :arrow: open straddle and get free standing :arrow: close straddle without leaning forward by shifting butt back :arrow: control the whole way down. I still find myself holding my breath every once in a while though :shock:

Its easy to tell if you lean forward with this drill because your head/back will hit the wall.

Yesterday after one rep with my butt on the wall I did a couple WITHOUT my butt or my head/back hitting the wall. Which leads me to believe that I had my first freestanding negative straddle press handstands with decent form yesterday :mrgreen: With a little more work I will be doing them without the wall at all.

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Richard Duelley

Had my first set of stable one arm QDR on my right arm yesterday at practice. My left arm is at the fingertip stages, sometimes I can get it up to a light 1 finger other times I need 3-4 fingers.

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irongymnast

Where did you get your handbalancing stands from? Or are they DIY? How are those called anyway?

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Richard Duelley
Where did you get your handbalancing stands from? Or are they DIY? How are those called anyway?

They are technically called handstand 'canes' but you can call them what ever you want :wink: and yes they are DIY. They are made from pipe fittings and a little section of 2x4. I made the blocks on top before I made the cane part that holds them off the floor. After I had the blocks and how far I like to put my hands apart when standing on blocks I took the blocks to the hardware store (lowes in my case) and tried several flanges until I found the biggest one I could fit on my blocks with none of the flange sticking out past the blocks. I based the rest of the pipe work on that flange. They have all sorts of nipple (the straight piece of pipe) lengths, The ones shown I think are 18 inches, but I started on little 6 inchers because the taller ones are scary (and still are a little un nerving if I havent practiced in a while). The base is identical to my handstand board (I just bought a long piece of wood flooring type board (its engineered wood and looks like a cutting board) and cut it in half to make the 2 platforms.

In other news I was about to close (again, 3rd time!) on a house but it was not meant to be! My facebook update below lol

"Another seller not willing to work with me, the home search continues =( I dont care how much money you put into the inside, if the roof is crap you should of done that instead! I would have bought the place if it had a none F'ed roof, even if the inside needed paint and flooring and a new kitchen counter top. . . The owner put $10K into the inside of the place replacing the carpet, putting in wood floor, painting and a new kitchen counter top (ALL cosmetic), the cost of the roof is $9-$10K, a good roof is kind of required to call the place a “house.†Another $500 down the drain in inspections, well I guess the $500 saved me a 10K roof surprise."

Maybe my experiences in finding a home will help someone out who is also looking to buy or sell (ie fix the roof before you put in new carpet. . . ).

At least its a gymnastics practice day! One of coaches was trying to get me to work standing halfs last time, front and rear! I was like 'maybe next time' (bec Im scared lol) so today is 'next time.' :mrgreen:

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Richard Duelley

I was going to put this as an edit to the above but figured it deserved its own post.

I also had the entire girls team and most of the coaches trying some natural leg curls at the end of practice on Tuesday. I did them as part of my workout and then saw some of them trying to mimic so I went over and spilled out some knowledge :mrgreen: It seems like all they (the teams I see practice when I am there) only work skills, over and over and over and they rarely do any conditioning at all . . . makes me sad because I see a smattering if overly taped ankles, knee braces, wrist tape etc on most of the athletes. :( If they did a little prehab and some strength work most of their braces would disappear.

Any suggestions on things I could do without looking like I am intruding on their training, I hate seeing people injured and not doing anything about it! Their coach kept saying things like 'suck it up' and 'work through the pain'.

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yuri marmerstein

Ha, welcome to almost every gym in the country. Unfortunately most coaches teach by throwing shit at the wall and see what sticks.

Most conditioning includes only basic exercises like pushups, frogjumps, leglifts and handstand holds with little direct carryover to the skills they are supposed to be learning. It seems like most of the conditioning coaches have the team kids do is to the purpose of making them tired/fatigued/out of breath and ready to burst into tears. Not exactly sport-specific.

Prehab is pretty much non-existant with the exception of static stretching and injuries are commonplace.

The problem is that especially with girls gym many coaches can get away with being shitty coaches and still producing decent gymnasts out of their genetically gifted students.

It's a bit harder to get away with in boys gym

That's also why so many gymnasts never want to touch the apparatus again after they stop competing. They always associated the sport with pain and injury.

I usually try not to meddle unless it's kids I am coaching or they express direct interest in what I am doing. Though One of the places I work at now, the owner appreciates my unique background and skillset.

Anyway, that's enough ranting for now

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Richard Duelley

Yeah, I mostly keep to myself and work hard (that is why I pay the big bucks to use the facility after all) but will show some stuff if someone looks interested or asks me. Every time I come down from a handstand the cheer leaders are looking at me lol Their coach yells at them at least once every time I am there for not paying attention. . . really its just a regular handstand, its not like I am doing effortless one arm hops or anything. I spent about 20 min one day teaching a couple of the girls elbow levers lol

I see them do the movements you listed regularly . . .frog jumps. . .really!? Hit up some SLS even if you spot yourself on the wall, a couple of the girls are working double backs off the vault so they arent beginners. Yesterday I got weird looks because I was feeling exceptionally sore so I cut the handbalancing short did a basic ring strength series a couple times (I love ring strength series, it’s a great conditioning option when I don’t come into the gym with a plan) and then did 40 minutes of prehab, I went through all my shoulder and wrist stuff a couple times more than normal and it felt great. I got a couple 'what are doing?' type questions and I answer and explain the purpose and I usually get blank stares in return. O well, rotations into bridge feels REALLY good when you are sore as heck!

The knowledge is out there and its practically free, all you have to do is go get it. Hands on coachign is great but for people like me the free stuff will keep me busy for a long time. Of course if Ido or Steve Atlas comes within driving distance of me I will be there!

It makes me sad when I see coaches doing things because “its how I was taught so it must be the best.â€

Wish I had a Coach Sommer near me :mrgreen:

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Michel Hendrickson

Is it less or more difficult with tuck, compared to straight legs?

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FREDERIC DUPONT
(...) they rarely do any conditioning at all . . . makes me sad because I see a smattering if overly taped ankles, knee braces, wrist tape etc on most of the athletes. :( If they did a little prehab and some strength work most of their braces would disappear.

Any suggestions on things I could do without looking like I am intruding on their training, I hate seeing people injured and not doing anything about it! Their coach kept saying things like 'suck it up' and 'work through the pain'.

Ha, welcome to almost every gym in the country. Unfortunately most coaches teach by throwing shit at the wall and see what sticks.

Most conditioning includes only basic exercises like pushups, frogjumps, leglifts and handstand holds with little direct carryover to the skills they are supposed to be learning. It seems like most of the conditioning coaches have the team kids do is to the purpose of making them tired/fatigued/out of breath and ready to burst into tears. Not exactly sport-specific.

Prehab is pretty much non-existant with the exception of static stretching and injuries are commonplace.

The problem is that especially with girls gym many coaches can get away with being shitty coaches and still producing decent gymnasts out of their genetically gifted students.

It's a bit harder to get away with in boys gym (...)

(...) It makes me sad when I see coaches doing things because “its how I was taught so it must be the best.â€

Wish I had a Coach Sommer near me :mrgreen:

WOW, I had no idea!

My only exposure to gymnastics is through this website & Coach Sommer's book & articles; I had the misconception that gymnastics were very, very sophisticated in their prehab & conditioning work through pre-requisites and coherent progressions...

What you guys are saying has been my experience with Martial Arts... A brutal Darwinian experience and a really sad waste of talent and potential.

I agree, the knowledge is out there!

I am infinitely grateful for Coach Sommer and all this forum members for sharing it so generously. :)

Fred

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Richard Duelley
Is it less or more difficult with tuck, compared to straight legs?

I find both leg positions to be equal, but I also practice both a ton. Usually I kick up to a tuck handstand and then extend to the straight leg. Now the Yuval tight tuck with chin to chest and extremely open shoulders is a whole separate matter . . . that I am making good progress on :wink: It actually feels like a tuck Mexican handstand to me, same kind of feeling in the shoulders and the same balance ‘feel’ as when I practice the Mexican (My mexican is still horrible but I try real hard :mrgreen: ).

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Richard Duelley

Havent posted in a while but I got this yesterday at my first power lifting meet. :D I weighted in at a scale tipping 71.6 kilos in my super light weight under armor underwear. :mrgreen: Story, I lost a lot of weight due to my shoulder injury and have been traveling a lot with work so I have had zero opportunity to dig in (literally :D ) and gain my weight back. The good news, I am getting stronger everyday. I have been out in Seattle Washington for work for the past 2 months (4 more weeks to go) and have been training my power lifting (mostly deadlift) with the great Bull Stewart. I wont the deadlift in my weight class with a solid 358 lb pull. My previous PR was last week and I pulled 335 3 times without letting go. I deadlift with a snatch grip and so far my grip hasnt been a limiting factor. A couple guys at the meet comment on my grip strength and how they rarely if ever see someone compete with a snatch grip. I have also been playing with aerial rope and fabric at a local non profit circus school. Great place full of great people that let me break the rules and drop in to classes that they normally wont let people drop into! Usually they have 13 week classes but since my work schedule is all over the place they agreed to let me drop into the aerial classes whenever I want for a prorated price (the just divided the cost of the 13 week session by 13 to get the price I pay) http://sancaseattle.org/

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I also took a seminar with Steve Atlas while in seattle, which was awesome. I learned a ton, like how to open my shoulders :mrgreen:

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And when bored in my hotel room I stand on my hands!

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Philip Chubb

Great work! You are doing two different things and doing well at both! And that circus school looks awesome!

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Richard Duelley
Great work! You are doing two different things and doing well at both! And that circus school looks awesome!

I am kind of ADD with my training though but thats just because I really just like to play and have fun with my practice whether its lifting, handbalancing, rope, or whatever. :mrgreen: New goal is to hit 405 DL by the end of the year.

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Aaron Griffin

Hey man, nice work. You posted WAY in the beginning of this thread that you were going to get a video/list of the drills you do together. Did you ever end up doing that? I'm curious as to how you train

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Richard Duelley

I still want to put something together but I have been traveling for my job a lot. I wont get back from my current work travel until December 14. I am flying back for a week at Thanksgiving but I will, hopefully, be closing on a house then. So that means I have to move and get organized as much as I can during that week. I foresee me being bored at my house one day and that will lead me to make some videos. My other problem is I don’t have a video camera and I would rather spend that couple hundred bucks on a squat rack/aerial rope rather than a camera. I currently use my crappy point and shoot as a video camera and the quality is really bad. If I could get my family to buy me a GoPro for Christmas then I might be in business. :mrgreen:

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Richard Duelley

Learned how to hang from a rope with no hands today in my aerial rope class. I dont have any full length compression gear with me so I go MAD rope burns on my legs from wrapping the rope around them. Every turn I had a little 'man up' moment :mrgreen: I really wish the good spanish webs/aerial ropes werent $500+ bucks!

The circus school has a handbalancing class on wendsday nights that I am trying to weasel my way into. Its another class where they usually dont allow drop ins but the lady at the front desk said they only have 2 people signed up so she was going to ask the coach to see if he would let me drop in. Hands on coaching for only $17 a session. . . yes please!

I am going to do my best to remember my camera the next time I go to the aerial rope class so I can get some pictures. Mostly so I have some ques to go from when I get my own rope. 8) They also sell a great aerial fabric/rope technique book that they get from France but they didnt have any in stock to sell so I wrote the title and everything down and I am hoping the I will be able to find one online. If not I am going to ask them to order me one and then ship it back to maryland once they get some in.

hmmmm, squat rack or an aerial rope. . . decisions, decisions. :D

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