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Santiago Pinzón

Spinal extension mechanisms in a Press Handstand

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Santiago Pinzón

Hello! I have more of a theoretical question, hope is no problem that I ask here. I have being studying some mechanisms of spinal extension, namely Intra-abdominal pressure, Thoracolumbar fascia gain and Hydraulic amplifier mechanism (there is some information here http://www.futurefittraining.co.uk/Courses/courseid973562240/Mechanismsofspinalstability/AdvAP_U5L3_Mechanisms of spinal stability.pdf). It's mainly the fact that during flexion of the spine deep muscles within the ribcage and abdominal area protect the spine by hooking around the abdominal cavity, but this bracing is counterbalanced with an extension mechanism that through the fascia in our lower backs compresses the erector spinae, and that in turns extends our spine. This three mechanisms help us counterbalance either movements of flexion or extension, so we can balance upright. I cannot say I can explain it greatly yet, but hopefully somebody here would have hear about it. 

 

If you do, do you think this mechanism can work in the same way but only backwards during a Press Handstand? I'm starting to understand the huge "core strength" (including things like the pelvic floor and transverse abdominis) this movement requires. Also, if it does, would the trapezius serve the function of the thoracolumbar fascia, compressing the erector spinae and that creating extension at the hips? That would explain why so much trap strength is required for this! 

 

I hope somebody can give me your thoughts on this, or at least point me to any resources. Thank you for your time :) 

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Joaquin Malagon

Hey Santiago,

This is an interesting comparison, from my knowledge the reason the press handstand requires a huge amount of trap strength is because the L shape of the handstand causes the center of gravity to shift forward. Now, considering the arms are near the end ROM in flexion, the traps are the primary movers in flexion above 90°,so they are working hard to keep the torso in line with the humerus despite the offset of gravity due to the position of the legs. The extension at the hips is the result of exceptional core strength but the extension at the hips is not dependent on the activity of the traps as seen in RLL on stall bars or P-Bars etc. I'm sure others will chime in to give a much more in depth response although I hope this helps :icon_cool: 

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Santiago Pinzón

@Joaquin Malagon Yes, it helped! I am fascinated with this movement, thank you for your insights. 

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