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Bob Sanders

How to construct a handstand routine?

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Bob Sanders

What is an organized and structured way to train for a handstand besides saying just get on your hands? I've seen people training all on their own and have gotten amazing results and are now balancing on their hands. How can I construct a structured and organize routine for handstands. What are some of the routines you have used successfully?

What is the optimal reps, sets, time holds, and frequency and volume. Should handstand be train more frequent like everyday of the week or 4 days a week be optimal for best results or once or twice a week and vice versa.

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yuri marmerstein

when you were training to stand on your feet did you only work on it once it twice a week?

train as often as possible. train when you are fresh. train harder skills first

all of this depends on your current skill level and your goals as well. You can get pretty good just doing 10 minutes of handstands as part of your warmup for your workouts, but if you want to do things like one arm handstands you will have to specialize more and spend a lot more time training.

so, what is your current skill level and your goals for handstand training?

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Bob Sanders

My goal is to be able to balance in a handstand without the wall for at least 10 seconds.

I am no where near that. I have not worked on handstand for months so I am starting over but I do have the basic strength for the handstand.

Before I would go at the handstand randomly without a set program and was not optimal and has gotten me no where or else I would be able to balance on my two hands now

I would some advice on how I can set up an organized training program for the handstand just like I have for everything else(FPS, FBE).

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Indy

My advice would be to work in a 10-20 min block once a day approx 5-6 days a week. Or practice throughout the day if you can. Since you are not able to hold a free handstand, kick up on the wall and practice getting your feet off the wall into the free handstand - using the wall as a spotter when you start to fall towards it. Focus on learning how the hands, wrists, and forearms effect control over the whole body and keep some conscious tension in your midsection during all of this. Also, after you get the 'right amount of tension' in the midsection down, it helps to put a focus on where your feet are in the free balance. These are all things that helped me develop the freestanding handstand. Don't be too hard on yourself on how long it takes to develop this skill. It can take quite a while to be consistent with it. After you get consistent on getting into a free HS from the wall, you then need to start working on kicking up into a free HS which is another animal all together. Get there, then post back.

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Joshua Naterman

Much of your handstand work can be done in your warm ups. I would do less during warm ups for pressing workouts since going too hard will detract from your work sets.

Also, buried deep within the old posts is Coach's recommendation. Start off with a certain block of time actually spend in a handstand, say 3 minutes total at first. As long as this block of time isn't wrecking you it is ok. Always pick a time block that doesn't wear you out to start with. Do that in each warm up. Increase by around 1 minute per month. Start off with your sets being half of your current max wall HS. Lets say your max is 40s with good form, which gives us 20s work sets. Maybe you will do 5 sets of 20s in your warm up, if more than that makes you too tired to effectively do your WODs with your desired intensity. So you do that every day for a month. That's 100s, or 1:40s. After a month you will increase to 160s aka 2:40s. Maybe your max has improved to 60s, so five 32s holds would get you to 160s total. You do that for a month, and then increase your total time again by 60s, test your max, and then recalculate your sets. Eventually you will get to where it is fairly easy for you to do 10-20 minutes of HS work in 4-5 sets on the wall, and this will greatly help your freestanding work if you are keeping a good body line.

I would suggest sticking to the wall until you get a 60-120s max hold with good form, and then start shifting some of the HS time over to free-standing. At first just spending 3-5 minutes in your warm up every single day, calculating the approximate total time spent in the freestanding HS and subtracting that from your overall HS warm up goal, and then finishing up with your wall HS will work very well. As time goes on, this will become very easy and you may end up doing ALL of your HS holds freestanding, who knows?

The important thing is to take it slow. I love HS work, and even being fairly strong this capacity grew very slowly for me, but it grew. I wasn't as regimented or patient as what I have described... if I was, my results would have been way better and come more quickly. At this point, I am walking 40' forward and 8 feet backwards on my hands under control in my warm up. I NEVER thought I would be able to do that without being worn out, but here I am a year and a half later doing it. I don't think it needs to take anywhere near that long, that was me not programming at all. Now I am being a bit more careful about my regimen and making sure I get the practice in, and it is helping a lot.

I hope that helps you with your programming.

Now, there is another option. If you care about your HS work more than your WOD progress at the moment then I would suggest putting a bit more time into your HS work, starting with maybe 3-5 minutes of total time on the wall and following the same progression, doing the wall work AND the freestanding work, but instead of keeping your HS work in check so that your WOD doesn't suffer much, work a bit harder on the HS and just scale WODs way back. That will leave you with more energy for your HS work and still allow you to stay balanced in your development in other areas.

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Indy

Slizz, so you are adding in handstand walking in your warm-ups? I like this idea. I've been working some walking lately, but have plateaued a bit on my total distance. Do you have any suggestions for increasing total distance walks?....what I mean is max distance in one walking set. I've been trying to hit my max distance for sets, but this hasn't been working as well in extending my maximum as I would like.

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Joshua Naterman

Ido and Coach will have more insight into this than I will since I am just so new at this, but I am finding that just practicing walking on the hands isn't enough. I don't really worry about whether I make my 40 feet in one try or not, and I'm just doing 10 feet a day walking backwards until I get fairly consistent at making that. It is much harder for me, but the balance is coming slowly. It seems that the HS wods we have here are huge contributors to this ability. So, once a week alternating wall handstand work, HS wall runs and ring HS for time blocks is one way to really get some good improvements. That's not quite identical to the WODS, but close enough for general purposes. For example, I have noticed that since I missed the last HS WOD it has been over 2 weeks since I specifically worked HS, and my walking is not as solid as it was. Alternating the stimulus and working on actively improving body line seem to be the two keys to success in the HS work.

I don't know that max distance is really the best way to go. I didn't pick 40' because it's my max, I have no idea how far I can actually walk. I know I'm not tired at the end of 40', and that's what matters. This wouldn't be a good part of my warm up if it made me tired. Keep in mind that Coach considers 40' forward to be beginner warm up, 40' forward and 40' backwards (without rest, and preferably without coming down) is intermediate, and 40' forward, back, left and then right without rest (and preferably not coming down) is for his advanced guys. It really does get to the point where this is no big deal, but body line work, wall hs, HS wall runs and XR HS all help you get there.

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Bob Sanders

Thanks slizzardman! That was really, really helpful! And thank you everyone for your advice!! :)

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sarabia

I couldn't agree more with Yuri!!!

handstand is one of those move that should be learn under supervise or else you run the risk of bad form and that is something very difficult to change later on. there are 3 important things you have to work on to be a good hand balancer..In this order: Body conditioning...Posture and technique.

It sound to my like you are determine to get it...and if you are you will! Keep working on it.

all the best.

Luis Sarabia

http://www.planchetraining.blogspot.com

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Bob Sanders

Sarabia, you are right. I am DETERMINED to get the handstand. I always quit because it is so frustrating. I have absolutely NO control over my handstand like you do in your videos. I can not lift my leg slowly up into a handstand but I am guessing that is mainly due to core strength. But I can balance in handstand for a few seconds. Just not kicking into the right position. I also I am not so lucky to find a teacher who is able to teach me and guide me. I can only teach myself and have you guess teach me.

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Jonathan Nasman

This is incredibly helpful slizzard. It amazes me how meticulous you and others are with the detail of your tracking and workouts. I feel like I work hard, but I'm definitely not so scientific. I am tracking my workouts in a log now, but I'm wondering if not being so scientific is going to be a detriment to my training progression.

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Joshua Naterman

As long as you are paying close attention to how your body reacts you will be ok. That is one of the major advantages professional athletes have: trainers that are used to tracking progress, recognizing patterns, and reconstructing routines to take advantage of each athlete's natural pattern. We all go in waves, and there's nothing wrong with that. Once you get used to it and realize that if you just back off when you feel weak you will come back like superman it becomes a much more comfortable thing. I regularly go through a cycle where I am simply feeling incredible, and that lasts for about two weeks. Then I feel slightly tired at some point during the third week, so I just take it a bit easier and after that weekend I am setting a new, easy personal best in whatever comes up that next week. Everyone has different patterns, and while you can manipulate them to some extent with training you tend to get better results when you manipulate your TRAINING to correspond with your natural pattern!

I haven't been concentrating on my HS wall holds at all, but I have been doing regular handstand walking in my warm ups and I just do the wall holds or XR HS(FINALLY!!!) when it comes up and that is plenty for me, at least for now.

Edit: I am not suggesting that what I am doing is superior to the time block method. I really should start working time blocks, and as soon as I get my GymBoss I will!

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