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Gerald Mangona

Headstand Press to Headstand Against Wall

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Gerald Mangona

I've been playing with how to scale the press to handstand in the WODs. To date, I've been scaling them by work on doing scaled headstand pushups (standing, pike position headstand pushups...or HSPU with feet assisted by box.) I'm totally fine with this and am making steady gains.

That said, I think I found one progression of press to handstand that I have strength todo: Headstand Press to Headstand against wall. I saw a video of a girl demonstrating her progression to press to handstand, and it started with her getting into a straddle press to handstand using the wall to assist. Start with your hands a few inches from the wall, and as the strength builds, gradually move your hands back a few inches.

I tried it and couldn't do it in a handstand. But I COULD do it with a headstand.

Here's what's bad...when doing it, I felt a lot of pressure on my spine. And yes, I'm using my shoulders to keep as much weight off of the head as possible, but I don't want to be in a position where my shoulders fail, and I expose myself to possible injury.

Is what I'm doing safe? Is there something I should be doing on headstands to prevent injury? Or should I just go back to doing the headstand pushups progressions until I build more than enough shoulder strength to do this?

Thanks - JM

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Gerald Mangona

Well, I think I found a good solution. Since I don't have the HeSPU strength to keep the weight off my head, when I see Press to HS in the WODs, I will do the assisted HeSPU progressions followed by a set of headstand press to headstand against the wall with my forearms flat on the ground to support my body like the woman at 1:44 in this video:

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I can still feel some weight compressing my head but it's much less. And getting my hips directly over my head is the hardest part; I can adjust the workload by adjusting how close I "walk the hips up" vs. lifting it up.

Looks like it's gonna be awhile before I have the strength to do a full press to handstand without assistance.

J

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Joshua Naterman

You need to be able to hold a decent headstand for a while before you try HeS presses! Treat it like a handstand: Half max holds until a minute is pretty easy.

I am 210 lbs and I can hold a headstand with no hands now for about 15 seconds, with heels lightly against the wall. It took a little while to build that up but you can take it that far too if you want. At first headstands were very uncomfortable, but your neck will get stronger. Give it time and don't try to do too much too soon.

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Alexander Moreen

Go find some wrestling neck drills and do those once z week for a month or 2. Though you'll probably be able to build your pressing strength faster than your neck strength.

Me and my buddy do some amateur hand balancing stuff and we do some neck conditioning / back conditioning doing freestanding superman holds on each others necks while the other guy has to walk around. I'm the smaller guy at 6'3" 190 so it gets pretty intense after like 10 feet.

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Joshua Naterman

Wow, that is cool! Pics, pics!

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Alexander Moreen

He's doing a wild west show this thursday, which is our normal day. Next week we should get together.

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Cole Dano

Lavistine, i'm in line for pics!

With headstand, the forearms on the floor version is easier on the neck, if done correctly.

The press from headstand is MUCH easier than from handstand, and is a good way to work on the flexibility in hips, legs and upper back.

One problem that most will have in the beginning is that the upper back will round in the press, as if trying to do a backward roll. This has to eradicated ASAP if you want any hope of progress with the HS press.

One trick we use is to put a block between your shoulder blades and the wall, this will prevent the roll. In dolphin position, just do some work with your upper back, trying to move it away from the wall, as you press with your legs moving the hips towards the wall.

This is very helpful later.

As for how long to hold a headstand, a very realistic goal is 5 minutes free standing. This will get your neck stronger, but like anything take your time, this alone may be a 4-6 month project.

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