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Erik Sjolin

HSPU Blues

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FritsMB Mansvelt Beck

More of a question, and, depending on the answer, maybe a suggestion to Erik. I am not nearly there, but I do have this idea that sets of tiger bends (without the push up to HS) will focus on the lower part of the HSPU range both concerning the triceps and other muscles required for balancing; a bit like just doing the MU transition. Does any one have tried this? For you Erik with a 6’6†frame to balance it will be quite a workout for your triceps and shoulders. Bending your legs at the knees may make it a little easier in the beginning.

(Tiger bend push up is moving from (yoga) elbow stand into hand stand with nose to the floor, and back).

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Erik Sjolin
More of a question, and, depending on the answer, maybe a suggestion to Erik. I am not nearly there, but I do have this idea that sets of tiger bends (without the push up to HS) will focus on the lower part of the HSPU range both concerning the triceps and other muscles required for balancing; a bit like just doing the MU transition. Does any one have tried this? For you Erik with a 6’6†frame to balance it will be quite a workout for your triceps and shoulders. Bending your legs at the knees may make it a little easier in the beginning.

(Tiger bend push up is moving from (yoga) elbow stand into hand stand with nose to the floor, and back).

Lately I haven't had a whole heck of a lot of trouble balancing in the handstand, but it is the bottom portion that I've had trouble with. It's a very interesting idea, and I hope that someone can confirm that this would be a great exercise for the bottom part of the HSPU before I jump in with both feet (or hands, as the case may be).

I've seen some tiger bends done by Ido Portal in his balance workshop video, so there's gotta be some sort of connection there, whether it's because he's so strong that he can just do them, or because they helped him get that strong.

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Joshua Naterman
Strength is important when trying to do hspu's..having a strong military press should help a lot and also controlling the arch in you back is critical, arching more on the way down and pushing up strongly while limiting the arch on the way back up helped me alot when first starting out. Keep up the practice, good luck

Sigh... it is hard to avoid spam these days. Mods and Coach: How do we handle this one? I'm not sure whether this is something that should be deleted, but that is my gut feeling.

Disregard the advice in this quoted post and listen to the pros: Don't let yourself arch. Arch = chest work, and that will never help you develop a proper HSPU. I have made excellent progress myself since I really started working on entirely eliminating the arch, I really feel it in the shoulders where I am supposed to. You can't build strong shoulders if you're depending on your chest!

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acegerter

Tightly holding the hollow and slightly squeezing elbows together is how I was taught.

From experience, arching causes you to lose balance and like slizz said, recruit a different set of muscles. Since I've really devoted myself to HS work, HSPU have gotten easier not from strength but from a balance perspective. Keeping my back flat and finding the perfect balance all the way through HSPU makes it a much less tedious exercise :-)

Keep working smartly and CONSISTENTLY!

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Erik Sjolin
Tightly holding the hollow and slightly squeezing elbows together is how I was taught.

From experience, arching causes you to lose balance and like slizz said, recruit a different set of muscles. Since I've really devoted myself to HS work, HSPU have gotten easier not from strength but from a balance perspective. Keeping my back flat and finding the perfect balance all the way through HSPU makes it a much less tedious exercise :-)

Keep working smartly and CONSISTENTLY!

I've been re-teaching myself this technique lately, and I've had decent results. Keeping my back flat and body hollow is definitely the best, but the weird thing is the tops of my shoulders push out (not quite winging scapula), but my spine is still flat, so it looks like I arch.

I don't know if my triceps are the weak point when it comes to the press, so I'll be doing a bit of work on them to try to supplement myself (a few months ago I started doing bicep and lat specific exercises and it really helped my pulls), as well as practicing what I've been doing.

Consistent training is no problem for me, but smart training is a little harder...cuz I'm stoopid. :wink:

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Erik Sjolin

I really hate to drag up an old thread again, but I feel I need the help of the forum on this (and a similar issue) yet again. The problem, gentlemen, is the scapula. I want to keep them against my ribcage (managed to finally get the feeling in dips and muscle ups), but in PPP, HSPU and planche work the little buggers keep wanting to pop up like a jack in the box. :x

I've been doing the stuff we learned at the seminar religiously, so perhaps I just need to do more of it, but I feel as though I cannot correct the problem myself (the amount of time I had to take from doing HSPUs left me with very little strength in that plane), and it always feels as though my back is arched and my shoulders are in a dangerous position. :(

What sort of stuff should I do to fix this? Working through the progressions is obvious, but I want to absolutely make sure I do it with pristine form this time. It'll be the third time around now, and I really, REALLY don't want to have to do it a fourth.

Thanks a bunch everyone, and sorry once again for digging up a dead item.

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Samuel Carr

So i just read through this post and i dont know if you still need help with the HSPU stuff but check out this video:

Fast forward to 2:20. Doing this has been helping me a ton and you can just gradually increase the height your legs are at and do them somewhere that allows you to get full HSPU rom.

As far as the scapula goes, Im pretty sure I read a post by Slizzardman somewhere that said to not try and force the scapula to protract or retract like you would in a planche or front lever respectively, and that instead (for handstands), you just want to make sure youre keeping a flat back/hollow body that has an open shoulder angle and really striving to extend your shoulders/arms up to your ears when pressing.

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Samuel Carr

Btw it'd be helpful if you posted a video showing what you were talking about

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Erik Sjolin

I can't really not try and force my scapula to protract here because mine aren't stuck against my ribs. I know there are some people who have tried to get their's to stick out like mine and simply can't (lucky buggers...), so it's a huge area of focus for me.

At 3:24

is what I'm striving for, but when I do it my upper back looks severely arched, and I'm really not sure if it's my spine or scapula that's doing it (though I'm betting since my balance has gone back down from "good" to "crap" that it's the spine).

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Joshua Naterman

If you are having problems with upward rotation then you may need to do some releases for rhomboids and traps from top to bottom. Lats could be tight too, but most likely rhomboids and traps.

You also may have something tight in the arms, like coracobrachialis or subscapularis. Either of those could inhibit the serratus from keeping the scapula tight and there is a possibility of long head of the triceps as well though that is less likely to cause this particular issue. It can be surprising how these issues interact, so I generally encourage work to be done on every muscle that could be suspect and on the fascial lines, both of which sometimes require assistance.

You may also just have trouble activating serratus anterior during the handstands and the other exercises you mentioned. The scapular push ups from the seminar will help. I HIGHLY recommend doing those with weight and just one hand at a time as well. You need to feel the movement in your serratus specifically, not so much in the pecs and delts.

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Erik Sjolin

For the rhomboids and trapezius, is the ol' "lacrosse ball o' pain" the way to go? I need to do that anyway since my handstand line was pretty poor (never thought it could affect my shoulderstand though).

One hand at a time and with weights...hmmm, should those be done in a pushup position with some plates on my back, or on a bench with a dumbbell?

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Donar

Very good recommendations by Slizzardman as usual 8)

In addition to the muscles Slizzardman mentioned (rhomboids, traps, lats, long head of the triceps, coracobrachialis, subscapularis), you should definitely do soft tissue work on your pectoralis minor and your biceps (especially short head of your biceps) and perhaps levator scapulae. Trigger points can also "shut down" muscles, so you might want to look for trigger points in your serratus anterior as well.

So basically, you need to do soft tissue work on all your upper body :mrgreen:

I don't see why a lacrosse ball wouldn't work. Try ART style massage on the muscles where it's possible/practical, do regular rolling massage in addition, and you might want to try a graston technique/gua sha approach as well. For the last one, however, you'll need help, especially for your back.

For serratus anterior activation, try scapular push ups on an incline bench with a dumbbell. Use the other hand to make sure your not activating pectoralis minor or your upper traps. Focus on the motion of your scapula.

Looks something like this, but with a dumbbell instead. You can play around with the angle of the inclination.

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Hope this helps.

edit:

If you aren't doing it yet, you should probably perform trap-3 / lower trap raises as well. Focus on NOT activating your upper traps. If you don't know what that is, search the forum.

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Erik Sjolin

Thanks Donar! Right after I read this, I looked up trigger points and found something that supposedly links to where my right shoulder has been hurting (infraspinatus). I started massaging the spot that hurt like all living youknowwhat, and the pain in my shoulder has decreased a bit (although now the massaged muscle kinda hurts).

Since it was hard to reach, I asked someone else to rub it for me. In retrospect, it probably shouldn't have been while I was driving... :roll:

In the immortal words of one seminar attendee; "ARRRGH! IT TICKLES!"

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