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Hal

Handbalancing

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Hal

Hi everybody!

I´m new to this forum but i have a lot of questions! I study sport sience in vienna and after partly tearing my achilles tendon i began to work on my handstand. And now im really obsessed with this art but i have little problems to design a routine. I know there are a lot of threats concerning this topic and i read most of them but i´m still a little confused. I trained a lot in my past and played soccer in the highest youth class before tearing my ligaments in my right ankle so bodyweight trainging doesen´t seem to be to taxing. Right now i almost train every day and i work on handstands and L-sit. I came from not holding a handstand to about 30 seconds in the last 4 month but i filmed myself and the form is really terrible. No straight line at all. After reading different things i will try to incoorperate wall handstand to fix that.

But as i said i´m not sure about the programming. I know that such a difficult task needs another approach then classic weighth training but i did that a lot so it´s a bit hard to not nearly destroy myself in every session. In the routune i designed myself i always work about 10 minutes on freestanding handstands but try to hold as long as i can. Afterwards i´m doing some bodylevers or L-sits. Sometimes handgliding-saw it on youtube and its really fun. A little core and stretching finishes the session. Right now about one hour. But i´m not quite sure about sets,volume.... Is this 50% of the max time and then work up to 60 seconds also appropriate for handbalancing? I think it may be better to cut down the volume in order to work out every day. Is extra core work necessary? Right now i´m not following a strict routine because in general a have a highly scientific approach.

So i would really appreciate if somebody could help because i really fell in love with handbalancing.

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Richard Duelley

Check out Ido Portal, here is his youtube page. He has a couple videos that show some good handstand drills. Welcome and enjoy the obsession! :mrgreen:

http://www.youtube.com/user/portaldo

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Hal

Thänx for the answer!

Honestly i already came across idos site during my research. So how do youstructure your training? You work out every day? How does a handbalancer train in general? Are there any exercises for antagonistic muscles?

Many thanks in advance

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Richard Duelley

I do my best to stand on my hands every day. Before my shoulder injury (going on 7ish months now) I was standing on my hands for AT LEAST an hour every day. Lately since I have gotten the go-ahead from my doctor (a couple months ago) I have been doing about 30-45 min every day unless my shoulder feels funny then I take that day off. My current work capacity is less so I may be 'training' almost the same amount of time but my work done is less than what I was doing before the injury, ie my free standing capacity has diminished but Ia m getting it back so to make up for it I do more wall holds/drills. I am slowly building myself back up but it’s a slow process.

My practice structure is usually something like this.

I usually rest 4 times as long as I stand on my hands. So if I do a 10 ish second hold I would rest for about 40 sec.

1.Free standing technique, just trying to improve the line on full lay and open my shoulders. Also do some tuck holds. The holds are not long nor am I trying to make the holds long (10-20 sec holds). 5-10 min break once my technique starts to break down.

2.Practice trying different leg positions/do drills that are on Idos video (open to straddle close to full lay, the various kick ups, wall drills etc). 5-10 min break.

3.If I feel like it, elbow lever and straddle L work. 5-10 min break

4.Endurance wall holds. This is how I usually end my HS work. 10-15 min break

5.Planche paired with Front lever. I am focusing on getting my planche so I put a lot of work into these two holds (FL is a great pair with planche work). This work is not counted in my 30-45 min of handbalancing. This is a 30 min ‘try to beat my last workout session’ and is done 2-3 times a week (currently I am building volume with my planche work).

I do shoulder rehab/prehab in the mornings and stretch. If I have time I thrown in some ring supports, muscle ups, l sits, straddle Ls or whatever until its time for me to leave for work (I basically play around until I am force to stop and head to work :D )

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Hal

Thank you again. I think that the last post made me understand the whole thing a bit more. So you really work more on the technical aspekt rather then aiming for the conditional aspekt which is really a bit differnt to what some people from the university told us. They always said we should aim for holding the handstand as long as possible in every try but from my experience the limiting factor is more the awareness of the position you are in to-head upside down. Another confusing topic is the strechting. So science says strechting before and after training is not the best. How do you handle this? Do you do any additional strenght work for the handstands?

Again i´m really thankfull for your help.

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Richard Duelley

I don’t follow any flexibility plan but I do stretch every morning and try to do actual flexibility work before I go to sleep. I sit at a desk all day so if I don’t stretch out at least once a day I will literally fall apart! There is a ton of stuff out there about stretching and various ways to go about it.

The way to build strength in a handstand is to do more handstands :D The conditioning part I do at the end of my session and utilize the wall a great deal. If you are looking for some good conditioning movements that utilize the handstand there are cast wall walks, wall runs and the great handstand push up just to name a few.

If you are talking about press handstands (strength wise) than thats a different topic all together. Personally I am focusing on my straddle planche and once I get that decent enough to work with I will jump my focus over to press handstands. The reason for working things separate is that I simply don’t have enough time in the day to work them both at the same time.

And don’t over think it. The secret to handstands is that there is no secret, just more practice. Hands on training with a coach would be ideal though. Watching videos of other competent handbalancers is also a good idea. I strive to mimic as much as possible!

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Hal

Okay. The thing why i´m asking all these questions is because the appraoch of ido or coach sommers is so different to what i was used to do. For example yesterday i made some wall handstands to correct my posture. I only did 3 or 4 sets with 20 or 30 seconds-really not intense. After that i felt like i haven´t worked out at all. So i did numreous sets of free handstands ignoring the fact that i was already to tired to work efficiently. So today i was thrashed. For me it´s particularly hard to believe that there is improving without feeling a burn in the working muscles or fatique like in other strenght relatet training. I know that equilibristik can´t be seen as strengh work because it´s far to complex so i think i have to change my habits in order to improve. Because with my approach right now i won´t be able to train more than 3 times per week in order to prevent overreaching or overtraining. But i also do a lot of slacklining and as i learned it i almost spent every day on it to get the feeling of balance. I think in compare with handbalancing it´s simalar except you do it upside down which is way more challenging.

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Jason Stein
Before my shoulder injury...

Nifty,

Haven't been following your specifics exactly; what happened?

Otherwise hope you're well.

best,

jason

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Richard Duelley

I fell on rings about 7-8 months ago, grip slipped on one arm and not the other, so I strained my shoulder really bad but nothing torn or broken :mrgreen: My doctor couldnt understand how I DIDNT dislocate or tear something. I did months of rehab got a 2nd MRI and was given the all clear a couple months ago. I lost 10 pounds :? and am now training again pain/discomfort free. Not quite full force but I am getting there.

I also had to do the whole defend my thesis and get a job thing so I didnt have much time there for a while to be on the forums. :mrgreen:

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Jason Stein

Bummer about the shoulder, but at least you're up and training...congrats on finishing school and joining the "working" world with the rest of us!

best,

j

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Tarun Suri

That's some awesome skill to have. To not train when you've been given the clear, but doing prehab instead just in case. Even dispute the loss of mass.

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kephsherin

Hey everyone, I just signed up to this forum, I noticed there was a question about my handbalancing video tutorial website www.equilibrifit.com. I also read many of your questions. Since there were so many questions about flexibility I wrote a free article on my website in the blog section called flexibility training for splits. I also wrote a free article on handstand pushups and the various methods of performing them (i.e. yoga style, Pilates style, and handbalancing style). I noticed many of you discuss how to approach a handbalancing workout and raise questions as to what the best exercises are to achieve perfect handstands. The answer to this is that there are infinite ways to do handstands and handbalancing workouts--there is no 'right' way. However, once one tries to advance to more complex shapes like tuck, straddle, invert, hollowback, one-arm, flags, etc., they will find that the straighter their body lines become the more balanced and efficient their handbalancing exercises will be. For example, one can spend all day kicking up into handstands with sloppy form, flexing their back muscles, piking at the hips, bending at the elbows and so on. Without the proper body awareness and exercise technique how are they to ever know what changes--both internal and external--to make in the first place? In my flexibility article I talk about these subtle pitfalls that can frustrate and haunt one for years until they suddenly 'feel' a difference or somehow learn to make a change in their body architecture. Reciprocal inhibition is when one muscle contracts and it's antagonist or opposing releases or stretches (example: biceps & triceps). Imagine the power-zone of your handstand: the various abdominal layers and intercostals, the massive muscular map of the back, and the illusive illiopsoas buried between the two. If one contracts the back of the body it automatically relaxes some area of the front of the body by way of reciprocal inhibition. So imagine you are trying to achieve a handstand tuck but your lower back is firing. The contraction of the back of the lower body instead of the front will automatically compromise and limit your tuck position and your handstand form by limiting how deeply you can pull your knees in. If you were to straighten your legs to a full pike upon tucking with the back muscles engaged and then looked in a side mirror your would notice your hips maybe tilted back while your legs pointed straight out--perhaps horizontal to the floor as opposed to the desired full folding of the body.

Tight hamstrings can also effect pike, tuck, and straddle. Hamstrings are a huge part of the 'back line' of musculature and can contribute to unwanted banana-shaped positions.

The concepts of myofascial lines of musculature and their pull on each other is in Thomas Myers book "Anatomy Trains". I am certified in and study as many disciplines as I can-- Pilates, yoga, Franklin, rolfing, Exercise science, dance, acrobatics, breakdancing, aerial acrobatics, and flexibility to adapt and create the best possible handbalancing tutorial service for beginners enthusiasts and professionals!

In the articles handbalancing videos and book on my website I break all this down, and list the most efficient exercises to help one achieve better form, flexibility, and strength.

Good luck and happy training!

~Keph Sherin, Owner, Equilibrifit llc.

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acegerter

meh the site looks over priced... this also isn't the proper place to promote your new website... Haven't you been banned from sites for trololololing before?

articles: lots of technical words to make it sound intelligent... your probably going to confuse people more than help them... the handstand is complex enough, keep explanations simple...

I disagree with your opinion on not flexing the back. The thing I focus on most when doing HS and OAHS (in all positions) is keeping the back of my body taught (especially my lower back) and in line with my first knuckles. By keeping my lower back active, I am able to mentally "find" it easier and therefore stack it above my head and hands. The front of my body is very relaxed and my balance keeps improving weekly.

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Philip Chubb

Ace,

What does it feel like when you are flexing your lower back? I haven't figured that out.

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acegerter

its a strange sensation and hard to describe without hand spotting but ill do my best...

Start by look at this image...

http://www.google.com/imgres?q=yuval+ay ... x=58&ty=45

see how flat his lower back is? It's not quite arched, not quite hollowed but somewhere safely in between.

My favorite (and from teaching, most effective) queue is to tuck your tail bone under (in between your legs) and simultaneously pull your thighs back and open... If you just tuck your tail bone, you'll end up piking slightly... to fix this you must open your hips so that your thighs point straight up to the ceiling/sky/whatever... but don't forget to keep your tailbone tucked :-p. Play with them both separately to see what happens to your HS and then put them together.

Whenever I describe it, the forgetting sara marshal yoga scene, "flatten your back while arching at the same time!" quote comes to mind... So tuck your tail bone to flatten your spine... while opening your hips/thighs!

Please let me know if that doesn't make sense, i can post a video if you need

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Philip Chubb

You rock Ace! I just tried it. I have been tightening one thing at a time. I got my shoulders and legs but the midsection has eluded me. I tried it and felt it. And my lower back feels sore already. Thank you! Trying to flatten and arch my back really helped me understand. Maybe I should go watch that movie. Thank you again!

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kephsherin

I'll take that into account and try to simplify the concepts in my articles. As far as flexing the lower back, all the professional handbalancers I've trained with, including Yuvall Ayalone of cirque le reve, Nicolo Kerwald of do jump, AWOL, Nightflight, Pendulum, as well as coments I've seen from Ido Portal all strongly advise against "flexing" the lower back and encourage only engagement of the abdominals--specifically the rectus, and the front line of musculature in the body. As far as "dropping or tucking" the tailbone, this action actually lengthens your lower back, feel free to google it, the action is called 'posterior pelvic tilt'.

As far as the worth of the members section of my website I should hope people don't go as far to judge me without even looking into it. For those of you who cannot afford a membership, I take much of my time to write free articles in the blog and answer any questions you might have.

Best~

Keph Sherin, Owner, Equilibrifit llc.

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