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John Sapinoso

Heavy volume on handstands and finger weakness/tingling

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John Sapinoso

I've been working some pretty heavy-duty volume on handstands lately and what I thought was just soreness seems to be something a little more difficult to deal with. My left hand fingers seem to be getting weaker in the straight knuckle position and tingle slightly on occasion when my scapula are fully elevated in a handstand. This is a bit of a problem when trying to correct overbalancing since the inability to press with the fingers correlates to a high probability of landing on ones back...

I tried rolling out both the extensors and flexors (A2E3SbCUz34 ) and it was somewhat helpful but not as a lasting fix. I did a few ulnar, medial and radial nerve glides and I feel it more in the affected side which leads me to believe it's a nerve. But again, this somewhat helpful but not a lasting fix. Diet and supplementation is pretty much on key, full paleo, lots of zinc, mag, multi, raw liver, n-3 fatty, grassfed etc.

I'm planning to deload some volume all of next week but would like to know what's actually going on with my arm. Anyone have experience in this or could possibly point me in a helpful direction?

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yuri marmerstein

when you do HS, are you constantly putting pressure on the fingers? Is your hand in constant tension during your balance?

if your balancing ability is sound, you can start trying to balance from the palm while relaxing the fingers a bit. It takes more precision but is a lot easier on the wrists and forearms. The fingers are still there in case you need them to correct overbalance, but this way you can try not to rely on them.

Just a thought

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John Sapinoso

Yuri, now that you mention it that makes a lot of sense. When I'm on my right arm I tend to be more on my palm since my scapula is slightly more stable / line is better. When I'm on my left arm I'm a little more unstable so I tend to be correcting overbalancing more often, possibly placing too much strain on it.

Line refinement and scapular stability is likely the best long term fix but I would also like to have functioning fingers in the short term :lol:

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Joshua Naterman
Yuri, now that you mention it that makes a lot of sense. When I'm on my right arm I tend to be more on my palm since my scapula is slightly more stable / line is better. When I'm on my left arm I'm a little more unstable so I tend to be correcting overbalancing more often, possibly placing too much strain on it.

Line refinement and scapular stability is likely the best long term fix but I would also like to have functioning fingers in the short term :lol:

If that doesn't help, work on your scalenes. All of the brachial plexus nerves go through a small hole between the scalenes and you may be putting pressure on them with so much handstand work, especially if it is one block of time. You may also want to see if some mild cervical decompression helps as well as checking to see if the cervical vertebrae need to be adjusted. It is well within the realm of possiblilities that there is some nerve root compression and/or compression at the scalene hiatus (the hole I mentioned).

It also might just be too much work with the hands, as described. You may be experiencing inflammation of the tendon sheaths in the affected wrists, but the most likely explanation right now, to me, is that whatever is going on may also involve the ulnar nerve. If so the problem most likely stems from the "funny bone" spot at the elbow where the ulnar nerve passes through a groove. If your arm is out in front of you, thumb up, the groove will be between the medial epicondyle and the olecranon process (point of the elbow). It'll be there no matter what, but I figure that's an easy way to find it.

You may want to consider doing some graston-type work on the entire arm, focusing on the fingers, hands and forearms. If you aren't sure what to do tell me here and I'll make a video for you. This stuff can really help a lot.

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acegerter

my right ring and pinkie finger went numb for a few weeks when i was really pushing hand balancing this summer.

yuri's advice is great in terms of fixing your technique. The balancefeels like its at the base of your thumb where it meets the metacarpi(sp?), never on the outside of your hand. The pressure should rest on your palm rather than your fingers and they are there for micro adjustments. Both Andrey Moraru and Yuval are proponents of this as well.

To fix my symptoms, i massaged my forearms, muscles around my elbows and delts before, during, after and periodically throughout the day. surprisingly, loosening up my pecs helped a bit too.

If you are new to high volume hand balancing, this phase will pass but it definitely sucks. Until thanksgiving, I had been doing ~12hrs a week of handbalancing on the floor with little wrist pain. You have been told this but ill tell you again: It takes time for all the tiny muscles involved in hand balancing to adapt...

In the mean time,if you are serious about hand balancing, just push through and of course increase volume on good days and stop if it hurts too much on bad days

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Archbishop o balance

I know this has been posted before somewhere on the forum so I'll just post the youtube link. I have been having similar issues lately and these movements have really helped.

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Coach Sommer

The answer is actually quite simple and one that you are already aware of based on your own past training injuries; you have increased your volume too drastically in too short a time.

Where is the fire that you suddenly feel the need to go from zero to 60 with OAHS work? Slow down and give your body a chance to adjust to the new training demands being placed upon it.

Yours in Fitness,

Coach Sommer

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Joshua Naterman

Hahaha, there is that! Definitely the root cause.

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John Sapinoso

Coach,

It takes determination to practice set upon set (literally from zero to 60) through a bit of discomfort and fatigue, but it takes discipline to know when to step back and take things a little slower and build up with the long term in mind.

Heard a few inspirational John Broz tunnel and dark time quotes and I've been reading "Talent Code" which describes the neural pathway myelination process of learning skills and just how long the process takes. It was a bit of a push in this direction; to add to that, my personality is a bit obsessive. It's against my nature to slow down....especially when I feel that my body is learning the skill each set and making the right calibrations and connections.

Initially I had thought that this was a completely different situation from the cross (intensity of the stress on the joints vs volume of stress on the joints) but the same principles of gradual increase apply. This week I'm halving the volume and will gradually build from there.

Thanks for the necessary flick to my hard head :lol:

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Mats Trane
add to that, my personality is a bit obsessive.

Glad I´m not alone with this personality!

Just came back from a 30 second planchlean on the floor of the restroom at work!

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Ian Legrow

HAHAHAH! I am with both of you. Whenever we do not have anything to do i practice HS kick ups or do 30s stomach to wall HS in my office! :lol:

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Philip Chubb

I tend to do front levers on the train rails and occasionally do pull ups on the bus ones. Never a bad place to workout.

PS Ian, your line is looking really nice in your picture.

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Ian Legrow

Thank you Phillip I have my wife watch me to see if my line is straight every time and she is more of a perfectionist then you can imagine even tho she is only 20 (probably from her horse riding). So she gives me leeway from about 1/2 inch in front or behind my boyd but anything more then that she tells me to correct myself. It has actually helps me progress a great deal in the 2 months i have been practicing. But thank you for noticing! I have a video on my youtube account, no great, but thanks again, any compliments are always nice.

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