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pdb_atfn

I can't straighten my arms in a tucked handstand

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pdb_atfn

My handstands aren't great, generally, and there are lots of problems. I'd like to focus on one issue in particular. Last night I tried kicking up into a tucked position, a loose tuck with my thighs roughly parallel with the ground, and knees bent to about 45 degrees at the back/inside.

In this position I can not straighten my arms. No matter how hard I try, it's just locked and I can't do it. If I extend my legs I can then suddenly straighten my arms, presumably because my torso then slumps somewhat. I've made a diagram to show what I mean. The blue figure represents my usual sloppy handstands. The red figure was the best I could get when tucked - I filmed it and indeed my back/torso is very straight and vertical. Notice how the angle between my chest and triceps is similar in each, and if I were to straighten my arms in the tucked position this angle would have to open, becoming closer to 180 degrees.

post-49367-13531537258937_thumb.png

I assume this is some kind of flexibility problem? Any suggestions or comments?

I'll try to post the video later on.

Thanks

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Bruno Cochofel

Can you "kick-up" to a tuck position already with your arms straight?

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Cole Dano

I'm guessing you need to work on your shoulder opening. I you look at the actual opening of the shoulders in your detailed drawings the angle between arm and body is the same.

Lack of shoulder ROM is most likely the culprit.

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pdb_atfn
Can you "kick-up" to a tuck position already with your arms straight?

No, that's what I attempted. If I start with my arms straight then when kicking up they spontaneously bend to allow me into the balance point, or if I insist that they stay straight I simply can't get into a balance, my body won't come up/over far enough.

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pdb_atfn
I'm guessing you need to work on your shoulder opening. I you look at the actual opening of the shoulders in your detailed drawings the angle between arm and body is the same.

Lack of shoulder ROM is most likely the culprit.

yes, indeed. How can I improve this?

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Philip Chubb

Because of the way the legs sit on top, the tuck hs needs a good deal more shoulder flexibility to work. A good drill is to do a stomach to wall handstand with your stomach touching the wall. Then without moving your hands, slide your feet down. Since your hands are stuck, the only way your knees and feet will move in is if you open your shoulders.

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Mikael Kristiansen

The reason you cant is because you lack active(and also possibly passive) flex in the shoulders. Bending the arms happens to compensate, and to try to stay in balance. The problem with this is that you will always be bending at the point where you need to build either flexibility, strength or both, on straight arms.

What will help you learn a tuck HS, except shoulder mobilization and getting better at normal handstands(which also is a limiting factor for many who try), work on tucking from a straight handstand position. Keep arms straight as you first bend the legs and slightly bring the knees towards your body. Go as much as you can and try to hold, or work negatives down to the floor. be aware that going too far might force you to bend again, or even faceplanting, so work a ROM you can handle. Building up a good tuck, and progressing onto lowering from it to the floor is also a very important step towards press handstands.

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jl5555

I have suffered from this for quite a while also; it is very frustrating. Handbalancer is, of course, right in that it is lack of active shoulder flexibility that prohibits doing exactly what you're trying to do. This is also the reason that I still am unable to get even close to doing a press handstand as that requires an even higher level of activation up there. However, I continue to work on my tuck HS and am working towards pike on the negative. My drill for just starting the process of becoming "aware" of my shoulders was back to wall HS and then move into balancing in tuck. Hard, very hard! But time and repetition have improved my tuck HS tremendously. Good luck.

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pdb_atfn

Would you say that a properly-aligned handstand is not possible with this kind of limited shoulder mobility?

I find myself always arching somewhat, no matter what I do. In a full handstand, I mean. I can pike my legs a little bit, pivoting at the hips (not the waist, which would be preferable) which makes it look straighter, but my torso/chest is very much slanted still, as demonstrated by the blue figure.

I will continue to work the tucked handstand from various approaches and see how I progress. It felt good doing them yesterday, muscles being worked in new ways.

I should make clear that while the tucked handstand is fun in itself, I'm primarily concerned about full handstands and various possible avenues of progression leading from that. I've struggled for years and years with handstands - only just now managing what some people can do the first them they try - so I'm clearly not designed for handbalancing, but it's good fun. My main problem is still stability and reacting quickly enough to off-balanced moments, and the general form of the handstand, which is quite poor. It means I can't possibly be looking at one-armed stuff or other skills until I straighten it out.

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Aaron Griffin
Would you say that a properly-aligned handstand is not possible with this kind of limited shoulder mobility?

It's fixable. Just stretch your shoulders out. Chin-up grip hangs and german hangs should help

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pdb_atfn
Would you say that a properly-aligned handstand is not possible with this kind of limited shoulder mobility?

It's fixable. Just stretch your shoulders out. Chin-up grip hangs and german hangs should help

yes but with this kind of limited shoulder mobility, is a proper handstand not possible? I.e. right now, today, with my mobility as it is.

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Ian Legrow
Would you say that a properly-aligned handstand is not possible with this kind of limited shoulder mobility?

It's fixable. Just stretch your shoulders out. Chin-up grip hangs and german hangs should help

yes but with this kind of limited shoulder mobility, is a proper handstand not possible? I.e. right now, today, with my mobility as it is.

This second, if you were to kick up and hold a HS with lack of shoulder felxibility, a proper HS will not be possible right now. That is whyyou need to work on your shoulder mobility and openness

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Cole Dano

But don't let that discourage you, because no one has enough mobility without working on it. In fact in HS it's more than just being able to lift your hands overhead, with the weight of the body being supported upside down, it's much more difficult. This is the active flexibility Handbalancer was referring to. You have to work on the mobility and then apply it to the handstand.

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pdb_atfn

Yes that's fine, I know I need to work on that now. When inverted I find it very hard to adjust my body position in the ways that I want, and getting straight seemed impossible - perhaps it's down to my shoulder flexibility making underbalance when I try to straighten my body.

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Cole Dano

It's not just you, it is harder, be patient and stick with it for a while, it can take a long time, particularly if you work mostly on your own.

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