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nee_m

Strengthening/flexiblity training for press to HS

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nee_m

Hello hello,

Does anybody have good tips for strength/flexibility training for working on a press to handstand? I can hold a wall handstand for a significant amount of time, and a free handstand for an ok amount of time. I've heard mixed reviews that you should be able to hold a free handstand for a solid amount of time before even working on press, but I've also heard that learning press will help you gain the core strength to hold a free HS for a longer period of time.

Anyway, working on straddle press is significantly difficult for me. Is it more a core strength thing or upper body...or all of it? A major problem that I'm working against is 1 pretty fresh torn hamstring (L side) and a previously torn one (R side) so my pancake is pretty god awful. Working on negatives against a wall - I basically can't control my descent. What are the best strength and flexibility exercises for working on press to HS? I've heard mixed reviews about headstand straddle press as a good strength training for handstand press....

(Also - training these against a wall or with a spot kill my wrists!)

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Blairbob

Ya need to work on your wrist strength and mobility. A lot of this is just spending time on your hands. Enough time to get them stronger without making them ache to injury.

Sit in a straddle, place hands in front of crotch and lift heels. Either do it for reps or holds. Play with hold time and reps. Somewhere between 10-30.

Another I like is just hold the pancake/straddle while in a HS against the wall. As you do your negative, try to hold your position for a few seconds in the very most bottom position of your negative before it comes off the wall.

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Archbishop o balance

I believe Ido recommended a solid 10-15 sec freestanding HS before working on the press.

The exercise blairbob posted is excellent for working on the compression needed for a good press HS. I also think this is a good one. http://www.youtube.com/user/thegymnasti ... 3_lXvuUY_g (tried to embed this one, but I always forget how :? )

Working on your trap strength is also important, especially if hamstring flexibility is not all that. The wall press HS is great for both compression and shoulder strength, but if that's too hard, you could bring it back a notch, and work on compression and shoulder strength seperately. One exercise Ido showed on a seminar was entering a back to wall handstand with your hands about 1-1,5 palm away from the wall. Close your shoulders until your scapular region is touching the wall, then press back out. Tuck your chin in to avoid pressing with your head.

Besides that, I know Handbalancer is a big proponent of the freestanding negative press HS. And when Mikael speaks, I listen :) Simply enter a free HS and lower your legs as far as you can as slowly as you can while trying to avoid closing your shoulders. Fight to stay up!

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Aaron Griffin
The exercise blairbob posted is excellent for working on the compression needed for a good press HS. I also think this is a good one. http://www.youtube.com/user/thegymnasti ... 3_lXvuUY_g (tried to embed this one, but I always forget how :? )

You can also do that with your feet in rings. It's fun

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Blairbob
I believe Ido recommended a solid 10-15 sec freestanding HS before working on the press.

Interesting, but I've seen many young gymnasts be able to do a press HS without having a solid 10-15s free HS.

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nee_m

That exercise on the ball is one of my favourites - I call it jacknife but I do it with just hands on the floor because I don't have those rockers. Do you think press to headstand is beneficial at all? I've heard mixed reviews about how beneficial that exercise is for working up to press to handstand.

I tried doing the exercise Blairbob described at the gym today but misunderstood it and was trying to do an L-sit straddle but kept falling backwards. Now I understand!

Thanks for all the help :)

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Mikael Kristiansen

Press hs, like you probably know is based heavily on flexibility, especially if we talk about straddle. I know a girl who can straddle press from standing, but she cannot balance a handstand at all. She has amazing shoulder and straddle/pancakce flex, so for her it is not much of a problem to get the centre of mass onto her palms, and then split the legs to get up. Some also go the other way, they have very strong and stiff shoulders and just lean far forwards, goes up on strength, ends up on handstand with shoulders angled forwards, and fall.

I do recommend getting a decent handstand before training press, since you obviously DO want to be able to press up and stay in a handstand. However, i think that its nothing wrong with doing preparatory exercises, etc. earlier. Like mentioned here, doing negatives is a very good way to develop shoulder strength and control for presses, especially when combined with box presses and other assistin exercises. Also learning to do a tuck handstand does help quite a lot because you learn how to deal with having more weight towards underbalance. Doing the tuck will probably be hard if you do not have control in a normal straight handstand(though it can actually also be easier for some since your COM is lower). Learn either to jump into it from hands on the floor, or lower slowly into it from straight.

The reason why your wrists die from wall press, is because you lean far front with teh shoulders. Frankly, I have never seen the reason for wall presses at all. I have not too much experience with them, si they might have their value if done correctly, but all I see is people standing with heavily angled shoulders, leaning the back to the wall and trying to lift their legs. The shoulder and scapula does not seem to get to do its job correctly and i just cant see(and have never seen) progress coming from that. But like i said, i never used them and know little about them. The one archbishop of balance mentioned from Ido, I dont think i have seen so that might be different.

Press headstand is only abdominal compression and does nothing for your shoulders which is where most people need to work. If you can not press headstand, of course that is good to learn first.

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Aaron Griffin
Some also go the other way, they have very strong and stiff shoulders and just lean far forwards, goes up on strength, ends up on handstand with shoulders angled forwards, and fall.

So what's the correct way to lean here? I mean, you have to lean a bit to shift center of gravity, right? But should there be a straight line from wrist to hips (no bend at the shoulder), or is shoulder lean allowed?

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