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Aaron Griffin

Handbalancing focused routine?

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Aaron Griffin

If I wanted to design a routine focused solely on handbalancing work, what strength work would you include? How would you balance all the pressing work? Is pulling work necessary? Handstands and HS presses seem to hit the posterior shoulder and lats.

Right now I'm thinking I'd limit FSPs to L-sit/Straddle-L/Manna/Planche, with Strength work focusing on HSPUs, Pushups, and RLLs (HS presses). I'd also probably do pistols just because.

What sort of pulling work is necessary to balance the shoulder in these cases? I'd like to minimize as much work as possible that doesn't lend itself towards handbalancing work (at least for the time being). Are pullups enough?

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yuri marmerstein

Pullups are probably enough, wouldn't hurt to add some one arm shrugs in there as well.

Straps type work like meathook pulls are actually a great compliment to handstands.

Of course the best hand balancers do no legs or pulling and their conditioning includes basically just presses and HSPU.

When I met Denys Tolstov, one of the best handbalancers in the world, he could barely(with some trouble) climb a rope, do pullups on a bar or hold a squat position.

Of course he makes lowering to crocodile and kicking back up to one arm HS look as easy as regular pushups.

So to get good at handstands you do specifically need to practice a lot of handstands. However, I like to be well rounded as I have no idea yet which of my skills I will need, so I still do both legs and pulling.

As far as FSP, definitely L/V and straddle L directly correlate to handstands. Planche is pretty useful too though it's not really hand balancing

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Aaron Griffin
Pullups are probably enough, wouldn't hurt to add some one arm shrugs in there as well.

Straps type work like meathook pulls are actually a great compliment to handstands.

I was actually thinking that tick-tocks / 360 pulls would be a pretty comprehensive addition. However, it is all straight arm work. I don't know enough to tell if there's a big structural difference between straight arm pulling and bent arm pulling.

Planche is pretty useful too though it's not really hand balancing

Interesting. I assumed there would be strength carry over.

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John Sapinoso

I like to think that a one arm chin up perfectly compliments a one arm handstand. :D

Seriously though, unless you're looking into doing handbalancing professionally, I see no real reason to stray away from other movements. In fact, I'm making steady gains on OAHS, OAC, heavy squats etc and highly doubt that for my purposes giving up OAC and squats would help me to progress faster at OAHS (my current goal is simply to stand on one arm for 15-30 seconds and not to do 5 minute routines including presses etc.)

If you have the time to do it, I think it's more rewarding to not give up the other spectra of movement simply to chase the handbalancing.

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Aaron Griffin
I see no real reason to stray away from other movements

If wishes were fishes... I understand that in an ideal world everyone would work every movement possible and get better at all of them at the same time.

But that wasn't my question. I'd actually like to spend some time focusing on handbalancing and related activities in an attempt to achieve some goals of mine (pike press from the floor, press from straddle-l, etc). To this end, I want to know the minimum amount of additional work necessary to prevent imbalances / postural issues for when these goals are reached and I resume normal training.

Are you solely training OAHS and OAC? Or is there other work in there?

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John Sapinoso

I'm simply providing an alternate view, not telling you that this is the ONLY way to go. Anyways, in addition to that I'm also training planche push ups, deadlifting, IC progressions, straight arm progressions, tumbling etc etc etc....(I also work at a training facility so I realize this isn't feasible for everyone)

If you're looking for bank for buck, straight arm pulling movements will strengthen the scapula in the other direction and impart some ability on bent arm pulling.

You should also add in some supplementary specific trap-3 and wrist conditioning so you can keep the volume up. For me though, I tend to lose focus and quality if I go over an hour long segment of handbalancing.

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Aaron Griffin
If you're looking for bank for buck, straight arm pulling movements will strengthen the scapula in the other direction and impart some ability on bent arm pulling.

Yeah, I was thinking that tick-tocks (and 360 pulls) would be a great addition, and would even keep my FL/BL work going.

You should also add in some supplementary specific trap-3 and wrist conditioning so you can keep the volume up.

What specifically do you suggest? If we're just talking LYTPs and wrist pushups (and the like), I already do that sort of stuff.

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