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gymrob

Eliminating that arch in the handstand.

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gymrob

Hi all,

I am currently training wall handstands and will stick with them for a long time. I do stomach to the wall but at present can only bring my hands around 6 inches from the wall.

Anyway I have noticed that if I take one leg off of the wall etc my back arches quite a bit. I tense my stomach, keep my head in etc but it still doesn't end up that straight. I noticed even when standing normally I have a fairly big arch but I'm sure this is natural. Anyway regarding the handstand how can a straight body happen? Is it more lower back strength? Also I understand you should be slightly hollow. Is this mainly hollowing the chest?

Thanks and any thoughts are appreciated.

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JaredLLL

Im not much farther along myself but I can throw out some things that have helped me along the way...

I filmed myself doing a handstand and I also noticed this large general curve from my shoulders to my toes. There were two obvious things wrong with what I was doing.

a) not enough shoulder flexibility and

b) i needed to purposefully bend a little at the hips

both were easy to fix, it just took deliberate work on both

before that I could barely hold with any confidence a freestanding handstand, afterwhich I noticed immediate improvement in my ability to balance as I was more aligned. Also I immediately felt more control over the handstand.

In the end the thing that enabled improvement was being able to film myself and look at the obvious mistakes.

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Blairbob

If your shoulders are less than completely open, your back will have to arch to compensate.

If your hands are all the way to the wall in a stomach to wall handstand, you shoulders would probably have a somewhat closed angle.

Here is a good drill:

Lay on the ground on your stomach. Extend your arms like a handstand. Point your toes and keep your legs together. Now squeeze your butt.

Now, try to suck your belly button off the ground. This will create the pelvic tilt you need for a HS.

Squeeze your butt, suck your gut!

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Morphs

Usually an arch in the back is caused by the hips not being complely over the shoulders and hands. The trick is to bring your hips more over your shoulders while straightening the legs upward instead of arching over. Keeping your midsection tight while doing this will aid in stability.

The correct hip position can be learned best by doing a handstand with the legs spread sideways. In order to spread your legs as wide as you can, you need to rotate the hips backward (thus tilting the pelvis forward). This creates a slight angle between the legs and hips and allows you to spread your legs further apart. The 'side-effect' is that your hips will also be correctly aligned and that your back is now completely straight.

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Aushion Chatman

Also note your head position during your handstand, I find that when I'm cranking my neck back I can't maintain the hollow position as well as when I tuck my chin into a more nuetral position.

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StevenL

blairbob, you have solved my "modern-style" handstand woes! that drill completely fixed my body position in like FIVE MINUTES!!! maybe you could market and sell it through television ads! I can see it now. . . for three easy payments of 39.95, you to can learn the incredible secrets of the blairbob gymnastics handstand!

but seriously, thanks a lot, it helped.

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Blairbob

It was in an USA Gymnastics Magazine a few years back. Can't remember which one, but it might be on their webpage archive if you could find it.

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gymrob

Thanks guys! Your tips have definately worked.

I appreciate it!

Thanks

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Animalonfire

Well I was going to start a thread with pretty much the same question, but I had a check around to see if there was one already and the rest is history. All of the advice was good but blairblob that is a FANTASTIC drill! Thanks alot.

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whitemonkey

lay on your back, hands overhead, toes pointed, and pull spine into floor while keeping your arms in contact with the floof at all times. strengthening your core does wonders for handstand work.

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Blairbob

that is basically the inverse of the drill i prescribed ( borrowed from the USAG article ).

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Aviv Lugtenaar

Here is a good drill:

Lay on the ground on your stomach. Extend your arms like a handstand. Point your toes and keep your legs together. Now squeeze your butt.

Now, try to suck your belly button off the ground. This will create the pelvic tilt you need for a HS.

Squeeze your butt, suck your gut!

We sometimes do this at training and then once you are lying down one of the trainers picks you up by the legs and pushes you like that to handstand, while you are still doing your best to keep the same tension.

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Blairbob

Yeah, I saw that drill some months ago and don't use it nearly enough to teach body tightness. Originally it was an a video by Paul Hall in the UK.

It reminded me a bit of a press from maltese to handstand or slow motion version of a backswing to giant.

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Aviv Lugtenaar

Yea, we also don´t use it enough. Only on the occasion.

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finis

I used to have that same problem, but what i did was perposly flex at the hips to bring my back out of the arch, i got used to putting that extra tension on my hips that it just became normal and voila, straight back handstand

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