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Pawel Rurak

Ways to develop a solid no handed headstand

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Pawel Rurak

Hi, this is my first post on GB forums so I would like to say hello to all of you. :)

What are your experiences on headbalancing? Are there some good progressions to remove hands and start balancing only on your head? From what I see, there internet is stuffed with information about getting into a tripod, then learning HeS presses (straddle and pike) and that's all. No further development of headstand techniques. Do you know of some good training methods or is it just about finding correct body allignment myself?

One thing I started to do are HeS presses with straight hands - they help a little, but obtaining no hand headstand is still so far far away. Maybe reverting the wrists should be the next step? Also, what's the easiest position when headbalancing - legs straddled, and hips slightly flexed? Or maybe straight line is better in the beginning?

The main problem is of course finding a way to deal with overbalancing - once overbalanced I can't go back and it's all about starting over. Maybe a spotting partner would help? Hope you have some nice sugestions.

Some inspiration in the end:

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Thanks,

Pawel

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Cole Dano

I'm far from an expert on this, but the body line is generally more hollowed out. Starting from a piked straddle is common. Like with one hand HS the twisting forces in the body will be a surprise.

Hopefully Mikael will weigh in on this topic. I'll ask him about it over the weekend, as it's very timely for me, I'm down with a sprained elbow.

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Pawel Rurak

I'm sure that improving a headstand can be a nice way to remain in a world of inverted balancing, even during more or less advanced injuries. I usually do it when my wrists start to become fatigued from all the handbalancing and when I begin to lose the quality of movement. I feel like inserting a short segment of headbalancing in the middle of training actually improves my work capacity, without distracting the nervous system from balacing. After short rest, wrists are feeling a lot more fresh and good to go. :)

I was thinking maybe about implementing some headspinning (like b-boys do), but I'm not really sure, if it will actually translate to a static headstand (probaably not so well). It would be nice to hear more ideas on the topic.

Cheers,

Pawel

PS You all have probably seen this video a million times, but the headstand control in 0:21-:048 is so awesome I couldn't help but post it anyway. ;p

JXTyOJCjgRs

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Edward Smith

Hey Pawlov,

I don't have any real first hand experience in training headstands, however here is the basic process which they seem to follow at my school.

First of all, use a doghnut (as in a ring for your head).

Begin by starting on an elevated surface, approximately as high in the first video you posted, you want the arms to be able to comfortably touch the ground. Start with arms straight, fingertips on the ground and spend some significant time upside down (30-60sec sets, however build up to this progressively) in a stable position without heaps of movement. Progressively use less and less fingers until your just using one on each hand. Then just slowly remove them. In the beginning having your head elevated allows for more movement of the arms, which allows them to assist with balance more and also lowers your COG.

Eventually you can lower your head to the floor, put arms at sides, close your legs, etc. But start with this.

Also, you may want to start quite close to a wall, not on the wall but close enough (a bit more than hand span away) so that if you start to fall over it will catch you before you lose your position.

Hope that helps,

Ed

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FREDERIC DUPONT

Sounds like great advice Edx, can you possibly post a picture of the doughnut, please?

What material is it made of, what is its hardness, etc...

Thanks :)

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Pawel Rurak

Great piece of advice Ed! Exactly what I what looking for. :)

However I'm still unsure about proper positioning. Should the spine be as straight as possible (like in handstand)? And what do you suggest to do with legs - especially in the beginning of practice? Keep them in line with the spine, or hip flexed? Straddle maybe?

Of course I'm aware that the best way to actually learn it, would be to find an experienced teacher, but for now I have to stick with as much info as I can get.

@FredInChina: If I'm not wrong, a doughnut is just a rubber ring, the same as Claude Victoria uses in the first video. In Poland we had a game called ringo in which such rings were used. The game stopped being popular about 20 years ago, so it may be tough to find them. Maybe it's a good idea to look for it in shops with dog toys? :)

Cheers,

Paweł

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Cole Dano

Handbalancer told me how the doughnuts are made this weekend.

The doughnut is made from soft rope cut into pieces and shaped to form rings as follows.

The bottom has three concentric rings

The middle has two concentric rings

The top has one

The outside rings are all the same size.

Once you make all six rings to the proper sizes tape the bottom three together, the middle two and then the top.

Then tape the three layers together.

If you want to get fancy you can put some cloth over that but it's not necessary.

You can size the rings by taking some rope and wrapping it around the crown of your head, this give the size of the outer ring.

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FREDERIC DUPONT

Thank you Pawlov & Cole Dano, very interesting. :)

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Pawel Rurak

@Cole Dano

That's very surprising. I thought that doughnut was just a normal rubber ring - maybe making it from a rope gives a possibility to make a ring that's fits one's head perfectly. I don't know if I have enough patience to make one myself, so for now I'll just try a rubber one. :)

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Vagabond

All the donuts I've seen were homemade. They're usually pretty hard, are shaped to fit someone's head, and the middle is thinner than the outside. Handbalancer's way of doing it sounds very good. I bet he also had good tips to give us regarding the technique.

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Charlie Martin

Probably not the safest process (haha), but I got mine down by just throwing my hands up in the air and hoping for the best. Over time, the holds got longer and longer.

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