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Joseph Fradelakis

Are Handstands Essential

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Joseph Fradelakis

Hey  guys. I just want to say that handstands are fun, great, and I incorporate them into my workouts but I have one question.

 

I know that handstands develop balance and coordination. I also know that coach said that the best gymnastics movement was the Straddle press to handstand thingy.

 

My question is do you need to do handstand training for a healthy development if your goal is simply advanced strength levels. Or do you work them to cover other physical attributes that a well rounded athlete would possess?

 

 

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AlexX

This largely depends on your goals. 

The handstand is great move for gymnasts half the skills in gymnastics are related to the handstand in one way or another. It teaches proper shoulder angle, how to stay tight in a hollow with your arms above your head and how to push through your shoulders. It is also a required element if you want to do different press to handstand variations. 

Now if you are not interested in learning gymnastic skills (by skills I mean tumbling, vaulting, bars) and don't care about having a strong press to handstand then it is much less important to have a strong handstand. While a great move, it is unlikely to contribute significantly to something like an Iron Cross or a front lever. 
 

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Joseph Fradelakis

Yes I was wondering because currently I train twice a day. bent arm/straight arm/legs are my morning sessions (one per day rotating) and at night I do the Balance stuff. 

 

I was wondering if it's a more efficient path to advanced strength to remove the balance/ST and just do two a days with strength sessions only in order to progress faster (assuming i could handle the workload)

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Daniel Burnham

I would not omit stretching and mobility.  Leaving this out is a good way to develop problems that will lead to injury.  It might not happen immediately but I can assure you it will happen.

 

Its a pain to do multiple strength sessions a day.  Ive done up to 4 and recovery is difficult.  I did 2 a day for about a month and a half and decided it was just too much problem trying to coordinate eating/showers/class.  If you have a ton of time 2 times a day can be beneficial but you will have to rethink how you train.  Poliquin has some good guides to doing twice daily training if you are really interested.

 

Just dont skip the mobility!!!

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AlexX

Definitely don't just replace the mobility/stretching stuff with strength work, sure way to get injuries. If anything you'll need to do more mobility work for doing two a days not less. 

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Coach Sommer

... I know that handstands develop balance and coordination. I also know that coach said that the best gymnastics movement was the Straddle press to handstand thingy ... My question is do you need to do handstand training for a healthy development if your goal is simply advanced strength levels ... Or do you work them to cover other physical attributes that a well rounded athlete would possess?

 

- First of all it is a stalder press or a straddle press to handstand; not a press handstand "thingy".   :facepalm:

 

- Secondly press handstands develop strength and active flexibiity in addition to balance and coordination.  They are a critical part of GST and the most important strength attribute to develop after the basic strength elements have been mastered.

 

- Thirdly you will not reach advanced GST levels without a solid handstand and press handstand.

 

Yours in Fitness,

Coach Sommer

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Joshua Naterman

I definitely believe what Coach is saying, which is why I have completely shifted my training towards basic mobility, pre-requisites, XR support, and handstand work. 

 

It definitely has made a big change, even with my shoulder acting up due to some stupidity a few weeks ago, and I think that those who have not yet given handstand development at least an equal amount of attention as other training will be surprised (and happy) with how much it (handstand + press handstand, when ready) improves everything else that you do in the GB program.

 

Obviously, if you aren't concerned with developing your gymnastic strength then HS training may be optional, but if you're serious about developing yourself in terms of well-rounded gymnastic strength then you can't do it without the handstand.

 

Well-rounded strength is more than "oh, I have a maltese, planche and IC." Well-rounded strength is being able to press into handstand on rings, lower into these positions with straight arms, and being able to perform proper swings to HS, all in addition to the strength feats we are familiar with chasing.

 

There's probably a whole lot more to well-rounded strength than that, but I feel like that's an easy way to see how the handstand fits into the big picture.

 

My shoulder has been consistently improving as a result of the handstand-oriented work as well over the past 7-8 weeks, which is very nice. I will suggest focusing on developing a proper body line with open shoulders before worrying about any strength work in the handstand.

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Joseph Fradelakis

thanks a lot guys. good to hear as I've always enjoyed handstand training and look forward to becoming more proficient at them.

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acrobatlegend

I just have so much fun with handstands! It feels good to just stand upside down and relax, lettings the blood flow differently. And I always see progress in my handstand skills every time I train so it is very rewarding. 

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u3er

No, handstands are not necessary...  However they are so beneficial in supporting good upper-body development that it would be silly to disregard them as useless.  Handstands (and particularly HS presses) will really help you learn how to "lock out" and "stay tight."  Personally, I always found that HS presses did wonders for my planche, and vice versa.  Whenever I neglected one, performance would suffer on both.  Just swap out some of your bent arm pushing for handstands/presses and you'll be good to go!

 

Moderator edit: In this post, "not necessary" refers to needing HS work for strength skills like planche, FL, BL, maltese, etc. and  not to whether or not handstand development is necessary for overall development of gymnastic strength. You can't do that without handstands because there are a huge number of movements that involve handstands. A ring handstand is also a feat of ring strength, and you obviously can't get that without handstand work either.

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FREDERIC DUPONT
my shoulder acting up due to some stupidity a few weeks ago

What did you do to your shoulder again Joshua?  :(

 

- First of all it is a stalder press or a straddle press to handstand; not a press handstand "thingy".   :facepalm:

 

HAHAHA... for some reason, that got me LOL :D

 

 

[edit] hummm... looks like I messed up the multi quote here...  :facepalm:

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Joshua Naterman

Fred: I did an inlocate 2 days after benching for the first time in over 2 years. My chest and shoulders were all very tight and I powered through anyways, and there was all kinds of popping. I could tell, over the following two weeks, that I had managed to damage subscapularis by putting extreme stress on it when it was already inflamed from bench, in addition to grinding the heck out of my subacromial bursa and inflaming that as well!

 

It's all getting much better... it will be a long time before I can comfortably muscle up again. I have the strength, but have not healed. I'll probably get back into those again somewhere around March... the main thing holding me back is actually brachioradialis... darn thing is still way too tight but is loosening up with the weekly Gua Sha + daily stretching.

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Coach Sommer
Fred: I did an inlocate 2 days after benching for the first time in over 2 years. My chest and shoulders were all very tight and I powered through anyways, and there was all kinds of popping. I could tell, over the following two weeks, that I had managed to damage subscapularis by putting extreme stress on it when it was already inflamed from bench, in addition to grinding the heck out of my subacromial bursa and inflaming that as well!

 

It's all getting much better... it will be a long time before I can comfortably muscle up again. I have the strength, but have not healed. I'll probably get back into those again somewhere around March... the main thing holding me back is actually brachioradialis... darn thing is still way too tight but is loosening up with the weekly Gua Sha + daily stretching.

 

 

Just out of curiousity, one might wonder why someone would bench that hard when they had not benched at all in two years?   :facepalm:

 

Yours in Fitness,

Coach Sommer

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FREDERIC DUPONT

Thanks Joshua. :)

I don't want to stir things, but I believe Coach Sommer asks a pertinent question...

I hope you'll be fine in spite of this last problem; you deserve a break after all the efforts you put in these shoulders :)

Merry Xmas

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Joshua Naterman
Just out of curiousity, one might wonder why someone would bench that hard when they had not benched at all in two years?   :facepalm:

 

Yours in Fitness,

Coach Sommer

That's the thing! I didn't actually bench that hard! Maybe 205 for 6-8 reps, 3 sets. I could have done a lot more if I had a healthy shoulder. It wasn't difficult, but... I haven't done much chest work in the past 12+ months :) The muscles were just a little tight, like they tend to feel after a proper workout, which is just the inflammatory process at work making us stronger. No DOMS or anything from the benching.

 

The real question I have for myself is why the heck would I have been stupid enough to do something like an inlocate with muscles that tight? Talk about embarrassingly stupid! :facepalm::unsure::ph34r::facepalm:

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Daniel Burnham

Peer pressure josh?

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Joshua Naterman

I'm thinking a mis-guided sense of invulnerability, plus perhaps some peer pressure lol :)

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