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Timothy Aiken

One Arm Elbow Lever Correct Form

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Timothy Aiken

Just curious about one arm elbow lever form. Is there a definitively correct way to do this move? I see this done straight as well as very arched. Is it just personal preference? Or is there a certain way I should be training this move. I trained handstands incorrectly for a year and a half and now I am suffering greatly trying to fix it (however it is getting there and it looks much better). With that in mind I want to make sure I am training these correctly. 

 

Here is a picture from an odd angle. I apologize for that. My phone shut down shortly after my friend took a picture at a good angle and so the file is corrupted. I will get a better one up later, however I feel my main question can be answered without that picture.post-4060-0-33675900-1356746344_thumb.jp

 

Just a few notes that may help when assessing my form. My supporting shoulder is protracted. I try and keep my knees straight all the time. I pull my feet upwards which creates a small arch in my back.

 

Any and all advice is greatly appreciated. New ideas for ways to train this move, personal preferences, etc. are also appreciated.

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Timothy Aiken

Bumpitty bump bump.

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Yaad Mohammad

Seems fine to me. You could increase the difficulty by closing your legs.

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Guest

Looks solid! Any tips on getting it? I can hold one with a one finger assist, however I can't get it consistently.

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Timothy Aiken

Awarenesss, how I learned it was by doing one arm holds on the edge of a table with my legs hanging down. I used this to get the feel for the one arm balance. Once I was comfortable there, doing it on a lower surface, and eventually on ground, became significantly easier due to my increased understand of the one arm balance. 

 

To Yaad, I can hold it on my right arm with my legs closed for about 3 seconds max. I'm working on half straddle for the time being and here is my right handed progress:

 

post-4060-0-21607000-1373481627_thumb.pn

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David McManamon

This move can be done a variety of ways depending on your body and desired style.  A big back arch is often done by contortionists, most people will be straight; however, the arch will make it easier for you to engage an audience with your head up if you are performing or just want to smile for the camera. You can experiment in front of a mirror to find your desired lines, move the placement of your elbow lower than you do normally towards the hips and then higher and note how it affects the lines, balance and comfort level for you, also keep in mind your hand position for pressing to handstand.  

Learning this balance move is very satisfying because it requires a good level of concentration, body awareness and control of your breathing.  Strength requirements are not that high, maybe 20 v-ups and 20 elbows in push-ups and it should be accessible.

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Biren Patel

Strength requirements are not that high, maybe 20 v-ups and 20 elbows in push-ups and it should be accessible.

Naw...naw, brochachski. I suppose it depends on the individual's weaknesses and strengths. I can perform the crokodile and I am willing to bet my car I can't pull off more than 5 correct v-ups or 10 correct push ups (talking foundation 1 form here). To me, it was always about having a good arch body hold and good wrist strength. Rotator cuff strength didn't hurt either, at least the way I do it which sort of ends up being a very tilted crokodile that looks like a QDR.

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David McManamon

 

5 correct v-ups or 10 correct push ups

Yes.  We are agreeing here.  Added flexibility and strength provide more options as always but the crocodile is a skill accessible to many athletes.  Easiest to perform on a block, slight added difficulty on the floor and slightly more on a bar.

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Brian Li

Which hand position is best to use in the one arm elbow lever as in which one makes it easier to hold/balance?

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Timothy Aiken

For crocodile, I find that this grip is easier: post-4060-0-65189800-1373510805_thumb.jp

 

For handstands, I find that this grip is easier: post-4060-0-14017800-1373510819_thumb.jp

 

For anything, but especially on crocodile, I find the grip that is being used in the picture on the right of Handbalancer's one arm L sit to be most effective.

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Vincent Stoyas

To me, it was always about having a good arch body hold...

Yup, I find that my limiting factor in the elbow lever is precisely what the ABH is all about.

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Biren Patel

Yes.  We are agreeing here.  Added flexibility and strength provide more options as always but the crocodile is a skill accessible to many athletes.  Easiest to perform on a block, slight added difficulty on the floor and slightly more on a bar.

Aha! I misunderstood a bit what you are saying. We are in agreement.

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Timothy Aiken

The SL progressions in F1 have helped me nail down my lacking back strength, and thus securing this move. 

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Brian Li

For crocodile, I find that this grip is easier: attachicon.gifCrocodile Blocks Grip.jpg

 

For handstands, I find that this grip is easier: attachicon.gifHandstand Blocks Grip.jpg

 

For anything, but especially on crocodile, I find the grip that is being used in the picture on the right of Handbalancer's one arm L sit to be most effective.

Thanks! So would that be fingers facing forward and turned 45 degrees sideways on the floor (I don't have canes)? Handbalancer's hand position seems to be sideways and turned backwards slightly.

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Timothy Aiken

45 degrees 

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Mikael Kristiansen

I always have the fingers 90 degrees to the side on croco. If you lift your chest and legs properly you do not really need to balance much in the axis of your head and legs. With the palm at 90 degrees you have good finger control sideways and its (at least for me) softer on the wrist than slightly forwards.

 

Also, if you would do advanced moves, like going up or down from it, you would need to have the palm this way. Even just for the versions where the elbow rests on the outside of the hip bone(queda de rins types) it would be very uncomfortable to have the wrist forwards

 

Only reason people have a hard time learning this one is because they try to do it with good form from the beginning. If you extend your legs and try to lift in the beginning you will have a much harder time learning to balance. Let it look like crap with bent legs for some weeks and it will progress fast. This is a move where it is very easy to correct the form regardless of how you have learned it, unlike a handstand.

 

Best way is to start with 1 elbow stabed in the hip, the other hand supporting at head/shoulder height, AND head on the floor. With legs on the floor, start to lean forwards into the elbow. At the same time, slide the legs on the floor towards you to bring all your weight towards your COM until your legs start to lift off. Curling the legs in to find balance is fine. Become solid  on each stage before moving on.

Then learn to lift the head and chest, legs still curled and hips dropped. Then extending the hips and straddling the legs while lifting the chest even more to center the weight. When this is comfortable, the support arm can move onto fingertips and gradually be removed when it isnt neccesary anymore. From there you can gather your legs, play around with the free arm, or learn variations.

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Brian Li

Thanks for your input and tips Handbalancer!

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