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Fluidity

If You Can't Do Box Straddle Hs Press

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Fluidity

If you can't do a box assisted HS press in the straddle position is it alright if I use the wall to lean my shoulders on and then work on removing the lean until I can do a perfect box straddle hs press without leaning in too much? Or should I just use the shoulder wall lean from the beginning and not add the box assisted straddle presses until I get a full straddle hs press with the wall lean?

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Joshua Slocum

I don't think a press while leaning against the wall will be terribly helpful. That ends up being equivalent to reverse leg-lifts. For most people the limiting factor in a press is the shoulders and upper back. My recommendation would be to do 'press leans'. That is, from a straddle, lean onto your hands as if you were going to press. Get as much weight as possible onto your hands. Ideally you would be able to get to the point where you can put all of your weight onto your hands, and let your feet float slightly above the floor. If you can reach that point, and you have reasonable compression in your straddle, a press will come pretty easily.

 

Another thing that you would probably benefit greatly from is working your straddle flexibility and your hip-flexor strength. The close you can bring your legs to your chest, the easier it will be to press. 

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Fluidity

I understand so first work on my press leans, and then from their add the boxes?

Also isn't there suppose to be a very small shoulder lean over your wrists when performing the ascent and descent of a straddle press? I've seen videos where people go from the small lean forward in the beginning

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Mikael Kristiansen

I would recommend that you first work on negatives. Before you do that you should have a decently stable handstand for at least 10 seconds(30 would be even better) doing your best alignment wise. Your negative should start from a straddle handstand where you start to pike at the hips to bring the legs downwards. As you are doing this you should focus on pusing into the floor so you feel your trapezius working hard and imagine that you are more squeezing your legs towards your torso than letting them go to the floor. Have a mat in front of you because it might make you fall forwards in the beginning. The ROM which you manage to keep tension will improve with time. If you do this right you will feel a lot in your shoulders as well as in your abs and hip flexors.

 

The amount of shoulder lean you will have to use depends on how strong and flexible you are. If you have good compression and/or very good active pancake and strong open shoulders you do not need to lean a lot. Some lean is acceptable when learning it.

 

Also, keep working your flexibility and general handstand alignment. The push and extension through your shoulders that you use during a proper handstand is exactly the same as you use for a press handstand. When I do pike presses from standing, all i feel is the trapezius that push through the shoulders in the same way as if im in handstand, and somewhat the abs working to compress if i do 10+.

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Fluidity

I would recommend that you first work on negatives. Before you do that you should have a decently stable handstand for at least 10 seconds(30 would be even better) doing your best alignment wise. Your negative should start from a straddle handstand where you start to pike at the hips to bring the legs downwards. As you are doing this you should focus on pusing into the floor so you feel your trapezius working hard and imagine that you are more squeezing your legs towards your torso than letting them go to the floor. Have a mat in front of you because it might make you fall forwards in the beginning. The ROM which you manage to keep tension will improve with time. If you do this right you will feel a lot in your shoulders as well as in your abs and hip flexors.

 

The amount of shoulder lean you will have to use depends on how strong and flexible you are. If you have good compression and/or very good active pancake and strong open shoulders you do not need to lean a lot. Some lean is acceptable when learning it.

 

Also, keep working your flexibility and general handstand alignment. The push and extension through your shoulders that you use during a proper handstand is exactly the same as you use for a press handstand. When I do pike presses from standing, all i feel is the trapezius that push through the shoulders in the same way as if im in handstand, and somewhat the abs working to compress if i do 10+.

By the way just wondering aren't HS RLLs basically a pike handstand press except with the lean against the wall which is almost completely eliminated when doing a pike press? I'm just wondering because I think I may have to work more on my HS RLLs more for building my foundation for HS Presses.

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Mikael Kristiansen

No. This is one of the most common misconceptions. What needs to be strengthened is your shoulder area. The compression and abdominal part when pressing to handstand is much harder than when lifting the legs in a headstand, but the limiting factor is almost always the shoulder area. The problem comes because you need to push enough through your entire scapular area and shoulder to be able to stack the torso on top of the shoulders to even get into the position where the lift of the legs CAN happen. Alternatively, you lean forwards to get your COM over your palms so you can start the press, but still heavy scapular elevation is neccesary so it does not become a planche press.

 

To be honest, i have never seen the point of doing wall presses. I know there are some variations that might give people results(check out the video by yuri on this forum) but for the most part you are better off working negatives until you have some control of the ROM downwards, then box presses along with lowering as far as you can from handstand and pressing back up. This along with work at the bottom of the ROM like jfslocum mentioned will be good tools to build the press

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Joshua Slocum

Handbalancer's advice is very good. Doing negatives will help you learn the motion of the press. The reason I recommended press leans is that I find for many people the initiation of the press is the most difficult part. If you find that you can easily lean into your hands and float your feet off the floor, you should probably focus on negatives. However, if you can not float your feet off of the floor, you would also benefit greatly from practicing leans. 

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Fluidity

Thank you so much guys!!!! I'll post a video later on once I make steady progress!

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Mats Trane

to add to the above I found this exercise very usefull/helpfull See Video.

What you want to concentrate on is:

Keeping/pulling your legs/hips as close to your body as possible. Idealy it should be like an upside down pancake. As you see in the video I´m not strong/flexible enough to keep the hips/legs in all the way. One way to strenghten this is to do seated leglifts.

Do these before pressing to handstand and try to get the same feeling when you do the real one. 

 

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Sebastian Schneider

Does anyone have some good tips or progressions for the pancake stretch? I try to do it like forever but all I get is a rounder back I think...

Does it come from a wider straddle or am I just doing it wrong?

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seiyafan

I tried that and before I can feel zero weight on my feet, I lost balance and fell forward. Does that mean I have work on balance or shoulder/upper back strength? Do you press your hands into the floor as hard as you can during the entire process?

 

I don't think a press while leaning against the wall will be terribly helpful. That ends up being equivalent to reverse leg-lifts. For most people the limiting factor in a press is the shoulders and upper back. My recommendation would be to do 'press leans'. That is, from a straddle, lean onto your hands as if you were going to press. Get as much weight as possible onto your hands. Ideally you would be able to get to the point where you can put all of your weight onto your hands, and let your feet float slightly above the floor. 

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Joshua Slocum

It's probably both. Working the leans will develop both. Keep working the leans. 

 

You should be pressing your hands into the floor as hard as possible. That is how you transfer your weight from your feet to your hands. However, you should shift the weight slowly so that you can try to maintain balance, so start by simply placing your hands on the floor, and then slowly pressing harder and harder. 

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seiyafan

I did my first box straddle press to hs with a box the height of my crotch, it's hard to describe the feeling because just about every muscle was involved. The key is to bring the butt as high as possible to align with the shoulder, then feet comes off the box naturally. 

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